"Brillante Mendoza’s victory in Cannes has been received, if not lauded, by the following local institutions: the City of Mandulong (where he resides), the Province of Pampanga (where he is from), University of Santo Tomas (his Alma Mater), the Director’s Guild of the Philippine Islands (of which he is a member), and the President of the Republic (who, with great craft and in a single sentence, turned her praise of Mendoza into praise of herself, and whose recognition comes with a One Million Peso ‘thank you for bringing the country pride’ check). Mendoza has taken an appropriately cool stance to all the fanfare: “there is a lot of attention but in a week or two, everything will be back to normal”. Many in the media, however, have voiced their displeasure, wondering, as our scholar did at the beginning of the article, why Mendoza wouldn’t receive an even warmer welcome, one similar, say, to the type Pacquiao receives?
"While a marching band, a grand dinner, a parade or even a million pesos are all appealing gestures, they are effused more with the pomp of celebration than any authentic attempt at appreciation: a facile way of saying we acknowledge the recognition you have received – a sentiment giving greater premium to outsider recognition than to the work itself. A proposition for the future: perhaps a more generous way to show appreciation for the work of our artists, should we truly believe the work itself important and not just the recognition: show them.
"Just imagine: how many free screenings could be sponsored for a million pesos?"
From "Cannes But Don't Have To" by Alexis Tioseco, Free Press, July 2009.