The Last Man Dancing: The Nestor de Villa Story

Gicky Soriano, The Nestor de Villa Story: The Last Man Dancing (OMF Literature: Manila, 2011).
Gicky Soriano, The Nestor de Villa Story: The Last Man Dancing (OMF Literature: Manila, 2011).

From The Filmdom Of Stars To The Kingdom Of God

For a fortunate few, the path to stardom came fast and easy. For a good-looking young man from an obscure town, Gines Francisco Soriano never dreamed of coming to Manila only to be discovered for the movies. Although this son of an hacendero from Nueva Ecija, had his mind set on becoming a successful doctor, his feet were defining him as an excellent dancer. The story is told that on a day in May in the early Fifties, this young man along with his gang decided to watch the filming of a friend. The director on the set took one look at him and said, “You should be in the movies.”

A few days later, a well-known scriptwriter was seated at his typewriter finishing out a story entitled Dimas when the young man stopped by to pay him a visit.  Upon seeing him, the scriptwriter said that he just happened to be the man he was looking for to play the character in the story he was working on.  It was then that a visit to Doña Sisang, the Grand Old Lady, at LVN Studios was in order. No sooner did he step into her presence did she immediately want him to sign a contract.  The Grand Old Lady was heard to have said, “We won’t have a difficult time building him up.”

"We won't have a difficult time building him up." -Dona Sisang
"We won't have a difficult time building him up." -Dona Sisang

Several movies down the road only proved that this young man was made of the stuff of stars.  After playing the lead character to many ladies, he teamed up with Nida Blanca. The tandem took on the local movie world by storm as they sang and danced their way into the hearts and minds of Filipinos.  In later recollections, it was told that due to the premiere of one of their box-office hits, an entire main street in Manila was shut down to traffic.

Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa Philippine Silver Screen Movie Tandem
Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa Philippine Silver Screen Movie Tandem
Tumbalik Na Daigdig, 1953, LVN Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
Tumbalik Na Daigdig, 1953, LVN Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
Bulaklak magazine, 1953, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
Bulaklak magazine, 1953, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa

The Philippine silver screen has never embraced an enduring partnership since.  An early magazine article featured this young man and predicted that he will go far in his acting career.  And with such endearing film classics as Bahala Na, Waray Waray, and Ikaw Kasi, Nestor De Villa stepped into the spotlight of filmdom; the rest is, as they say, movie history.

Ikaw Kasi, 1955. LVN Comedy Dance Musical Directed by Manuel Conde
Ikaw Kasi, 1955. LVN Comedy Dance Musical Directed by Manuel Conde
Bahala Na, 1957, LVN Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
Bahala Na, 1957, LVN Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
My Serenade, 1961, LVN Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
My Serenade, 1961, LVN Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
Huwag Kang Sumingit, 1966, Kayumanggi Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa
Huwag Kang Sumingit, 1966, Kayumanggi Production, Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa

In the latter years, Nestor De Villa lived out his final role as an evangelist and servant of Jesus Christ.  The Lord called him in 1984 from the filmdom of stars to the kingdom of God.  He literally surrendered the center stage of his life in order that the Lord might grow greater and greater while he grew less and less. Time and again he prayed, “Lord, use me to win more souls for your kingdom.”  God heard and honored the prayer of his servant.  He reaped a great harvest of souls and influenced countless lives through his story and service.

An evangelist and servant of God
An evangelist and servant of God

On the morning of February 21, 2004, the Lord healed Nestor De Villa and called him to his final resting place.  You could just imagine the tremendous joy that filled his heart as he danced his way into eternity.  The Lord embraced him at the gates of heaven and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Gines Francisco Soriano aka Nestor de Villa 1928 - 2004
Gines Francisco Soriano aka Nestor de Villa 1928 - 2004

Seventy years ago, Doña Sisang’s legendary LVN Pictures was the home of the big production musical romance comedy films that defined the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema—in 2004 Nestor de Villa was “The Last Man Dancing."

© 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.

