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Mabalacat honors Capampangan film director’s 50th year in showbiz

Film director Elwood Perez displays his plaque of recognition as he poses for a souvenir snapshot with Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo C. Garbo, Provincial Board Members Fritzie Dizon, Cherry Manalo, Nelson Calara and Benny Jocson.

MABALACAT CITY—For his “valuable contribution” to the Philippine movie industry, the city and provincial government on Tuesday celebrated the 50th year in showbiz of Capampangan film director Elwood Perez.

On the occasion of his golden year in showbiz industry, Perez—popularly known as “El Maestro” who is a native of this city —was given recognition both by the city government and Pampanga provincial government. The tribute also coincided with the celebration of his 75th birthday.

In a solemn event held inside the Clark Freeport Zone, Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo C. Garbo handed over a plaque from the city government, citing his remarkable achievements as a film director and his significant contributions to the arts, particularly in filmmaking.

Senior Board Member Cherry Manalo, on the other hand, presented the plaque of recognition to Perez. She was joined by Board Members Benny Jocson, Fritzie David-Dizon and Nelson Calara.

Also present during the tribute are fellow Mabalaqueños and patron of arts and culture Robbie Tantingco, Alex Castro, Cecil Yumul, Clark Development Corp. (CDC) Communications Manager Noel G. Tulabut, and Development Managers Frank Madlangbayan and Jeam Espanta, Perez’s cousin.

“We are very proud of you. We join each Mabalaqueño in celebrating your work as film director as you are recognized here and abroad. The city government of Mabalacat and the province of Pampanga honor all people like you who contribute to the arts as you bring pride to all of us,” Garbo said in his speech.

For his part, Perez expressed elation over the honor and recognition that he received from the Provincial government of Pampanga and the Mabalacat City government.

“You did not make my day, month or year but you made my life with this honor and recognition. Thank you to Mabalacat and Pampanga officials,” Perez said in his acceptance speech.

Perez is a multi-awarded film maker, director, writer and showbiz legend, who is a native of Barangay San Francisco here.

During the tribute, Perez’s well-wishers sent video greetings. They included film directors Brillante Mendoza, Gina Alajar and Laurice Guillen, actresses Snooky Serna, Cherie Gil, Vilma Santos, Boots Anson-Roa and comedienne Tessie Tomas.

Perez started making movies in 1970 together with Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal and Celso Ad. Castillo.

For 20 straight years—in the 1970s through the 1980s—Perez directed films that broke box office records that won him a series of awards.

He continued making films in the 1990s and into the new millennium—reportedly a feat that few filmmakers can match.

Perez directed the country’s top celebrities like Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Amalia Fuentes, Rio Locsin, and a host of others.

Among his top films are Lollipops and Roses at Burong Talangka, Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos, Problem Child, and Bilangin Ang Bituin sa Langit.

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