A strong conflict and solid cast are not the only factors that make for great films – it also takes the perfect setting.
Throughout history, several films have showcased the Philippines’ most stunning sights as effective backdrop, letting us explore scenic views right from the comfort of our couch.
In Antoinette Jadaone’s “That Thing Called Tadhana” featuring the signature line “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” after that Whitney Houston song , viewers were stunned by sight of the beauty of Sagada. On the other hand, the Surfing Capital of the Philippines takes front seat in the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Siargao.” The film also highlights its pro-ecology message to the audience to take care of the island.
Then there’s the classic film “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit,” which showcased the glorious landscapes and seascapes of Batanes.
At a recent press launch, actor-turned-Tourism Promotion Board chief Cesar Montano thanked directors and producers who have helped promote Philippine tourism through the art of filmmaking.
In line with that, the TPB gave recognition to 10 Filipino-made and two foreign movies that have showcased the beauty of the Philippines in a new campaign called Cine Turismo.
Montano said he is happy that he finally combines two things close to this heart: Film and Tourism.
“Today is a good day to make them (film and tourism) work together to help in the progress of our country. Film is a medium that have always inspired me. Wonderful artistry, wonderful story to move audiences, it will be an understatement to say that I’m totally in love with the (art of) filmmaking,” he said.
“Sa mga nakaraang taon, nakita natin kung paano natutulungan ng pelikula ang turismo. Films provide viewers real-life touch points by showcasing their destinations and its breathtaking views that attract people from all walks of life. By showing the warmth of its people, by highlighting the rich culture it has to offer, truly we are in the midst of a growing phenomenon that is film tourism.’
“Pilipino man o banyaga ay ma-e-enganyong dumayo sa iba’t-ibang lugar sa Pilipinas dahil po sa mga napapanuod nila (na pelikula). Sila ay humahanap ng kakaiba at makulay na karanasan through what they experienced on screen. Kami po sa TPB ang unang kikilala sa mga benepisyong kayang anihin ng film tourism.”
Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo added, “DOT seeks to honor the efforts of Filipino filmmakers and producers to display the country’s vast beauty.”
The films honored were: “Sakaling Hindi Makarating,” directed by Ice Idanan and shot in Ilocos, Siquijor, Batanes and Zamboaga; Director Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil’s “Lakbay2Love,” which showcases Timberland Heights and Benguet; “Paglipay” from Zig Dulay, set in the mountains of Zambales; “Camp Sawi” by Irene Villamor, set in Bantayan Island; “Patay Na Si Hesus” directed by Victor Villanueva; Director Mario Cornejo’s “Apocalypse Child,” set in Baler; “Siargao” directed by Paul Soriano; Director Bona Fajardo’s “I Found My Heart In Santa Fe,” set in Santa Fe in Cebu; “Requited” by Nerissa Picadizo, which features Mt. Pinatubo; and Thop Nazareno’s “Kiko Boksingero,” filmed in Baguio.
Special citations were given to South Korean films “Mango Tree,” directed by Lee Song-Sung and shot in Cebu; and “Romantic Island,” directed by Cheol-Woo Kang and shot in Boracay.
Cine Turismo 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.
The bill 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.
“Film tourism is a steadily growing industry in the country,” Montano said in a press release. “We’ve seen how wonderful portrayals of the Philippines in various films, local and international, have roused interest and boosted tourism in local tourist spots.”
The passage of the Film Tourism Bill will facilitate the promotion and marketing of the Philippines as a location through a website or manual, providing easy access to information on how foreign productions can shoot in the country. It will also assist in the implementation of reward and incentive packages for foreign productions planning to shoot in the Philippines, as well as the processing of documents and permits.
According to Montano, the Film Tourism Bill has been getting an overwhelming support at the Senate, House of Representatives and even from President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
“Nakikita po nila kung gaano ka-epektibo ang pelikula para maipamalas ang husay ng Pilipino at yaman ng ating bansa,” he said.
“Cine Turismo encourages filmmakers and production outfits to follow suit and become active partners in shaping the positive perception of the Philippines through the medium of film.
“I also hope this initiative will fuel our local government units to put their best foot forward dahil may kakayahan po tayong ipakita sa buong mundo kung gaano po kagagagaling ang Pilipino, kung gaano kayaman ang Pilipinas.”
Tags: Bill Cine Turismo, Cesar Montano, Cine Turismo, Cine Turismo honors films showing PH beauty, Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Metro Manila Film Festival, Paul Soriano, Philippine tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, Tourism Secretary, Whitney Houston