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Monday, August 31, 2009

Visitors, a wedding, a revolution and two films. Equalizer 2000, SILK.

A big party was about to begin. Butch Romualdez' youngest brother Danny was going to get married with his Jacky. I knew both of them very well and visited them quite often in their place in Biak na Bato, Danny loved to come over to Cavite and enjoyed eating oysters . He also had some plans with a piece of land he owned near Naic and didn't mind smoking a joint at the beach with me.

I was invited to attend the consummation of their wedding at thursday june 27, 1985 early in the morning at 9.00 AM. Aunty Imelda would be a sponsor and eye catcher at that event and I didn't mind being part of it..

The weatherman had promised us a nasty day with lots of rain and wind. I didn't want to show up late and spent the night before in Manila at Dante par Pasia's place in Sampaloc, near the university of Sto. Thomas. He was a good friend of the family and invited as well to witness the wedding in the beautiful cathedral of San Augustin in Intramuros. Manila was flooded but we managed to get to the church in time in Dantes' VW-beetle.

 The reception afterwards would be in the Plaza Hotel, of course in the Leyte-ballroom...!

At this reception at Roxas Blvrd, Imelda asked Danny about the white guest on one of the tables, he told her I was a 'famous' Dutch actor and stuntman and had become a friend of the family thru Butch in the Netherlands.
A civilized nod in my direction confirmed my existence to her. Once in awhile there was a glimpse of a smile when our eyes crossed, well, I was a lot younger than George Hamilton, :D.
I nodded friendly as well with a snigger....

Danny and I ..

It was a beautiful service, good music and a lot of food. The bride was gorgeous and shining, Danny in heaven. I had a nice day.

Imelda and her husband Ferdinand were close to the end of their imperium, another 8 months and the curtain would fall after this chapter. The Ninoy Aquino assassination at MIA airport triggered a revolution resulting in a Corazon Aquino (RIP) victory in '86.
It came with political instability, protesting people all over the country and the end was near. The people's power revolution, that's how they called it. In Manila the combat-units were posted on every strategical street corner and once in awhile a few rounds were fired in the air to keep everybody awake...Man that was action. I followed the news on TV and didn't go to Manila unnecessarily.

I had indwells for some time already. A friend of mine from the Netherlands whom I kept in touch  with since I came to the PI, had reacted to my invitation to come over and stay for the holidays. She had written me the date of her arrival at MIA and I was there to pick her up, just after we finished shooting the American Ninja. I was surprised to see that she had brought her 10 year old daughter with her. When I spotted her at the gate I smiled at her, but she didn't react very happy. Instead of an enthusiastic hug she put her head on my shoulder and started to cry. Flabbergasted I asked if they had had such a bad flight and if she got sick ? None of that. Her latest relation in Holland had stranded and capsized. Her ex-friend had bought both of them a one-way ticket to Manila and handed her US$100,- at Schiphol, Amsterdamned .....!!

All of a sudden I had to regulate all kinds of family matters. I didn't mind having them as my guests for a while, but I understood there wasn't such a planning of going back to NL whatsoever. My invitation wasn't meant thát way, to be frank...
I had plans to return to Holland for a month or so to visit my father, and was about to move to  another barrio on the other side of the river. I had a lot of friends over there already and wanted to build my own nippa hut.***
Ellen and Thea  came down to my place and spent some 3 or 4 months in the barrio. Ellen wanted to see more of the country and decided to find a place in Manila with her daughter. Dante  was a mutual friend of ours and after finding a job in a reflexology-centre in Sampaloc she moved to his place.
I didn't mind having more privacy. I could move my ass in any direction I wanted now, ahhh freedom....

All seemed to go smoothly when the threatening revolution fucked up. Apparently the coverage of this story reached Holland and alarmed Ellen's mom. She contacted me to have her daughter and granddaughter evacuated. I thought it a great idea, but Ellen absolutely ignored this opportunity to go home. Granny partially succeeded when her daughter agreed to send Thea back home. She asked me to join and guard the little girl on her trip to Holland, she'ld pay for the tickets. I decided to adjust my plans and to accept the offer.
Dante, interested in politics and journalism handed me a manifest, signed by several of his friends and colleagues to tell about the circumstances in the Philippines and find political support for the peoples power revolution against Marcos, not knowing the whole thing would end in 4 days only.........

