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Animator says "Urduja" claim as first Pinoy animated movie is false

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abs-cbnNEWS.com, June 19, 2008

World-class Filipino animator Gerry Garcia said he is really upset with reports and claims that the new film "Urduja" is the Philippines' first full-length animated movie.

The animator explained that it was his 'baby' "Adarna" which owns the title of being the first full-length Pinoy animated movie. "Adarna" was released in 1997.

"Adarna" was released under FLT Productions and Guiding Light Productions as part of the Metro Manila Film Festival. It featured the voices of singers Jolina Magdangal, Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez.

Garcia wrote and directed the animated film. He said "Adarna" was the first animated movie in Philippine Cinema, and that it received a Special Award from the Metro Manila Film Festival specifically for this distinction in December 27, 1997.

On his trophy it said 'ADARNA Kauna-unahang animated Movie sa Philippine Cinema.'

He received the same from FAMAS and other award giving bodies. In Japan, Adarna was honored during the 7th Hiroshima Animation Festival as "Asian collection" in 1998.

In recent press releases for "Urduja", producer Tony Tuviera said that he believes his film is the first of its kind in the Philippines. This statement angered Garcia the most.

"Sa sarili mo hindi mo che-checkin 'yun kung sinong may unang gumawa, impossible -- common sense yun," he said.

A resident of Verona New Jersey since 1998, Garcia said he chose to live a quiet life abroad.

He said "Adarna" has been his pride and joy and he carries with him the honor from that movie. So when Tuviera claimed an accomplishment that Garcia said he proudly earned, he said he had no choice but to speak up and let the world know.

"Kahit sino mang artist, paglalaban mo 'yung baby mo, anak mo 'yan," he said.

Garcia said he feels helpless and can only count on Filipino American news outlets especially in New Jersey to defend his legacy. Reports said Garcia has no plan to sue Urduja's makers.

He just hopes that credit and respect will be given to those who really earned it. He said he just simply wants everybody to know the truth.

with Lenn Almadin-Thornhill, ABS-CBN News, Verona, New Jersey

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