German Moreno on Francis M's Walk of Fame honor: "Ang mahalaga, tinupad ko 'yong pangako ko sa kanya."

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Hosting Q Channel 11's Pinoy Cine Klasika is none other than German "Kuya Germs" Moreno, who will share his experiences as an artist, writer, and director during the colorful years of Philippine cinema.


German "Kuya Germs" Moreno will host Q Channel 11's latest offering, Pinoy Cine Klasika, which will debut on April 4 (Easter Sunday).

The program will feature Filipino classic movies produced by the legendary Sampaguita Pictures during the 1960s—considered by critics, though outside the so-called Golden Age of Philippine Cinema, as still a prolific and colorful era in local silver screen history.

Regarded as one of the few remaining pillars in the industry, Kuya Germs has always been sought by film students, enthusiasts, critics and diehard fans for trivia, inputs and stories about the industry back then.

"Siyempre, I'm so proud at nagagalak ako kasi itong bagay na ito, na-suggest ko din sa management dahil nga sa dami ng mga estudyanteng nagpupunta sa akin sa radio program ko and asking me so many things about black and white movies, tungkol sa ugali ng mga artista noong araw.

"So sabi ko, why don't we do it this time na maiba 'yong presentation natin, na magti-trivia ako, magsasabi ako kung anong tipo ng ugali ng mga artista noon, papaano nagiging artista ang isang tao, paano nadi-discover, which 'yan din ang ilang bagay na namana ko kay Dr. Vera-Perez ng Sampaguita Pictures," said Kuya Germs to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) yesterday, March 23, during a press conference at the GMA Network Center in Quezon City.

TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE. Kuya Germs personally collects copies of old Filipino movies, including those produced by Sampaguita Pictures during the time this big studio was churning out films one after the other.

During downtime, the 68-year-old Filipino-Spanish ex-actor and now TV host watches movies in the comfort of his built-in mini-cinema at home in Quezon City.

Watching the old movies easily evokes nostalgia, said Kuya Germs: "Ibang-iba kasi dahil 'yong samahan namin, especially ng mga artista, kung papaano namin ginawa 'yong pelikula, saan namin ginawa at 'yong mga ugali ng artista, at pag nabuo mo na at nakita mo, wow! Biro mo hanggang ngayon, nakikita mo pa kung anong hitsura mo noon."

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Kuya Germs commented on the factors that, he believes, contributed to the decline of Philippine cinema:

"Marami ang naging unprofessional and especially 'yong piracy, malaking epekto niyan sa pelikula natin. Ang mga producers pag namumuhunan, hindi naman konting halaga lang ang ginugugol nila, napakalaki.

"And even on television ngayon, pirate nang pirate ng artista. Bakit hindi tayo magsikap na dumiskubre tayo ng sarili natin, pagtiyagaan natin. Hindi 'yong napasikat ng isang istasyon, pag-iinteresan ng ibang istasyon. Parang magagamit mo ang salitang 'very unprofessional', ang umiiral pera na lamang, kaya nakakalungkot dahil noong araw hindi ganun."

The current trend of re-working classic movies into television series, according to Kuya Germs, is a clear indication that the old ones are still superior in terms content and substance.

"Hindi ko naman nilalait 'yong ngayon," he clarified. "Meron din naman tayong napapakinabangan. Pero kahit na ilang henerasyon ang dumating, iba pa rin kung ano ang nauna."

GOLF TOURNAMENT. A golf tournament will be held on April 23 at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong to generate funds for the Walk of Fame Philippines.

Kuya Germs founded the endeavor in 2005, in which names of local celebrities are engraved on brass stars and embedded along Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City. The necessary expenses devoted to the entire effort are said to be shouldered by Kuya Germs himself without outside assistance.

"Actually 'yong gobyerno nga dapat ang magbigay ng ganitong importansya sa mga artista natin dahil ang laki naman ng contribution ng mga artista natin sa kaban ng ating bansa sa pagbabayad ng taxes, di ba?" he said.

A group of kind-hearted individuals proposed the idea of organizing a golf tournament to lessen Moreno's financial load.

"So, 'yong taong lumapit sa akin ang sabi, 'Para hindi ka na mahirapan, alam naming galing 'yan sa bulsa mo. Ba't hindi tayo gumawa ng golf tournament and then itayo na natin ang Walk of Fame Philippines Foundation para 'yong kikitain sa golf touranament diyan mangagaling 'yong gagastusin mo,'" narrated Kuya Germs.

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WALK OF FAME CONTROVERSIES. Though the objective of the venture is noble—paying tribute to celebrities and entertainers who made significant contributions to the industry—some observers expressed cynicism over the inclusion of young stars overtaking veteran artists who are obviously more deserving of the honor.

Kuya Germs defended himself against his critics, saying, "Unang-una, ang hinahabol nila sa akin criteria, kung ano ang criteria ko. Kung gagamitin ko 'yang salita na 'yan at papansinin ko, siguro hindi ko mauumpisahan kung ano rin ang gusto ng Eastwood [management]. Kung uunahin ko lahat 'yong mga naunang artista, 'yong ibang patay na, e, ang hirap magpaliwanag dun sa mga taong dumadaan. Siyempre magtatanong 'yan, 'Sino 'yan? Sino 'yan?'

"So, ang pakiusap sa akin ng Eastwood maglagay ka ng mga nauna and maglagay ka rin ng mga kasalukuyan para ang interes ng mga tao naroon. Hindi naman kaya ng bulsa ko na isabay lahat 'yan. Kung ipinanganak lang akong milyonaryo, I tell you, I'll be so happy and proud na malagay ko lahat. So, sana maintindihan nila 'yon."

He also mentioned the incident involving the late singer-songwriter Francis Magalona, whose wife Pia Arroyo-Magalona refused to acknowledge her husband's posthumous addition to the Walk of Fame list last December.

"Nung nilagay ko 'yong parents ni Francis, nandoon siya kasama niya mga anak niya," recalled Kuya Germs. "Tuwang-tuwa siya at tinatanong niya ako 'Kailan mo ako mailalagay dito?' Sabi ko time will come, it will happen. So, twice niyang tinanong sa akin 'yon."

Francis, added Kuya Germs, was really supposed to be inducted last year but his sudden death in March due to cancer unfortunately came first.

"Paano ngayon 'yong gagawin mo?" Kuya Germs asked. "Hindi namang puwede na pag hiniling mo, ilalagay mo kaagad. Siyempre, may panahon. Ang anniversary kasi ng Walk of Fame every December 1st, so every December 1st dun ako nagdadagdag kung dalawampu o tatlumpu man 'yan, kung anong kaya ng bulsa ko. So again, sana maintindihan nila na hindi ko kayang pagsabay-sabayin lahat."

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Despite the incident, Kuya Germs is certain that Francis carries no grudges against him.

"Anak-anakan ko si Francis and I know mauunawan naman ni Francis. Ang mahalaga tinupad ko 'yong pangako ko sa kanya," he said.


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