Nora Aunor (born Nora Cabaltera Villamayor on May 21, 1953) is a critically acclaimed Filipina actress, recording artist, and film producer. Aunor has also appeared in several stage plays, television shows, and concerts. She is known as Philippine cinema's Superstar.
Aunor started her career in the Philippine entertainment industry as a singer after she won an amateur singing contest. She made her film debut with All Over the World (1967) and also guested in youth-oriented films produced by Vera-Perez Pictures and United Brothers Production. Aunor transformed herself into a serious actress and came to be regarded as an acting heavyweight, performing in films such as Tatlong taong walang Diyos (1976), Himala (1982), Bona (1980), The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995) and Thy Womb (2012) which gave her international and local awards and nominations.
Aunor received 17 FAMAS Award nominations and was elevated to the "Hall of Fame" after winning five Best Actress Awards. She is the most nominated actress of Gawad Urian Awards with 18 nominations, winning seven. She has more nominations as Best Actress than any other Filipino actor in both FAMAS and Gawad Urian award giving bodies. She has won eight trophies from PMPC Star Awards for her work in television and movies, eight Metro Manila Film Festival, four Luna Awards, five Young Critics Circle Awards, a Cairo Film Festival award, an Asia Pacific Screen Awards, an Asian Film Awards, a Berlin Film Festival Award nomination, and a Venice Film Festival Awards nomination, amongst others.
In 1983, Aunor was recognized as one of the The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service (TOWNS) in the Field of the Arts. In 1999, Aunor received the Centennial Honor for the Arts awarded by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). She was the only film actress included in the list of awardees. In 2010, she was hailed by the Green Planet Movie Awards as one of the "10 Asian Best Actresses of the Decade". She received the Ani ng Dangal Award (Harvest of Honors). from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, she received the "Light of Culture Awards from Philippine Centre of the International Theatre Institute and the ITI-Earthsavers UNESCO Dream Center for pioneering in the integration of theater, television, and film. In 2014, Aunor is the recipient of University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications, Gawad Plaridel.
Aunor is also one of the few Asian actresses to be nominated as best actress in three Asian film awards namely: 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Australia (winner), 55th Asia Pacific Film Festival (APFF) in Macau. and in the 7th Asian Film Awards (AFA) in Hong Kong (winner) for the movie "Thy Womb".
Early life and education:
Aunor was born in Baryo San Francisco, Iriga, Camarines Sur in Bicol Region. Her parents are Antonia Cabaltera and Eustacio Villamayor. She has 9 more siblings, including Eddie Villamayor, a former actor. When Nora was growing up, it was her grandmother (Lola Theresa) who taught her how to sing and the first song she learned was The Way of a Clown. Mamay Belen (aunt) on the other hand, taught her the right diction, interpretation and expression while singing and took her under their custody and from whom she got her screen name. Nora became a Champion at the Darigold Jamboree Singing Contest singing her winning piece You and the Night and the Music and after that she won another singing contest, The Liberty Big Show. Nora entered the national singing contest Tawag ng Tanghalan where she was defeated on her first try and became a champion on her second try. The Grand National Finals of Tawag ng Tanghalan was on May 29, 1967, where she sang Moonlight Becomes You.
Nora went to Mabini Memorial College'59-'60 when she was in grade I and transferred to Nichols Air Base Elementary School'60-'62 when she reached grade II and III; She then entered Iriga Central Elementary School '62-64' as a grade IV and V student and went back to Mabini Memorial College '65-'65 to finish her primary education and entered her first year in high school '65-'66. She then transferred to Centro Escolar University-Parañaque where she became a student on her second and third year in high school and again in '70-71 where she graduated in High School.
Aunor was married to award winning actor Christopher de Leon on Jan. 25, 1975 in a civil ceremony with whom she has one child who was born on December 11, 1975, actor Ian De Leon. On January 27, 1976, they renewed their marriage. This time it was Father Alleysius Rodriguez who officiated the wedding. They also have two adopted daughters, actors Lotlot De Leon and Matet de Leon and 2 adopted sons Kiko and Kenneth. However, the marriage didn't last long and they separated; she was annulled to de Leon in 1996. According to Matet on her interview, Nora is very affectionate and tender as a mom and she treats them equally even though they are not blood related. Aunor became a permanent resident of the United States in 2008, but she retains her Philippine citizenship. In 2011, she came back to the Philippines to resume her acting and singing career after 8 years on hiatus.
After winning the local talent search, Tawag ng Tanghalan in 1967, Aunor made her first appearance as a guest in Timi Yuro' s concert at the Araneta Coliseum. She made her first T.V. appearance as a guest in "An Evening with Pilita" hosted by Pilita Corrales and "Carmen on Camera" hosted by Carmen Soriano. Aunor also joined the evening program "Oras ng Ligaya." of Channel 13 and DZXL gave her a spot on "Operetang Putol-Putol," and "Fiesta Extravaganza" hosts Ike Lozada and German Moreno frequently invited her to guest on their radio program. Alpha Records took a chance on the young singer and waxed the first Nora disc. It flopped. Alpha tried again and the second Nora recording did better. Since, then, Nora's Voice LP's have been runaway bestsellers.
Inevitably, The doors of movies opened for Aunor, Dr. Jose Perez of Sampaguita Pictures asked comedian German Moreno to ask her if she would like to try the movies. Aunor wondered if this was a joke but she also wondered how she would look in the movies. On October 2, 1967, Aunor signed an eight-picture non-exclusive contract with Sampaguita Pictures, with the assurance that she would be given a singing part. Aunor made several youth-oriented flicks like "All Over World" and "Way Out of the Country" Aunor made several youth-oriented flicks like "All Over World", her first two movie appearances.
In 1967, from September to December, Aunor did six movies, all in supporting and minor roles. As a recording star, she made several singles like "Moonlight Becomes You" and "There's Just Forever" for Citation Records. She also recorded songs like "No Return, No Exchange" and "You are My First Love" for Jasper Recording. 1968 was not a busy year for her, she only made 3 movies most of them are supporting and minor roles and most of them are for the musical Numbers. Little did she know that her time will come soon in 1969.
By the beginning of 1969, she appeared in such movies as 9 Teeners, a popular TV show that time, and Young Girl, where she was teamed up for the first time with Tirso Cruz III. It was also this year when her contract with Sampaguita Pictures had expired. Nora is now considered as a freelancer, she then made movies with other movie outfits like "Banda 24" and "Drakulita for Barangay", "Oh Delilah and Karate Showdown" for JBC, and two Lea pictures, "Pabandying-Bandying" and "Adriana". She's on her way of attaining full stardom on her next movie assignment.
Although Nora made movies with other movie outfits, it was Tower Records which gave Aunor's first starring role opposite Tirso Cruz III, the "D' Musical Teenage Idols" by Tower Productions directed by Artemio Marquez was shown on September. 23, 1969 . Three days after, on Sept. 26, 1969, Sampaguita Pictures released its 34th-anniversary presentation, a Nora-Tirso movie as well the title is "Fiesta Extravaganza" directed by Consuelo P. Osorio. This was followed Tower's Teenage Escapades, JBC's Halina, Neneng Ko and Viltra Elk's Nora, The Single Girl. Her movies were all box-office hits making her the Philippine Golden Girl and a certified box-office princess. It made her a "Superstar."
She also starred in her own TV musical variety show that ran for over two decades, starting as the Nora-Eddie Show with Eddie Peregrina in 1967, becoming The Nora Aunor Show in 1968, and Superstar from 1971 to 1989. Aunor's "Superstar" show holds the record as the longest-running musical variety show that had aired on Philippine PRIME-TIME TV. On December 19, 1969, during the coronation of Nora as muse of Sampaguita Family Club, Tirso gave her a doll "Maria Leonora Theresa" making it the most popular doll ever in the Philippine showbiz history.
