Pinoy Movies Everyone Has to See
9 films to add to the top of your must-watch list
Don’t get us wrong: foreign flicks and series are wonderful. All of us are guilty of a good Netflix binge watch and can talk hours on end about the latest Marvel film release. But in the thick of all of this, we can’t forget to turn to our own. The Philippines is home to talented filmmakers, good actors, love teams who know just how to play our hearts like fiddles.
Whether you’re a sucker for romance, an indie film junkie or simply have a soft spot for good old family narratives, trust us on this: there’s plenty to love here. Up ahead, we get you started on your Filipino movie marathon by name-dropping 9 must-watch titles across 3 genres.
This much goes without saying, but Filipinos love their romantic comedies. It seems embedded into our persona as a country at this point. Kilig-inducing flicks are the potent blood that flows through our veins and love teams are our guilty pleasure whether we choose to admit it or not. Rom-coms have long stolen hearts on the silver screen. An indisputable favorite is Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan’s 2002 classic, Got 2 Believe, while John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo’s A Very Special Love is a feel-good alternative from 6 years later. That Thing Called Tadhana, which crawled its way into viewers’ hearts with its relatable dialogue and lovable two-person cast, is another must-see.
If primetime television is any indication, Filipinos clearly have a knack for this genre. This affinity carries over to the silver screen, too, though it doesn’t always manifest in the hair-pulling, name-calling, spouse-stealing antics that seem to be a staple on local TV. A large number of Filipino drama films hit close to home, revolving around parents and family life. With iconic scenes and the ability to cause a ripple of emotion in even the best of us, Anak and Tanging Yaman are the proverbial tear-jerking poster children. Meanwhile, Ishmael Bernal’s Manila by Night (alternatively called City After Dark) is hard-hitting in a different sense, touching on topics people often sweep under the rug: prostitution, drug addiction and unemployment.
Thanks to independent film festivals and the presence of young, open-minded viewers and creators, the indie film has gained incomparable traction in the past few years. Free of the glitz and gloss that shroud mainstream movies, the indie genre often travels down a more real, more raw route, sharing stories still untold or offering fresh perspectives to scratch at the movie-goers’ emotional surface. Ekstra, starring Vilma Santos, offers a peek into the lives of bit players and the disparity between actors with minor and leading roles. Die Beautiful made waves in 2016 for cutting through misconceptions and telling a story from the perspective of a transgender woman. Sana Dati, the winner of the Best Film award at Cinemalaya in 2013, remains a favorite for its non-sensationalized take on romance and the ache it leaves in its wake.
Images via facebook.com/thingcalledtadhana