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The Philippine Cinema's Journey: A Coming of a Spring

"Walang himala, ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao!" (There are no miracles; a miracle is within someone's heart!) A prominent actor in a Filipino classic (Himala) yells, almost a chant.

In truth, a miracle is a Filipino necessity to salvage its struggling film industry.

In the Philippines, theaters are intently built in the darkest areas of the metro. And in these theaters, a movie is less remarkable than the events that take place inside it. A prostitute prances on the outskirts of the theater browsing her some "prospective clients". A movie ticket is not purchased for what it's worth; not for a movie screening but for an hour or two of bought sex among females and males, and males and other males.

The saddening fact about local cinemas is not the end of the undertakings of the hurdling Filipino cinema.

A standard cinema rate per movie is one-hundred fifty pesos which is about three US dollars. The Philippines is a developing country and its people could not afford such rate to the extent that piracy has been a recommended alternative. A pirated Digital Video Disc or DVD of a movie will generally take about thirty pesos which is less than a dollar.

The more grunting fact is that, even the film industry is tripe; as it consistently delivers terrible movies to the audience.

Many will point fingers to the tax imposed to the gross revenue of a film. Imposed by the government in 1990's, a film production is required to pay a thirty-percent tax. And with the arousal of VAT or value-added tax which is an added tax of twelve-percent, a movie production will have to pay a total of forty-two percent of tax.

Many filmmakers as a result, had to play safe with their movies. They had to adhere with conventional movie themes such as slapstick comedies and horrors that feature mostly cheap scares.

In mentioned times, independent filmmakers have gone and made movies to somehow save the movie industry resembling the country's economy; which is drowning. Many independent films have been featured internationally and "Serbis" is a popular example. The film itself, describes the struggling industry of the Philippine cinema.

Fortunately, in 2009, tax imposed on movie gross revenues are decreased into a ten-percent rate which generally makes things easier.

In the recent times, Yam Laranas, a Filipino director had made his film 'Sigaw' to be adapted to a Hollywood film which is 'The Echo', a film he also directed. His latter film, "The Road", a stylishly creepy film told in backwards fashion, Filipino Cinema had taken a step forward in getting recognized by the Hollywood eye.

It shivers there like a leaf of a dying tree; the Philippine Cinema had been fighting the wind so forceful. It keeps on fighting. It hates to fare with the blowing air. It holds tight and then the spring came. Its rebirth came.

ArmandDC is the founder/author of the blog FilmPolice ( ), a Philippine-based movie review site which posts concise and honest opinions on the latest movies on Hollywood and beyond. He is a professional blogger, a movie enthusiast and a graphics artist.

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