Aunor continued to make teeny-bopper movies alongside Tirso Cruz III like Orang; Nasaan Ka Inay?; I Dream of Nora; Young at Heart; Always In My Heart; My Blue Hawaii; A Gift of Love; Nora, Mahal Kita, and Winter Holiday. They are known to their fans as Guy and Pip to their fans. Among all the movies that they starred together, it was the movie, "Guy and Pip" that tops them all. It stayed in the cinemas for 6 months and grossed an unprecedented record-breaking box-office gross and was seen by more than 4 million Filipinos. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, Guy and Pip's P8 million gross in 1971 is equivalent to P560 million at 2009 average ticket prices. Aunor was also paired to different young actors like Manny de Leon, Edgar Mortiz, Cocoy Laurel and international stars like Sajid Khan in The Singing Filipina and Don Johnson for Lollipops and Roses. Nora Aunor made 18 films in the year 1970, most of them are youth oriented flicks.
On April 2, 1970, Aunor signed an exclusive contract with Tower Records and was sued by Sampaguita Pictures for Breach of Contract, she was only seventeen then. Nora eventually graduated from being a teen idol to dramatic actress, she received her first best actress award in 1972 for her film And God Smiled at Me from Quezon City Film Festival. She was first nominated as a best actress in FAMAS( Filipino Academy for Movies, Arts and Sciences) for the A Gift of Love. From 1972 to 1986, Nora Aunor was nominated consecutively for Best Actress by the FAMAS, the only actor or actress to ever achieve the feat.
In 1973, Aunor established her own movie production company, "NV Productions" and produced its first movie entitled "Carmela". She was again nominated in the 22nd FAMAS Awards for "Paru-parung Itim". She also did "Fe, Esperanza, Caridad" (1974) another critically acclaimed movie which was directed by three different directors namely Cirio H. Santiago and two National Artists for film; Gerardo de Leon and Lamberto V. Avellana. This is a trilogy that tells the life stories of 3 different women; Fe - an emerging movie Superstar who has an invalid husband, Esperanza - a young wife living in a middle-class neighborhood in the city and Caridad - a young novice who was seduced by the devil himself. This movie earned Nora her third nomination from the 23rd FAMAS Awards.
She also produced and starred in the movie "Banaue: Stairway to the Sky (1975) which was directed by national artist Gerardo de Leon. This is a story about the tribe of Ifugao and their struggles to achieve the promised land. Aunor received her fourth nomination from FAMAS Awards( Filipino Academy for Movies, Arts and Sciences). Her co-star in this movie is the fast rising actor Christopher de Leon who later became her husband and a father to her only son.
In 1976, Aunor produced the movie Alkitrang dugo through her own movie production company, NV Productions. This movie was based on the novel Lord of the Flies by the Nobel Prize-winning English author Sir William Golding. This film was directed by Lupita Aquino - Kashiwara and starred by among othersRoderick Paulate
Aunor continued making critically acclaimed movies like the period drama Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos. She played the role of a school Teacher, named Rosario, who experienced the atrocities of World War II. Her very convincing performance made her win the first ever best actress award from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Gawad Urian Award) and her first Best Actress Award from FAMAS. it was also considered by many as one of the greatest Filipino movies of all time. The double victory is considered by many as the first acting grand slam since there were only two award giving bodies for movies at that time.
Before the year ended, Aunor did Minsa'y isang Gamu-gamo( 1976). This is the story of Corazon de la Cruz, a nurse who wanted to go to America to give a better future for her family, but her brother was shot by an American soldier on the eve of her flight to America. Knowing that the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos would not allow the public showing of any films criticizing the American existence in the Philippines, the producers tapped Aunor to star in the film believing that the superstar has connection with the president and his wife former First Lady Imelda Marcos. This film was the official entry of Premiere Productions to the 1976 Metro Manila Film Festival.
In 1977, Aunor had a chance to do a romantic-comedy movie with the king of the Philippine movies Fernando Poe Jr. The title of the movie is "Little Christmas tree.". The film was shown on November 25, 1977, and it was a blockbuster hit. Aunor, showed us that she can't only do a dramatic movie but she can do comedy films as well. This is the only collaboration between the two of the biggest stars of the Philippine movies. On December 25, 1977, her movie "Bakya mo Neneng" was the official entry of JE Productions to the 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival. She was paired to then movie actor and former Philippine President Joseph Estrada.
In 1978 FAMAS Awards, Aunor received another nomination for her movie "Bakya Mo Neneng," this is her six straight nomination from the academy. However, she failed to win an award but the movie won Best Picture. She also did a movie with her arch rival Vilma Santos and her husband Christopher de Leon, The movie title is "Ikaw ay Akin". This is a story about a modern love triangle. This is also a rare occasion that the two of the biggest leading ladies of the Philippine Entertainment Industry is in one movie. Who could ever forget the last scene where their characters finally met, there were no dialogue all throughout the scene but Aunor gave more emotions because of her expressive eyes. To satisfy Aunor's and Santos' demand for top-billing, Ishmael Bernal the director of the movie, placed both their names in a revolving circle marquee. That way, both the stars' names are in the same plane and are seen at the same time by the audience. There were also two promotional movie posters, one is with Aunor and Deleon and the other is with Santos and De Leon. This film gave Aunor her second nomination as best actress from Gawad Urian.
Later that year, her movie "Atsay" was the official entry to the 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival. It is one of the two best entries of the film festival along with "Rubia Servios" directed by Lino Brocka. "Atsay" was the only film to have won the Best Performer in the Metro Manila Film Festival history. In that year, the organizers decided to give just one citation for performers (no best actor nor actress nor supporting actor nor actress award) but only the Best Performer Award. Nora Aunor was awarded the Best Performer award for her performance in this movie. Amy Austria who played a supporting role in this movie was also a nominee for the Best Performer award. The film festival organizers wanted to have a gender sensitivity by stopping such sexiest award. The move, however, was scrapped the following year. "Atsay" also received the Best Picture Award, Romeo Vitug for Best Cinematography and Eddie Garcia for Best Director. Aunor was also nominated for the seventh time at the 27th FAMAS Awards.
Before the end of the decade, Aunor made two more movies for the 1979 Metro Manila Film Festival. "Kasal-Kasalan, Bahay-Bahayan" a romance-comedy movie with Christopher de Leon, Alma Moreno and Rudy Fernandez, the film was also the top grosser of the festival and Ina ka ng Anak Mo a movie with another movie queen Lolita Rodriguez and directed by Lino Brocka. It was also the first and the only collaboration and acting duel between two of the greatest actresses of the Philippine Cinema; Both actresses were recognized as Best Actresses at the film fest award's night. The film also won best director for Brocka, Best actor for Raoul Aragon and the Best Picture. Nora was also nominated and won at the 28th FAMAS Awards for her role. This is Aunor's second FAMAS Best Actress Award.
In 1980's Aunor continued to do quality films as well as commercial movies. 1970's was a good decade for Aunor, she was dubbed as the Philippines Superstar, breaking box office records, movies after movies. Her first movie for this decade is "Nakaw na Pag-ibig", another collaboration of Aunor and the National Artist for film Lino Brocka together with Hilda Koronel and Phillip Salvador, both were Brocka's protégé. However, the movie didn't do well in the box office. On the same year, Aunor made a movie with Mario O'Hara after so many years. They did "Kastilyong Buhangin" with now Senator Lito Lapid as her screen leading man. The movie turned out to be monster hit. Before 1980 ended, two of Aunor's film were part of the 1980 Metro Manila Film Festival as official entries. "Kung Ako Iiwan Mo". directed by Laurice Guillen with Christopher de Leon and Roly Quizon. She played the role of Beatrice Alcala a singing Superstar and how she showed her complex emotion through singing. The film won Best Sound Engineering and Best Cinematography. The other entry is Bona, an internationally acclaimed and award winning film by Lino Brocka. Bona is a film about a young girl and her obsession to a movie bit player. The movie gave Aunor another nomination from Metro Manila Film Festival but she lost to equally talented Amy Austria. During the 1980 MMFF, there were only three nominees for Best Actress: Nora Aunor for Bona, Nora Aunor for Kung Akoý Iiwan Mo and eventual winner Amy Austria for Brutal. However during the awards season the following year, Nora won her second Gawad Urian Best Actress for Bona tying her with Gina Alajar who won for Brutal and also earned her ninth Best Actress nomination from the 29th FAMAS Awardsfor the same movie. The film was also shown at the 1981 Cannes International Film Festival as an entry to the Director's Fortnight. In September 1982, the film competed at Figueira da Foz International Film Festival in Portugal and won the Premio de le Juri de la Federacion Internationale des Cine Clubs (Jury Prize of the International Federation of Cinema Clubs. It was the only Filipino Film cited as one of "The Best 100 Films in the World" by the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, USA (1997). It is also the only Filipino film to be archived at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
In 1981, Aunor made six movies most of them are romantic-comedy like the blockbusters "Totoo ba ang Tsismis" with Gabby Concepcion, "Ibalik ang Swerti" with the ReyCards Duet, "Dalaga si Mister, Binata si Misis" with Christopher de Leon and "Rock N Roll" which was the official entry to the 1981 Metro Manila Film Festival. This film was also one of the top grosser of the said film fest. Aunor made just one heavy drama movie for this year and that is "Bakit bughaw ang langit?" with then, upcoming actor, Dennis Roldan. This is a story of unconditional love of a young woman towards a man suffering from a mental retardation and how she defy her family, all in the name of love. Noel Vera, a film critic called this movie is one of Aunor's finest performances, one of O'Hara's best works, and one of the great unknown--perhaps lost--treasures of Philippine cinema. Aunor received her 10th FAMAS Best Actress nomination and 5th nomination from Gawad Urianfor her performance in this film. She won best actress from the Catholic Mass Media Awards. Unfortunately, no print of this film is known to officially exist, even if it was made only in 1981, a sad commentary on the state of film preservation in the Philippines.