Nestor de Villa Filmography

1952 Dimas

1952 Rodrigo de Villa

1952 Haring Solomon at Reyna Sheba

1952 Dawang Sundalong Kanin

1952 Amor Mio

1952 Romansa sa Nayon

1952 Tenyente Carlos Blanco

1953 Tumbalik na Daidig

1953 Iskwaters

1953 Hiyasmin

1953 Hijo de Familia

1953 Dalawang Pag-ibig

1954 Waray-Waray

1954 Tin-edyer

1954 Sinsing na Tanso

1954 Luneta

1955 Talusaling

1955 Ikaw Kasi

1955 Ang Ibong Adarna

1955 Darling Ko

1955 Dalagang Taring

1955 1 2 3

1956 Medalyong Perlas

1956 Handang Matodas

1956 Easy Ka Lang, Padre!

1956 Big Shot

1956 Aling Kutsero

1957 Turista

1957 Sebya, Mahal Kita

1957 Ganyan Ka Pala

1957 Bahala Na

1957 Kalyehera

1957 Krisalis

1957 Tingnan Natin

1958 Villa Milagrosa

1958 Casa Grande

1958 Austerity Love

1958 Mga Anak Ni Waray

1960 Bayanihan

1958 Ang Langit Ko’y Ikaw

1959 Wala Kang Paki

1959 Tayo’y Magsaya

1959 Baguio Fever

1959 Chinita

1959 Surrender-Hell!

1959 Limang Punglo

1960 Unos Sa Laot

1960 Dahlia

1960 Kung Ako’y Mahal Mo

1960 Pitong Gabi Sa Paris

1960 Nida-Nestor Show

1960 Sandakot na Alabok

1960 Lawiswis Kawayan

1960 My Serenade

1960 Anino ng Kahapon

1960 Bakit ka Nagtampo

1960 Wala Kang Kapantay

1961 Nagbababang Lupa

1961 Walang Sisihan

1961 Mga Yapak na Walang Bakas

1962 Tugtuging Bukid

1961 Sikat na, siga pa

1962 Oy… Akin yata ‘yan

1962 Jam Session

1963 Magtiis Ka Darling

1963 Adonis Abril

1963 Limbo Rock

1963 Asyang ng La Loma

1963 Ang Bukas ay Akin

1963 Naku…yabang!

1963 Oh One Last Kiss

1964 Ginintuang Ani 

1964 Yeba Chiquicha

1964 Si Doray Naman…

1965 Utos Ni Tale Hinde Mababale

1965 Everybody Dance

1966 Sound of Bwisit

1966 Mabilis Paa’t Kamay

1966 Huwag Kang Sumingit

1966 Familia Galawgaw

1966 Espiya Contra Espiya

1967 Wow Na Wow

1967 Headlines

1967 Manila Hong Kong Singapore

1968 Siete Dolores

1975 Siya’y Umalis, Siya’y Dumating

1982 Mother Dear

1982 Forgive and Forget

1982 Cross My Heart

1983 Saan Darating Ang Umaga

1984 Anak ni Waray, Anak ni Biday

1985 Hindi Nahahati Ang Langit

1985 Like Father, Like Son

1986 Paglingon sa Kinabukasan

1987 Prinsesang Gusgusin

1993 Ligaw-ligawan, Kasal-kasalan, Bahay-bahayan

2001 Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan

2001 Biglang-Sibol

2002 Forevermore

More by this Author


Comments 19 comments

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii

A fabulous and heartwarming hub from a son to his famous dad. There was only one Nestor de Villa, and i am glad to have known him and his great love for the God he served.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 6 years ago from California Author

IslandVoice, So glad that you stopped by and left such a gracious comment. All blessings!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 6 years ago from USA- Florida

Gickey Thank you for sharing this most heart warming Biography. Your father's story reminded me of one of my favorite songs. He Is No Fool- by Twila Paris. The chorus goes like this:

He is no fool,

If he would choose.

To give the thing he cannot keep.

To buy what he can never lose.

To see a treasure in one soul.

That far outshines the brightest gold.

He is no fool. He is no fool.

Show me the fool who abandons his life

To walk in the steps of our Lord Jesus Christ

I have read your profile. It would seem, you are a chip off the ol' block my friend. Your faithfulness is a testamony to his.

