MANILA -- Movie queen Gloria Romero is back in the news with the announcement that her landmark 1954 movie, “Dalagang Ilocana” will have a gala showing at the restored Metropolitan Theater in Manila on September 12.
It will be one of the key highlights of the month-long celebration of Film Industry Month this September that will showcase heritage movies and works of emerging filmmakers.
Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chair Liza Diño said the MET gala screening of “Dalagang Ilocana” will be the only in-person, by-invitation-only screening in the Film Industry Month.
“Sayang hindi ako makakarating but this is such good news! Congratulations,” Romero told ABS-CBN News Tuesday.
Sixty-seven years after, Romero still has fond memories of the Sampaguita-produced movie starring Dolphy, Ric Rodrigo and other artists directed by Olive la Torre. She won her first best actress trophy from the FAMAS for her difficult portrayal of Biday, a wacky tobacco-smoking Ilocana transformed to a beauty queen.
“Hindi ako marunong magtabako! Pero every day, pinagtatabako nila ako. Nakakahilo," recalled Romero.
A big part of the success of “Dalagang Ilocana” was the natural repartee and chemistry of Dolphy and Romero.
“Sobrang nakakatuwa siya at mabait," the movie icon said of Dolphy who became a lifelong friend. “Kaya ninong siya ni Maritess (Gutierrez, Romero’s daughter with fellow Sampaguita contract artist Juancho Gutierrez).”
By way of historical significance, Diño said the MET gala showing of “Dalagang Ilocana” on September 12 is a special day in Philippine cinema because it was the opening day of “Dalagang Bukid” by Jose Nepomuceno, the first Filipino-produced and -directed feature film in 1919.
Romero was previously conferred the FDCP Gabay ng Industriya award, a rare honor usually reserved for matriarchs of Philippine movies.
“Maraming salamat at hanggang ngayon naaalala niyo pa rin ako. Salamat sa pagpapahalaga nyo sa akin," Romero told ABS-CBN News February this year.
Romero last faced the cameras in her GMA series “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko.” One of her last public appearances was last September 2020 in the industry’s tribute to departed movie pillar Marichu Maceda.
The FDCP will also highlight a Elwood Perez film retrospective and the book launches of “Ang Daigdig ng mga Api” by Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo, Jr., “Alter/native Cinema: The Un-chronicled History of Philippine Alternative Cinema,” the three-volume ":Anthology of Essays on Philippine Cinema (Vol.1 Philippine Cinema and History; Vol.2 Philippine Cinema and Culture; and Vol.3 Philippine Cinema and Literacy)" by Nick Deocampo, and “Keeping Memories: Cinema and Archiving in Asia-Pacific” by Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA).
FDCP’s flagship program, the 5th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), returns to the FDCP Channel with its first leg, featuring free screenings from the Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition and Sine Isla: LuzViMinda Short Film Competition from September 17 to 26.
Also screening for free on the FDCP Channel are eight heritage films restored or enhanced by the FDCP Philippine Film Archive such as “Insiang” by National Artist Lino Brocka, and “Manila by Night” by National Artist Ishmael Bernal.