Love at first watch: The magic of “Dear Heart” revisited

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The magic of “Dear Heart” revisited

It was the film that started it all for Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion. “Direk Danny [Zialcita] wanted my character in the movie to be close to my real self para daw hindi ako mahirapan,” confided Sharon to entertainment columnist-host Ricky Lo when asked about her first film Dear Heart in 1981. As for her leading man, Sharon bluntly confessed that, at first, “Anybody but Gabby Concepcion. I found out na mabait naman pala siya when we started shooting.”

Love at first watch: The magic of “Dear Heart” revisited

Bong Godinez (philippine entertainment portal)

After Sharon was given a recording contract at the age of 12, singer-composer Rey Valera remembers feeling perplexed when he was commissioned to write a song for the young singer. A straight-ahead love song, according to Valera, didn’t seem fit for someone so young.

 

But Rey wouldn’t allow himself either to write anything like a nursery tune. He toiled for a few days. And then, while riding a jeepney he suddenly came up with a song he’d call “Mr. DJ.”  Valera instinctively knew that he unearthed a gold mine. “Mr. DJ” did become a major hit and the young Sharon Cuneta became a singing sensation.

 

Sharon charmed her way into the OPM charts and into the hearts of Filipino listeners. Two years after her breakthrough as a recording artist, she was being eyed by some producers to star in a movie.

 

ANYBODY BUT GABBY. The theme of Sharon’s first film, at only 15, was a no brainer—young love with the usual Romeo-and-Juliet elements, minus Shakespeare’s tragic touch.

 

Contrary to popular notion, Sharon’s first movie was not produced by Viva Films but by a production outfit known as Sining Silangan. Director Danny Zialcita was tapped to direct the film; part of his job was also to convince the Cuneta household to allow Sharon to jump into acting.

 

“I was a singer when this movie was offered to me,” said Sharon in an interview with QTV 11’s Ang Pinaka…

 

Almers De Luna, a proud member of the group Sharon’s Angels, revealed that the Cunetas asked for a P220,000-talent fee, which at the time was a staggering amount for a newcomer. To the disbelief of Sharon’s parents, Sining Silangan agreed to pay the sum without reservation.

 

“Direk Danny said to my mom, and I will never forget this until the day I die, if the mayor [Sharon’s dad, Pablo Cuneta] and you do not allow Sharon to do this I will never make this movie. I will shelve this forever,” Sharon fondly recalled. “So it was really me.”

 

Sharon was the only choice for the heroine but the leading man was a  different story. She did not like Gabby.

  (more…)

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