The Legend of Nora Aunor

Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao! Tayo lang ang gumagawa ng himala! Walang himala!
There's no miracle! Miracle is in the heart of a person! We're the one who makes miracle! There's no miracle!"
I don't know if the line I quoted is correct, but surely it's near to the right one.

That's my favorite line in a 1982 Filipino Film entitled Himala (Miracle) starred by Ms. Nora Aunor who played the role of Elsa. The first time I watched the movie, it fascinated me. The story definitely pictures the attitude of Filipinos when it comes to 'miracle'. It shows how Filipinos' faith is, and the way how they react with it.

This movie was the first and only Filipino film ever to qualify in the Competition Section of the Berlin International Film Festival (1983). For its international accolades, it bagged 1983's Bronze Hugo Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.[1] In 2008, it was chosen by CNN as one of ten best Asian films of all times, and was awarded as the CNN APSA Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of all Time. Just this year (2013), the movie was restored and premiered in the 69th Venice International Film Festival under the Venizia Classici Section.

That's enough for praising the movie. I just can't help myself because it was my favorite classic Filipino film. We'll actually be discussing one of the urban legends where Ms. Nora Aunor was the main character. By the way, who is Ms. Nora Aunor? (For our international readers.)

Ms. Nora Aunor (real name Nora Cabaltera Villamayor) was born on May 21, 1953 in Baryo San Francisco, Iriga, Camarines Sur. Her parents are Eustacio Villamayor and Antonia Cabaltera. She is a critically acclaimed Filipino actress, recording artist, and film producer.[1] Filipinos call her The Superstar. No doubt that she is suited to her nickname.

In 1970, a film entitled Lollipops and Roses was starred by a Filipino actress and a Hollywood actor - Nora Aunor and Don Johnson, respectively. The movie was produced by Premiere Production and it was one of the most expensive movies shot in Hollywood.

Who is Don Johnson?

Don Johnson (or Donnie Wayne Johnson) is an American actor and recording artist, born on December 15, 1949. Best known for his lead role as James "Sonny" Crockett in the 1980s television series, Miami Vice.

Nora Aunor was only 17 years old when she made the movie with Don Johnson, who was at that time was already 21 years old. Aside of the two, Victor "Cocoy" Laurel, son of Senator Laurel, and Davy Jones, a recording rock 'n roll artist of the The Monkees, also starred in the movie.


There is one question at that time: Did Don Johnson really fell in love with Nora Aunor?

According to, some of the show business writers and the Filipino fans of Ms. Nora Aunor insisted that the Hollywood actor - Don Johnson fell in love with the brown doll. This rumor certainly symbolizes the popularity of the movie to Filipinos.[2]

Well, if you can watch the movie you might even think that the white guy is certainly in love with the cute Nora.

As the rumor goes, Nora, at that time, was nursing a broken heart after her breakup with Tirso Cruz III. Thus, Don was at the right place and at the right time. He courted Guy and they had a short fling. Then, it ended when Nora returned to the Philippines and they never saw each again.[2]

Now, the question is: Is it true?


According to an interview with Nestor de Guzman, the editor of the book Nora Aunor Sa Mga Noranian: Mga Paggunita at Pagtatapat, he revealed that the rumor is a mere fiction, just an urban legend. Don Johnson is just her co-star no more, no less. Actually, Nora find her famous co-star, Davy Jones more likable than Don.[3]

Aside of the movie Lollipops and Roses, Nora also starred in another movie - The Singing Filipina by Tower Productions. She co-starred with an Indian international actor named Sajid Khan. Nestor revealed that the two had 'something' at that time. What I mean of 'something' is that they developed a 'mutual understanding'. When Nora returned home, Sajid followed her but Nora have no time of seeing him for some important reason. Sajid returned without seeing her personally.[3]

Well, that 'important reason' is her secret meeting with Tirso Cruz III, which at that time should not be seen together by anybody else because of the problem between the Sampaguita Pictures and Tower Productions.


There are other urban legends about Nora Aunor which are difficult for me to create another article, especially I wasn't born yet at the time of her stardom. All I know about this cute little lady came from reading books and internet articles and/or websites. The website made two more urban legend stories - the Operation: Kumbento and the Lucky 12 and Superstar Phenomenon. Well, I think, I should not mimic those articles and put it here.

Anyway, I heard another (I don't know if it was scary or cute) rumor about the blonde-haired, child-sized doll given by Pip to Nora as symbol of their love.

Pip (real name Tirso Silvano Cruz III) was born on April 1, 1952. He is a Filipino actor and singer. He is one of the famous actors in Philippine show business. He is once famous for being Nora Aunor's real lover and stage lover. Pip came from a famous musical family from Tondo.

As said by the rumor, the doll frowns whenever the two breaks-up or have problem in their relationship. I don't know when this thing started. Obviously, it is just an urban legend. It is a creation of imagination, and if I estimate the time when this story spread, I guess, when Nora Aunor is having a problem with Sampaguita and Tower.

Nora originally was a Sampaguita talent in 1967. She did only supporting roles in Sampaguita movies. It was Tower Productions that launched Nora to full stardom in 1969 with D' Musical Teenage Idols. In Nora's next movies with Tower, she was paired with Tower's contract star Manny de Leon. [. . .]

[. . .] after Tower learned of the frequent secret rendezvous of Nora and Tirso, Tower put a tight security on Nora to prevent her from seeing Tirso and the fans of their love team.
Tirso, that time, was in Sampaquita Pictures. Thus, seeing him together with Nora will destory Nora-Manny love team.

And the rest is history.


You may also visit:

Bongbong Marcos
The Vagina Lock
Jean Dixon's Prophecy
Hate Letter to Filipinos