Nestor Torre on the Nora Book

Fans pay tribute to Nora Aunor in new book


May 20, 2005


Updated 05:22pm (Mla time)


Nestor Torre


Inquirer News Service


LAST Sunday, a book of articles about Nora Aunor was launched by the officers and members of the superstar's fan clubs. The new publication, "Si Nora sa Mga Noranian (Mga Paggunita at Pagtatapat)," edited by Nestor de Guzman, comes as a timely tribute to the currently beleaguered show biz icon.


We've received a copy of the book, and we're impressed with the number of fans (around 50) who took the time to recall how Nora had impinged on their lives, and put thosethoughts down on paper.


Nora must feel very gratified to have such loyal and articulate followers, and their essays should give her a much-needed boost, now that she has to contend with her legal troubles in the States.


Recognizable names Some of the writers in the book are recognizable names-Boy Abunda, Ramon Bayron, Noel Boado, Lady Guy, Domingo Landicho, Pit Maliksi, Danton Remoto, Noel Vera--while the rest are "just fans."

Or, are they? Librada Oria teaches catechism in Sampaloc. Mario Roxas is a CPA in the States. Jorge Demafeliz works in a bank in Saudi Arabia. Leonel Escota is a treasury specialist in a German bank in New York.


Milagros Long teaches in Japan. Marlon Antolin is an architect. Tim Capellan is the president and CEO of a retail marketing and management firm. And "Pacita Macaspac" is the alias of a militant activist who's also a diehard Noranian!What do these background notes indicate? That Nora's unique mystique affects and dazzles more than just the "masa" fan-atic. That's because Nora is a bigger achiever than most stars, having come up with some thespic masterworks that impress even demanding film and culture buffs, as well as people who are artists and achievers in their own right.




As we read their essays, we're struck by how strongly Nora's landmark movies have come to bear on the writers' personal histories. Sometimes, it feels like the writers use Nora's starrers as signposts or landmarks for their own evolution as people!


Why does Nora have this unique hold on so many different kinds of people, from the screaming "palaban" (hardline) fan who'll tear your hair out if you demigrate the Superstar, to the literateur and critic who's as circumspect as can be?


The writers in this book cite her beautiful singing voice, expressive eyes, kayumanggi coloring, "cute" frame and height, acting prowess, the fact that she "represents" most non-tisoy Filipinos, her having come from humble origins, her humility, shyness and lack of affectation, her love for her fans, her generosity, the hope and transcendence she represents--etc.!


Negative traits


To be sure, they also acknowledge her negative traits, which drive other people up the wall. But, the book is a tribute, not a rigorously objective character analysis, so if it errs on the side of excessive adulation, that's perfectly understandable.


Nora's fans don't need to be encouraged to get themselves a copy of the book. But, even if you aren't a fan, you may want to read it as well, because it says a lot about the unique phenomenon of star-fan relationships in this country.


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