Aunor, continued to make romance-comedy film in 1982, like "Annie Sabungera" with Ace Vergel, "Palengke Queen" with Matt Ranillo III. In that same year, Aunor gave 3 outstanding and unforgettable performances from her 3 drama movies. The first one is "Mga Uod at Rosas", a story of a struggling artist who is frustrated with life and has been entertaining the thought of giving up his art. Aunor played Socorro, a landlady daughter who falls for the painter who is in love with a model. The story, written by Edgardo Reyes is hardly original, yet Romy Suzara's film is laudable with a bounty of beautiful imagery, crisp editing and impressive performances from Aunor as Socorro, Johnny Delgado as Ding Daleno and Lorna Tolentino in a brief yet effective role as Nina. The art of painting plays a central and integrative role in this movie. This film gave Aunor, her 11th nomination from FAMAS. The other one is in "T-bird at Ako", Aunor essayed the role of a lesbian who falls for a woman. This is the third time that she did a movie with her friend Vilma Santos. If there is one unforgettable performance that Aunor has, that is in this movie "Himala" by the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal. Her portrayal is considered by most Filipino critics as a benchmark for acting and the movie is undoubtedly one of the best ever. She played the role of a young woman, who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary. Aunor's performance here is restraint and subtle, yet very powerful. The film became the first Filipino film to be included in the "Competition Section" of the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival and received many international awards like Bronze Hugo Awards, 19th Chicago Film Festival (1983) (winner), Asia-Pacific Film Festival Special Achievement for Best Depiction of Socially Involved Religion (1983), and Best Asian-Pacific Movie of All Time, CNN APSA Viewers Choice Award (2008)
In 1984, Aunor only made three movies but all of them were critically acclaimed and award winning films. Who could ever forget the portrayal of Aunor as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who works as a nurse in America and her struggles to fight loneliness and homesickness in "'Merika". The film also tackles the story of Filipino Illegal Aliens who will do anything just to get a Green card. Directed by Gil Portes, Aunor's performance in this film gave her the very first best actress trophy from, (PMPC) Star Awards for Movies and her eight (8) Gawad Urian best actress nomination. The next film was given an "A" Rating by the Film Ratings Board,Condemned is a story of siblings Yolly (Aunor) and Efren (Dan Alvaro), and how their lives changed when Efren worked as a driver and a hired killer for ruthless money laundering lady Connie played by (Gloria Romero). The best scene of the film is the final confrontation between Yolly and Connie over the missing half million dollars makes for a gripping film-noir drama. The third and the last of this 1984 Nora Aunor Classic is "Bulaklak sa City Jail", the film depicts the bad and sad situation of women in the City Jail and the only way to survive this gruesome situation is to turn yourself from the hunted to a hunter. The film was an official entry to the 1984 Metro Manila Film Festival, for her role as a pregnant prisoner and a victim of injustice, Angela Aguilar, Aunor won best actress from Metro Manila Film Festival, Catholic Mass Media Awards and her third best actress trophy from FAMAS. At the Gawad Urian that year, Nora Aunor was a double nominee for Best Actress for the movies Bulaklak sa City Jail and 'Merika, the first actor to achieve such. She was also nominated for Best Actress at the Film Academy of the Philippines for Bulaklak sa Ciy Jail.
1985 was a bountiful year as Nora Aunor made five films which all made a killing in the box-office. First was "Beloved", where Aunor reunited with Christopher de Leon together with Hilda Koronel and Dindo Fernando. The movie is about Four people who are torn between the love of power and the power of love and Infidelity. The film was also serialized in King Komiks. Next was "Tinik sa Dibdib", a komiks novel serialized in Espesyal Komiks, where she plays Lorna, a long - suffering daughter of irresponsible parents (played by Eddie Garcia and Lucita Soriano) who drove her to marry a security guard (played by Philip Salvador), who himself is the breadwinner of a very dysfunctional family. Her next project, Till We Meet Again, was a reunion movie with her long time on-screen partner Tirso Cruz III. A very well made fan movie, Till We Meet Again broke box-office records during its run in the theaters. This was followed by a trilogy movie, Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang which was even stronger at the box-office and finally, I Can't Stop Loving You, an entry to the year-end Metro Manila Film Festival, which was a top-grosser for that year.
For the next three years, Aunor slowed down in making movies releasing only a handful including her final team-up with Dolphy, My Bugoy Goes to Congress, which was a hit during the time that it was released. Other movies that she made were the hit family film I Love You Mama, I Love You Papa in which she co-starred with her estranged husband, Christopher de Leon and their children, Lotlot and Ian Kristoffer; the big box-office hit Sana Mahalin Mo Ako, co starring Tirso Cruz III and Lotlot de Leon; the underrated Tatlong Ina, Isang Anak with Gina Alajar, Celeste Legaspi, and Matet; and the critical and box-office disappointment Balut...Penoy with Tirso Cruz III and Roderick Paulate.
1989 was a bittersweet year for Aunor. She did Bilangin ang mga Bituin sa Langit, a story of a melodramatic and panoramic portrait of the rise and fall of a poor, hard-working, and determined barrio lass and her lifetime stormy relationship with a childhood sweetheart. Aunor and Tirso Cruz III are magnificent in dual roles, in a love-hate affair that spans generations, from their high school days in the province, to their twilight years in the big city. Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit is the Guy & Pip love team's award-winning movie. Aunor won Best Actress for this film in Gawad Urian, FAMAS, and FAP while Tirso won Best Actor in Star Awardas, Famas, and FAP. On the other hand, her long time musical-variety show "Superstar" was cancelled on October 1, 1989. They tried to revive the show when then transferred to Channel 13 on November 25, 1989, but it didn't last long.
"Nora Aunor has now defines for us the meaning of a true triumph of the spirit.,
No wonder she is much imitated but never equalled."
former Philippine Senate President Blas Ople, on Nora Aunor in 1996.
In the 1990s, Aunor only made 10 movies a far fetched from the 60's, 70's and 80's where she made up to 10 movies a year the most. Showbiz insiders and some people were saying that Aunor's popularity is going downhill. Although she made only 10 movies, but most of them are critically acclaimed and award winning not only locally but internationally. Aunor also did three stage plays the first two were produced by Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) She also had her first major concert.
For her first movie for this decade, Aunor played a woman activist who goes to the mountains to search for her husband who has been killed by the military. In Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina? Aunor delivers one of the fiercest performances of her career as an NPA rebel who goes pregnant and temporarily leaves her baby with her best friend (Gina Alajar, also bringing her A-game) as she goes back underground to seek the whereabouts of her husband, only to be detained and presumed by Alajar and husband (Lloyd Samartino) to be dead. The film won for Aunor all the Best Actress Awards given by the five annual award-giving bodies in the Philippines at that time, Gawad Urian, Star Awards for Movies, Film Academy of the Philippines and her fifth FAMAS Award for Best Actress thus elevating her to the Hall of Fame. She was also the first best actress of Young Critics Circle The movie was also the official entry to the 1990 Metro Manila Film Festival and she also won the best actress award.
