Ratings are in and the episode two of CHiNOYTV garnered a whopping 1.5 million views in total from CNN Philippines and streaming! The episode featured Teresita Ang-See, the living Chinoy legend who was the community’s voice during one of the most troubling periods in Philippine history.
From one feisty Chinoy female to another, this Sunday, we are featuring Roselle Monteverde, daughter of the iconic Mother Lily and the current COO and Vice President of Regal Entertainment. In this episode, Roselle recounts her childhood rubbing elbows with celebrities, artists, and showbiz royalty, including the late great showbiz journalist Ricky Lo, and growing up to helm the film company and finding a Chinoy lens with the continuing saga of Mano Po.
Mother Knows Best
No mention of Regal Entertainment would be complete without bringing up its founder and the movie-like history behind it, Roselle shares, “It all started with the importation of foreign movies because my grandfather opened up a cinema in Manila and they need content to be shown and started buying them from abroad. So my mom always says with with 500 pesos we were able to invest in an American movie titled All Mine to Give. And so that’s how this started. It made money and they used that money to invest into other movies so it’s been like that. And then my mom was the one who actually had the idea of producing locally. It all started in the 1976 but before producing locally she was working in the theater. She was supplying food in the food bar, in the snack bar. And then she grew a liking into production, movie production because she says she’s always been a movie fan.”
A self-described fan who would skip school to attend film shoots of Sampaguita Films, the matriarch/Mother Lily led to the creation of the Regal Entertainment we know now—producers of some of the most memorable Filipino flicks in history.
Despite the constant revolving door of celebrities in their household, Roselle had a very sheltered, traditional childhood. She is open about her mother being a disciplinarian, and that’s why Roselle shares how studying abroad broadened her horizons, “Going abroad really made me grow up as a person. I grew to be more independent. I was able to decide things on my own. If I do make mistakes it was because of me and no one else to blame. So because all of these experiences it made me, I would say a better person. Whether it be here, or abroad, whatever you think of doing, you need to try it. You need to really try and set your foot on what you dream to do. Because you wouldn’t know up to what extent your talent can grow.”
On Mano Po, Roselle reveals that the first film was loosely based on their own family, “It’s our own story of how our grandparents migrated from China. How my grandfather married to a half-Filipina and was brought back to China. And how she was discriminated because she was half-Filipina.” And when Mano Po was in the pipeline, it was a risk and the company wasn’t sure it would be a success.
Of course, we all know that it was both a commercial and a critical hit. Roselle concludes, “We were all surprised because both Filipino and Chinese embraced it. And you know the awards… Mano Po practically won all the awards during that Festival.”
And with Mano Po having several sequels and currently building up for a new incarnation, Roselle is fully aware that there is now a huge opportunity for even better representation, “Now on how Mano Po will be treated in the future, there were ideas that we would audition real Chinoys to play the part so to give voices, the real voices of real Chinoys also. In a way they will also not only feel the part the character because its more closer to who they are, really.”
It doesn’t stop there. For Roselle, she would like to see more Chinoys entering the media space so that the community’s stories and voices will be heard,” It’s very important for me to be empowering Chinoys in the media industry. It’s a different type of voice especially with the young generation. It’s a different type of vision already with a young generation.”
She rallies, “The media industry is open to Chinoys to come in. We need your minds. It’s something that you know this industry will grow far especially with the multi-platforms right now. We need Chinoy writers. Because the culture needs to be preserved art and at the same time and you’re the voices right now.”
Find out more this Sunday on “Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart 1CH1NOY.” Catch it only on CNN Philippines via Free TV Channel 9, Sky Cable Channel 14, Cignal Channel 10. It will also simultaneously air on CNN Philippines’ webpage www.cnnphilippines.com. Find out more on Chinoy TV’s official website: www.chinoy.tv