Nukso Nang Nukso (1960)

Story and Screenplay by Virgilio ‘Beer’ Flores, based on the radio program ‘Sebya, Mahal Kita’
Directed by Fred Daluz




Mariano Contreras & Ben Cosca aka Pugo & Bentot
Mariano Contreras & Ben Cosca aka Pugo & Bentot

The series of successful comedy films starring the incomparable Pugo and Togo team came to an abrupt end in 1952 with the sudden death of Togo. Without Togo, Pugo’s career entered a sort of limbo. He continued to appear in movies, kept his bald look, but without Togo, his comedy seemed forced, his roles relegated to playing sidekicks to big stars like Nestor de Villa, or father to rising young ‘upstarts’ like Lou Salvador Jr and Luz Valdez.

Television was still in its infancy, but radio was as popular as ever and in the latter part of the 50s, soap operas and radio sitcoms enjoyed unprecedented nationwide appeal. One of the most popular radio sitcoms was Sebya, Mahal Kita, which not only helped give Pugo’s career a new boost, but introduced or re-introduced future film and television stars like singer-comedian Sylvia la Torre, Eddie San Jose, Rosa Aguirre, and Ben Cos ca, who later became famous as Bentot.

The studio made a film version of Sebya, Mahal Kita (1957) but turned it into a Nida/ Nestor starrer, with Pugo and Bentot given supporting roles. Audiences did not appreciate the reformatted version of their favorite radio show.

Quickly recovering from its bad judgment, the studio used the original radio cast in the movie, My Little Kuwan (1958). It was a resounding success and the same cast appeared in film after film depicting the hilarious misadventures of the Biscocho and Batekabesa families.

In Nukso nang Nukso, Pugo is Mang Nano Batekabesa, the wily but lovable ‘manggagantso’ who concocts the most ingenuous scams to finance his little vices, like jueteng or cockfighting. Bentot is Bitoy, his overgrown child who unwittingly exposes the scams, perenially getting his father into trouble with Aling Rosa (Rosa Aguirre). Sylvia La Torre is Mang Nano’s daughter, Sebya, whose trademark is her fine singing voice and habitual use of cliche English expressions. Eddie San Jose is Aling Ro sa’s dim-witted son Eddie Biscocho, married to Sebya, a fact Mang Nano never fails to exploit in perpetrating his scams.

Nukso nang Nukso (1960), the second to the last of the series that the studio produced, is best described as a series of comic situations, with hardly any narrative thread, only held together by the the film’s mainstays, the families of Mang Nano and Aling Rosa, and the presence of occasional guest stars – equally famous radio personalities like Dely Magpayo, and Ric Tierro.







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