Through the Dutch embassy we were able to get our tickets and could leave instantly. It seemed to take forever to reach the airport by taxi, everywhere shouting and yelling people, gunfire again , crowded streets. I didn't feel comfortable, Thea was crying....
Manila International Airport was a madhouse. A lot more military than visitors. Most of the desks were closed. Only one counter was opened, everybody was checked carefully and we could enter the gate to board our plane. At that time all counters had closed. Nobody could leave anymore. Nervous soldiers didn't know exactly what to do and were awaiting their last orders. We were the last to board the plane. MIA was closed. Our captain kept us informed about the latest developments in Manila. A majority of the military top had joined the revolution. Marcos and his relatives were entrenched in the Malacañang Palace.
It would last for 4 days. Up to the very last moment the dictator was addressing 'his' people thru his private TV-channel, until someone unplugged it and Ferdinand had to admit he had lost the 'case'.
Exited I followed the whole situation when I arrived in the Netherlands. So I learned Marcos fled to Honolulu Hawaii, by helicopter, believed to carry a load of gold. Leaving no place for Imelda's shoes.... Marcos died in exile in 1989. Imelda went back into politics and still has a lot of influence in the Visayas. She was chosen the prettiest girl of Leyte in '53 and was called 'The Rose of Tacloban'. That name changed into 'The Iron Butterfly' when she became first lady of the PI.
When the Marcos family fled Malacañang the lady left behind nearly 900 handbags, 500 gowns and over 1050 pairs of shoes !!!!

For me this revolution came inconvenient for 2 reasons.

First: My father enjoyed his stay in the Phils. so much he wanted to settle down in this warmer climate as a retiree. When I entered this subject one evening when having a smoke with Danny and a beer with Dante, Danny answered with his low bass: See what we can do about that !
Maybe it was a coincidence, but not much later the first lady started a program to facilitate the immigration of foreign retirees ..
The program was in progress but not started yet. Then someone suggested my father to be the first person to join this program so he got high-lighted. An awesome idea, I liked it. Even more when I was asked to promote the retiree-program in Holland.

Those years the name Romualdez opened doors to the Philippine Embassy and commercial attachés in Rotterdam and The Hague and I got all the support I wanted.
Then the revolution thwarted the whole plan.

Second : Marcos was a sick man and the family was said to be interested in my ways of healing, fuck that !!!! I mean, how many time would one get the opportunity to have a president as a patient, be fair. I liked the idea of having a 'healthy' bank account. Dreams only, all of it. The revolution made that impossible. In the meantime my old man got pretty ill and needed a major surgery due to colon cancer so his schedul had changed a bit as well I tell you.
-- --

Anyway, back in Holland I decided to enjoy the Dutch spring and stay for a couple of months but I had problems to accustom to western culture again and I went homesick. I sustained for about a month then I returned to the action

I needed a few days to recover from the jet-lag, but then I headed for Manila, curious to see the changes that came with the Aquino office. Nothing much seemed to have changed. OK, I had to get used to the names in the new government heading the newspapers.

The Metcalfs were happy to see me but couldn't offer me a job for the moment, well Cirio had something going on and Henry was his AD again. They had me going in Equalizer 2000, I needed to play a crooks type, hé easy what ?
It was another movie with a lot of unexplained action and special fxs. There was one little scene however I won't forget. There's a small tree blocked in the frame and it's suppose to be blasted to parts right on action. Cameras are rolling and Cirio shouts 'Action', We do our thing but the tree still stands. It was prepared and fixed with a small piece of wood. The firecracker they used to have the job done wasn't strong enough. A smaller shelf was prepared and everybody went back to nr. one. But this tree had a sense of humor. ...There was the routine: cameras rolling, sound...and before the word action was there, the little tree surrendered and fell down without any help from the outside. I wasn't the only one pissing my pants, even Cirio who just revealed a beautiful 'Putanginamo', couldn't cover a grin. I think the third take made it a 'copy'. I had a lot of background action, got shot and blown away numerous times. It's not my kinda movie but I know there are a lot of lovers.
Another Cirio-film and Premier production had it's cameras rolling. I invited Ellen to the set and introduced her to Cirio. I knew he loved a western cast in his films and I was right. He had a deployment for her. It were the same ol' guys again. Nick Nicholson, Joonee Gamboa, Don Gordon Bell, David Light and Henry of course
We were about to shoot: "Silk”.

I am the driver in the blue stuntcar. A camera is mounted at the bonnet.

