Sad Christmas in 1942

The Dec. 25, 1942 issue of The Tribune bannered: A Merry Christmas To All. But truth to tell, the day was a sad day for Filipinos. The country was already under the Japanese regime.

The front page of The Tribune showed Mrs. Zotaro Kilhara, wife of Consel Kilhara, distributing gifts to poor families, orphans and wards of charitable institutions at the Christmas Festival at the Philippine Normal grounds.

No local movies were showing. Instead stage shows were mounted in Manila theaters, directed and topbilled by talents from the movies.

Gerardo de Leon wrote and directed Noche Buena, starring Rogelio de la Rosa and Norma Blancaflor. The co-stars included Katy de la Cruz, Pacita del Rio, Baby Jane, Bimbo Danao, Bayani Casimiro, Ben Rubio, Diana Toy and Jose Cris Soto.

Lamberto Avellana wrote and directed Puto Bungbong Kayo, Mama, with the “All-star Surprise Cast!”

Fernando Poe wrote and directed Mano Po Ninong, starring Mona Lisa, Naty Bernardo, Tito Arevalo and Poe himself.

Carlos Vander Tolosa wrote and directed Giliw Ko!, topbilled by Elsa Oria and Angel Esmeralda, with Bert Leroy, Auring, Primavera, Rosario Lam, Engracio Ibarra, Florentino Ballecer and Manuel Earnshaw.

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