Seventies model is busy producing fashion shows

  

By Boy Villasanta 

Many people are asking where Geena Zablan is. She is one of the most beautiful actresses and models the local entertainment industry has ever produced.

Geena’s contemporaries in the ramp were beauty queens Eva Reyes (Miss RP 1972), Onelia Jose (Miss Philippines World 1971), Evangeline Pascual (Miss World Philippines 1973 and Miss World 1st Runner-Up), Margie Moran (Miss Universe 1973) et al and in the big screen actresses Nanette Lizares of Vilma Santos’ “Lipad, Darna, Lipad” and Eddie Rodriguez’s “Nakakahiya” etc, Edna Diaz (she and Nanette are now based in the US), Chanda Romero, the late Ingrid Salas and the controversial Ellen Esguerra (for not wearing underwear in public) et al.

Geena was a former contract artist of the late Atty. Espridion Laxa’s Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions (TIIP) where she did a lot of movies like “Maria Cinderella” with Vilma and the late Jay Ilagan, “Dyesebel” and “Inspiration,” again with Santos, “Binata ang Daddy ko” etc.   

Geena is  very much around because a model is always a model. An actress is always an actress.

Geena has been around for the last 42 years in show business if not modeling or acting, directing and producing fashion shows.

I became familiar with her during my college days at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas. I was a freshman when she entered showbiz and modeling. She was a campus figure and every time her name cropped up in conversations in the college, I was excited to see her. But only once was I able to see her. During my first and second years in Artlets, I was in the afternoon session while Zablan was in the morning stint. But in my junior and senior years, I didn’t hear about her anymore.

I only read about her in society columns hobnobbing with the rich and famous and heard stories about her adventures in the elite circles with the former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, dance diva Becky Garcia, real estate big shot and ballroom dancing queen Aida Posadas etc. 

When I became part of a team organizing reunions for Artlets 75 and writing for fashion shows of the late fashion designer Goullee Gorospe then I got to see Geena, finally in person. 

Nowadays I always see her. One meeting (actually her treating us to her birthday blowout at Robinsons Galleria’s Crowne Plaza’s Xin Tian Di) I saw her and told her she had a streak of a Jean Saburit look in a particular angle which she only giggled. 

Geena is always active in the Artlets 75 get-togethers in between her directing and producing fashion gigs, two of the latest shows were “Wine, Dine & Design,” “Lunar New Year Elegance,” “High Fashion, High Tea” etc. I told her recently “it’s good you’re always with us.” She only smiled. 

She hosted a luncheon with the Artlets 75 batchmates at her home in Teachers Village in Quezon City and she cooked most of the food served. 

The last time I was with Geena was when a balikbayan from the US, Bienvenido Macaranas, also known as Nido Macaranas, one of Artlets’ boys-next-door in our time hosted a welcome party. Geena and Nido were also with other six Artlets 75 grads Mahleen Chanco-Paguia (also a former ramp model with fellow Artlets Beth Comines), Cora Chua Calupaz, Violeta Marquez-Pineda, Dan Villa (son of the late newspaperman Rod Villa) and couple Rosemarie Nery and Ray Meñez. They visited in Olongapo City a batchmate, Edgar Geniza, now a successful entrepreneur in Subic.         

 

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