Love and sacrifice often go hand in hand.
We as a nation are not reminded of this fact as much as we are this Holy Week, when we commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus (for Christians and Catholics, that is). Holy Week is a time of reflection, and as such we have selected for you eight local films which effectively hold up the mirror to our society, and force us all to reflect on our lives and our choices.
These movies will help you look inward, as they characters grapple with the same difficult choices us "totoong buhay" tao do! Hopefully, this list helps you on your Holy Week journey.
1. "Kid Kulafu"
"Kid Kulafu" tells the story of Manny Pacquiao's childhood, from his estranged father's relationship with his unstoppable mother (Mommy D!) to the hard tough life he had in Bukidnon, Mindanao, and how it shaped him to be one of the greatest boxers in the world. It's ultimately a hero's journey that paints an honest picture of a young boy trying to make his way in this world, and the harrowing sacrifices he makes on his way to a better life.
It stars Buboy Villar, Alessandra De Rossi, Cesar Montano, Khalil Ramos, and Alex Medina, among others, and was directed by Paul Soriano
"Hiling" is a classic film that tells the story of a young child who was granted the power to make people's wishes come true. It's a subversive play on the age-old adage: "it takes a village to raise a child", if that village was touched, (and ultimately destroyed) by magic. It's biggest lesson? Be careful what you wish for.
It stars Camille Prats, Shaina Magdayao, Serena Dalrymple, Paolo Contis, Carlo Aquino, and a host of veteran Filipino actors such as Gina Pareño, Nida Blanca, Tirso Cruz III, and Cherry Pie Picache. It was directed by Jose Javier Reyes.
3. "Ang Babaeng Humayo"
"Ang Babaeng Humayo" asks us all to study our relationship with forgiveness through the story of a woman who, after 30 years of wrongful incarceration, is released to an unfamiliar world where she grapples with her desire for revenge and her capacity for love and forgiveness.
It stars Charo Santos-Concio, John Lloyd Cruz, Michael De Mesa, and Nonie Buencamino. It was directed by Lav Diaz.
4. "Everything About Her"
"Everything About Her" is a heartwarming tale about Vivian, a powerful but ruthless career woman whose deteriorating health eventually reveals itself to be her biggest blessing. With the aid of a strong-willed nurse who can meet her insult for insult, Vivian rebuilds her relationship with her estranged son.
It stars Angel Locsin, Xian Lim, and Vilma Santos, and was directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal.
"Dukot" tells the story of Carlo, the son of a government official who was kidnapped for ransom. It's a sweeping family drama that's wrapped around an exciting suspense thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
It stars Enrique Gil, Ricky Davao, Shaina Magdayao, Bing Pimintel, Ping Medina, Alex Medina, Bangs Garcia, and Christopher de Leon. It was directed by Paul Soriano.
6. "Way Back Home"
"Way Back Home" is a film about two sisters who were separated by a freak accident during a beach trip and who, 12 years later, embark on a difficult reunion which forces them to confront the history, resentments, and love in the distance between them.
It stars real-life friends Julia Montes and Kathryn Bernardo, and was directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng.
7. "Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis"
"Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis" is a historical and poetic epic that presents and meditates on Filipino history with fresh eyes. It is a story of love: love of God, love of country, love of history, and how that ultimately shapes a nation.
It stars Piolo Pascual and John Lloyd Cruz and was directed by Lav Diaz.
8. "Four Sisters and a Wedding"
"Four Sisters and a Wedding" is a film that examines the intricacies of a female-dominated family's relationship as they try to stop what they perceive as the problematic wedding of their youngest brother. Literally no one in this world hates this movie.
It stars Bea Alonzo, Toni Gonzaga, Angel Locsin, Shaina Magdayao, and Enchong Dee. It was directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina.