In the bustling world of Philippine cinema, one name was honored at the 70th FAMAS Awards in 2022 as the “oldest living Filipino movie actress. ”
She is 96-year-old Pilar Padilla-Brooks of the Padilla clan, who hails from Plaridel (formerly Quingua), Bulacan. She is one of the daughters of Governor Jose Galvez Padilla who was the governor of Bulacan from 1928 to 1931 and again from 1934 to 1937. He died in 1945 at the young age of 56.
Pilar has starred in three major films: ‘Apat na Dalangin’, ‘Lumang Simbahan’ and ‘Dasalang Ginto’ before she decided to retire after a four year stint after the war.
Her first role in black and white films was in ‘Victory Joe,’ then ‘Dalawang Daigdig’ by LVN pictures directed by a relative Gregorio Fernandez (father of Rudy Fernandez), ‘Bakya mo Neneng’ and ‘Bagong Sinderella’ of Premiere Productions both directed by eldest sister Consuelo “Ateng” Padilla Osorio. ‘Caprichosa’ was next also by Premiere Productions directed by Ramon Estella.
‘Apat na Dalangin’ and ‘Lumang Simbahan’ were produced by the Nolasco bothers, while ‘Dasalang Ginto’ was produced by the independent Filcudoma Pictures which was filmed in Baguio City. She also guested in ‘Miss Philippines’ and became an endorser of Gloco Hollywood products.
She worked with three film companies: LVN pictures, Premiere Productions, and the Nolasco Brothers plus some independent film makers. Her versatility was displayed in “contrabida’ roles. Contemporaries Mila del Sol and Lilia Dizon were also Baguio residents and her good friends. She is the “kumare” of Rosa Rosal, as she is the godmother of daughter, Bobbie.
Pilar was born in Manila but studied elementary in Plaridel where and when her father was governor. She went back to Manila then stayed in Baguio for five years from 1958 to 1963 where son Grey was born. She has five children namely: Bobbie, George, Grey, Laraine (Lainie Smith), and Jack.
After Baguio, she went to Clark in Angeles where her husband Oren worked with the U.S. military.
Eldest daughter Bobbie even studied at Brent International School Baguio. Her siblings include Estrella (Telly) Padilla who was then married to lawyer Adolfo Scheerer (one of the sons of Baguio Caucasian pioneer Otto Scheerer). Otto’s other two sons with Filipino wife Margarita Asuncion were Donato “Atoy” and Graciana “Nena”. Her two other siblings were Emma Teresa and Antonio.
Pilar together with 90-year-old sister Angeles ‘Nene” Padilla and Marianito (Naning) Padilla are the only living first generation Padillas.
Paulo Carantes San Juan is young man with an “old soul”. Aside from being nominated as Baguio’s Make-up Artist of the year in 2022, he has a distinct interest in veteran stars like Rosa Rosal, Gloria Romero, not to mention Cher Bono.
Pao gave us a lot of inputs about this article. He expressed his interest in glamming Pilar Padilla Brooks when he found out she frequented Baguio to attend to her lots in Dontogan. So, the scenario was planned.
He has this advice on how to glam senior citizens or those above 60 years old. “If you decide to grow old gracefully without the aid of cosmetic surgery, it is best to keep your skin well moisturized, avoid too much powder as it can emphasize wrinkled skin.”
Pao, who had a pleasant tete a tete with tita Pilar continued, “Use foundations that also provide moisture. Make sure, that your foundation has a warm tone that can match your skin tone. This is to contrast the dullness of the skin color which naturally occur with age. Cream textures are best, blot foundation with a tissue paper rather than powder to set. Cream blushes are best as they provide a glow from within, you can do whatever you want with your lip and eye makeup, as long as you keep your base even and glowy. Dry powdery makeup makes you look older.”
Pao is also particular to the color white and pastels in clothing and simple jewelry accessory.
– Stella Maria L. de Guia