Senator Loren Legarda hailed the creation of the National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP) as nations celebrated the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on October 27, stressing that Filipino-produced films and other audiovisual recordings form part of the country’s rich heritage.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said that Filipino films not only show a glimpse of the country’s history and culture but also showcases the rich talent of Filipinos like Atang dela Rama, Gerardo de Leon, Lamberto Avellana, and Ishmael Bernal, who are among the Philippines’ National Artists for Theater and Cinema.
“Film is a huge part of our cultural and national heritage. Many of these works of art depict the Filipinos’ way of life. It is also a medium of communication which our talented directors, screen writers, actors, and film-related professionals use to narrate parts of our history,” she explained.
“It is therefore lamentable that many of these films are no longer extant, which is why we welcome the effort of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to push for the establishment of the National Film Archives of the Philippines,” she added.
The Senator noted that according to the archiving officer of the NFAP, of the estimated 8,000 Filipino films produced since 1919, only about 3,000 are extant, some of which are even in poor condition.
The FDCP aims to preserve what is left of these films, including the present Filipino movies that are being produced, through the NFAP, which will serve as the repository of these works.
“Audiovisual recordings are not just forms of entertainment, they also narrate stories that we can relate to and serve as anecdotes of our past, present, and sometimes even our future society. The preservation of these masterpieces is as important as protecting and promoting our indigenous peoples’ chants, dances, rituals and other forms of art,” Legarda concluded.***