FAST FACTS: Who is Romy Vitug, Filipino master cinematographer?

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FAST FACTS: Who is Romy Vitug, Filipino master cinematographer? 

Dana Vitug-Taylor's Facebook

One of the film industry's most celebrated icons, Vitug has long been hailed for his award-winning cinematography for several TV series and films

MANILA, Philippines – Celebrated Filipino cinematographer Romeo “Romy” Vitug – known for being a master in his craft – has died, his daughter Dana Vitug-Taylor confirmed on Friday, January 19. He suffered from health complications, and died in a hospital in General Trias, Cavite , according to an ABS-CBN News report.

Many fans and local celebrities mourned the loss of Vitug, an icon in the Philippine movie industry who leaves a legacy of exceptional cinematography in several TV series and films.

A fruitful career spanning decades

Vitug had been in the industry since 1969, boasting a stellar career spanning over 50 years working with some of the industry’s best directors, actors, and actresses. According to IMBD, his first recorded cinematography work was for documentary Recuerdo of Two Sundays and Two Roads That Lead to the Sea, directed by Bibsy Carballo.

His last recorded work as cinematographer was for the series The Good Son from 2017 to 2018. According to, Hellow Soldier (the second film in the Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa trilogy in 1974, starring Lino Brocka) was Vitug’s first official film project.

There are over 100 titles to his name, with some of his notable works including 2010’s Tanging Yaman, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig (1987), Hihintayin Kita sa Langit (1991), Ikaw Pa Lang Ang Minahal (1992), Mga Bilanggong Birhen (1977), Atsay (1978), Rizal in Dapitan (1997), Kung Mahawi Man Ang Ulap (1984), Paradise Inn (1985), Saan Ka Man Naroroon (1999), Kapag Langit ang Humatol (1990), Sana Maulit Muli (1995), Hihintayin Kita sa Langit (1991), Pagputi ng Uwak Pag-itim ng Tagak (1978), Alamat ni Juan Makabayan (1979), Salome (1981), Haplos (1982), and many more.

Award-winning work

Vitug – who was an avid supporter of Sagip Pelikula – carries several awards and nominations to his name.

He was inducted into the Metro Manila Film Festival Hall of Fame in 2019 for Best Cinematography. Years earlier, he received the Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, and the Cinemanila International Film Fest Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Under the FAP Awards, he was the 2011 winner of the Manuel de Leon Award. He won Best Cinematography for his work on 1996’s Sana Maulit Muli, 1995’s Maalala Mo Kaya: The Movie, 1991’s Kapag Langit ang Humatol, and 1988’s Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?, among others. 

He won the Famas Award for Best Cinematography for Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? in 1988 and for Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak in 1979.

Vitug also has several Gawad Urian awards and nominations for his films from 1978 to 1999, including Bakit May Kahapon Pa?, Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal, Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit, and many more.

He won the MMFF Award for Best Cinematography for Rizal in Dapitan in 1997, for Kung Mawawala Ka Pa in 1993, for Magkano ang Iyong Dangal? In 1988, for Payaso in 1986, Paradise Inn in 1985, Atsay in 1978, and Mga Bilanggong Birhen in 1977.

Vitug also won the Young Critics Circle Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography and Visual Design for The Flor Contemplacion Story (1996). 

Vitug’s daughter Dana announced in a Facebook post on Saturday, January 20, that the wake for her father was at the 2nd Floor San Antonio de Padua Holy Trinity Chapel in Sucat, Parañaque City. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, January 24, after which he would be laid to rest. –

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