Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Superfan (Clodualdo del Mundo Jr, 2009)

Generations of Filipinos have lined up for movies and shows of the Superstar, Nora Aunor. Legions of fans have bought her albums. A devoted few followed her every move. From among these avid, passionate fans, none was as obsessed as Armando ‘Mandy’ Diaz Jr.

Superfan is based on an essay written by Diaz for the book Si Nora Aunor sa mga Noranian: Mga Paggunita at Pagtatapat, edited by Nestor De Guzman (Quezon City: Milflores Publishing Inc., 2005). In the essay titled Himala, Diaz narrated his miraculous devotion to Nora. He started adoring her when he was only 6 years old. The decades-long obsession with the Superstar resulted in a humongous collection of Aunor records and memorabilia. 47 volumes of clippings chronicle the odyssey of Nora from Albay to San Francisco Bay. 10 photo albums capture the highs and lows of the petite actress.

Near the end of the essay, Diaz, who was then only in his late 40s, mentioned that if he dies ahead of Nora, he wants the burial to be postponed until Nora visits his wake. The self-confessed number one fan of Nora died on June 7, 2008 at the age of 48. Nora was then, and still is, residing at the United States of America.

Did Nora visit his wake? The film ingeniously says yes, yes, yes! Three Aunors (a singing child sensation, a popular matinee idol, and a multi-awarded actress) pay respect to their ever loyal fan, Diaz. To paraphrase the title of Nora’s first single under Alpha Records, the Aunors ‘only came to say goodbye.’ With their visit, they rekindle memories of wonderful performances and songs by Nora.

The short film features generous amount of video clips and songs. We see Nora and Tirso Cruz dancing in Guy and Pip. Then, there's the silent showdown between Nora and Vilma Santos in Ikaw Ay Akin. And, who can't forget the scalding bath given by Nora to Phillip Salvador in Bona. The latter film dealt with a superfan who hooked up with a bit player in films. Bona became angry after learning about her idol's plan to migrate to North America.

In Superfan, Mandy Diaz Jr. (Nonie Buencamino) remarks that he will never follow Bona. He will stay loyal to Nora even if she migrates to the United States of America. Nora is, and will always be, in his heart and mind.

The 23-minute film failed to capture the near-mystical devotion of Diaz to Aunor. Only a small part of Diaz’s collection was seen onscreen. The film made up for that weakness by sharing an incident that tells a lot about the relationship of the two. After a big fight with his idol, Diaz threw out some of his collection. He then proudly narrated how Nora went out of her way to make amends. They made peace and he resumed his collection of all Aunor things.

I adored the neat device of having three Aunors visit the wake. That was a nice tribute to Diaz. I thought he really deserved that. After all, Diaz is, in his own words, alone in the ranks of Noranians that truly loved Nora ‘super-to-the-max.’

Original online posting in August 2009

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