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Mar 27th
Home Sections History “Resurrecting” Anthony Quinn as the “Celebrity Endorser” of the Filipino Movie-and-Tourism Industries
“Resurrecting” Anthony Quinn as the “Celebrity Endorser” of the Filipino Movie-and-Tourism Industries PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Monday, 18 July 2011 17:35


Oplan “Magellan2021” Will Ask the Help of the Quinn Family for its “BLeSSED Program” of Reinventing the Philippines, One Venture at a Time


By Lolo Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon City, Philippines, and West Covina, California


Part Three of a New Series on the Oplan “Magellan2021”


T he Wikipedia says: “Anthony Quinn (April 21, 1915 – June 3, 2001) was a Mexican-American actor, as well as a painter and writer. He starred in numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including Zorba the Greek, Lawrence of Arabia, The Guns of Navarone, The Message, Guns for San Sebastian, Lion of the Desert and Federico Fellini's La strada. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor twice; for Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Lust for Life in 1956.” To read more, please click on this link:


But to many Filipinos that belong to the Baby-Boom generation, Anthony Quinn was not only a Mexican-American actor but also a “Filipino” (sic) celebrity. For he played the role of a Filipino soldier (Andres Bonifacio III, a supposed grandson of the founder of the Katipunan) in the celebrated film, Back to Bataan (1945), which had John Wayne play the lead role.


Readers may click this hyperlink to watch a clip of the 1945 movie:

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To students of American history, the Wikipedia should have said in the lead paragraph of Anthony Quinn’s biography that he broke for minority actors the Hollywood’s Glass Ceiling. He was the first minority actor to win an Oscar Award (and then another one) on his way to becoming a Hollywood legend. He was also the first Mexican actor to be recognized internationally. Aside from the two Oscar Awards, he won also the Golden Globe Award for Career Achievement, the David Award and the Valentino Award at the Venice (Italy) Film Festival.


Anthony Quinn received also the “Nosotros Latin Award” from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, which also created the “Anthony Quinn Award.” Mr. Quinn also earned praises from the Greek-American community and was made “Greek Citizen Ad Honorem” for his role as a Greek peasant in “Zorba, the Greek.”


Dead-Celebrity Endorser


F or several years, I told some close friends that if ever we get to launch what I dubbed the “Bicol-Leyte-Samar Socio-Economic Development (BLeSSED) Program,” I would recommend that we talk with the Quinn Family of using Anthony Quinn as a “dead celebrity” of an endorser for Philippine tourism and even for the revival of the Filipino movie industry. The advertising world is using now many deceased celebrities as product or service endorsers.


What celebrity – living or deceased – would have the biggest impact of saying on a commercial “Come back to Bataan or  Batangas, Basilan, Batanes, Butuan and retrace the steps taken by American heroes in the Philippines”? Or saying, “Remember my role as ‘Zorba, the Greek’? Come to Manila and visit the Adamson University that was founded by Greek immigrants to the Philippines.”


Or as I told then Msgr. Manuel Salvador, who named the Barrio of Monte Calvario in Bulan town of Sorsogon Province, what better endorser for the proposed Holy Week tourist attraction – in the style of Oberammergau passion play – this endorsement: “Having played the title role in Barabbas, the passion play is as good as it gets in Monte Calvario of Bulan town in the Philippines.”


Anthony Quinn – as resurrected through the magic of the computer – can probably best express in a commercial, “Come, America, Fall in Love Again with the Philippines,” a tourism slogan that this writer has proposed.


If indeed the proposed movie about the expedition commanded by Fernando de Magallanes and a 13-part series about it get filmed in a new studio in the Philippines, would it not be logical to have Anthony Quinn’s actor son, Francesco, play the lead role? After all, Francesco Quinn is himself an established actor who worked his butt off, not depending on his father’s name or connections in Hollywood or elsewhere. To learn more about Francesco, readers may click on this link,


Fate Intervenes Happily for Magellan2021


W hile I was searching on a way to contact the Quinn Family, I met Ms. Francisca Garcia, Francesco Quinn’s public-relations assistant, in June 2010. I was covering the primary victory of then California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown when I bumped into Ms. Garcia. I gave her my card and requested her to call me when there was an event for Francesco or his late father, Anthony Quinn.


Two months later, Ms. Garcia invited our Media Breakfast Club and this writer to a press conference on Aug. 21, 2010, at the Anthony Quinn Mural in Downtown Los Angeles. There we met Francesco Quinn for the first time. As the adage says, perhaps the rest is history.


On March 5, 2011, Francesco Quinn invited again our group to a black-tie event at the Pepperdine University to watch his performance as Pontius Pilate. It was the Saturday before Holy Week.


Since then I had telephone conversations with Francesco and his wife, Valentina, and some of their staff members. We have been brainstorming and continue to improve the plan of doing the Oplan “Magellan2021” and even doing the movie-studio project – as a viable way to revive the Filipino film industry.


There are ideas like organizing an “Anthony Quinn Film Festival” in Sorsogon Province – once the movie studio has been launched. Certainly naming it after Mr. Quinn will bring instant credibility, if not more publicity, to the event.


Eventually when we are able to push our so-called “Las Vegas-Caribbean of the Orient” series of resorts in the BLeSSED regions with Sorsogon as the pilot province, we can name tourist-oriented state-of-the-art movie houses after Anthony Quinn.


This writer also told Francesco Quinn that for his help in pushing successfully the projects in Sorsogon Province, we will name our proposed “Performing Arts Center” after him. It is just a way of expressing our gratitude for doing successfully the projects lined-up for Sorsogon Province.


We intend even to build someday a California version of our proposed “Anthony Quinn” theatres in the Historic Filipinotown District of Los Angeles. Why? Anthony Quinn studied in the “Our Lady of Loreto Grade School” and later in the original Belmont High School – both of which are located in the Historic Filipinotown. Before he became an actor, Mr. Quinn used to live also near the Echo Park, which is the site of the annual Peñafrancia Fiesta of the United Bicolandia-Los Angeles. The Echo Park and a major portion of the Historic Filipinotown are located in the Greater Echo Park-Elysian Neighborhood. It seems that it is not a matter of coincidences why we focused on Anthony Quinn to become the “marketing spokesman” of our BLeSSED Program and on his family to accomplish our Oplan “Magellan2021.” It is more-than a coincidence; it is fate.


After all, as this writer has said, both Spain and Mexico contributed a lot to the making of the Filipino heritage, as argued in this article, Rediscovering the “Missing Latinos in America”: The HispanoAsians and the ñ-Filipinos


Even Francesco Quinn, who is half-Italian and who was born in Italy, will find the Philippines like home. After all, as I have written Filipinos Are Indeed the Italians of Asia (Part 8 of the "Filipino Psyche" Series)


In the final analysis, everything actually depends on whether the people (some 9.0-million of them in the BLeSSED provinces) will be able to generate enough political will. For as they say, if there is a will, there is a way to turn dreams into economic reality.


(To be continued . . .)


Editor’s Notes: To read the Parts I and II of this series, please click on the following hyperlinks:


Using the Magellan-led Voyage’s 500th Anniversary as a Prestige Project to Propel the Philippines to Prosperity




Why Select Magallanes Town as the Site of a World-class Movie Studio with a Revived Shipyard for Making Galleon Replicas and Sailboats?



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Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2011 17:39

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