Meeting with Cinematographer Romy VitugJune 12, 2009
Next week, I’ll probably start with a small but important work of editing the footages shot by cinematographer FAMAS Hall of Famer Romy Vitug (“Insiang,” “Mga Bilanggong Birhen,” “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagputi ng Tagak,” “Ang Alamat ni Julian Makabayan,” “Rizal sa Dapitan,” etc.) who called me up a couple of weeks back with a tone of urgency to ask if I can edit his footages on BenCab museum’s inauguration. He believed he said that I am the only one who can do it because I have an artist’s heart. A flattering statement indeed! Since I am still busy doing some non-film job and waiting for my next film project which I hope to come in this month to be able to raise funds for my film on the Cerebral Palsied, I have agreed to work on it meanwhile. I thought afterall that since he used only four tapes it won’t take me long to edit. [My docu films take years to finish because I normally use over 60 tapes, and over 100 with 2 camera setups]. Kuya Romy met me one stormy day at Metropoint Mall to give the DVD copies of his coverage for preview.
I do not know and haven’t yet met Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, National Artist for the Visual Arts but I know him through his works and always hear his name from Ms. Virginia Moreno, UP Film Center Founder when she talks about her artists-friends. The reason why when Kuya Romy talked about him, I couldn’t even picture how he looks like until I previewed his footages. I was happy however to know him better through those footages. A cañao ritual was part of the coverage but it was most difficult for me to watch the killing of the pig as part of the ritual. Right now, I still don’t know how much of that scene would I be able to stand looking at to be able to edit in…quite a visual challenge for me who has difficulty watching “violent” scenes.
Anyhow after watching the beautiful shots of a very beautiful place with beautiful paintings and artifacts at BenCab Museum, the film structure shaped fast in my head. It’s “A Day in the Life of BenCab”—a very, very important and significant day for him.
Yesterday, Kuya Romy called up to inform me that BenCab has already agreed to have me edit the film. In reality, I have agreed to do it because of him—because of Romeo “Kuya Romy” Vitug, a long-time friend whom I have always look up to with awe and respect, a person I recognize as one of the best, if not the best cinematographer in the Philippines.