by : Alden I. Bula
Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang Ang Timbangan Sa Langit
Nora’s ex husband had his introduction to movie world via a Lino Brocka movie entitled “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang.” Kuh Ledesma’s launching movie also had the same word; “Tinimbang ang Langit” and coincidentally it had Christopher de Leon as her leading man. Note that her first movie was in Peque Gallaga’s “Oro Plata Mata. She was lambasted critically and the movie somehow laid an egg considering her stature at that time as a premier singer. She reacted that Nora Aunor was not a best actress in her first movie and that got the ire of Nora Aunor fans and even non Noranians I supposed. Ledesma’s movie was what normal people would say “hindi pa nga nag Superstar laos na.”
The word “laos” is defined as someone who is not in the radar and refers primarily to celebrities and movie stars. Probably, the nearest English translation for that word is “faded into glory or a has been.” But, the term can is as subjective as one wants to it be. There are varying and several descriptions of what a laos star should be. It is not right to point a certain individual of being as one just because you felt and believe that he or she belongs in this category. Just like in the case of Nora Aunor, the term cannot be embraced like a jacket that you wear or wear whether it rains or not. There are several reasons why.
- Box Office Supremacy – people concluded that she is a “has been” when all of a sudden her movie flopped the first time. All the more reasons when more movies followed the same fate. Now, it is not only Nora Aunor suffered the same situation, even Dolphy, Erap, FPJ, Susan Roces, Vilma, and other huge stars of Philippine movies have flop movies more than the ten fingers of your hands and feet combined when you count them. The trajectory of famous celebrities follows a path. Their popularity shoots like a firework and drops instantly once the glitter is consumed. But, great stars have more than glitter to offer. Just like the stars I have mentioned, she is still there making movies. Dolphy and D King is dead, Gloria Romero is active in teleserye but no one dares to call her laos. When in fact, Nora is doing better than her after 8 years of absence.
- Impact and Importance – you cannot call someone laos when that person has made so many significant contributions in the industry. In any other industry like electronics, consumer, food and beverage, hotels and restaurants to name a few, great people have come and gone but the industry revered those who made significant impact despite flaws and failures at one point in time in their career. It is not the human frailty that comes ahead but rather the contribution that you made that make people realized that without your trailblazing efforts, other people would not be successful as well. Would you think that Sharon Cuneta and Zsa Zsa Padilla become stars in their own right had it not been for Ate Guy. Do you think that Regine and Sarah would belt their lungs out just to follow the road to stardom paved by Nora?
- Gamble – As I mentioned, the path to greatness is not about quantity but of course involve quality. But, what made her an exception was that someone gambled on her and it paid off. Had Nora became a lesser talent, she would have threaded most of the Tawag ng Tanghalan champions; simply mean, won the competition and faded into oblivion. There are several reasons why she is in this stature. She is not afraid. Remember that when she was offered a cameo role and a movie contract, her reactions was in disbelief. But, she created a mental image on how would she look like in a movie scene. Not only other people betted on her but she also rolled the dice. But, she has more to offer. Filipinos have witnessed her transformation from being a recording star up to where is right now; legendary actress. Indeed, Gigi Duenas must be singing about her when she sang “The Movie In My Mind” in the London play “ Miss Saigon.” Because of that curiosity, Philippine movie was never the same again. Until now, she gambled by being away for several years in the limelight, she came back and she ejected all the pretenders in her throne doing movies not every movie star would dare to accept or even offered.
- Niche and Other Places In The Sun – Madonna is the queen of reinvention in the other side of the planet but Nora is the mother of reinvention. Maybe, subconsciously Nora knows her limitations that she ventured into diversified projects from radio to recording, from TV to news (correct me If I am wrong but Nora had a news column before; probably ghost written) from movies to theatre. She produced movies, she directed two (Nino Valiente which was shown commercially and The Greatest Performance of My Life which never saw the light of day.) She went to Tawi –Tawi for Thy Womb, she travelled to Batanes for “Dementia”, she went around the world to do movies from Winter Holiday to Merika. You cannot say that she is laos because she left so many imprints in different kinds of media. Toni Gonzaga and Kris Aquino have no right to claim that they were (take note not are) the Queens of Multi Media.
- Newsworthiness – Kris Aquino is in the news frequently because of her sexlife and lovelife. Claudine Barreto sometimes is trending because of her shenanigans, Sharon is on Twitter at times defending her daughter. Nora is all over the news be it offline and online not because she wanted to be but other people just want to create news for her period and double period. Even she was away in America doing her own laundry, the “intrigeros” here in the Philippines were exposing her dirty linens. And one would think that if she is not important enough not only with their own personal and professional lives, why did they have to scour the four corners of the earth for news about her. There so many things that happened in Philippine movies but they never wrote about it like evidences of Piolo being gay but until now they still have to provide a video where Nora was gambling, that Claudine made a pass with one of Derek Ramsay friends but it had a news blackout but they never write off about Nora and John Rendez.
The word laos can never be referred to Nora or she, categorized as one. It is indeed annoying that several decades ago she was already written off but her glitter still shines brightly than the young stars. Some are still fabricating irrelevant stories about her and at the end of the day what they wrote became an in your face affair for them. “Ang laos ay iyong tumagal lang ng ilang buwan at taon” This is an appropriate description for stars born out of reality TV shows (nasaan na nga ba ang mga winners and runner ups) and TV genres and other medium was already passé (Gary V, Pops, and Martin) when trend have died down (Sarsi, Pepsi, and Sylvia) whose beauty has become irrelevant (Dina B), whose antics never has changed (Maricel), whose ego is as big as her pear earrings (Snooky are you there), and eventually their time will pass (Vice Ganda prepare just like Roderick Did). That is why until her death, no one saw Carmen Rosales after she force retired in the scene (even when she was interviewed in Inday Badiday show; she felt like Greta Garbo (hindi nga lang nag turban but nag multu multohan).