History and tradition of Philippines [cinematography]
Motion Pictures Philippines

History and tradition of Philippines [cinematography]

Film is a magical thing. It is revived by the synergy of all art. Film is life itself! And here are the movies that illustrate best the spirit of the Philippines.

philippine movies

Manila by night, 1980

Ismmael Bernal’s movie was created during the Marcos regime and back then it was forbidden. The film depicts in a perfectly vivid way the ugly face of Manila. Unemployment, violence, prostitution, drugs and lack of money. All those things Marcos’s regime did not want the world to see.

Why watch this movie: Due to the real picture of Manila as it is today, just a bit more modern.


Himala, 1982

Elsa is a simple country girl who saw Virgin Mary during the sun’s eclipse. In a small village of Kupang, where Elsa lives, arises a chaos. Everyone wants to see or touch her, the media is trying  to film her.

Why watch this movie: Due to presentation of the Catholic religion, which is still extreme in today’s society. 


Bayaning 3rd world, 1999

Jose Protasio Rizal Mercado is a Philippine nationalist. This ophthalmologist led the movement for political reforms and the overthrow of Spanish colonialism in the 1890s. He led it by writing. This is a movie about two filmmakers who explore his life in an attempt to make a film. So, the movie about the movie.

Why watch this movie: Because it represents a small introduction to the struggle against centuries-old Spanish colonialism.


Metro Manila, 2013

In search of a better life, Oscar and his family leave the village. He leaves his rice fields trying to find his way in the jungle as it is Manila. The film was in the Sandance Festival program. The production is British. The focus of the story is on the struggle of an ordinary man against local scammers, and his attempt to succeed, survive and secure the family.

Why watch this movie: Because of the truly portrayed picture of everyday life in Manila where it is very difficult to achieve a normal life. 


Segurista, 1996

Karen lives two separate lives. One is a boring life of an insurance saleswoman and she is very good at it. At night she is a business escort. On weekends she returns to her family living on the slopes of Mount Pinatubo.

Why watch this movie: Prostitution is highly widespread in the Philippines. Statistics show that the purchase of future brides and sex tourism are the number one reasons for visits of Westerners to this country.


Bunso: The Jungest, 2005

A short documentary about the difficult and ordinary life of the Philippines. A story about three boys who are struggling to survive in a crowded Cebu Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Center.

Why watch this movie: Because it gives us a perspective of the life of probably every third child you can meet on Cebu or any other Philippine island.

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