ABS-CBN has restored two of the Philippines’ most significant and critically-acclaimed movies produced by LVN Pictures, “Malvarosa” and “Biyaya ng Lupa” using its own facilities—a first for the company since establishing ABS-CBN Film Restoration and the ABS-CBN Film Archives.
“The restoration of “Malvarosa” and “Biyaya ng Lupa” using ABS-CBN’s own facilities is a milestone that we are proud of,” Leo Katigbak, head of ABS-CBN Film Restoration said at the screening of the two films at the recently held QCinema Film Festival.
“Malvarosa,” a story of a poverty-stricken family that was overcome by tragic circumstances starred legendary film actors Charito Solis, Leroy Salvador, Vic Silayan, Carlos Padilla, Jr., Vic Diaz, Rey Ruiz, Eddie Rodriguez, and Rebecca del Rio, who won the Best Actress at the 5th Asian Film Festival.
“Biyaya ng Lupa” is a family drama of epic scope starring Tony Santos, Sr. and Rosal Rosal as married couple Jose and Maria. Their happy life, though not perfect, is marred upon the arrival of Bruno (Joseph de Cordova), into their lives. Bruno blames Jose for the series of misfortunes that he encounters on Jose and is determined to destroy the entire family. The movie also starred Leroy Salvador, Carlos Padilla, Jr., Marita Zobel, and Danilo Jurado as the Jose and Maria’s children Miguel, Arturo, Angelita, and Lito, respectively. Salvador won Best Actor at the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) and Best Supporting Actor at the Asian Film Festival, while the movie was nominated as Best Picture in the Berlin International Film Festival and FAMAS in 1960.
“Malvarosa” and “Biyaya ng Lupa” were digitally scanned in 4k resolution and partially restored using the ABS-CBN Film Archives’ own equipment.
Upon undergoing the scan, the two movies’ brightness and contrast were also adjusted, their scratches and specks eliminated, and audio noise such as pops, crackles, hiss, and sizzles removed.
Majority of the titles that are in ABS-CBN’s archives were previously restored with the help of Central Digital Lab in Makati, Il Imagine Ritrovata in Hongkong and Italy, and Kantana Post Production in Thailand
Through the years, ABS-CBN has already restored almost 180 titles, including Gerry de Leon’s “Banaue,” Joey Romero’s “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon”, Mario O’Hara & Romy Suzara’s “Mga Bilanggong Birhen”, Danny Zialcita’s “Karma”, Peque Gallaga’s “Oro Plata Mata”, Mike de Leon’s “Kakabakaba ka ba?” Ishmael Bernal’s “Himala,” and many more.
For the upcoming C1 Originals Festival, more restored films are coming, including “Misteryo sa Tuwa” and “Bulaklak sa City Jail,” which will both premiere on November 11. Meanwhile, other restrored classics that are set to attract movie aficionados at the festival are “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit,” “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-Gamo,” “Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” “Tisoy!,” “Mga Bilanggong Birhen,” “Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing, and “Nunal Sa Tubig.”
ABS-CBN Film Archives has already completed the scanning of LVN classics like “Ibong Adarna,” and “Anak Dalita,” and is set to complete the scanning of another Avellana masterpiece—”Badjao.” It is also working on Experimental Cinema of the Philippines’ last film, “Soltero,” as well as “Danny Zialcita’s “Tinimbang Ang Langit,” and more.
The continuous restoration of classic Filipino movies is ABS-CBN’s contribution to the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage. It’s “Sagip Pelikula” campaign, which promoted the restoration of classic movies to younger audiences, was awarded by the International Association of Business Communicators the Gold Quill in 2019.