I'm following someone, there's a sandy path, they shoot at me and a window is shot to pieces, finally I 'park' my car against a huge object and it explodes...
To have the window shattered a catapult was used to break the glass. It sounded a real bullet when it hit the glass, it all had to be done in one take, otherwise they needed another car.
Ellen was an extra, running in a crowd and they were shot at. Nervous to her first time, she managed to stumble within ten yards or so and went down, face first. She lost her glasses, couldn't find it ( minus 10 !!) and finally stepped on it breaking the frame in two. Almost blind she finds a way out, holding her broken glasses in one hand and wiping the sweat from her face with the other, showing a desperate glance . Exactly what the cameras wanted to see. She never ever showed up on any movie set again.
This action film from prolific Filipino director Cirio Santiago stars Cec Verrell as tough cop Jennie ("Silk"), who works for the Honolulu police. A series of murders has the police baffled, so Silk is called in to help uncover the culprits. Her sleuthing leads to several shoot-outs and evidence that incriminates one of the cops. Connected to the deaths are gangland figures and the ugly business of selling fake identities. 

Complete Cast of Silk

Cirio Santiago
Fred Bailey
Cirio Santiago

Friday, August 28, 2009

Healthy dead man ?


Grieving relatives couldn't believe their eyes when they paid their last respect to an old loved one. Hours after his death the man still had a very healthy blush on the cheeks. They asked a doctor to check on the man if he really had passed away. The man had died due to a cardiac arrest. Family and friends visiting the cemetery, for a moment thought that their friend might still be alive !!! But a doctor confermed the death of the 70 year old. His healthy looks were caused by his pacemaker still pumping blood.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Here's another laugh....

Why boys don't get dolls..!

This Dutch guy is making a dating-clip. I wonder why he doen't have a (girl)-friend already !!!
His English is... well, just listen....

You need a Laugh ?

Thank you Henry Strzalkowski !!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

PLDT in Holland, 50 years ago

This is my aunty Liesbeth, she and her husband were running the local post- and telephone connecting office. I think this picture was shot early '50's. These small centrals one by one were closed when post war technology entered the scene.

When I had my domicile in Naic, Cavite, second half of the '80's, I had to go halfway Manila to Bacoor or Noveleta I can't remember which, to make a phone call. The building had several numbered phone booths, you had to report at the counter first tellin' your details . The place was always crowded but cozy. After a while your name was called to announce the connection was waiting. Most of my calls were to the office of Central Casting and I still can memorize the phone number till this very day, 8325076 and I'll never forget it the rest of my life.

So when I scrolled this picture in the family album I imagined the PLDT buying this stuff when it was dumped in Holland and (who knows) are still using it today....

The struggle for food....

A ritual every day. All the fish inthe pond can be fed by hand, including the sturgeons. Most fish in the aquaria as well. Each morning, before I make myself a cup of coffee, it will take me about half an hour to feed all the fish, some 200+, 2 cats, 2 rats and 2 turtles (no they are not the Ninja's).
As soon as the Koi notice me to open the door they sprint towards me at top speed. During the summer they'll be fed 3x daily. At winter when water temperature drops below 5 C. they are not fed at all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

'American Ninja'

