August is a special month for veteran film producer Mother Lily Monteverde. Not only is it her birth month but it is also the anniversary month of her movie empire Regal Films, Inc.
On August 19, her natal day, the beloved producer celebrated her life’s latest milestones at a party in her events place along Valencia St. in New Manila, Quezon City.
There, she recalled how she began as a struggling businesswoman who dared to dip her hands into the topsy-turvy world of movie production. Hurdling major challenges especially in the early years, she was rewarded with equally major successes.
Her initial achievements served as an inspiration to produce even bigger film projects, which eventually gave birth to her very own stable of stars, who became collectively and famously known as the “Regal Babies.”
Through Mother Lily’s sheer hard work, unquestionable gut feel, ideas and concepts that click with the masses, not to mention her hands on approach in promotions and publicity, Regal Films grew to be one of the movie industry’s most influential player for decades.
Nevertheless, the Regal matriarch did not content herself with endless box-office hits, as she eventually dabbled and bankrolled socially relevant productions that reaped recognitions from both local and award giving bodies and international film festivals.
The industry looks to her as a driving force in raising the quality and reputation of Filipino movies, and the love that they showed her at her double celebration on Thursday night attest to their gratitude and love for the one and only Mother Lily.
Among those spotted at her party were industry executives including GMA Network bosses Redgie Acuna Magno and Joey Abacan, TAPE Senior Vice President and COO Malou Choa-Fagar; Regal films stars Carla Abellana, Janella Salvado, and Marco Mortel among others; talent managers Arnold Vegafria, Popoy Caritativo and Girlie Rodis; directors Joey Reyes and Jun Lana; as well as spattering of politicians led by surprise guest Sec. Mar Roxas and broadcaster wife Korina Sanchez, Sen. Antonio Trillanes, and actor and Quezon Ctity Mayor Herbert Bautista.
Times may have changed with the onset of social media and digitalized filmmaking, but Regal Films still remains to be a strong force and key player in film production.
Competition may be rough and the cost of producing movies may be limiting but, as she promised as she began her 76th year, “For as long as I am behind the wheel, Regal will continue to rise above the challenges and deliver the kind of entertainment our dear moviegoers deserve.”
As a highlight of the occasion, Mother Lily led the unveiling of four new offerings by Regal films for the last quarter of 2015. These are the horror-adventure teen barkada movie Resureksyon (Paulo Avelino, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and Isabelle Daza); the romantic drama No Boyfriend Since Birth (Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez); romantic comedy The PreNup partly shot in New York City (Jennylyn Mercado and Sam Milby); and the MMFF entry The Haunted Mansion (Janella Salvador, Marco Mortel and Jerome Ponce).