Monday, November 21, 2011

Media Monday.

My mom should be coming home tomorrow. Which is good. I haven't been doing so well recently. There isn't anything really wrong. I just have been kind of down. I worry to much. It makes it hard for me concentrate on things. My mind has been wandering more often than usual.

Today is Monday. Which means it is time for me to spotlight some form of media. I have decided to spotlight one of my most favorite people ever. Who just so happens to be an actor. So it still fits. I should warn you, if you continue to read this post, you will never be the same again. The amount of Awesome that is waiting for you after the jump may be too much to deal with. Click at your own risk.

Let's talk about Weng Weng. Ernesto de la Cruz or as he is better known Weng Weng was born in Baclaran, Paranaque, Rizal on September 7, 1957. Weng Weng suffered from Primordial Dwarfism. He was only 2 feet, 9 inches tall. He is listed in the Guinness World Records as the shortest adult actor in a leading role.

When Weng Weng was born he was, as his brother put it "no bigger than a small coke bottle". He was so small he had to spend his first twelve months of life in an incubator. His parents were told that Weng Weng might not survive. The doctors were unaware of the Awesome that his body contained. Weng Weng would not die as a baby. He had things to do. Awesome things.

Growing up Weng Weng was described as a mischievous and cheerful kid. He was a martial arts enthusiast when he was young. He trained diligently to become a skilled fighter. Martial arts would lead to his first crack at show business. His first roles were not fit for his level of Awesome. He was cast as children, small animals, and aliens.

His first role is believed to have been as the baby Moses in the 1972 Filipino biblical epic "Go Tell It On the Mountain" which also starred future Philippine president Joseph Estrada as the adult Moses. The only man able to play a fully grown Weng Weng would have to be a president.  Weng Weng would later star in "Moon Boy from Another Planet" which was very much like the movie E.T. Except it came out a decade earlier. Weng Weng was E.T. before E.T. was E.T.

Eventually Weng Weng would move past bit roles in low budget movies. In 1980 Weng Weng costarred in the spy-spoof hit "The Quick Brown Fox". He played the side kick to a character played by Dolphy, who was known as the King of Philippine Comedy. The move was so successful that a sequel was made the following year called "Da Best in Da West".

Thanks to the success of his first big-budget movies he was given his first starring role. The movie, which would become his most famous, was called "For Y'ur Height  Only" it was released in 1981. It was directed by by veteran Filipino stunt director Eddie Nicart. Weng Weng starred as sa ecret service agent code named Agent 00. The Awesome had finally been tapped.  The movie was a blockbuster hit and Weng Weng became an overnight Philippine sensation.

"For Y'ur Height Only" was followed by six more films starring Weng Weng. At the height of his popularity he was invited by then First Lady, Imelda Marcos to the Malacanang Palace in honor of his contributions to Philippine cinema. Think about that. What other action stars have gotten that treatment.              

He was also named an Honorary Philippine Secret Agent and was presented with a custom-made .25 caliber pistol by then Vice Chief of Staff General Fidel Ramos. The man was armed and presumably given a license to kill because he was too Awesome to not be. During this time he was frequently seen as a guest on popular TV shows, film festivals, and award shows.

Among his starring roles Weng Weng is also a musical star of sorts. You see when he met the first lady Imelda Marcos, they had an impromptu karaoke duet. Their version of the song "My Way" was recorded, without authorization. and released on bootleg cassette. The cassette sold 200,000 copies.

While the extent of his martial arts training is unknown, it is known that he trained in many disciplines. Including Jeet Kune do under Dan Inosanto and the hybrid martial style Ju Gran Chaud under Ju Gran Chaud's founder Laurant Painchaud. 

Sadly by the late 1980s, the film and TV roles had dried up. With no way to express his Awesomeness Weng Weng began to drink heavily. He died of a heart attack, at the age of 34, in Pasay City, Philippines.

There are two more things that I need to add. The first is that General Ramos, the man who made Weng Weng and honorary agent, decided to put him through paratrooper training. He was given an actual Agent badge and sent on infiltration missions where his size would give him maximum advantage. Weng Weng played a spy in the big screen and when those jobs dried up he said "Fuck it.  I'll do it for real." (Not an actual quote.) 

The second thing that I should say is that it is believed there are at least 11 Weng Weng movies. Sadly only two are easily available. For Y'ur Height Only and The Impossible Kid.

watch the entire film on YouTube. What are you waiting for.

God. Was that not Awesome? Yes. Yes it was. Check the links below for more Weng Weng.

Do yourself a favor. Indulge in the Awesome. You deserve it.

You may also want to check out the following site. Searching for Weng Weng. The man who runs it has made a documentary about Weng Weng. I have yet to see it, but not for lack of trying. By the way I promise to never use the word Awesome again.......Awesome.

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