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With the Morenos of Tondo – Happy and Sad Moments

January 29, 2018
  • Malvar1I visited Ms. Virginia R. Moreno before New Year 2018. It was on December 28 when I went to see her at the house of Pitoy, her younger brother. Though tired, “Aling Barang” was in high spirits as she recounted past events during our Film Center days. She talked about her coming projects, including the celebration of Pitoy’s birthday in February. Miss Moreno was my professor in “Philippine Cinematic Arts” under the Humanities Course. Our classroom — AS 209 eventually became UP Film Center’s office cum film venue viewing. That was where I first saw the films of Russian great filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. When the number of cineastes grew, the screening moved to Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater. A few years later, the UP Film Center was finally built beside Abelardo Theatre. I was not around when they transferred to its present location. I was by then in Pune, India.
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    Miss Moreno used to boast that all her clothes were designed not by Pitoy but by herself. She was always dressed flamboyantly whenever she came to our class. Oh! How I loved seeing her like a butterfly — so free, happy and awesome-looking. And yes! She is the one responsible for sending me to India to study film making where at the same time I learned to love wearing Indian clothes which I continued to adopt until now as shown above.

Unfortunately, two weeks after visiting VRM on January 15, I heard the news about the passing away of Aling Barang’s brother Pitoy Moreno, the Fashion Czar of Asia. He was the one who popularized the use of indigenous materials in the ternos that he then beautifully designed. During his wake at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, many of his models and friends paid their last respect to him. A few of us from the UP Film Center were present.

[Above photo below] With former UP Film Center workshoppers at the last day of Pitoy’s wake: Clare Salaverria [extreme left] who joined UPFC at the time I was sent to India and Sheila Nicolas [extreme right]. They were batchmates.

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