After some one hundred and eight years since cinema was introduced in the Philippines, we finally got our own film museum—a repository of artifacts and exhibits tracing the colorful history of filmmaking in the country.
The Pambansang Museo ng Pelikulang Pilipino, under the auspices of the Movie Workers’ Welfare Foundation, Inc. (Mowelfund) and its education arm, the Mowelfund Film Institute, was inaugurated last month. Present during the event were senior stars who are still active today and officials of Metropolitan Manila.
The ceremonial cutting of the inaugural ribbon was presided by former First Lady and arts patron Imelda R. Marcos, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Bayani Fernando, Quezon City Vice-Mayor Herbert Bautista and Cecille Guidote, executive director of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts.
Also present were Film Academy of the Philippines Chairman Espiridion Laxa, National Artist for Film Director Eddie Romero, Kapisanan ng Mga Artista ng Pelikula at Telebisyon President German Moreno, veteran actresses Gloria Romero, Caridad Sanchez, Delia Razon, Olivia Cenizal and Luz Valdez, as well as Josefino Cenizal, president of the United Film Musical Directors’ Association of the Philippines.
The younger set was represented by Dingdong Dantes, Karylle and Chin Chin Gutierrez.
Ms. Boots Anson-Roa, Mowelfund executive director, said the Museo covers some 108 years of Philippine film history.
She explained that going to the Museo will enable one to view the exhibit, watch films and attend training on basic film techniques.
Among the interesting artifacts on exhibit include: rare 100-year-old film footages showing US military occupation of the Philippines; a copy of Zamboanga , the country’s oldest surviving pre-World War II feature film; a photo exhibit of the galaxy of stars from yesteryears to the present, from first superstar Atang dela Rama to Nora Aunor; manuscripts of outstanding movie scripts; life-size photo reproductions of movie stars, from Carmen Rosales to Sharon Cuneta; and replicas of movie superheroes, from Darna to Lastikman.
The Museo highlights two acknowledged golden ages of Philippine movies. The first golden age covered the deacade of the 50s when great Filipino directors, like Gerry de Leon, Lamberto Avellana, Manuel Conde and many more, crafted films that have remained classics up to this day.
The second golden age happened in the late 70s and early 80s which gave rise to the illustrious careers of Eddie Romero, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, all national artists for films, together with Avellana and De Leon.