'Siargao,' 9 other movies cited as Montano promotes film tourism Edit

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Written by Leah Salterio // This is a re-post from ABS-CBN News.

Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) chief operating officer Cesar Montano introduces the Cine Turismo campaign in support of film tourism in the country. Photo by Peter Marquez.

Written by Leah Salterio // This is a re-post from ABS-CBN News.

MANILA -- After he was appointed chief operating officer of Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), actor Cesar Montano has worked to combine the power of two things closest to his heart: film and tourism.

Last March 15, Montano launched Cine Turismo, a new campaign spearheaded by the TPB to recognize and honor Filipino directors and their films that were shown in 2016 and 2017.

“Film is a medium that has always inspired me,” Montano said in his opening speech to launch Cine Turismo at Diamond Hotel. “The wonderful artistry, beautiful storytelling and its inherent power to move audiences – it will be an understatement to say that I am totally in love with filmmaking.”

Montano acknowledged that film tourism is a steadily growing industry in the country. “This project was created to cite the many films and filmmakers their wonderful work and portrayals of the Philippines, have aroused interest and boosted tourism in the country,” he said.

Ten local films and two Korean movies showcased the beauty of the Philippines and helped promote local tourism through film.

“In the past few years, we witnessed how film has helped the tourism industry,” Montano said. “Film provides viewers with real-life touch points by showcasing a destination and its breathtaking views that attract people from all walks of life, by showing the warmth of its people, by highlighting the rich history and culture it has to offer.”

Montano further emphasized that both Filipinos and foreigners are enticed to visit and explore different places in the country because of what they’ve seen in the movies. “People are looking for different adventures because of what they experienced onscreen,” Montano reasoned out.

He pointed out the picturesque settings in Baguio, Benguet and Sagada in director Antoinette Jadaone’s blockbuster romantic flick, “That Thing Called Tadhana,” starring Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman.

The film took viewers on a pilgrimage to such sites from Session Road to Kiltepan Peak and Gaia Café.

“We, at the TPB, are closely watching this wonderful development,” Montano said “We want to be the first to recognize the benefits from film tourism. That will be increased revenues for tourist attractions, jobs for locals, patronage of local food and handicrafts.”

RC delos Reyes (middle) holds the plaque of recognition for 'Siargao' alongside TPB COO Cesar Montano (leftmost) and Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo. Photo by Peter Marquez.

Films that were honored at “Cine Turismo” were director Ice Idanan’s “Sakaling Hindi Makarating,” shot in Ilocos, Siquijor, Batanes and Zamboanga; director Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil’s “Lakbay2Love,” which showcases Timberland Heights and Benguet; Zig Dulay’s “Paglipay,” set in the mountains of Zambales; Irene Villamor’s “Camp Sawi,” shot in Bantayan Island; Victor Villanueva’s “Patay na si Hesus,” which explores Dumaguete and Cebu; Mario Cornejo’s “Apocalypse Child,” set in Baler; Paul Soriano’s “Siargao,” which showcases the island of the same name; Bona Fajardo’s “I Found My Heart in Santa Fe,” set in Cebu; Nerissa Picadizo’s “Requited,” which features Mount Pinatubo; and Thop Nazareno’s “Kiko Boksingero,” filmed in Baguio.

Special citations were also given to two Korean films – “Mango Tree,” shot in Cebu and directed by Lee Soo-Sung and “Romantic Island,” shot in Boracay (Aklan) and directed by Cheol-Woo Kang.

Montano is pleased to report that the Film Tourism Bill has been getting the same overwhelming support in the senate, House of Representatives and even from President Rodrigo Duterte himself, as well as Sen. Sonny Angara, Sen. Grace Poe and Congressman Christopher de Venecia, who all share the same vision with them at the TPB.

“All of them see how effective film is in depicting the brilliance of Filipino artists and the rich natural beauty of the Philippines,” Montano said. “It is our hope that Cine Turismo will encourage more filmmakers and production outfits to follow suit and become active partners in shaping the positive perception of the Philippines through the medium of film.”

“Cine Turismo” is a timely move by the TPB in light of the pending Film Tourism Bill (SB 1330) sponsored by Poe and introduced by 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.”

The bill also 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.

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