With community quarantine still being implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we commemorated the anniversary of the Proclamation of our National Independence Day differently this year.
The size of the crowd that joined the activities and protests on the streets were not what we were used to, since public transportation was still limited, and others had to prioritize their health and safety. However, this doesn’t stop us from being one in celebrating the independence of our country.
With technology and available streaming platforms such as Netflix, it’s not too late and we can still join in by watching these Filipino films that truly encapsulate who we are as Filipinos.
Seven Sundays (2017)
This film which is timely to watch before Father’s day next week revolves around the story of a lonely father played by veteran actor Ronaldo Valdez who is told by his doctor that he only had 7 weeks to live due to cancer, so he prompted his children to go back home and spend his last 7 Sundays with him.
His children played by Aga Muhlach, Dingdong Dantes, Enrique Gil and Christine Reyes obeyed his request but had difficulty to live again under one roof due to their differences and unresolved family issues. This family drama hits so close to home and makes you realize that no matter how deeply rooted our problems are as a family, love binds us and resolves everything.
Kid Kulafu (2015)
Filipinos and people around the world have surely watched a lot of Manny Pacquiao’s boxing matches and probably have also seen films and documentaries about his life such as Pacquiao: The Movie (2006) and Manny (2014) yet Kid Kulafu is the best yet.
Instead of casting an actor with the typical good looks, Director Paul Soriano chose the talented Buboy Villar who well represents the young Manny Pacquiao and every Filipino child who dreamed big despite living in poverty and conflict.
The film also used great imagery and moving scenes that focused more on where Manny Pacquiao came from and not on what he has become—telling the story of how a simple boy born in the mountains of Bukidnon outlived trials and succeeded through resilience and faith.
Die Beautiful (2016)
We’ve all been used to seeing mainstream films that tell stories of members of the LGBT community in the usual comic and cliché way but gladly, we have the film Die Beautiful that really puts effort to take an in-depth look into the everyday experience, joys and struggles of being queer in the Philippines.
This film lays out the story of Trisha Echevarria (Paolo Ballesteros), a transgender woman with beauty queen dreams who died during a pageant. Flashbacks of her life from having been gay from childhood, struggles in joining pageants in different towns, her wonderful friendship with Barbs (Christian Bables) and their joys and heartbreaks together were juxtaposed by her wake where her best friend fulfills her last wish and where people shared how their lives were changed by Trisha.
This story definitely gives us a clearer picture of how the LGBT community continues to live their lives beautifully and triumphs over discrimination and inequality.
Hintayan ng Langit (2018)
A second chance at a long, lost love – that was the heart-wrenching story told by Dan Villegas’ Hintayan ng Langit. This film which featured multi-awarded and veteran actors Gina Pareno and Eddie Garcia who played as ex-lovers who happened to meet and cross paths again in the purgatory relive their past relationships filled with promises, missed opportunities and regrets.
This movie will definitely make you realize the essence of valuing the people present in your life and how important it is to just live and cherish every moment with them before it’s too late.
Metro Manila (2013)
Finding “Metro Manila” on Netflix was like finding a gold mine.
It is a British independently produced film set in the Philippines and tackled the journey of a family that moved from the countryside to Manila and found themselves holding on to desperation and unforgivable acts just to survive.
Though veteran actor John Arcilla had a big role in the film, the movie didn’t need to have an all-star cast to perfectly reflect how life and death occur in big city slums without any exaggeration.
About the Author
Apple Gamboa is the Creative Team Lead for PayMaya, the leading digital financial services provider in the country. She was previously a Media Relations Manager for Ogilvy Philippines and an interview and field producer for GMA News programs Quick Response Team and News to Go. She was also a producer of lifestyle TV shows and documentaries. Travelling and music are her passion, and taking risks is her reality medicine. Journalism 2010, UST. Read more of her articles here.