Cheap movies and cheap senators

By Estanislao Albano, Jr.

“ Just imagine a senator criticizing the activity of debate in the chamber saying that it makes the law-making body look like the movies where there are bidas and contrabidas. “

Note: Unable to write a new piece, I thought of replaying an entertaining piece from the past and found this one from September 2004. Senator Lito Lapid is back in the Senate and the permanent Revilla Senate slot is now filled up by the junior. The two could take it easy now because the last elections have brought in several clowns who make Senators Lapid and Revilla look like sages by comparison.
Senator Lito Lapid does not still realize that he is out of his depths in the Senate. He keeps opening his mouth and every time he does, piles up more gaffes. I saw him on television just last night saying that he saw nothing wrong in the alleged act of one senator engaging the services of an escort girl as he had paid the girl and the transaction was consensual. He made the utterance in such a manner that it looked to me he was really convinced that he hit the nail in the head.
Just like I earlier suggested in the case of Senator Ramon Revilla, Sr., all the activities and utterances of Lapid as senator should be recorded in film. At the rate he is going, before long we would have an international blockbuster in our hands. We could title it “Lapid stock” of course. None of his trashy films was shown to a foreign audience but I bet this unintended movie of his would be lapped up by people all over the world.
Just imagine a senator criticizing the activity of debate in the chamber saying that it makes the law-making body look like the movies where there are bidas and contrabidas. Seems the fellow does not even grasp that deliberative bodies cannot do without debates.
He has also asked the veteran members of the Senate to mentor the neophytes prompting Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to remark that when you run for a position in government, you should be ready to fulfill the obligations attendant to it. He pointed to Lapid that the Senate is not a school and that his request is just like saying that the people who voted for him (Lapid) erred.
Lapid was also reported in the media to have asked that the act of laughing be prohibited in the halls of the Senate. I still have to research on policies of legislative bodies here and abroad on the matter of laughter in the session hall if any. At the moment, all I can say is that this is the first time I have heard of such an idea. I am also certain that if the other senators will take him seriously and his idea finds its way into the Senate internal rules, he will be the main beneficiary.
I guess it was during his speech where he called for the prior distribution of privilege speeches and which should be in bigger prints to facilitate the reading when the cameras caught Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. covering his mouth as though to stifle laughter. I thought then that he had some right to laugh at Lapid. But that was before he came to the defense of the sexy stars in their fight against the SM which has banned R18 movies in its theater chain. With his stance on the SM issue, I am now sure that he will also benefit from the anti-laughter rule Lapid is proposing.
Revilla asked the SM to reconsider its decision because with the SM chain no longer showing R18 movies, the dying local movie industry will die in earnest. To me, the pronouncement only shows that Revilla is not the champion of local movies he wants to picture himself to be. He is only thinking of the short-run and not fundamental measures which could finally bring true progress to the industry. The movies that those sexy stars star in are potboilers with no real artistic value. I caught the movie “Masarap Pag Mainit Pa” starring Klaudia Koronel before she converted to the Iglesia and it have no real plot and characterization. In the end, it wanted to preach love of family but the title itself already gives away what the movie is – fodder to the baser instincts of viewers. I have no reason to believe that other local movies of the same genre are better.
It also shows that Senator Revilla is more concerned that the movie industry make money than for the public to be given their money’s worth in terms of worthy and edifying entertainment.
Instead of being thankful to the SM management for giving the movie industry an occasion and impetus to revolutionize itself and for once think of the public’s welfare by producing quality movies, the senator wants the firm to reconsider its decision and to continue suffering sex-oriented and inferior movies.
By his pronouncement, Revilla has also shown that he does not have any vision for the local movie industry. He has limited his outlook to the local audience when the real hope of the local movie industry is to break into the international market. Filipinos are getting too poor to indulge in movies. Perhaps using his own acting prowess and his own movies as gauge, he has given up on Filipino movies ever being screened for the general public abroad. He forgot that we do have actors and directors of international caliber. All we lack is a good material but that is another topic.
Instead of questioning the action of the SM, Revilla should have come up with a bill intended to improve the quality of movies produced in this country.
Lapid and the Revillas not only show that our movie industry produces poor movies but also poor senators on the side. **

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