No, this is not about Julianne Moore’s Alice, her 2014 performance about a woman afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease that gave her the Oscar and Golden Globe trophies, to mention a few of the honors that she went home with during that particular awards season.
Neither is this about Alice Reyes, the Ballet Philippines’ founder, proclaimed as National Artist for Dance who had a falling out with the BP Board of Trustees. She was serving the ballet company as its artistic director when its board deemed her retirement and was replaced by a foreigner.
Our Alice in Arias today, the one and only Ms. Alice Lake, which we all know by her screen name, Anita Linda.
At the ripest age of 95, she joined her Creator and the Muses who gave her 77 years of artistic reign in local Tinseltown.
She, at 95, was the leader of the National Treasures Club. Its members include actors and actresses, all multi-awarded, considered as iconic, have given life to roles, whether as leads or support, giving each character the soul, sensibility, and gravitas they so richly deserved.
Why members of this club, which include actresses Mila Del Sol (97), Laura Hermosa (92), Rosa Rosal (91), Rustica Carpio (89), Gloria Sevilla (87), Gloria Romero (86), Caridad Sanchez (84), and actors Ramon Revilla, Sr. (93), Don Pepot (84/85), Joseph Estrada (83), Joonee Gamboa (83), are not of National Artist caliber, can someone supply the answers, please?
For the millennials curious about the artistic legacy of Ms. Anita, your favorite search engine has some of the things you need to discover about her amazing career. She worked with all the major Filipino film masters such as Gerry de Leon, Lamberto Avellana, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Joey Gosiengfiao, Mario delos Reyes, Mario ‘O Hara and so much more.
What for me is lamentable, nobody dared to interview the revered thespian about her artistic collaboration with these director legends. Don’t you ever wonder how it was like to be in the film set of Gerry de Leon and Lamberto Avellana and the manner how these two giants prepare? Who did more rehearsals and more taxing and strict? Who was generous and a true father figure?
Knowing that her directors during that particular shoot were a Manong Gerry and Sir Avellana, how did Ms. Linda survive them? Who was bitchier and more demanding, was it Lino Brocka or Ishmael Bernal? Who gave better motivational instructions or tools? Did she ever fear the two?
How about the Marios, Maryo delos Reyes and Mario ‘O Hara, how was she treated by the duo while she was on their set? What were Linda’s observations about the manner these dynamic Marios were behind the camera, making sure that everything would be made the way they envisioned the scene to be?
Her most anticipated recollection could have been about all the movie queens and drama monarchs. Did she like Carmen Rosales and affirm that she was indeed the first What were her fondest memories of Delia Razon, Norma Blancaflor, Parluman, Bella Flores, and Zeny Zabala if ever they had the opportunity to be in a movie together?
Who to her was more charismatic, Nida Blanca or Gloria? Did Charito Solis or Lolita Rodriguez intimidate her, did she even have the chance to work with them?
Who for her was the classier act, Rita Gomez or Celia Rodriguez? Who did she believe as the true Ms. Number One, Amalia Fuentes or Susan Roces? And was she in agreement that the last four movie queens were Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta, and Maricel Soriano?
Such a pity that we will no longer get the answers to all these questions. We can just imagine how her eyes twinkle or turn misty by the mere mention of the names of her directors and co-actors. How would the sound of her laughter be, in case she imparted something mischievous or naughty?
To all film historians out there, don’t you think it is about time if they will permit it, to interview the remaining members of the National Treasures so that we may preserve an important part of our Filipino film history?
To Ms. Anita Linda, thank you for your movies and their memories. Your legend goes on.
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