MANILA, Philippines - A melancholic Consoliza Laguardia on Tuesday bid goodbye to her 8-year stint as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
"It's hard to say goodbye but then again I leave with a happy heart... because I know I've done my job and what I was tasked to do here. And I also felt the love and concern of the entertainment industry," Laguardia said at the MTRCB office in Timog, Quezon City.
Laguardia had already packed her things as Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, daughter of the late movie king Fernando Poe Jr. and movie queen Susan Roces, is set to take over.
"Kung masasabing may pagka-teary eyed ako, it's because of happiness. Naramdaman ko ang love at concern ng entertainment industry," she said.
Her biggest and lasting legacy is the multi-million four-storey building of the MTRCB, a permanent home for the agency which, until this year, had leased several buildings for its operations.
Laguardia wielded power and influence in one of the most high-profile government agencies.
It was a reign fraught with controversies, sparked by disputes with sectors like independent filmmakers, television producers and other groups that opposed the board's alleged moralistic code and political bias.
Her term, one of the longest in the history of the agency, was also marked by debacles with hosts Willie Revillame, Joey de Leon and lately Vice Ganda over issue of usage of foul or double meaning language in their programs.
She had consistently argued that young impressionable viewers should be protected from indecent exposure and language.
The Court of Appeals also threw out her board's petition to uphold the suspension of the popular talent search “Showtime” earlier this year over alleged indecent remarks of a celebrity judge.
Laguardia rues over the loss of some friends in the course of her work. "But that is really part of public service."
For Llamanzares , Laguardia offers this advice - make decisions in consultation with her board members.
"Ms. Grace Poe can always depend on her 30 board members. She can always ask advice from them and I know that the incoming board will be very helpful for Ms. Grace Poe. Ang MTRCB is a collegial body kaya ang mga decision maganda ding sini-share sa board members," she said.
FPJ's daughter will also have to do some belt-tightening, with Laguardia"s revelation that MTRCB’s 2011 budget had been cut by P1.3 million.
The budget cut was in line with the Aquino administration’s austerity reform in all government owned-and-controlled corporations.
Laguardia ponders her future options with no trepidation. She said she will take a one month much deserved vacation. After which, she will consider a showbiz acting career.
She said she wants to play the mother of John Lloyd Cruz or grandmother of Mara in ABS-CBN next teleserye "Mara Clara."
She also does not mind to be the guest of Rico J. Puno in “Pilipinas, Win na Win!”