Monday, February 7, 2011

164. Family Matters: Talking STEVE URKEL

In the 1990s. the TV show "Family Matters" was an instant hit, largely because of the antics of Steve Urkel. This classic talking doll from the 1991 I found in Cubao. This 20 in. doll is missing his glasses, but he still talks! Pull the string on his back and he says his famous lines--"Did I Do That?", " You got any cheese?" , "Nice work Mikel!". He also laughs and snorts! Made by Hasbro, this vintage Steve Urkel doll, being a celebrity doll, is bound to be more valuable in the next few years, but as of now, he is better off as a scarecrow for my desk, for the moment.

163. Playbill: AIDA PROGRAM & PHOTO

Talk about being cultured in the 1920s! Manila Grand Opera House was the center of high culture during the American occupation, the equivalent of today's CCP. It featured Western-style entertainment, showcased Italian artists and local opera productions such as Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida", first performed in Cairo in 1871. It is the story of Aida, an Ethiopian princess who was captured and forced into slavery in Egypt. A military commander, Radames, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh. In turn Radames was pursued by the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris, who spurned her advances.

The 1933 Philippine production was headlined by the Manila Chamber Music Society and a stellar cast that included: Mrs. Angela A. de Gonzaga (Aida), Jose Barredo ( Radames), Vicente Vera (Amonasro)--all shown in the photo that was found separately in my flavor-of-the-month Q.C. junkshop. I scored the opera program (pardon the pun) from a Makati paper dealer. Others in the cast: Nelia Manalo (Amneris), Gerado Ayllon (Gran Sacerdote) and Manule Galicano (Amneris' father).

"Aida" has been adapted as a musical by Elton John and Tim Rice in 2000, but Pinoys beat the Broadway cast by 67 years, with their own version of "la grandiosa opera en cuatro actos y siete cuadros" premiering on 21 February 1933.

162. CELEBRITY PLATES: Daisy & Blanca

Guess who's coming to dinner?
Why, Daisy Romualdez and Blanca Gomez, of course--sister actresses who made a name for themselves in the 1960s, when light musicals and romances were the order of the day in Philippine showbiz. Here, we find their images reproduced on two decorative plates, souvenirs of their stardom in those bang-shang-alang days.

The elder Daisy Romualdez (born Margarita Romualdez) was intriduced in 1956 in the film, "Vacacionista". is Filipino actress. She is sister of Blanca Gomez and are both of Spanish blood. She married former basketball star Manny Paner and has two daughters, singers Danita and Kristina Paner. Blanca Gomez was enlisted by Sampaguita Pictures to be part of the very popular Stars '66. After her star waned, she also married a basketball player of Crispa, Danny Pecache. After her separation, she married businessman Richard Yang and is now settled in San Bernardion, California with her 4 children. Daisy appears every now and then on telenovelas while Blanca is happily retired from showbiz.