Commemorative stamps and the 100 years of Philippine cinema
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2019 - 12:00am

When I was a little girl my father introduced me to the world of stamps. I remember the times we would spend looking at our collection with a magnifying glass while my father described certain details which made me appreciate how a small stamp could leave such an unforgettable imprint in my memory as a child.

This is why I felt like a little girl all over again when I found out that our very own Philippine Postal Office printed commemorative stamps  to pay tribute to such a remarkable part of our history. In keeping with Presidential Proclamation 622, the 100 years of Philippine Cinema was declared to honor and commemorate acclaimed director and producer Jose Nepomuceno, who is considered by many as the “Father of Philippine Movies”. His film Dalagang Bukid was the first Filipino-produced silent film released on Sept. 12, 1919.

I do not really know if people still collect stamps nowadays but I would like to point out why stamps have so much value especially in terms of national pride. Every design put into a stamp reflects our national identity. Commemorative stamps in particular gives us a glimpse of what had been in the days of yore. Looking closely into our very own collection and in celebration of the Centennial Year, the symbols of the sun beside a roll of film, alongside the Father of Philippine Cinema elicit so much pride in me especially since to date, and because cinema was a family affair, thanks to my Lolo Rafael Roces and Ideal Theatre, friends such as TBA Studios as well as Liza Diño who chairs the FDCP (the designated lead agency for this celebration), not to mention our collaboration with Instituto Cervantes de Manila, have taken giant steps to celebrate such an important event in our national history to pave the way further for the next generation of cinema lovers.

As a teacher, especially a Spanish teacher, it was always important for me to help my students understand that history is the backbone that pushes us forward. When we speak of development, we always look at how we can make things better. That is always the goal – improvement. The same thing goes in making good films. Looking into the past helps us understand how we should proceed into the future. Stamps are not only a good reminder of our history but also a good inspiration for the future as there are lessons to be gained.

My aunt, the legendary actress Gloria Romero astonishes me until today and the lessons she shares in terms of respect, discipline and passion is something I work hard to practice in this very modern world. Standards will always be the benchmark for our life’s accomplishments and the adversities we face essentially build our character.

We look forward to one whole year of celebration and while we do so, we also return to the past by giving honor to the ones who started it all. Stamp collecting may have served as a hobby for me but certainly, it also filled me with purpose as it is our country’s way of showing the rest of the world that yes, the Philippines then and now will always be, the Pearl of the Orient.  A classic.

PHILIPPINE CINEMA
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