On May 18, 1991, few days before her 38th birthday, she staged her first major concert at the Araneta Coliseum. She has proven once again beyond all doubts that she can be called the "concert queen" as she filled the big dome with more or less 30,000 people that came to witness the momentous event. Her guests include Gary Valenciano, Mon Faustino, The Hotlegs, The Operas and many more. Many showbiz personalities came to show their support to Aunor like Sharon Cuneta, Joseph Estrada, Regine Velasquez, Pilita Corrales, Danny Tan, Edgar Mortiz, Juan Rodrigo, Carlo Orosa, Ivy Violan, and a lot more.
Later that year, Aunor ventured into the world of theater. Considering that theater is a lot different from the movies because there were no take two's, Aunor showed her versatility and her genius when she did the stage adaptation of her critically acclaimed movie, "Minsa'y Isang gamo-gasmo. It was staged by the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and helmed by Socrates "Soxy" Topacio, then PETA's artistic head. Rody Vera penned the stage adaptation of Gamu-Gamo. She did two more stage plays, "DH" in 1992 and "Trojan Woman" in 1994. As a stage actress, Aunor's resume may be comparatively short but all her theater outings have met artistic and commercial success.
On December 25, 1991, another Aunor movie was part of the 1991 Metro Manila Film Festival. Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M. tells the story of Pacita M., a singer-entertainer in a seedy Quezon City nightclub. However, tragedy struck the family when Grace was accidentally shot in the head by a stray bullet just as she was about to go off to college.turning her into a human vegetable. Although initially Pacita holds out for a miracle and hopes for the recovery of her daughter, she relents and seeks to allow Grace a dignified death by turning off her respirator. The emotional battle accompanying this decision becomes a personal epiphany for Pacita. This highly acclaimed movie directed by Elwood Perez bravely tackles the sensitive issue of euthanasia. Aunor's performance from this movie gave her numerous awards including the Metro Manila Film Festival best actress, her fourth Gawad Urian, her third straight best actress trophy from the Film Academy of the Philippines. She was the first and the only actress to do that feat. She also won from Star Awards and from the Young Critics Circle
In 1992, Aunor was busy with her stage play, "DH" is a production of PETA. PETA toured the play in North America, Europe, and Hong Kong. On the same year, Aunor returned to television via a once a week drama anthology, "Star Drama Presents: NORA." She won the Best Actress Award from Star Awards for Television (Philippine Movie Press Club). In 1994, She won the Best Actress in a Single Performance award from Star Awards for Television (Philippine Movie Press Club)for her performance i "Spotlight" for the episode: "Good Morning, Ma'am." Aunor also went back into the recording studio to record bonus tracks for a compilation album to be released in co-operation with Alpha Records and Warner Brothers. The new songs were written by an American songwriter who was a San Diego, California neighbor of her sister, Tita, the songs were released as a single but sales suffered after a rumor of Aunor getting an abortion while in San Diego circulated. The song hit number 12 on the charts after two weeks and dropped off completely on its third week.
In 1994, Aunor received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines. She is the youngest recipient of this special award.
In 1995, Aunor once again found success in the box office when she did a biographical film about Flor Contemplacion, a Filipina domestic helper who was hanged in Singapore for allegedly killing her fellow maid. Aunor was brilliant as the fallen herione, Noel Vera, as film critic said in his review of the film; " This is the Superstar's comeback film, and no one is getting in her way. Not even Flor Contemplacion. You watch with bated breath for Aunor to falter, but she maintains her intensity for the length of the film. It's an impressive performance, but not once do we believe we're seeing an ordinary woman caught in extraordinarily frightening circumstances." Aunor's performance in The Flor Contemplacion Story got rave reviews earning her first international best actress awards from Cairo International Film Festival, Aunor also swept all the best actress awards given by the different award giving bodies in the Philippines including the Best Performance by Male or Female, Adult or Child, Individual or Ensemble in Leading or Supporting Role given by the Young Critics Circle.
Aunor's other film of 1995 was Viva Films official entry to the 1995 Metro Manila Film Festival. Muling Umawit ang Puso is a story of a once-famous actress now struggling to regain her popularity but fails. Winner of 8 awards at the 1995 Metro Manila Film Festival including Best Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.
In 1996, Aunor won her second international best actress trophy from 1st East Asia Film and Television Award for her role as a psychotic woman and how she plans her revenge to the family of a person who killed her parents. in Bakit May Kahapon Pa?, La Aunor gave a fantastic performance as the villager who survived a massacre and went after the head of the platoon leader, who powerfully played by veteran Eddie Garcia.
In 1997, Aunor did a movie with Judy Ann Santos and Nida Blanca. "Babae", is the official entry to the 1997 Metro Manila Film Festival. Aunor was nominated for her role in Star Awards, Gawad Urian and Young Critics Circle.
In 1999, Aunor made only one movie, "Sidhi" was written by Rolando Tinio, a good friend of Aunor and a National Artist for Theater and Literature. Aunor also received in the same year the Centennial Honor for the Arts conferred by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). She was named "Actress of the Century"
In 2002, Aunor returned to Philippine television through her nightly drama show entitled, Bituin, a Filipino soap opera that was aired by ABS-CBN from September 23, 2002, to May 23, 2003. It starred Carol Banawa and Desiree Del Valle, Aunor and Cherie Gil. The story was about Laura Sandoval and her struggles to support her two daughters when her husband left her. When her eldest child, Melody becomes sick, Laura goes to her sister, Carmela asking for help, who says that she will help if she hands over Bernadette the youngest so she may raise her as her own. With no one left to turn to Laura does it. Carmela left for the US to raise Bernadette and soon returns as a singer. Ina concert, Laura knew their whereabouts. The kids grow up not knowing they are sisters. Melody notices that Laura is much closer to Bernadette, such as Laura teaching Bernadette to sing when she forbids Melody to do so. Bernadette becomes a star by recording Melody's voice and claiming it as her own. Both soon become singers. Melody finds her father and wins the heart of a young man named Dante. The show is very consistent as one of the top rating shows of ABS-CBN, Its highest rating was 48.7% for the "Ultimate Showdown: The Diva VS The Supernova" of Melody and Bernadette at the Araneta Coliseum, while the lowest was 29.5%, its fifth episode. Bituin was shown in different countries like Malaysia, Ghana, Cambodia, and many more with the international title "Star"
On May 13, 2003, Aunor once again proved that she is still a force to be reckoned with when she had her 50th birthday concert at the Araneta Coliseum. The coliseum was full with her fans of all ages and she never disappointment them, She kept the whole show well-paced and eventful--very few performers, of whatever age, could have done as well. Her guests include Zsazsa Padilla, Wency Cornejo, Carol Banawa and Desiree Del Valle. ABS-CBN celebrates Nora's 50th year by airing an exclusive broad-cast of her birthday concert, "Gold," on May 25 over "Sunday Family Cinema."
In 2004, Aunor made her last film shot entirely in the Philippines before she went on hiatus for almost 8 years. Naglalayag tells the story of a May-December affair between a middle-aged judge and a young taxi driver. It sparkles because of superb acting by Aunor and Yul Servo. Aunor portrayed a judge who recently presided over a well publicized criminal case trial. Her character Dorinda is a 50-year-old widow with a twenty-something-year-old son, Yul Servo played Noah Garcia, a courteous and charming taxi driver who keeps a rosary in his pocket and shares stories from the Bible. Stranded with a non-operational taxi, the 23-year-old novice driver Noah offers shelter to his passenger. Aunor'a and Servo's performances gave them their international acting awards at the 31st Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles and the film won the jury prize, they also received local recognitions
On December 1, 2005, Aunor received her own star on the Philippines Walk of Fame patterned after the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was one of the first inductees. This project was spearheaded by German Moreno. For the first time after she was inducted, Aunor visited her star on August 7, 2011, she even laid down to her star as the TV cameras documented the event.
While in the USA, Aunor did two independently produced movies namely Ingrata and Care Home. Even with only some limited run in few Metro Manila theaters, the movies, particularly Care Home, was still able to score for Aunor critical praise and even nominations for Best Actress, specially from PMPC STAR Awards for Movies in 2007.
At the start of the decade, Aunor was still doing series of concert in U.S.A and in Canada performing to Filipino communities and to her fans as well. In February 2010, Aunor was shortlisted by the Green Globe Film Awards which was later renamed to Green Planet Movie Awards as one of the 10 Best Asian Actresses of the Decade. On March 23, 2010, Aunor, has been named one of the 10 Best Asian Actresses along with Gong Li and Maggie Cheung. She garnered an overwhelming number of votes, ranked 1 in the category. She was selected by movie viewers and online from more than 100 countries. She was the only Filipino actress to be shortlisted and won this award. She also reconnected with her 1970's leading man, Sajid Khan who escorted her to the awarding ceremony. Aunor and Khan have great respect for each other, they are very comfortable with each other and the guests around them feel at ease.
Nora Aunor underwent plastic surgery as part of her plan to return to show business. The legendary actress has been absent for years, and 2010 may be Nora's comeback year. She jumpstarted her career via two endorsement deals in Japan and one of them as an endorser of a Japanese Aesthetic and Lasix Center. However, something went wrong, Aunor lost her "Golden Voice" which propelled her to superstardom in the Philippine Showbiz Industry. During her concert in May 2010 in Toronto, Canada, Aunor tearfully announced that it will be her last concert since she will not be able to sing or even speak. Her voice was uncharacteristically hoarse and raspy. Onstage spiels included bits and pieces of information that hinted of a surgical procedure gone wrong and a subsequent lawsuit
As early as December 2010, news of Aunor's comeback to the Philippines was all over the news in both TV and broadsheets but there were no formal confirmations yet. Aunor's fans was so excited and they were looking forward for this day to come. Finally on August 2, 2011, Tuesday, Nora finally came back to the Philippines via Philippine Airlines flight 103 On her interview, Aunor said that she was so excited to be back in the Philippines and she was also excited to see her screaming fans who came to see their idol back. On her return, Nora signed a 3-year contract with TV5, she did a mini series Sa Ngalan ng Ina and a historical movie with Gov. ER Ejercito entitled El Presidente a biopic of the first Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo which is intended for 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival She played the role of the second wife. Also in 2011, she received a total of eight (8) Lifetime Achievement Awards for film and music from different award giving bodies.
Sa Ngalan ng Ina was the first project of Aunor after her return, she starred with Christopher de Leon and Bembol Roco. It was also the last directorial job of the late Mario O'Hara. Sa Ngalan ng Ina is a movie made for television or a miniseries is a political drama about a widow that ran as a governor when her husband was assassinated. In his review, film critic Noel Vera point out that the show is rare creature in Philippine television, the political melodrama. Longer and more complex soap operas have been mounted on Philippine television before, and politics has been touched upon before, but far as I can recall there has never been a series (the exact name of the genre is, I believe, the teleserye) fully driven by politics, hinging upon the election into office and subsequent administration of the main character. All of the performances were great especially Aunor which gave her a nomination from Golden Screen TV Awards and a best actress trophy from 2012 Star Awards for Television. This miniseries would be the last collaboration between Aunor and O'hara before his death.
Aunor also did a collaboration with the Cannes best director awardee Brillante Mendoza for the movie Thy Womb which was part of the 69th Venice International Film Festival. The film was nominated for Golden Lion for Best Film and Volpi Cup for best actress for Aunor. On the eve of Venice awards rites, Aunor was chosen by an independent film critics, the "Premio Della Critica Indipendiente" as their best actress and gave her the Bisato d'Oro. In November 2012, Aunor won the most coveted Best Actress Award from 6th Asia Pacific Screen Award and Best director for the same film. In virtue of her nomination from Asia Pacific Screen Award, she became the first Filipino actor to be inducted as a member of Asia Pacific Screen Academy. She was also nominated at the 55th Asia Pacific Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, 43rd International Film Festival of India, and won Best Actress at the 7th Asian Film Awards. At the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival, Aunor won her eight best actress award making her the only performer with the most win. Critics and movie reviewers were raving about Thy Womb especially the performance of its lead actress. It is considered to be at par with Aunor's performance in Himala and delivers a performance for the ages.
In 2012, Aunor guested in Enchanted Garden a fantasy-drama T.V. series. She played the role of nana Sela a faith healer who happens to be Queen Oleya. She also guested in Third Eye. In 2013, Aunor returned to TV via her new soap opera, Never Say Goodbye along with Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert both are grand winners of Artista Academy a talent and reality show.
Aunor has just finished her new film, "Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti" an official entry to the 1st CineFilipino film Festival directed by acclaimed director Mes de Guzman.
On May 21, 2013, Aunor celebrated her 60th birthday dubbed as "Nora at 60" at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall. The venue was transformed into a virtual museum as posters of her classic films adorned the lobby and the hallway leading to the ballroom. The venue was full of well-wishers, friends, members of the media, family members and loyal fans to celebrate another milestone of the life and times of the one and only Philippine Superstar.
The highlights of the celebration is an audio-video presentation of her career highlights from being a small town girl selling water to being the one of the greatest actresses of the Philippines. Probably the biggest highlight of the celebration was the presence of Ate Guy's longtime fans, many of whom are also now in their 60s. Coming from various parts of the country, these fans waited in line at the venue for as early as 4PM and bore 60 gifts which they personally presented to Nora herself in their emotional meeting. Showbiz friends and family also send their birthday wishes through a videotaped birthday messages, they were son Ian de Leon, ex-husband Christopher de Leon, former in-law Pilita Corrales, former leading man Cocoy Laurel, "Superstar" choreographer Geleen Eugenio, former manager Boy Abunda, "Thy Womb" director Brillante Mendoza, Ricky Lee, and colleagues Gabby Concepcion, Gary Valenciano, Eric Quizon, Dawn Zulueta, Alice Dixson, Judy Ann Santos and the hosts of "Good Morning Club".
"It's great to win abroad but nothing beats being recognized by your countrymen."
Nora Aunor on her acceptance speech at the 2013 Gawad Urian.
On June 18, 2013, Aunor won the most coveted Gawad Urian Best Actress Award for the movie Thy Womb. This is Aunor's 17th nomination and her 7th win. She was so thankful and she even said that it feels great being recognized by her own people.
It was also announced that she will do a mini-series on TV5 opposite Tirso Cruz III with a tentative title, "When I fall in Love" which will be directed by the award winning director Joel Lamangan.
On August 30, 2013, Aunor won her 4th international Best Actress award from the 3rd Sakhalin International Film Festival in Russia for the movie Thy Womb. Aunor wasn't able to attend the awarding ceremony but the award was received on her behalf by her director Brillante Mendoza who attended the Festival together with his writer Henry Burgos.
2014 will be the busiest year for Aunor after she came back from her hiatus. She started the year by filming her second tele-movie/miniseries with TV5 entitled "When I Fall in Love", The miniseries is directed by Joel Lamangan. Aunor portrays Fely, a devoted wife, who takes care of Armando (Tirso Cruz III), the husband who has pancreatic cancer. The mini-series will have its premiere showing in January 2014 and will be seen on TV in February 2014.
Recently, Aunor was honored as one of the "People of the Year" by People Asia magazine on January 21, 2014. Also honored were: ABS-CBN Channel head Cory Vidanes, Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Shell country chairman Edgar Chua, RCBC chairperson Helen Yuchengco Dee, Sorsogan bishop Fr. Gerard Deveza, dentist Dr. Steve Mark Gan, veteran singer Kuh Ledesma, fashion designer Criselda Lontok, film director Brillante Mendoza, hotelier Tom Meyer, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, basketball coach Chot Reyes, actor Coco Martin and ace director Brillante Mendoza.
Aunor will also top-bill an incoming TV5'smusical-drama entitled "Trenderas" that tells the tale of how three musically-gifted young ladies rise from being sidewalk vendors to YouTube-famous singers. Aunor will play as Celina Palomar, a famous singer who mysteriously disappeared at the height of her popularity. After years of living a life of a recluse, music finds Celina again through three young, talented, and hopeful singers.Dingdong Avanzado, Sheryl Cruz, and Tina Paner will also be part of the show in the direction of Monti Parungan and John Red.
On February 2, 2014. Aunor received her 2nd Ani ng Dangal Award from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (Philippines) or NCCA. The Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honors) Awards recognizes artists who have earned international awards and accolades during the past year. in 2013, Aunor won 2 international Best Actress award from the 7th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong and 3rd Sakhalin International Film Festival in Russia. Among the awardees are Brillante Mendoza, Eugene Domingo and Eddie Garcia amongst others.
