Ladles and Gentlemen

I have tried to follow tradition this evening. I have begun my speech with an attempt to make you laugh. I have done this against the advice of a friend. He felt that since I would speak on Filipino movies, I should Instead begin by making you cry. Thus, he said, I would Immediately get Into the spirit of the occasion, because that is all Filipino movie Is good for: to make you cry.

There are only two kinds of Filipino movies, my friend said, and they both make you cry one kind Is cause they are so sad and the other because they are so bad. . It Is evident how much Filipino movies have Improved since then. They have ceased Just to make you cry. They make you laugh, they strike fear, they keep you In suspense, and they arouse all the noble emotion of which the human soul Is capable. In brief, they are mature.

They are production of genius, the hard work, the desire for perfection of those who act, direct, produce and participate in many important activities that contribute to the creation of moving pictures. This maturity reaped honors in regional festivals. It has yielded distinguished by-product, such as the formation of the Filipino academy of movie arts and sciences (FAMES). It has given us the glitter, the dignity and the fulfillment of this light. Indeed, the time for crying is past. Yet, there seems still to be room for some sorrow.

I say there is room for sorrow because while motion picture production has become a iris class Filipino industry, it occupies a definitely second class position in the hierarchy of Philippine values. I refer first of all to the attitude of government itself.. The government seems intent to make motion picture production as Difficult as possible. It has singled out the industry for a unique “Gross tax”, which levies on the producers’ receipts whether or not the picture makes any profit later. And any net profits are of…