The 40th year of Viva Communications last year was supposed to be a major occasion. But there was no big celebration because major events were not allowed at that time.
So Viva went all out this year as it celebrated its 41st anniversary and its 41 years of success.
To make the occasion doubly memorable, the company unveiled on Friday, November 11, its remarkable Wall of Fame.
Images of Viva’s 41 biggest names and distinguished talents are showcased on the walls of the company’s Pasig offices, to reveal a piece of history and the pride of Viva.
The “Bad Boy”
The guest of honor in the unveiling was action star-turned-senator Robin Padilla, who arrived in style in a chopper, not because he simply wanted to, but more importantly, because he needed to be there.
The actor-politician came from Iloilo earlier last Friday, but didn’t want to miss the celebration. Besides, he is one of the biggest stars of Viva Films, where he did memorable action starrers like “Bad Boy” in 1990. The title also became his tag and moniker, although not literally.
“Magandang hapon sa nag-iisang sultan ng pelikulang Pilipino,” Padilla said, paying respect to Viva’s big boss, Vic del Rosario.
He credited Del Rosario for giving him his break in showbiz.
“Noong araw, kontrabida lang ako, pero si Boss Vic lang ang naniwala sa akin. Kaya kahit nasaan ako, kahit galing pa ako ng Visayas, kapag si Boss Vic ang nagpatawag, tumatakbo pa. Dadating ako para sa ‘yo, Boss,” he said.
Del Rosario, Viva’s founder and chair, led the ribbon cutting, along with vice chairman of the Board of Directors and treasurer Teresita Cruz, senior vice president for content creation and development Valerie del Rosario, chief marketing officer of Viva Communications Paul Alexei Basinillo and Viva Artists Agency (VAA) president and COO Veronique del Rosario.
“Forty-one years of Viva, maraming salamat sa lahat,” he said. “Hopefully, more movies, more blockbusters in the coming years.”
The photo of Padilla, as well as the images of the biggest stars of Viva, are all in the office room of Del Rosario. They include action king Fernando Poe, Jr., Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta, Anne Curtis and Sarah Geronimo.
Viva is known to have more than 200 stars in its stable.
Basinillo said it was hard to trim down the list to 41 names.
“Ang criteria, most of them naka-trabaho na ni Boss Vic in the 41 years. The artists are ranging from music, film, entertainment, directors. Variety sila. It was a long thought process.”
Del Rosario was very hands on in the process of choosing the personalities who would be in the Wall of Fame.
Basinilio said there more than a hundred nominees, but the list was trimmed down.
“The project was planned since last year. A 10-member committee that included Boss Vic, direk Paul, Baby Gil and June Torrejon-Rufino made the selection. Because of the pandemic, hindi talaga matuloy-tuloy. Dapat for the 40th anniversary. After today, we have not decided on how many more will be added. We have so many artists. What we will do is to put more frames in our offices in the other floors. We will adjust accordingly,” he said.
The photos were retouched and carefully restored. The challenge was to find the nicest and the best photos for the Wall of Fame, he said.
“Some of the artists, they passed away already,” he said. “So the qualities of the photo before, we could no longer find them. Ni-retouch lahat ‘yan. Matiyaga silang lahat. It was like doing film restoration. We had to go through everything to restore the photos so they will be presentable to everybody. Every year, other artists will be added for other Viva offices.”
Important names in drama like Christopher de Leon, Nora Aunor, Dina Bonnevie, Hilda Koronel, Phillip Salvador, Cesar Montano, Aga Muhlach, Cherie Gil, Dawn Zulueta and Nanette Medved are enshrined in the Wall of Fame.
Prominent and veteran Viva stars such as Vice Ganda, Andrew E, Herbert Bautista, Regine Velasquez are also seen on the walls of the offices, along with respected directors like Eddie Garcia, Leroy Salvador, Jr., and composers like George Canseco and Willy Cruz.
Yassi Pressman is the youngest artist in the batch, while Leroy is the oldest. Other young Viva artists such as Xian Lim, Matteo Guidicelli, Bela Padilla and Nadine Lustre also made it to the wall.