There is but one reason behind this:1 word. Respect. Respect for the arts, the artists, intellectual property rights, and the industry.

It all started last year in Cinemalaya**. We were in CCP for Pasinaya that time and out of nowhere, I remembered Cinemalaya. The first ever film festival I've been to. The reason why we decided to attend our first film fest was out of pure curiosity. We found ourselves enjoying in CCP, too. I did not know it will greatly shape the way I see the arts in general.

From the moment I stepped out of the bus to CCP, I felt pure happiness. From that day on, CCP became home to me so as the movie theaters. I wanted to cry because finally, we are about to witness great Filipino independent films. Another world is about to unravel right in front of me. I was not expecting for anything. I just want to immerse myself into films. I used to dislike movies. I ate my words. Then my love, respect, and appreciation for films [and arts in general] started to grow. Thus, my advocacy to say NO to film piracy.
A great practice to commemorate the love and respect of Cinema & Music (Art in general) is to stop pirating them. *
I believe it should start from myself. I cleaned my hard drive. I deleted every film/movie I pirated. I stopped watching movies from illegal streaming websites, nor try to copy movies from the USB of someone, buy pirated DVDs anywhere. I report those posted on YouTube, Facebook, I try to message the director of the film so that they can claim the rights and have it taken down. It did work. Trust me, they do appreciate it when you report those illegal sites/posts. It gives me a sense of responsibility too. Call me a hypocrite but I do what I should be doing. I say no to film piracy not because I don't want people to watch it or anything. I mean, they are shown in theaters. Why not try to catch it? Actually, recently, indie films are already distributed in many cinemas. Just keep posted.
Think of all the people behind the productions who worked relentlessly to make life-changing art just so they can convey their message to a bigger audience. *
Artists work almost 24 hours a day to shoot. The production team behind work non-stop just to give the audience the output they deserve. Producers take risks and spend millions to make films. Effort. Again, it all boils down to respect.

One of the reasons why film piracy is still rampant is the "lack of awareness". People think it's okay. It's legal because it's free. That it won't hurt anything or anybody. Even illegal downloading is also a violation. Therefore it is a violation of the Philippine copyright law, protected by the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, also known as Republic Act No. 8293. However, both unauthorized uploading and downloading of copyright protected works is illegal. [Jamelen Abaroa, 2012]  Film piracy is a crime. 

You can do something too. You can report, or better yet, stop watching from these illegal media. Stop it. Do not patronize them. This does not mean you can't watch movies online. There are legal sites where you can stream movies or shows like iflix, netflix, cinetropa, hooq, amazon, and more. Influence your friends and family. It might bring them into realization and it makes a whole lot of difference. Our own little efforts can go a long way. It gives them the sense of awareness that piracy is piracy. Let us respect the labor of these artists by not pirating their works.

From personal experiences, whenever I tell them I don't support film piracy, (some) throw me this weird look. Like, I don't get it. 😭 I don't know if they find me shallow for it or nah, but you know, at least, I stand for what I believe in. A friend once told me they were about to watch a movie from a pirated DVD and she suddenly remembered "Ayaw ni Lei n'yan! Magagalit yon..." [non-verbatim]. But you see, it makes sense. Be an example to them.

You might ask, what is the point? From the very beginning, I want to impart awareness among you guys and this blog is an avenue to do so. I hope by the end of this post, you'll come to the realization about the said matter. I'm not forcing anybody to delete every single movie, nor not to watch films online. I just want you to know that behind these films, there are a bunch of people who work hard enough just to give the audience what they deserve, the best art that they can. They deserve nothing but the best. Respect begets respect. 

For further readings:
The Culture of Piracy In The Philippines
Movie Piracy in the Philippines: origin, forms, factors and effects.
Downloading In The Philippines
Would downloading constitute violation of law in the Philippines?
Republic Act No. 8293 

Quotes are from Nikki Ruiz's tweet which I suppose was deleted.
** Cinemalaya is an annual 10-day independent film festival held in CCP theaters and in select Ayala Malls. This 2017, it will be on August 5-13.

Metro Manila, Philippines


  1. FINALLY. This is exactly what I want to say. It really saddens me when people (unknowingly) download movies online, I used to be one of them myself. Now I realized how important these works are for the makers, they gave so much hard work and time to it that we really really should respect the work and the makers themselves :) I'll definitely share and influence my friends and family, if we continue to do this, maybe hopefully someday we can stop this.

    yuki, solivagantic

    1. Thank you. I really hope one day film piracy won't be rampant anymore.