Remembering the Contributions of Cinematographer Romy Vitug

Sen.Jose ‘Jinggoy’ Estrada. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
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SEN. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada recently filed Senate Resolution (SR) 908 to express his sympathy and condolences, along with his colleagues, to the bereaved family of Romeo “Romy” Vitug, a legendary lensman and celebrated cinematographer. In his resolution, Estrada sought the Senate’s recognition of Vitug’s invaluable contribution to Philippine cinema.

Estrada, a former actor himself, highlighted Vitug’s unparalleled artistry and eye for detail, as well as his uncompromising commitment to excellence and mastery of the craft. These qualities made Vitug one of the leading figures in Philippine cinema, greatly enriching and advancing the industry. The senator emphasized that Vitug’s passing is a significant loss to the film industry and the Filipino nation as a whole.

Beyond his impressive filmography, Vitug also lent his stature to support advocacies that greatly contributed to the development of the local film industry. For instance, he actively participated in the “Sagip Pelikula” film restoration project and the anti-piracy information campaign of the Optical Media Board (OMB). Estrada commended Vitug’s exceptional creativity and technical proficiency, which were honed through years of hard work, innovation, and discipline. These skills were indispensable in effectively telling the stories of the Filipino people through his cinematography.

Vitug’s journey in the film industry began as a photographer for news publications, a newsreel cameraman for a television network, and a stillman who captured highlights of films for promotional materials. It was through these experiences that he developed his expertise in lighting, framing, and compositions, eventually becoming the most sought-after lensman in the industry.

Throughout his stellar career, Vitug received numerous accolades and distinctions that solidified his status as one of the most celebrated cinematographers in his field. In 2000, he was honored with a Cinemanila International Filmfest lifetime achievement award, recognizing his outstanding contributions. In 2016, he received the Natatanging Gawad Urian, a prestigious award given to individuals who have made significant contributions to Philippine cinema. Moreover, in 2019, he was inducted into the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Hall of Fame, further cementing his legacy.

Vitug’s impact extended beyond his technical expertise. He collaborated with esteemed directors such as National Artists for Film Lino Brocka and Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Celso Ad Castillo, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Laurice Guillen, and Olivia Lamasan, producing some of the most memorable and epic scenes in Philippine cinema.

Sadly, Vitug passed away on January 18 at the age of 86, leaving behind a remarkable legacy that spans over four decades. His contributions to Philippine cinema will forever be remembered and cherished by the industry and the Filipino people.

In conclusion, Senate Resolution 908 serves as a testament to the immense talent and invaluable contributions of Romeo “Romy” Vitug to Philippine cinema. His unparalleled artistry, technical proficiency, and dedication to storytelling have left an indelible mark on the industry. As we remember and honor his legacy, let us celebrate the rich tapestry of Philippine cinema that he helped create and continue to support and uplift the talented individuals who carry his torch forward.

Source: The Manila Times

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