On July 18, 2014, the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines announced that this year, 2014, the recipient of Gawad Plaridel is Nora Aunor for Television, Music and Film. Gawad Plaridel bestows honor on Filipino media practitioners who have excelled in any of the media (print, film, radio, television, and new media) and performed with the highest level of professional integrity in the interest of public service. She is being recognized for her "unique artistry and versatility as a singer," as well as for "portraying with keen intelligence and uncommon sensitivity an amazing range of cinematic roles." UP CMC also cited Ms. Aunor for using her "tremendous popularity as an opportunity to (help) the masses...appreciate films and plays that dramatized and analyzed the abject conditions of the Filipino majority and the poor and powerless characters that she played with conviction.". The U.P. Gawad Plaridel consists of a trophy specially designed by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, which will be awarded to Ms. Aunor by UP President Alfredo Pascual and UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan in ceremonies on August 27, 2014 (Wednesday), 2:00 pm at the U.P. Film Institute Film Center's Cine Adarna. Ms. Aunor will also deliver a lecture during the ceremonies.
Aunor made four (4) films this year and one of them is Hustisya which is part of the 10th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. This is the first time that Aunor participated in what is considered to be the country's best Film festival. Hustisya is a story of a foul-mouthed woman fights for her soul in the belly of the city. Working for a human trafficking agency controlled by a powerful syndicate, she sees no evil, hears no evil. In a society like ours, you have only two choices - to be a victim, or a victimizer - she makes her choice. The movie was directed by the award winnin director Joel Lamangan and was penned by the Ricky Lee. The movie got mixed reviews from the critics and the film bloggers, but the are unanimous in saying that Aunor was riveting on her performance in the film. Hustisya had their gala night on August 2, 2014 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines which was attended the cast and crews of the film, fans and film lovers as well as showbiz personalities. On August 10, 2014, during the awards night of the Cinemalays Independent Film Festival, Aunor won her first Best Actress award, she was so thankful for the award and promised to continue making meaningful movies and her movies will be an inspiration to the youth. On the other hand, the film won the audience award and the NETPAC award. Earlier, Aunor was also recognized as the Critic's choice for Best Performer by Brun's Philippines, an online magazine.
Aunor has received numerous national and international awards and nominations. She is the first Filipino actress to win an International acting award in a major Film Festival (Cairo 1995 for the movie The Flor Contemplacion Story). She has been directed by four Philippine National Artist Awardees, Gerardo de Leon, Lamberto Avellana, Lino Brocka, and Ishmael Bernal. Since the late 1960s, Nora Aunor has appeared in more than 170 films.
Aunor has released more than 360 singles and recorded more than 200 songs and over 50 albums. She has notched more than 30 gold singles and with an estimated gross sales of one million units, Nora's cover of "Pearly Shells" (1971) is one of the biggest-selling singles in the Philippines. due to a botched cosmetic surgery in Japan while endorsing a cosmetic surgery clinic based in shinigawa Japan and makati Philippines, her vocal chords were damaged and she cannot sing due to paralysis of her left vocal chords.
Aunor started her career in television when she was given her own musical show via Nora-Eddie Show, with the late singer and former Tawag ng Tanghalan Champion Eddie Peregrina. The show later became, The Nora Aunor Show and eventually re-titled "Superstar". This was the longest Musical-Variety show in Philippine television.
She also did several soap operas and Drama Anthology that gave her numerous awards and recognitions in both local and international award giving group. Her most notable drama show includes: Nora Sinderela; (RPN-9's) Makulay na Daigdig ni Nora; La Aunor; (ABS-CBN's) Bituin; Star Drama Theater presents: Nora; Sa Ngalan ng Ina; and the latest was TV-5's Never Say Goodbye.
It will be very interesting to note that NORA AUNOR also was a big Radio hit in 1969 when she was one of the lead players of Johnny De Leon's OPERETANG PUTOL PUTOL, a variety radio show, aired over DZXL from 11 am to 12 noon every Sunday and followed by Fiesta Extravaganza. Operetang Putol-Putol was converted into a TV show then into a movie directed by Tony Santos Sr. Aunor can be heard in the said radio show along with Perla Adea, Richard Merck, Danny Taguiam, Dolly Favorito, Joe Alvarez, Esperanza Fabon, Ben David and Elizabeth Ledesma, a former Tawag Ng Tanghalan Champion and who eventually took over the spot of Nora Aunor when the latter became too involved in the movies and her schedule can no longer fulfill her the radio show.
Likewise, Nora Aunor was heard and guested in Fiesta Extravaganza and in the long running afternoon radio program of German Moreno (The Germiside Show where he had a Guy and Pip portion) and only songs of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz were played over and over again from 2 to 3 pm every Sunday aired via DZMM.
Aunor has performed in three plays: Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo in 1991, DH (Domestic Helper) in 1992, and Trojan Women in 1994. The first two were staged by the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and helmed by Socrates "Soxy" Topacio, then PETA's artistic head. Rody Vera penned the stage adaptation of Gamu-Gamo while renowned screenwriter Ricky Lee created DH. PETA toured both plays in North America, Europe, and Hong Kong. The third play, a Filipino adaptation of Euripides' immortal tragedy, was produced by Cecille Guidote-Alvarez's theater company, directed by a Greek national, and staged at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife. A lot critics had said that Aunor as a theater actress is just astonishing as if she was theater born even though she was surrounded by great theater actors, Aunor as a stage actress is just as stellar as she is in films.
At the peak of her career, Aunor was the top product endorser for television, print, and radio advertisements. Everybody wanted to buy everything that she endorsed. The sales of Dial bath soap, for instance, shot up after Aunor endorsed it. Originally imported from the US, Dial soap first catered the AB bracket. When it was eventually manufactured locally, it courted the CD market by making Aunor its product endorser. Aunor appeared in a television commercial of Dial soap taking a shower and singing, "Aren't you glad you used Dial?". The television commercial proved successful as sales of Dial soap went up, and the masses, which comprise the bulk of her fans, patronized Dial soap.
Aunor also endorsed other international and local brands such as Coca-Cola,Colgate,Philips transistor radio,Kleenex, Pepsi Cola, RC Cola, Philippines Radio, Modess feminine napkin, Liberty Milk, Nivico TV, Spartan, Security Bank, Raid Katol, Good Earth Emporium, Winston Cigarette, Family Planning, Green Revolution, Super MI, Miyata Karaoke, Aids Hotline, Land Bank of the Philippines-DENR, Barangay Ginebra and PAGCOR.
Aunor is one of the best actresses not only in the Philippines but in the world, this is evident to her numerous acting awards and nominations received in the Philippines and abroad. Her brand of underacting is incomparable, she could act through her eyes, she says everything that needs to be said without uttering a word. Her silence hits the ground like thuds and words would only cheapen the moment. Throughout her film career, Aunor followed the Stanislavski Method of Acting a method wherein actors have to take their inner selves and use them as their device for character internalization. This was evident in her very first serious role, Mario O'Hara's Tatlong taong walang Diyos. A perfect example would be the scene wherein Rosario (Aunor) is standing near a cliff, wanting to kill her newborn child. The camera zoomed into a closeup of her, making us the viewer feel the confusion, anger, and despair through her eyes. Her face registered all those emotions effectively that what we are watching on the screen is Rosario and not Nora Aunor. Himala, is also one of the examples of Aunor's brand of acting; silent, subtle yet very powerful. She showed the same acting style in Thy Womb it was practically a wordless performance, her face alone registering a tidal wave of emotions -- sadness and joy, resentment and resignation, pain and ecstasy, defeat and triumph, often all at once. Surprisingly, Aunor was not a product or part of any acting schools or institution. She never had any formal training but she learned it on the job, collaborating with the best directors in the industry like Lamberto Avellana, Gerardo de Leon, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Mario O'Hara, Brillante Mendoza and the list would go on.
