• Donna Villa’s Golden Lion to continue producing movies

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    RONNIE CARRASCO 3RD

    With the sad and sudden demise of Golden Lion Films matriarch Donna Villa, is it likely the production studio will close its doors?

    “Not at all,” clarified Nene Mercado, the company’s supervising producer and a family friend of Tita Donna and her bereaved husband director Carlo J. Caparas. In fact, they are zeroing in on a playdate for the release of the trilogy Miracles Are Forever, which stars Richard Gutierrez, among others.

    Inspired by real-life testimonials from the members of Bro. Mike Velarde’s El Shaddai, the film’s showing is long overdue. It was toward the last quarter of 2016 (just as Tita Donna’s then undetermined illness began to manifest) when the movie initially eyed a September playdate.

    Tita Nene revealed a list of other films which Golden Lion Films had already lined up, complete with titles and cast members in mind. As she got weaker, Tita Donna partly entrusted the work to another good friend from her elementary days in Cebu—a certain Baby Villalon, we gathered—hoping she would return to her responsibilities when she got better.

    Carlo J. Caparas and Donna Villa in one of their final interviews together

    It was in February 2016 when the mirthful Tita Donna told Vignettes about a dozen komiks no­vels penned by Caparas—whose rights had already been bought by Viva Entertainment—scheduled to be re-made for TV (similar to Ang Panday and Tasya Fantasya).

    Meanwhile, relatives and friends couldn’t help but feel disheartened by Andi Eigenmann’s no-show at Tita Donna’s wake before her cremated remains were flown to Cebu. (By the way, her family acceded to her wish that half of her ashes be scattered in the waters of Santander Resort, her favorite destination back home).

    Andi starred in the remake of the ‘80s film Angela Markado (originally played by Hilda Koronel, a novel which Direk Carlo wrote himself), the last Golden Lion movie shown in November 2015.

    “Mabuti pa si Angelica Panganiban,” a close friend of the bereaved family groaned over the stark contrast. Arriving at dawn and unchaperoned, Angelica made it to the last night of the wake at the Cosmopolitan Memorial Chapels and Columbary.

    Angelica was the unlikely actress whom the grieving family and friends thought would pay her last respects to Tita Donna. “She was barely seven years old when Golden Lion got her for the movie Antipolo Massacre (shown in 1993 starring Cesar Montano and Dawn Zulueta).”

    * * *

    GUESS WHO? It saddens Vignettes to know that an erstwhile film actress (EFA) is now bedridden, with only her closest kin to take care of her (as well as oversee her pro­perty, the family’s major source of income).

    According to our source, while the EFA is still able to recognize familiar faces all that she manages to mouth are curt answers like “Oo” at “Hindi” whenever asked.

    Meanwhile, by some odd twist of fate, the EFA’s then-quintessential partner (QP)—who was sighted recently at a showbiz gathering—apparently seems to be suffering from failing health as well. While his family members stopped at their destination and got off the van, the QP chose to remain seated as he could hardly walk.

    In jest, the QP’s wife was telling some friends how difficult it was for her to attend to a “good-for-nothing” partner.

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