From The Filmdom Of Stars To The Kingdom Of God
For a fortunate few, the path to stardom came fast and easy. For a good-looking young man from an obscure town, Gines Francisco Soriano never dreamed of coming to Manila only to be discovered for the movies. Although this son of an hacendero from Nueva Ecija, had his mind set on becoming a successful doctor, his feet were defining him as an excellent dancer. The story is told that on a day in May in the early Fifties, this young man along with his gang decided to watch the filming of a friend. The director on the set took one look at him and said, “You should be in the movies.”
A few days later, a well-known scriptwriter was seated at his typewriter finishing out a story entitled Dimas when the young man stopped by to pay him a visit. Upon seeing him, the scriptwriter said that he just happened to be the man he was looking for to play the character in the story he was working on. It was then that a visit to Doña Sisang, the Grand Old Lady, at LVN Studios was in order. No sooner did he step into her presence did she immediately want him to sign a contract. The Grand Old Lady was heard to have said, “We won’t have a difficult time building him up.”
Several movies down the road only proved that this young man was made of the stuff of stars. After playing the lead character to many ladies, he teamed up with Nida Blanca. The tandem took on the local movie world by storm as they sang and danced their way into the hearts and minds of Filipinos. In later recollections, it was told that due to the premiere of one of their box-office hits, an entire main street in Manila was shut down to traffic.
The Philippine silver screen has never embraced an enduring partnership since. An early magazine article featured this young man and predicted that he will go far in his acting career. And with such endearing film classics as Bahala Na, Waray Waray, and Ikaw Kasi, Nestor De Villa stepped into the spotlight of filmdom; the rest is, as they say, movie history.
In the latter years, Nestor De Villa lived out his final role as an evangelist and servant of Jesus Christ. The Lord called him in 1984 from the filmdom of stars to the kingdom of God. He literally surrendered the center stage of his life in order that the Lord might grow greater and greater while he grew less and less. Time and again he prayed, “Lord, use me to win more souls for your kingdom.” God heard and honored the prayer of his servant. He reaped a great harvest of souls and influenced countless lives through his story and service.
On the morning of February 21, 2004, the Lord healed Nestor De Villa and called him to his final resting place. You could just imagine the tremendous joy that filled his heart as he danced his way into eternity. The Lord embraced him at the gates of heaven and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!”
Seventy years ago, Doña Sisang’s legendary LVN Pictures was the home of the big production musical romance comedy films that defined the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema—in 2004 Nestor de Villa was “The Last Man Dancing."
© 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.
Nestor de Villa Filmography
1952 Rodrigo de Villa
1952 Haring Solomon at Reyna Sheba
1952 Dawang Sundalong Kanin
1952 Amor Mio
1952 Romansa sa Nayon
1952 Tenyente Carlos Blanco
1953 Tumbalik na Daidig
1953 Hijo de Familia
1953 Dalawang Pag-ibig
1954 Sinsing na Tanso
1955 Ikaw Kasi
1955 Ang Ibong Adarna
1955 Darling Ko
1955 Dalagang Taring
1955 1 2 3
1956 Medalyong Perlas
1956 Handang Matodas
1956 Easy Ka Lang, Padre!
1956 Big Shot
1956 Aling Kutsero
1957 Sebya, Mahal Kita
1957 Ganyan Ka Pala
1957 Bahala Na
1957 Tingnan Natin
1958 Villa Milagrosa
1958 Casa Grande
1958 Austerity Love
1958 Mga Anak Ni Waray
1958 Ang Langit Ko’y Ikaw
1959 Wala Kang Paki
1959 Tayo’y Magsaya
1959 Baguio Fever
1959 Limang Punglo
1960 Unos Sa Laot
1960 Kung Ako’y Mahal Mo
1960 Pitong Gabi Sa Paris
1960 Nida-Nestor Show
1960 Sandakot na Alabok
1960 Lawiswis Kawayan
1960 My Serenade
1960 Anino ng Kahapon
1960 Bakit ka Nagtampo
1960 Wala Kang Kapantay
1961 Nagbababang Lupa
1961 Walang Sisihan
1961 Mga Yapak na Walang Bakas
1962 Tugtuging Bukid
1961 Sikat na, siga pa
1962 Oy… Akin yata ‘yan
1962 Jam Session
1963 Magtiis Ka Darling
1963 Adonis Abril
1963 Limbo Rock
1963 Asyang ng La Loma
1963 Ang Bukas ay Akin
1963 Oh One Last Kiss
1964 Ginintuang Ani
1964 Yeba Chiquicha
1964 Si Doray Naman…
1965 Utos Ni Tale Hinde Mababale
1965 Everybody Dance
1966 Sound of Bwisit
1966 Mabilis Paa’t Kamay
1966 Huwag Kang Sumingit
1966 Familia Galawgaw
1966 Espiya Contra Espiya
1967 Wow Na Wow
1967 Manila Hong Kong Singapore
1968 Siete Dolores
1975 Siya’y Umalis, Siya’y Dumating
1982 Mother Dear
1982 Forgive and Forget
1982 Cross My Heart
1983 Saan Darating Ang Umaga
1984 Anak ni Waray, Anak ni Biday
1985 Hindi Nahahati Ang Langit
1985 Like Father, Like Son
1986 Paglingon sa Kinabukasan
1987 Prinsesang Gusgusin
1993 Ligaw-ligawan, Kasal-kasalan, Bahay-bahayan
2001 Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on June 15, 2015:
Abigail, I appreciate the time you spent reading the various articles along with your encouraging words. I am blessed to know that my father's story inspired you. May you continue to follow after Christ, as did my dad, and may He use your story to enrich the lives of others as well.
