August 29, 2007

Chicks to Chicks Family Values

By: Guillermo Ramos

Americans had The Waltons and The Brady Bunch. We had Chicks to Chicks.

The father's political career ended after his son was found guilty of rape and murder. The child was shot dead in a stupid traffic altercation. The boarder jumped to her death from the 23rd floor. Is there a curse on the cast of Chicks to Chicks?

Chito was the archetypal Pinoy macho man, whose only aim in life was to transmit his bad seed to the nearest receptacle available.

In the early 80's we saw the emergence of a Filipino middle class whose collective ambition was to just get by. One television show that illustrated this phenomenon so well was Chicks to Chicks, known later as Chicka Chicka Chicks. It chronicled the day-to-day activities of a middle-class (extended) Filipino family—their dreams, ambitions, and, uh, values.

People were glued to their TV screens every Wednesday night, ogling the "chicks" and laughing at the recycled jokes, the sexual innuendo, the macho posturing of the male cast and the helplessness of the featured bimbos.

'Chicks to Chicks' Theme Song
Original track: 'Chic Chica Chic Chica Chic' by Biddu Orchestra

The Family

Nova Villa (Mrs. Ines Capistrano) - Nova played a short and frumpy housewife who had no issues whatsoever with her body, despite being surrounded by five-foot-nine-inch 36-24-36 beauty queens and models. Her idea of fine dining was steak, and her favorite activity was taking extended showers with her husband. At 60, the youthful Ms. Villa still portrays variations on the Ines character, most recently in the sitcom Home Along Da Riles.

Freddie Webb (Mr. Jimmy Capistrano) – This was his in-between job after he retired from playing basketball and before he represented Parañaque in Congress. He eventually became a Senator.

Jimmy was the tall, debonair husband who fulfilled all of Ines' material and sexual desires. To this day I haven't figured out what sort of business he was in. All I know is that it involved models and other beautiful young things who did double-duty in the Capistrano household as furniture. Webb's television and political career took a downward spiral after his son Hubert Webb was convicted in the Vizconde murder case. He was last seen in Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata and the short-lived Mana Mana. According to my PDA he frequents a hotel gym and pumps iron. Yes, he is still crunchy.

Chuchi (Lola) - Her signature was the elegant, Castilaloy hoarse-voiced lola. She was mama to Ines, biyenan to Jimmy, and lola to Strawberry. She was the forgetful, nurturing, but sometimes scheming matriarch in the Capistrano household. Rosario Hernandez in real life, Chuchi died of old age in 2004. She was 91. Chuchi joined show business at the age of 13. She started out as a singer-dancer and stage actress at the Clover and Gala Theaters until her natural comic talent paved the way for a career in the movies and television. She had no children.

Chito Arceo (Bayaw) - He practically invented the word "manyakis" (manyak sa kiss). Chito played the younger brother of Ines and the business partner of Jimmy. He was the archetypal Pinoy macho man, whose only aim in life was to transmit his bad seed to the nearest receptacle available. His sartorial preferences generally consisted of a shirt unbuttoned to his chest, revealing a thick gold necklace and little strands of chest hair. He carried a clutch bag and smoked More cigarettes, the thin, brown variety. The things he did to the girls in Chicks to Chicks would make him the whipping boy of Gabriela in this day and age of political correctness. Haven't heard much about him lately, but he is a television executive for a major network.

Strawberry (Strawberry) - The unica hija of Ines and Jimmy, Strawberry played the over-fed, under-loved and often ignored middle class Filipino child so common in today's state of affairs. She was the bubbly child exposed to the Barbies and Kens of questionable morals. Her real name was Noche Sumayao. She was caught in the crossfire and killed in the aftermath of a stupid traffic altercation that involved her boyfriend.

