The Fighting Styles of 7 Iconic Filipino Action Stars
With all the festivals our films are in, we find ourselves wondering if Pinoy action films will ever make a comeback. No, we don't mean cerebral action dramas like On the Job, we're talking about old-school action flicks where heroes and villains deliver kilometric lines before getting down to business.
That said, we're also reminded of the fight scenes in those movies. So, we thought we'd list seven iconic action stars with trademark fighting styles. They've distinguished themselves from other action stars whose default fighting styles were to reach for a gun and fire them in a generic fashion.
1| Fernando Poe Jr.
Action hero MO: He's known for playing law-abiding underdogs who only fight after the enemy has drawn first blood. In other words, FPJ's characters do not strike first. More often than not, he has to undergo a lot of suffering inflicted by villains and their minions before he goes after them. It's like he's making sure he has the right to karmic retribution.
Fighting style: FPJ was known for his trademark rapid-fire punching style, wherein he would go to town on a villain's stomach and then finish it off by hitting the villain on the head with both his hands on either side.
2| Weng Weng
Action hero MO: At two feet and nine inches, Weng Weng (real name: Ernesto de la Cruz) was definitely not the typical action hero. He was packaged as a miniature James Bond.
Fighting style: Weng Weng was a trained martial artist specializing in karate. This was incorporated into his fight scenes. Since he was tiny, he was often made to "fly" at villains.
3| Lito Lapid
Action hero MO: He played average guys who were forced to fight when the tyranny of evil men threatened their loved ones.
Fighting style: He was famous for doing seemingly elaborate tricks using guns, whips, ropes, knives, and bolos. He was also into tumbling and leaping from great heights. For many of his fans, it wouldn't be a Lito Lapid film without the "tumbling scenes."
4| Jun Aristorenas
Action hero MO: For some reason, he was always in cowboy-themed movies like Sagupaan ng mga Patapon, Rancho Diablo, and Dugong Tigre.
Fighting style: While his hand-to-hand combat scenes are fogettable, he was undoubtedly in his element when he had a pistol and he fired it without losing his composure. He looked almost regal when he did it.
5| Tony Ferrer
Action hero MO: He was dubbed as the "Pinoy James Bond." He looked like any average Pinoy. However, what he lacked in looks, he more than made up for with his suave vibe.
Fighting style: As Agent X44, he was able to fight off villains without messing up his hair or his white suit. He was James Bond with a heavy dose of camp.
6| Ramon Zamora
Action hero MO: He was packaged as the Bruce Lee of the Philippines" and he lived up to the tag. He even had the same hairstyle.
Fighting style: He was a trained martial artist. Aside from doing Bruce Lee moves, he also had amazing comic timing. Many more action stars would follow in his footsteps, but he remains the first one to be a (full-sized) martial artist.
7| Eddie Garcia
Action hero MO: He was really more of an anti-hero than a pure hero. He specialized in playing misfits with a good heart or people who would bend the rules in order to get justice for those who wee wronged.
Fighting style: He mostly used a gun. However, the fake bullets he fired off were a poor second to his one-liners and campy spiels.