MANILA, January 13, 2004  (STAR) STARBYTES By Butch Francisco - The first check I made this year, I made a mistake. On the date, I put 2003 instead of 2004. Wow, is it already 2004? This made me pause and look back 30 years ago in 1974. How was life then? (We were under martial law.) Who were the people and what were the events and places that mattered then? What about the movies? Who were the top box-office draws?

For my column today, accompany me 30 years back as we go down memory lane in the year 1974.

•Event of the year: 1974 Miss Universe pageant in Manila.

•Poster girls of the year: Johanna Raunio, Miss Finland and second runner-up; Maureen Ava Viera, Miss Aruba and fourth runner-up. Johanna returned the following year to do the mermaid film Lorelei with Chiquito and Raul Roa. Maureen did more films: Miss Aruba Went to Town (with Francis Arnaiz), Sa Pagitan ng Dalawang Langit (with Dante Rivero and Gina Pareño) and Jack & Jill (with Dolphy).

•Movie of the year: Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang. Produced by Cine Manila Corp., a group formed by Raul Roco and associates, this Lino Brocka film was a turning point in local cinema. It made the AB crowd appreciate local movies.

•Controversial film of the year: Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa by Celso Ad. Castillo and starring Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz in her film debut.

•Trend in local films: Wet look (started by Gloria Diaz and Elizabeth Oropesa). This was the year the word "bold" (meaning sexy) was incorporated into movie lingo.

•Horror films: Daigdig ng Sindak at Lagim (starring Celia Rodriguez, George Estregan, Liza Lorena and Ronaldo Valdez), Patayin Mo sa Sindak si Barbara, starring Susan Roces, Dante Rivero and Rosanna Ortiz, who won Best Supporting Actress honors at the Asian Film Festival.

•Box Office Queens: Vilma Santos, Boots Anson Roa, Amalia Fuentes.

•Daring move: Pilar Pilapil growing armpit hair.

•Movie heartthrob: Christopher de Leon.

•Cover girls: Charo Santos (crowned Miss Green Revolution and on her way to becoming Baron Travel Girl and Asia’s Best Actress), Coney Nubla (later to become Coney Reyes of Student Canteen), Ria Sison, Inez Manapul, Crispy Santamaria, Lollie Imperial, Guada Sanchez, Polly Penson, Agnes Rustia and Lulette Moran.

•Popular coeds: Maribi Mapa, Menchu Genato (now better known as Tita Maggi) and Marilou Diaz (later to become a famous director in films).

•Sports idols: Eugene Torre, Ben Villaflor, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Bogs Adornado, Francis Arnaiz, Yoyong Martirez and Abet Guidaben.

•TV shows: John en Marsha, Dos Por Dos (Maya Valdes, June Keithley, APO, Bert de Leon and June Torrejon as their cheesecake girl), What’s New JQ? and Showbiz With the Salvadors.

•Foreign entertainer: Nancy Sit. A popular Hong Kong singer, Ms. Sit made two television specials that year in the Philippines (directed by Al Quinn).

•Young male warblers: Anthony Castelo, Lew Soratorio, Aristeo Demavivas, Rudy Genasky and Rodel Naval.

•Local song: Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko by the Hotdogs.

•Foreign songs: Rock the Boat by the Hues Corporation and Of All The Things by Dennis Lambert.

•Shopping places: Cubao, Quad and Rustan’s Makati.

•Fashion: Elephant pants, square pants.

•Snack place: Magnolia House – already two years into the business then but still very popular. It was my idea of heaven that time.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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