Sammy Lagmay (Sammy) - The perennial usisero and pakialamero, Sammy played the bumbling janitor/messenger/office boy to Jimmy and Chito. He was an abusive employee and sexual molester. For some reason we found this hilarious. He would assume the bosses’ position in their absence, only to take advantage of female applicants. Sammy had a steady stream of work when he moved to ABS-CBN, appearing in Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata, Only in the Pilipins, Palibhasa Lalake, and practically all the sitcoms on ABS-CBN.

The Chicks

Carmi Martin (Carmi) - It's a good thing I don't remember anything about her character in Chick to Chicks. All I remember is the screaming, the whining, and the rudimentary clothes she wore: tube tops and short shorts. This was before she became a serious actress, bagging major roles in the Lino Brocka films Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim and Cain at Abel . In the late 80's, together with her colleagues from Chicks to Chicks, she migrated to ABS-CBN, where she became one of the talents in sausage factory sitcoms and variety shows like Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata , Only in the Pilipins, and Tonight with Dick and Carmi (which I remember fondly as Booby Dick). She has an enduring quality and a knack for reinventing herself as her contemporaries faded into oblivion. She now plays a contravida in a telenovela, Ikaw Lamang ang Mamahalin on GMA 7.

Lorraine Schuck and Bong Dimayacyac - Other than their good looks, these two former beauty queens had nothing to offer the camera but shrieks and giggles. Haven't heard about Bong Dimayacyac since. Lorraine established Carousel Productions and runs Miss Earth, a beauty pageant with a "vision, mission and goal pertaining to environmental consciousness."

Maria Theresa Carlson (Si Ikaw, Si Ako) - She was mestiza, young, and perky. She endeared herself to the audience with her inability to deliver her lines. People adored her mangled Tagalog. Theresa was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Young International in 1979, amid a bumper crop of beauties which included Melanie Marquez, Dang Cecilio, and Cathy Veloso. She was barely 15 years old then. In 1981 she graduated from the International School and became a model, beauty products endorser, and TV personality. Five years later she was living with Ilocos Norte politician Rodolfo Fariñas. They had six kids. Carlson and Fariñas got married in 1991, after pressure from the Fariñas clan and the Catholic Church.

In 1998, Theresa made a phone call to a women's NGO and said she was the victim of domestic violence. There were all sorts of rumors, TV exposes and tabloid reports, but for some reason no real investigation took place. As in, nothing happened. Last year, just before Christmas, Maria Theresa Carlson leaped to her death from the 23rd floor of a Greenhills apartment building. No one will ever know the truth. If you thought that someone as beautiful as she would be spared the problems of the real world, think again. Contrary to popular belief, mestizas don’t get all the fun.

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Vince said...

Nova Villa and Freddie Webb guested on "John En Shirley" earlier this year and they immediately went into their familiar "Tara honey , maligo na tayo!" routine, and it was as if Chicks 2 Chicks never left the airwaves :D

winterkrash said...

Lorraine Schuck played a nun in the 90s soap opera "Anna Luna"

malek said...

It had a really catchy opening theme.:)I've been trying to look for clips online just to hear it. none found yet:(

page29 said...

If John en Marsha has a famous line before an episode end "kaya ikaw john mag sumikap ka.." Chicks to Chicks has It's own too as Ines would always say " Jimmy ligo na tayo "

Eman Paelmo said...

I could say, this and some of the sitcoms of my youth have better writing and simple production involved. Mas maganda pa rin kesa mga nauusoi ngayong local series na halos wala na script yata.If nothing else, at least, they were good to look at, and the directore had the sense not to give lines sa mga eye candy lang.

John Canda said...

jipo said...

From what I remember, Chuchi was not Ines' mother-in-law. She was Maria Teresa Carlson's grandmother who lived next door together with the models. Later on, they all moved in with Jimmy and Ines. Kaya nga isa sa mga paulit-ulit na antics nila ay ang mga "group meetings" kapag bumibira si Ines ng linya na ang dami-dami nilang ampon sa bahay.

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