In Christ

ABR


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 6 years ago from California Author

ABR, Thank you for sharing the chorus of that uplifting song. Your visit is refreshing and it is a blessing. God bless you.


Hannah Ministries profile image

Hannah Ministries 6 years ago

Such a great HUB. I want to link this with my facebook! Thanks so much. What a wonderfull story and a great title! God is mercifull and He is the Saviour. THe story of the last man dancing touched my heart. Blessing


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 6 years ago from California Author

Hannah, I do thank you for your gracious visit and comment. By God's grace, my father left the family a legacy which we could build upon in the furtherance of His kingdom. All blessings to you Sister.


jnev_ergela profile image

jnev_ergela 5 years ago

Thank you. Very beautiful.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 5 years ago from California Author

Jnev ergela, I appreciate your visit and gracious comment. Blessings to you.


jnev_ergela profile image

jnev_ergela 5 years ago

Pastor Gicky---I am a big Nestor De Villa fan the actor/dancer, but now an even bigger fan of Nestor The Evangelist. ...love love the legacy he left behind, not to mention the lives that changed... people he pointed to our Savior. I met your brother Joby, and my wife Anna (Carlos) Alegre worked and was a member at CCF Alabang. We hope Pastor Joby and co. could stop by our church here at Grace Community. We hope to visit your fellowship someday if we are in your area. ALL GLORY TO HIM our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 5 years ago from California Author

It was such a blessings to have hooked up with a local publisher in Manila. OMF Literature just published my recent work. It's a biography on my father's life entitled: The Last Man Dancing: The Nestor de Villa Story. The book was launched at the Manila International Book Festival last month September 14-18. And yes, I had a great time with Joby these past couple days. I know he'll be in Los Angeles in a week or so. I guess he'll post his plans in Facebook. Thanks again for your readership and gracious comments.


Peggy-from CCF 4 years ago

8 years after Nestor's homecoming, all his sons are faithfully serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Your family truly brings honor and glory to God.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 3 years ago

Beautiful photos.


JesusEater profile image

JesusEater 2 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

WOW! Very interesting!


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 2 years ago from California Author

Thank you for visiting


Angelica Macapagal 19 months ago

This is such a heartwarming post po. Thank you!

I'm just wondering, I've read somewhere that you're father, Mr Nestor De Villa, is from Cabanatuan? Is it true? If it is, maybe we are somehow related because my grandmother is Soriano (maternal side). This is so cool!


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 19 months ago from California Author

Angelica - That's right. Dad is from Cabanatuan. I did write a book entitled The Last Man Dancing: The Nestor De Villa Story. There's a chapter in it where I talk about his ancestral beginnings and growing up years in his hometown. You may want to connect the dots accordingly.

Thanks for your encouraging review!


Angelica Macapagal 19 months ago

Wow! Thank you sir! I will try to find a copy of your book. I will also ask my dad maybe he knows. I only know a handful of the older relatives but I know that a certain baranggay have a "Soriano" in their blood.


Abigail 17 months ago

Hello Gicky! I practically read all your articles in your hub in one sitting. In fact, I slept at around 4 am this morning just so I can finish reading all the things you have wrote about your father. Your articles are very uplifting and inspiring.

Although my age is almost your brother Jeric's, I am a great fan of your father. I remember watching Nida Nestor Show on tv when I was a young girl (probably I was not even going to school then yet, maybe I was 5 years old then).

I do not know what pushed me to google your dad's name and presto, I found all your articles in the hub including Paul and Jeric's interview.

My admiration for your father grew a lot bigger when I have learned that he had become a great servant of our Lord. Now, my admiration is not only for him but for his whole family as well. . . . I truly miss your father, the way I miss my own father who also had gone to our Creator last 2005. I look up to your father as if he is also a father to me.

Thank you Gicky , you made me know your father more.

God really works miraculously! Glory to God!


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 17 months ago from California Author

Abigail, I appreciate the time you spent reading the various articles along with your encouraging words. I am blessed to know that my father's story inspired you. May you continue to follow after Christ, as did my dad, and may He use your story to enrich the lives of others as well.

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