American Ninja”
Henry Strzalkowski was our AD again, and I didn't mind at all, cause I could get along with him pretty well, I liked the fellow. To me he became legendary with his imitation of Moses at the moment God gave him the new rules: “Let me get this straight God, You want us to cut the end of our dick?”
He was always around Ken and Maria's place and had his voice in the casting as well. They thought I could make it a nice bodyguard in the movie: “American Ninja”. And that is what I did.
Mickael Dudikoff plays an American who was raised by John Fujioka, a master in martial arts.
The little boy got used to this training as it was eating or drinking, and his skills came in handy when  he needed to save the generals daughter. This was new for me, different acting, no GI uniform, no M16 nor 60, but just a civilian outfit. The make-up was from a different kind, not green or brown and mud, but nice suntanned, and gel in my hair. 
The location hunters had done a good job. It was a beautiful scene at Taal-lake and I was part of it... A gorgeous villa and swimming pool were the set-up for an exclusive Ninja training center. I do the bearded bodyguard...hmmm. It took a lot of time for every  new set-ups and rehearsals so  in the meantime I got plenty of time to become acquainted with mr. Fujioka, a lovely man, modest and gentle. He didn't look like a martial arts master but one can be mistaken. But his moves and expression made it a complete picture.  Among the filippino crew I 'made name' as “the helot'”, the others called me “psychic” and indeed I had a lot of patients overthere. It weren't really injuries from the set, but often older sore and pains... Don Stewart found his way to my healing hands as did Tony Carrion, Manulet Escudero and Renato Morado, the coördinator for the SOS stunt team. A top professional who carefully inspected every location to be sure the safety was at maximum. I learned a lot from him.
I was surrounded by all kind of masters and well skilled martial arts fighters, and I was a little disappointed that most of them were just fighters without a 'mysterious Ninja aureola'. I would like to make an exception for Jesse Ramos and Erni Ortega (who shot himself thru the head, years later, after suffering a painful cancer), cause those two guys had this little extra which makes a man special. Although Joonee Gamboa was not exactly a Ninja, I like to mention him because I think he is on of the kindest men I ever encountered.
I got to know many of the filippino crew already from earlier films and picked up quite some Tagalog. I became good friends with the boys from the Philippine stunt association as well. Once in a while they showed up with innocent injuries. We did plenty of waiting on the set so enough time to do my healing stuff. It was a great pleasure to see that variety of martial arts techniques, like throwing a shuriken star or dart, shooting bow and arrow, climbing, tumbling, including the necessary expressions. I really picked up nice things, I'ld rather had carried the Ninja outfit, but there only can be one American Ninja and that was Mike. It would have been a lot easier however if  they had cast a better skilled martial artist. It took too many rehearsals and slowmows. There were plenty other 'white guys' having black belts so that shouldn't have been a problem. To me the part could have fit Don Gordon Bell, he sure had the looks and I don't doubt his techniques. Anyway, Michael got the job and he didn't do too bad at all.
I felt like in heaven when we arrived on location in the training camp. A ninja could be spotted every were, they were all over the place doing their routines, spectacular !! My part was an easy one: I was a bodyguard watching the boss... and there wasn't really much action for me. OK, at the end we had to do some shooting and fighting, but most of my action was walking around the camp and keep an eye on everybody who could be a threat to the 'boss'.. I had a dialog with Toy Carrion, but that part was not edited, shit ...
I had plenty of time to enjoy the scene and to learn from what I saw. It was very diverse, there were Judoka, Karateka and Tae-Kwondoka showing the best they had. And other experts being specialists in Kendo, Nunchakudo or Shurikendo. I started to like Kuntao with its typical short moves and whipping kinda techniques, very effective !!   They were the peeps from the SOS-team and members of the Philippine Stunt Association, great guys. Many of them I would see again in other productions I joined.


I had the time of my life
 in this training camp

FULL Movie...

-- --
My roots to Karate came from my friend and sensei Zeljko Iljadica, a Yugoslavian expert in Shotokan Karate from Zagreb. He used to work in the metal industry in the Rotterdam harbors during the 70's.  They were building the largest, the biggest  oil tankers ever built at that time... I think the largest I've seen on the slope was a 420 meter long and 65 meter wide ship, then your talking about 450.000 mtons. From top to bottom its like a skyscraper. Not to mention the outboard propeller and the huge machine room . Zeljko wanted to start a karate-class . I thought it a good idea to add this art to my Judo, Ju-jitsu and Kendo practicing and I joined him.. I wasn't  used to punch and to kick so it came in as a nice extra training to very different muscles. He was a 6th Dan master in the Shotokan style and also adapted in Nunchakudo / Kabudo, and well known in Zagreb where he was a chief instructor of the arts and nicknamed 'Karate'.!! His moves were short but FAST and when he hit something there was an impact. His motto: no bull.. but efficiency. I was impressed by his power.
It's an art to concentrate all energy at one point to enable a perfect impact. Speed and mass, well Einstein knew all about that. The next clip shows a master using his index finger to penetrate coconuts. I'ld say: Don't try this at home!!

   Breathing is an important component to achieve your goal. The oxygen directly sent to the places where it's needed mostly.  Bundle the energy, focus on the object and go for it... Bricks and  rocks can be broken with  a correct technique.With an inner preparation it must be possible to move objects as in telekinesis (I never succeeded in doing so)... To destruct (which  I had some talents for, even without Karate, LOL) or to cure, which seemed to be my thing.
 It's easy to get struck by an injury at a sudden move, a wrong (or non) warming-up, a failure while falling or  inadequate techniques. My Dutch Judo-sensei: Johan v.d Bruggen was skilled in Shiatsu as well and taught us a lot about pressure points. I was very interested in that subject .
And indeed after some time I managed to master the healing chapter, this is absolutely mind over matter.

Often painful shoulders, sour backs and other physical harm came to my hands, and I can say 9  patients out of 10 could do their thing after one of my healings, no shit.