Abigail on June 14, 2015:
Hello Gicky! I practically read all your articles in your hub in one sitting. In fact, I slept at around 4 am this morning just so I can finish reading all the things you have wrote about your father. Your articles are very uplifting and inspiring.
Although my age is almost your brother Jeric's, I am a great fan of your father. I remember watching Nida Nestor Show on tv when I was a young girl (probably I was not even going to school then yet, maybe I was 5 years old then).
I do not know what pushed me to google your dad's name and presto, I found all your articles in the hub including Paul and Jeric's interview.
My admiration for your father grew a lot bigger when I have learned that he had become a great servant of our Lord. Now, my admiration is not only for him but for his whole family as well. . . . I truly miss your father, the way I miss my own father who also had gone to our Creator last 2005. I look up to your father as if he is also a father to me.
Thank you Gicky , you made me know your father more.
God really works miraculously! Glory to God!
Angelica Macapagal on April 28, 2015:
Wow! Thank you sir! I will try to find a copy of your book. I will also ask my dad maybe he knows. I only know a handful of the older relatives but I know that a certain baranggay have a "Soriano" in their blood.
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on April 24, 2015:
Angelica - That's right. Dad is from Cabanatuan. I did write a book entitled The Last Man Dancing: The Nestor De Villa Story. There's a chapter in it where I talk about his ancestral beginnings and growing up years in his hometown. You may want to connect the dots accordingly.
Thanks for your encouraging review!
Angelica Macapagal on April 19, 2015:
This is such a heartwarming post po. Thank you!
I'm just wondering, I've read somewhere that you're father, Mr Nestor De Villa, is from Cabanatuan? Is it true? If it is, maybe we are somehow related because my grandmother is Soriano (maternal side). This is so cool!
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on August 11, 2014:
Thank you for visiting
JesusEater from Quezon City, Philippines on August 09, 2014:
WOW! Very interesting!
Ingenira on April 21, 2013:
Peggy-from CCF on August 07, 2012:
8 years after Nestor's homecoming, all his sons are faithfully serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Your family truly brings honor and glory to God.
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on October 03, 2011:
It was such a blessings to have hooked up with a local publisher in Manila. OMF Literature just published my recent work. It's a biography on my father's life entitled: The Last Man Dancing: The Nestor de Villa Story. The book was launched at the Manila International Book Festival last month September 14-18. And yes, I had a great time with Joby these past couple days. I know he'll be in Los Angeles in a week or so. I guess he'll post his plans in Facebook. Thanks again for your readership and gracious comments.
jnev_ergela on October 03, 2011:
Pastor Gicky---I am a big Nestor De Villa fan the actor/dancer, but now an even bigger fan of Nestor The Evangelist. ...love love the legacy he left behind, not to mention the lives that changed... people he pointed to our Savior. I met your brother Joby, and my wife Anna (Carlos) Alegre worked and was a member at CCF Alabang. We hope Pastor Joby and co. could stop by our church here at Grace Community. We hope to visit your fellowship someday if we are in your area. ALL GLORY TO HIM our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on October 03, 2011:
Jnev ergela, I appreciate your visit and gracious comment. Blessings to you.
jnev_ergela on October 03, 2011:
Thank you. Very beautiful.
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on January 26, 2010:
Hannah, I do thank you for your gracious visit and comment. By God's grace, my father left the family a legacy which we could build upon in the furtherance of His kingdom. All blessings to you Sister.
Hannah Ministries on January 26, 2010:
Such a great HUB. I want to link this with my facebook! Thanks so much. What a wonderfull story and a great title! God is mercifull and He is the Saviour. THe story of the last man dancing touched my heart. Blessing
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on January 24, 2010:
ABR, Thank you for sharing the chorus of that uplifting song. Your visit is refreshing and it is a blessing. God bless you.
Aaron Rushing from USA- Florida on January 24, 2010:
Gickey Thank you for sharing this most heart warming Biography. Your father's story reminded me of one of my favorite songs. He Is No Fool- by Twila Paris. The chorus goes like this:
He is no fool,
If he would choose.
To give the thing he cannot keep.
To buy what he can never lose.
To see a treasure in one soul.
That far outshines the brightest gold.
He is no fool. He is no fool.
Show me the fool who abandons his life
To walk in the steps of our Lord Jesus Christ
I have read your profile. It would seem, you are a chip off the ol' block my friend. Your faithfulness is a testamony to his.
Gicky Soriano (author) from California on January 18, 2010:
IslandVoice, So glad that you stopped by and left such a gracious comment. All blessings!
Sylvia Van Velzer from Hawaii on January 18, 2010:
A fabulous and heartwarming hub from a son to his famous dad. There was only one Nestor de Villa, and i am glad to have known him and his great love for the God he served.