Awards and nominations:
3rd Sakhalin International Film Festival
7th Asian Film Awards
6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards
55th Asia Pacific Film Festival (China)
2012 Dubai International Film Festival
43rd International Film Festival of India (India)
Premio Della Critica Indipendiente(Italy)
Bisato d'Oro for Best Actress
69th Venice International Film Festival(Italy)
Volpi Cup for Best Actress
Green Planet Movie Awards
10 Asian Best Actresses of the Decade
31st Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles (Belgium)
23rd Cairo International Film Festival (Egypt)
Singapore International Film Festival (Singapore)
Bakit May Kahapon Pa?
1st East Asia Film and Television Award (Malaysia)
Singapore International Film Festival
The Flor Contemplacion Story
1996 Fukuoka International Film Festival (Japan)
19th Cairo International Film Festival 1 (Egypt)
Princess Pataten Statue for Best Actress
33rd Berlin International Film Festival (Germany)
Silver Bear for Best Actress
34th Cannes film Festival (France)
Certificate of Honor
Aunor has been awarded, recognized and received multiple nominations from different organizations, academe, institutions, critics and award giving bodies for her work in film, television, music and theater. She is the most nominated actress for the leading role in the long history of FAMAS Awards, having nominated 17 times since 1973 when she was first nominated for "Gift of Love" but only second to Eddie Garcia with 23 nominations both in leading and supporting role. With her fifth FAMAS Award for Best Actress in 1991, Aunor became the sixth performer to be elevated to the FAMAS Hall of Fame joining the likes of Eddie Garcia, Joseph Estrada, Charito Solis, Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos. This award is given to the person who won more than five times in its particular category. Aunor is the only performer in the long history of FAMAS Awards to be nominated for fifteen (15) straight years from 1973 to 1987.
As of 2014, Aunor is still the most nominated actress of Gawad Urian with 18 nominations and 7 wins and the very first best actress awardee. She is also the most awarded and the most nominated actress of Metro Manila Film Festival with eight (8) best actress trophies and from Young Critics Circle with nine (9) nominations and five (5) wins. She is also the only actress to win the best actress trophy from the Film Academy of the Philippines for 3 straight years. A feat yet to be equaled or surpass by a Filipino actress.
Aunor has the most number of international best actress awards and nominations more than any other Filipino actors. She is the only Filipino actress who have won international awards from 5 different continents. 19th Cairo International Film Festival in 1995 (Africa), 1st East Asia Film and Television Award in 1997 and Asian Film Awards in 2013 (Asia), 31st Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles in 2004 and Premio Della Critica Indipendiente in 2013 (Europe), Asia Pacific Screen Award in 2013 (Australia) and from the Green Planet Movie Award (North America).
Aunor, has the most Lifetime Achievement Awards received locally and internationally for her contribution in film, television, music, and theater.
Notable citations as an actor:
The most nominated and awarded Filipino actress both locally and internationally.,
The only Filipino actor with the most number of International best actress awards (Cairo 1995, East Asia 1997, Brussels 2004, Venice 2012, Australia 2012, Hong Kong 2013, Russia 2013), and nominations (Berlin 1983, Singapore 1997, Cairo 1999, Singapore 1999, Venice 2012, India 2012, Dubai 2012, Macau 2012).,
The first and the only Filipino actor to win four (4) international best actress award for the movie Thy Womb in Italy, Australia, Hong Kong and Russia,
The first Filipino actor to win an International acting award in a Major Film Festival (Cairo 1995 for the movie "The Flor Contemplacion Story").,
The first and only Filipino actor to receive an acting nomination from a Top-Tier International Film Festival (Berlin 1983 for the movie Himala, Venice 2012 for the movie Thy Womb, Goa, India 2012 for the movie Thy Womb).,
The first Filipino actor to win the Best Performance by an Actress at the 2012 Asia Pacific Screen Awards,
The first Filipino actor to be inducted as a member of Asia Pacific Screen Academy.,
The first Filipino actress to win Best Actress at the Asian Film Awards,
The first Filipino actress to sit as juror in an International Film Festival (Hawaii 1996).,
The only Filipino and Asian actress apart from China's Gong Li to be featured by HBO, an American cable network, in a documentary film about the lives and achievements of the world's greatest actresses (1997).,
The Filipino actor with the most number of films competed and exhibited in different international film festivals.,
The Filipino actor with the most "Best Performer" awards (6). One (1) from Metro Manila Film Festival and five (5) from the Young Critics Circle,
The first and only Filipino actor ever to win the "Best Performer" award at the 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival.,
The only Filipino actor to be nominated as FAMAS Best Actress for 15 straight years from 1973 to 1987,
The most nominated actress of FAMAS Awards with 17 nominations.,
The very first best actress awardee of Gawad Urian,
The most nominated actress of Gawad Urian with 17 nominations,
Chosen by the Gawad Urian as "Actress of the Decade" twice (1980s and 1990s).,
The only Filipino actress to win three successive best actress awards in the Film Academy of the Philippines (1989,1990,1991).,
The winningest actress (along with Vilma Santos and Lorna Tolentino) of the Film Academy of the Philippines with four (4) Best Actress Award.,
The youngest recipient of the "Lifetime Achievement Award" given by the Film Academy of the Philippines (1993).,
The very first recipient of the Best Actress Award from Star Awards for Movies (Philippine Movie Press Club),
The most nominated actress of Star Awards for Movies (Philippine Movie Press Club) with 14 nominations,
The only actor to received triple nominations in one award season from Star Awards for Movies (Philippine Movie Press Club).,
The very first Best Performer recipient, the most nominated and the winningest performer (5) of Young Critics Circle,
The Most nominated and awarded best actress with eight trophies of Metro Manila Film Festival,
The very first Best Actress recipient of BALATCA (Batangas Laguna Teachers Association for Culture and the Arts).,
The only actress included in the prestigious "Centennial Honor for the Arts" given by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (1999).,
One of the first actresses to be honored with the "The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service" (TOWNS) award (1983).,
The first actress to be crowned as "Box Office Queen of Philippine Cinema" (1971).,
The first and only Filipino actor included in the "10 Best International Actress of the Decade (Asia)" in the 2010 Green Planet Film Awards, Hollywood, California,
The only actress of her generation to have been directed by four National Artists for film Awardees, Gerardo de Leon, Lamberto Avellana, Lino Brocka, and Ishmael Bernal.,
Named by Cultural Center of the Philippines as the "Actress of the Century" in 1999,
Named by YES! Magazine as one of the "Philippines' 15 Best Actresses of All Time" in 2004,
Named by S Magazine as the "Philippines' Best Actress of All Time" in 2006,
Named by the Manila Bulletin as One of the 110 Notable Filipinos in the Last 110 Years on the occasion of their 110th Anniversary in February 2010.,
Cited in the book, Pinoy Pop Culture by Bench Corp. published in 2001 written by Gilda Cordero-Fernando,
Named as One Of The Most Durable TV Icon of All time in 2006 (PINAKA, QTV-11),
Named as One of the Top 10 Movie Queens of Phil. Cinema - Unang Hirit Sept. 28, 2007 episode - GMA-7,
Named as the Top Female Celebrity of Kislap Magazine for the last 45 years in its November 2007 issue,
Named as the Most Amazing Rag to Richest Celebrity - PINAKA, QTV-11, June 13, 2010 episode,
Named as one of the Most Famous Lola in Showbiz - PINAKA, QTV-11, Sept. 12, 2010 episode,
Guy & Pip Loveteam was named Most Popular Loveteam of All Time, Unang Hirit, GMA-7, February 15, 2008 episode,
Guy & Pip Loveteam was named as the Most Famous Loveteam of All Time - PINAKA, QTV-11, August 13, 2006 episode,
Her classic film, "Himala" was named as the Best Film of the 80's - PINAKA, QTV-11, November 26, 2006 episode,
Her confrontation scene w/ Vilma Santos in the movie, "Ikaw ay Akin" was named as one of the 10 Most Dramatic Face Off in Phil. Movies, PINAKA, QTV-11, Nov. 18, 2007 episode,
