Alicia Alonzo, an Accidental Actress

Article excerpt

"My discoverer was my brother Anthony," says actress Germelina 'Germie' Hernandez aka Alicia Alonzo

Forty-one years ago, she was a flight stewardess of PAL (Philippine Air Lines) whose fate took a dramatic turn when her younger brother, the late actor Anthony Alonzo, saw an advertisement by Lea Productions searching for a new star.

"Si Anthony ang mahilig talaga," continues Alicia. "He sent my photo to Lea without my knowledge.

"When they called, I went to LVN out of curiosity. However I was told by Maning Borlaza who was a scriptwriter then, to just come back because no director was available to give me a screen test. When I said I couldn't as I was busy at PAL, the bosses instructed Maning to facilitate the screen test."

In 1967, she was introduced in the Divina Valencia starrer, "Kwatang" with the screen name Alicia Alonzo, culled by Aling Miling Blas of Lea from a Mars Ravelo novel. The movie was followed by a dramatic vehicle starring Gloria Romero and Lolita Rodriguez.

Alicia says her first starring role was in 'Nag-aapoy Na Dambana' directed by Chaning Carlos. "Wala pang workshop noon," she says. "But I learned to internalize kasi ginagaya ko si Lolita (Rodriguez). In my first movie, anak n'ya ako. I would see her before each take. Haharap muna s'ya sa pader, tapos 'pag harap n'ya sa camera, ready na siya."

Due to some misunderstanding Alicia did not become a full-pledged Lea star. "When the signing didn't push through, I became a freelancer," she explains.

"Uso noon ang mga action films and male action stars like Tony Ferrer and Roberto Gonzalez. Ako pa nga ang leading lady ni Andy Poe sa kanyang launching movie."

Her contemporaries were: Elvie Gonzalez, Rebecca Rocha and Margie Tanquintic.

She continues: "Villa Miranda' (1971) became my comeback vehicle for Lea because of director Lino Brocka, whom I consider as my mentor in acting. Si Lino. 'pag bilib sa 'yo, ipaglalaban ka. That's how I got cast in 'Tahan na Empoy, Tahan' and 'Villa Miranda. Kay Lino, 'pag sinabing iyak, hindi basta iyak lang. Sa kanya, there are different kinds of iyak.

"He also corrected yung pagiging magalaw ng kilay ko. But when he trusted you, he'd just give the blocking, tapos bahala ka na. Kung saan mo gustong bumigay, doon ka bumigay."

His friendship with Lino started when she was just an upstart in the industry. Alicia explains: "I did a lot of TV shows before. There's this "Tindahan sa Kanto" on Channel 11, headlined by myself and Virgilio Garcia. Live yun. The script would be given an hour before the actual show. …