A couple of days ago, my dear confreres of the Film Institute of the University of the Philippines gave a despedida for me and my colleague Nic Tiongson, who is going to Japan. A despedida is a farewell-party that your friends organize for you (and since so many Filipinos are going abroad they seem to happen all the time). It was a great way to wrap things up here, and I was showered with gifts.
The kwelest of those gifts – apart from the mangosteens from our invaluable department secretary – Ate Fortune, was the volume on film from the Encyclopedia on Philippine culture, that the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) published in the mid-90s. I was after this book for a long time, since the encyclopedia is officially not for sale anymore, and you normally have to buy the whole thing, if you can get it at all.
Sir Nic, who used to be the head of the CCP, mysteriously managed to get me just that volume, that he edited himself. It is not only a great resource on Philippine cinema, but is also chock-full of vintage stills from long-lost Pinoy films that were assembled by Cesar Hernando, the one-man-archive of Pinoy film.
It is really a treasure chest, and I am so proud to have it. Another colleague gave me a copy of the magazine Movement that Mowelfund used to publish from 1999. It has an article by an pre-Ebolusyon Lav Diaz, then a struggeling director of low-budet movies for Regal Films. Another great gift, salamat po to all of you! I will miss my place of employment for the last four years terribly!