A gentle touch seemed to be enough to have pains disappear. Most of the times however I didn't even have to touch the patient. Magnetize, mesmerize that kinda things, but it worked. 
Some Ninja are able to do incredible things. The asphyxiation chapter however is a long kept secret;(David Carradine had too much of it, and got himself killed) most of you will remember the Bruce Lee story where he got ex-communicated by the Chinese cos he was teaching kung-fu secrets to the 'Whites'.. The oriëntals didn't want the rest of the world to know these treasures. ( I wonder why there are so many Chinese ?) A well trained martial artist is able to break stones with his bare hands, or to kill instantly by finger-touch only. This is not just physical power, most of it is 'power of the mind', this mental strength is beyond imagination and can be used not only to destroy or kill, but also to build or to heal. Yes, I could break stones and fall without getting hurt. But is was much more fun to fix broken ribs or to cure where regular doctors failed. I never felt any magic, a scientific approach even explains many of it.  It's all electricity !. When your brains want your hands to make  a certain move, an electric signal runs tru the veins. And we all learned at high school that an electric current running tru a conductor causes a magnetic field....right..? A transformer only works due to the induction field generated by the primary coil or windings. The secundair windings need to be close to the primary's to be able to induce it's own current. We're talking about volts and amps.
Now creating a bio-magnetic field is one thing,  to make some one else feel this energy is something different...to make it a healing power is an enormous mental issue and has to do with an alignment between sender and receiver, like tuning a radio station.
From here it's more difficult, harder to explain, but I'll give it a try. Each element has its own frequency and has a unique vibration number. Crystals are well known for their use in radio techniques and in watches. Each living being has its own private 'shake'. The trick is to find somebody's frequency and to tune-in to it. It doesn't need to be the same frequency, a higher or lower harmonic vibe will do as well. Example: a patient has a vibe of 12, then I can step in with a 2, 3, 4 or 6 on the denominator. Chords are possible as well .
When I can't reach a patient with my 'field' I call them primes. The number 13's. !!
You're not surprised I guess when I tell you that there is a link between the Atemi points on which a Karateka can KO you, and acupuncture point which are used to cure. It's all about the right way to touch. A gentle approach to these points will have a healing effect, while a tougher treatment might cause damage or even death. Although there are several exceptions to this rule.
It isn't easy to be a Ninja...

I'ld like to quote Don Gordon Bell in one of his comments to this matter (Carradine):
 . ~~~~~~~~~~~~
As a martial artist- though of lesser degrees 1st and 2nd in TaeKwonDo, Kenpo, UechiRyu- I concur with you on the secret Asphyxiation (Masturbation) Arts of the Orient. You mentioned the "finger touch" technique, which has severely injured unwitting students who picked their noses and caused greavious problems to their nasal passages and sinus cavitities. But I digress from Wanking...You can confirm the secret techniques of "Dim Mak" or Death Touch which harnessed the power of affecting a persons Ki/CHI or Qi. This knowledge is used for healing the life energy or in the case of Dim Mak can cause instant paralysis or delayed death. Many films have 'touched' on this Dark side of Qi; misusing knowledge of this for negative even deadly matters. Mastering Kempo” by William Durbin (pg. 32) "Okinawans learned Dim Mak from China but developed it greatly...In Japanese, Dim Mak is pronounced Ten Myaku and means “point on a blood vessel.” “In ancient times the Okinawans talked about Ikken Hissatsu-one hit, certain death-from their understanding of Ten Myaki and Naibu Hakai….those who have been hit with a NaibuHakai strike have told about feeling the hit at the point of contact but feeling the Power on the other side of the body. This has been called a Ki Shindo, or energy pulse, a vibration that carries through the whole body from the force of the blow.” This may have been the origin of the concept of the vibrating palm. The hit causes the damage, but with internal bleeding and interior damage, death comes later, hence the idea of delayed death.” I studied the Vibrating palm with a dual purpose, Self-Gratification of my "One-eyed Pole" and Pleasuring the "Golden Gate" or "Golden Gully" when my pole was just too tired. (Please link to this explanation of the "Golden Gate" it is not the bridge!) http://yoniversum.nl/yoni/yonilist.html One must be careful of not overusing these techniques too much as Self-Gratification may lead to a very sore "little brother". Beware of over-stimulation of the female "Heavenly Gate" while while performing "Tongue Fu" or "Lickity-Split". Women have been know to grow disdainful of the "One-Eyed Pole" after such marvelous menstrations using the most Heavenly Combination Technique the secret "Vibrating finger on G-Spot, TongueFu, AND Vibrating palm on Clitoris"! This must only be use in cases of Totally Frigid bitches and has been known to lead to...marriage! You have been warned. ( ) ...................Don.     ."   

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Talent? I think so !

The 10 year old Dave Dekker with Danny de Munk. This boy got a leading rol in the musical 'Ciske de Rat'. His voice is gold already but when mature it'll reach platinum....

Dutch talent.