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Industry, Culture and Policy Essay

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Ladies 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 because 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, they arouse all the noble emotion of which the human soul is capable. In brief, they are mature. They are production of genius, the hardwork, 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 (FAMAS). It has given us the glitter, the dignity abd 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 first 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 course Subject to the usual taxes… . … But here, in the land of “Filipino First” he is the last Filipino … . Tagalog? Let’s spread it! It is our strongest hope for national Unification.

Let every man, woman and child speak it at home, in the Market, in the office, in the street. Teaching it in school is not enough to achieve this. The Filipino must learn to hear it, enjoy it, speak it outside the classroom. Tagalog movies! That will do it! let us make it easy for the producer to turn out more Tagalog pictures. So let us tax his raw film, let us tax his processing, let us tax him on footage, let us tax his gross, let us tax his net – let’s really help him. It’s a good source! … . Policy must be reoriented so that vague slogans give way to concrete steps towards the strengthening of the faith of the Filipino in himself. And it is not just faith of the Filipino, the self-reliance. Of the man in the barrio that must be revived. it is also the faith and the self-reliance of the Filipino middleclass, of the entrepreneur, of the industrialist whose desire to plan, to work and to produce, finds little encouragement in an atmosphere where pull, not planning, influence, not work, are the recognized prerequisites for productive

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