Her confrontation scene w/ Vilma Santos in the movie, "T-Bird at Ako" was named as the Most Dramatic Face Off in Phil. Movies, PINAKA, QTV-11, Nov. 18, 2007 episode,
One of the 101 Filipino Icons, a book by Bench Corp. published in 2007 by Ani Rosa Almario and Virgilio S. Almario,
Cited as One of the People in Entertainment Industry Who Help Define the Century in 2006 by Glitter Magazine, Jan. 2006 issue,
One of the Top 100 Stars of Philippine Cinema by Mario Bautista (Manila Times) Dec. 23, 1999 issue,
One of the Best Ever Filipino Film Actresses by Nestor Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct. 30, 1999 issue.,
One of the 100 Women of the Philippines: Celebrating Filipina Womanhood in the New Millenium in a book with the same title by Abe Florendo, Oct. 1999,
One of the Philippine Icons of the 20th Century, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec. 26, 1999 issue,
One of the Top 5 Best Actresses in Local Films, selected by top entertainment editors & columnists of Phil. Daily Inquirer, Oct. 28, 1999 issue,
One of the 20 Most Influential Persons in the Philippines, The Philippine Yearbook 2000,
One of the Best Things About Pinoy, Sunday Inquirer Magazine, June 14, 1998 issue,
One of the Faces of the Century, Timeless Tales of Beautiful Women in a book with the same title by Jorge Llanes, 1998,
One of the Most Admired Filipinos for the Last Four (4) Centuries, Isyu Magazine, Jan. 27, 1998 issue,
Named Actress of the Century by respected columnist, Ronald Constantino published in Tempo and Malaya, Dec. 27, 1997 issue,
One of the Most Significant Filipino in the 20th Century in the TV show Tatak Pilipino of ABS-CBN, 1991,
Named by Audrey Magazine (The Asian- American Women's Lifestyle Magazine) as one of the Ten timeless Filipina Actresses. She topped the list among other filipina actresses (March 25, 2013),
The only Filipino actor honored by the City of Kileen, Texas U.S.A. with a "Nora Aunor Day" (September 23, 2006),
The only Filipino actor honored by the City of San Francisco, California, U.S.A. with a "Nora Aunor Day"(May 21, 2004),
The actress was honored by the Office of the Governor of Las Vegas with a "Certificate of Recognition for Phenomenal Talent and Extraordinary Performance" (March 31, 2006),
Himala was the first and only Filipino film ever to qualify in the Competition Section of the Berlin International Film Festival (1983). For its international accolades, it bagged 1983's Bronze Hugo Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.,
Himala was the lone Filipino film chosen by CNN as one of the ten best Asian films of all time from the provisional list of 18 great films (September 2008). CNN cited "Himala" for its "austere camera work, haunting score, and accomplished performances that sensitively portray the harsh social and cultural conditions that people in the Third World endure.",
Himala was awarded the CNN APSA Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of all Time (November 14, 2008),
Himala restored version was premiered at the 69th Venice International Film Festival under the Venizia Classici Section.,
The Flor Contemplacion Story became the first Filipino movie to win the grand prize in a Major International Film Festival (Cairo '95).,
The Flor Contemplacion Story grossed US$3.3 million in its domestic and international exhibitions, making it one of the highest-grossing films in Philippine history.,
Bona was cited as one of "The Best 100 Films in the World" by the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, USA (1997).,
Bona is the ONLY FILIPINO FILM to be archived at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.,
One of the 15 Women in Showbiz who made Pinoys Proud by PEP in celebration of Women's Month, March 2014,
"Thy Womb" competed &/or exhibited at the following int'l film festivals: 69th Venice International Film Festival (COMPETITION), Venice, Italy; 37th Toronto Int'l Film Festival (World Cinema), Totonto, Canada; 17th Busan Int'l Film Festival (Window on Asian Cinema, Busan, Korea; 6th Ferra de Tutti Film Festival (Exhibition), Bologna, Italy; 50th Vienna Int'l Film Festival (Exhibition), Vienna, Austria; 2012 Brisbane Int'l Film Festival (Exhibition), Brisbane, Australia; 43rd International Film Festival of India (COMPETITION), Goa, India; 2012 Golden Horse Film Festival (Exhibition), Taipei, Taiwan; 9th Dubai International Film Festival (COMPETITION); 8TH Movies Festival World Edition, Poland; 14th Bratislava International Film Festival (Panorama Section),Slovakia; 20th Plus Camerimage Int'l Film Festival of D Art of Cinematography (Exhibition), Bydgoszcs, Poland; 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA)Winner: Best Actress, Best Director Award, Brisbane, Australia; 16th Tertio Millenio Film Festival (Exhibition), Rome, Italy; 12th Marrakech Film Festival, Morocco (Exhibition); 24th Forum Des Images Festival, Paris, France; 55th Asia Pacific Film Festival (COMPETITION)Macau, China; The Wadsworth Atenaeum Museum of Arts, CT, USA (Jan. 24-27 2013); Perth Film Festival, Perth, Australia (Jan. 2013); 7th Asian Film Awards, Hong Kong, March 2013 Winner: Best Actress; 15th Deuville Asian Film Festival, France; 37th Hong Kong Int'l. Film Festival; 20th Prague Int'l Film Festival, Czech Republic; 1st ASEAN Int'l. Film Festival Awards, Malaysia (Exhibition) March 2013; 18th Vilniaus Intl. Film Festival, Lithuania (Critics' Choice Section) March 2013; 11th Reggio Emilia Asian Film Festival, Italy (COMPETITION) April 6-11, 2013; 5th CPH PIX (Exhibition), Copenhagen, Denmark April 11-24, 2013; 10th Int'l. Independent Film Festival (IndieLisboa)Lisbon, Portugal,April 18-28, 2013; 12th Transilvania Int'l. Film Festival, Bucharest, Romania, May 31-June 9, 2013; 3rd Asian Film Festival, Rome, Italy May 10-31, 2013; 7th Festival de Granada Cines del Sur, Granada, Spain, June 9, 2013 (COMPETITION)/ 4th World Cinema Amsterdam Int'l. Film Festival, Netherlands August 7-19, 2013 (COMPETITION); Southeast Asian Film Festival (Regional Intersections 2013) Canberra, Australia, Sept. 5-19, 2013 (Exhibition); 2013 OzAsia Film Festival, Adelaide, Australia - Sept. 13-29, 2013 (Exhibition); 3rd Sakhalin Int'l Film Festival, Russia (COMPETITION), August 23-30, 2013; 33rd Hawaii International Film Festival (Filmmakers in Focus) October 10-20, 2013; 5th London IFF (Exhibition);13th Festival Women's World, Tuebingen, Germany (Exhibition) Nov. 20-27 2013; Around the World in 14 Films, The Berlin Festival of Festivals (Exhibition), Berlin, Germany, Nov. 29 to Dec. 7, 2013; Lua Prabang IFF. Laos, Dec. 7-11, 2013 (Exhibition); Philippine Official Entry, 71st Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood, California,
Notable citations as a recording artist:
In 1968, Nora Aunor was contracted by Alpha Records upon the recommendation of singer Carmen Soriano. Although Aunor's first singles were not major hits, she subsequently went on to smash local record sales with songs like "It's Time to Say Goodbye", "Silently", "Forever Loving You", "It's Not Unusual", and countless others. In her seven years with Alpha Records, Aunor was able to set all-time high record sales which up to this day has not been surpassed. At the height of her popularity as a recording artist in the late 1960s and early 1970s, local records soared up to 60% of national sales according to Alpha Records Philippines. She is the artist with the most singles in Philippine recording history (with more than 260 singles). Over-all she has recorded more than 500 songs. She has notched more than 30 gold singles, a record in the local music industry. With estimated sales of one million units, Nora's cover of "Pearly Shells" (1971) is one of the biggest-selling singles in the Philippines ever. Nora has also recorded some 46 hit long-playing albums, and several extended plays.
At the height of her popularity as a recording artist in the late 1960s and early 1970s, sales of local records soared up to 60% of national sales according to Alpha Records Philippines.,
She is the artist with the most singles in Philippine recording history (with more than 260 singles). Overall she has recorded more than 500 songs.,
She has notched more than 30 gold singles.,
With estimated sales of one million units, Nora's cover of "Pearly Shells" (1971) is one of the biggest-selling singles in the Philippines.,
Nora has also recorded some 46 hit long-playing albums, and several extended plays.,
In 1999, Nora was cited as one of the 100 Great Filipinos in Music, in an article written by Baby Gil at Phil. Star, Nov. 24, 1999 issue.,
As a recording artist, Nora Aunor possessed a Lyric Contralto and Mezzo-soprano vocal range.