Past and present 'Darna' stars Vilma Santos and Angel Locsin. Photo from Luis Manzano's Instagram page
MANILA -- Batangas Governor and former "Darna" star Vilma Santos is open to a role in the upcoming Star Cinema movie starring Angel Locsin, the current girlfriend of her son Luis Manzano, as the Mars Ravelo character.
Santos, who turned 61 on November 3, spoke with reporters on Monday during a birthday party organized for her by Regal Films matriarch Lily Monteverde.
Asked whether there is truth to rumors that she has already been tapped to join the new "Darna" film, Santos said: "Hindi ko pa alam, pero kung hihilingan ako ni Angel, okay lang. Si Angel pa."
"Pero hindi naka-Darna [costume], ha! Utang na loob, ha. Excuse me!" she added, triggering laughter.
Santos, the fifth actress to portray Darna on the big screen, starred in four films based on the superheroine -- "Lipad, Darna, Lipad!" (1973), "Darna and The Giants" (1973), "Darna vs the Planetwomen" (1975), and "Darna and Ding" (1980).
Locsin, 29, first played Darna in a GMA-7 series in 2005. In June this year, the actress confirmed that she will reprise the role in the Star Cinema movie which she described as a first in Philippine cinema in terms of scale.
This latest adaptation will be directed by Erik Matti, according to Locsin.
No Darna powers in real life
Santos, who was mayor of Lipa City from 1998 to 2007 and governor of Batangas since 2007, admitted she misses being active in showbiz.
Referring to the national elections in 2016, Santos said: "[By that time] 18 years na rin akong nagsisilbi. Now, at the end of the day, I still believe in destiny. Pag ginusto, hindi mo naman malalabanan, tama? Hindi mo malalabanan.
"But kung ako ang tatanuning niyo, I miss doing film also. Na-mi-miss ko gumawa ng pelikula talaga. Pag nanonood ako, parang, 'Ako dapat 'yan!' Nainggit ba, para bang, 'Kaya ko 'yan, eh!' May inggit."
Although Santos wants to take up more film projects, she acknowledged that juggling her work as governor and being an actress could take a toll on her health.
"Alam niyo, modesty aside, ang dami kong natanggihan, maski 'yung mga indie films. Hindi ko magawa, eh, kasi nga pagod din ako sa trabaho ko sa Batangas.
"Noon ko nga nakita, eh. Akala ko ako si Darna, eh. Iyon pala hindi, nambabawi rin. Lahat kayo, nagtatanong -- 'Saan niyo kinukuha 'yung energy? Bakit ang sigla mo?' Naniningil din, naniningil din," she said.
Santos remained non-committal when asked whether she will run in 2016, but said she has already has something in mind should she return to being part of the private sector.
"Kung halimbawang hindi ako matuloy tumakbo, I want to do films, I want to produce, puwedeng indie. Iyong pagiging artist mo, gusto mong ilabas, 'di ba? But that doesn't mean hindi ako nagpapasalamat sa tiwalang ibinibigay sa akin.
"Maraming salamat po sa mga nagtitiwala na I can serve you. Again, I just don't want to promise anything 'pag hindi ko po kayang magawa. I'm praying for it at kung saan ako dalhin ng Panginoon. I'll just do my best, whether I'll run or I may not run," she said.