FDCP Honors Mother Lily
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), led by its chairperson, Liza Diño-Seguerra, held a special recognition ceremony last May 12 for Regal Entertainment matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde, “for her invaluable contribution and commitment to the Philippine film industry.”
The ceremony, held at the Cinematheque Centre Manila in Ermita, was also FDCP’s way of honoring the veteran film producer as a mother, in line with Mother’s Day, which is celebrated in most countries on the second Sunday of May. This year, Mother’s Day fell on May 14, two days before the recognition ceremony for Mother Lily. Here’s an excerpt from Mother Lily’s three-page speech: “Even after almost five and a half decades, I still take pride in being called Mother Lily. For who will not be touched to be given such a name considering that I am just a movie fan. Those who know me will insist that Lily Yu Monterverde is just a diehard fan who loved movies so much that she decided to make her own films. Like the studios of the glory days of Filipino movies in the past, Regal Films was born out of love—a love for movies…
“Yes, moviemaking is also a business—a very expensive and high-risk business But if the producer has no love for movies, then it is so easy to quit. If there is no personal commitment to moviemaking, then it’s better to leave. But if you take making movies as an act of love—like a parent bearing children, like a father or mother guiding children in the form of directors, writers, actor, and actresses—then, it is no longer just a business. It is building a family… “Now that Regal is fifty-five years old, I look back. I look back and say that I am
proud. I am proud of what the years have given me… and what I have done not only as a movie producer but as a mover, a game changer. I look at all the big bosses of movie productions now and smile: they too call me Mother… because once upon a time they were working for me. They were trained by me. And like any mother, they all carry a part of me in their beautiful and hopefully fulfilling careers…
“And through all this, Regal is still very much around. Alive and kicking, doing its battles and discovering new ways to bring more and better Filipino movies to the audience…
“To end this talk, let me just say, it is good to stand here and share with you the wisdom of so many years.
“But remember, as you sit there listening to me, Mother Lily Monteverde is still the mother to so many. And I am still very much here. Thank You.”
Mother Lily (seated, center) posed for a souvenir shot with her well-wishers: (L-R) film producer Perci Intalan; Liza Diño-Esguerra; film director Jun Lana; newbie actress Janella Salvador; Mother Lily’s daughter Roselle Monteverde; directors Joel Lamangan and Maryo J. delos Reyes; producer Manny Valera; and Regal line producer Lea Calmerin.
On the evening of May 11, a day before her FDCP recognition event, Mother Lily decided to end her three-year rift with talent manager and entertainment columnist Alfie Lorenzo. The happy event took place during entertainment writer Jun Lalin’s belated birthday celebration, held at Jett’s Bistro on Timog Avenue, Quezon City.
When Mother Lily saw Alfie arrive at the venue, she went over to greet him. But Alfie was busy talking to other guests at that time. Once Alfie was properly seated, Mother Lily took a chance again and hugged Alfie. The film producer’s magnanimous gesture surprised everyone in the room. It was also a welcome surprise that Alfie chose not to snub Mother Lily.
Backstory: Mother and Alfie had a verbal spat back in August 2014, during the press conference for the Regal Films production Somebody to Love. The confrontation was triggered by Alfie’s calling the movie’s director, Jose Javier Reyes, “malas.” Mother Lily came to the director’s defense, which angered Alfie even more. The root cause of Alfie’s ill feeling towards Direk Joey was the director’s getting the services of Alfie’s former ward, Judy Ann Santos, for a film project allegedly without Alfie’s consent.