Estrada seeks posthumous recognition for lensman Romy Vitug

(THE MANILA TIMES) SEN. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada filed Senate Resolution (SR) 908 expressing this and his colleagues’ sympathy and condolences 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.

“Vitug’s unparalleled artistry and eye for detail, uncompromising commitment to excellence, and mastery of the craft make him one of the leading figures in Philippine cinema who immensely contributed to its enrichment and advancement. His passing is a great loss to the film industry and the Filipino nation,” said the senator, a former actor.

Aside from his impressive filmography, Vitug lent his stature to support advocacies that greatly contributed to the development of the local film industry, such as the “Sagip Pelikula” film restoration project and the anti-piracy information campaign of the Optical Media Board (OMB), Estrada said.

“Vitug’s exceptional creativity and technical proficiency honed through many years of hard work, innovation, and discipline were indispensable movie-making skills in effectively telling the stories of the Filipino people,” he said.

Vitug first worked as a photographer for news publications, a newsreel cameraman for a television network, and a stillman who took pictures of films’ highlights for promotional materials, before venturing into cinematography, where he built a solid reputation and became the most sought-after lensman for his expertise in lighting, framing and compositions.

Throughout Vitug’s stellar career, Estrada noted the numerous accolades and distinctions he received, which catapulted him into becoming one of the most celebrated in his field.

He was honored with a Cinemanila International Filmfest lifetime achievement award in 2000, Natatanging Gawad Urian in 2016, and Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Hall of Fame award in 2019.

Vitug also produced some of the most memorable and epic scenes in films by 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.