The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT), gave recognition to 10 Filipino-made and two foreign movies at the CineTurismo launch. Films that have showcased the beauty of the Philippines were awarded with plaques to honor their contributions to tourism in the country.
We had the chance to witness this momentous event when we were invited last March 15 at the Diamond Hotel for the launch of CineTurismo. We were also able to have a short conversation with TPB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Cesar Montano who’s agency is spearheading the Cine Turismo campaign. The recent launch acknowledged the efforts of Filipino directors and their films that were shown in 2016 and 2017.
“Sa mga nakaraang taon, nakita natin kung paano napupunuan at natutulungan ng pelikula ang industriya ng turismo,” said COO Cesar Montano as he introduced the CineTurismo campaign. “Kami na po sa TPB ang unang kikilala sa mga benepisyong kayang anihin from Film Tourism: increased revenues for tourist attractions; jobs for locals; patronage of local food and handicrafts.”
This is a timely move by the Tourism Promotions Board in light of the pending Film Tourism Bill (SB 1330) sponsored by Sen. Grace Poe and introduced by Sen. Sonny Angara, which recognizes the “potential of international and local motion picture production to create jobs, grow the economy and raise the nation’s international profile” and seeks to offer incentives to production companies who choose to showcase Philippine destinations and the nation’s historical and cultural heritage, or champion Filipino film practitioners and artists in foreign productions.
Films that were honored at the event were Sakaling Hindi Makarating, directed by Ice Idanan and shot in Ilocos, Siquijor, Batanes, and Zamboanga; Director Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil’s Lakbay2Love, which showcases Timberland Heights and Benguet ; Paglipay from Director Zig Dulay, set in the mountains of Zambales; Camp Sawi by Director Irene Villamor, set in Bantayan Island; Patay na si Hesus, directed by Victor Villanueva; Director Mario Cornejo’s Apocalypse Child, set in Baler; Siargao by Director Paul Soriano, which showcases the island of the same name; Director Bona Fajardo’s I Found My Heart in Santa Fe, set in Santa Fe in Cebu; Requited by Director Nerissa Picadizo, which features Mt. Pinatubo; and Director Thop Nazareno’s Kiko Boksingero, filmed in Baguio.
Honorees were chosen based on the following criteria: 1) made by a Filipino production house; 2) is a full-length film (minimum of 75 minutes); 3) was made and shown within the last two years; 4) was shown in the Philippines or at international film festivals; 5) showcases the destination extensively or must be a setting for majority of the scenes; 6) portrays the country in a positive manner, provides a general awareness of the locale, and has created a positive impact on the community and perception of its people; 7) has promoted and preserved culture and heritage and reflects the country’s history; enriches Filipino values and traits such as resilience, the Bayanihan spirit, hospitality, and patriotism; 8) has inspired and excited the viewer to visit the country, and must have induced travel among moviegoers; and 9) has generated revenues and created jobs in their locations, as well as new trade and businesses.
Special citations were given to South Korean films Mango Tree, directed by Lee Soo-Sung and shot in Cebu, and Romantic Island, directed by Cheol-Woo Kang and shot in Boracay.
“We hope that this event serves as a charge to our many other talented Filipino filmmakers, that they may be one with us in our vision to promote the Philippines through cinema,” shared Sec. Wanda Tulfo-Teo at the CineTurismo launch. “May we all, from both the public sector and the arts sector, work hand in hand to keep elevating Philippine tourism to a world-class standard.”
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