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7 Modern Filipino Movies to Add to Your Bucket List

From the film, “Kita Kita”

The Filipino movie is worth dying to watch for and the future is bright for Philippine cinema! The Philippine movie industry has proved itself to be a promising feat, especially with the rise of new and talented filmmakers.

With the likes of Antoinette Jadaone (That Thing Called Tadhana and Love You To the Stars and Back) and Sigrid Bernardo (Kita Kita), these filmmakers have created themselves players of a “new game” in the Philippine movie industry, experimenting with uncommon storylines and techniques, and screening them to public theaters in areas where masses usually gather.

Although the much-loved rom-com is still a popular genre, several Filipino movies involving action and thrill proved it could create stimuli among the perceptive Filipino audience.

From the movie, “That Thing Callled Tadhana”

Since June is the month to wave the Philippine flag with honor, what better way to complete this month-long celebration than to add these to-die-for flicks that will make your #ProudlyPinoy heart skip a beat? So treat yourself to a break, invite some company and pop in these movies that will no doubt give you a great time.

Going on a movie marathon by yourself or with friends and family is not only a fun way to bond, but also a way to support locally produced films and to truly appreciate the Filipino mind.

We listed down some movies recommended by family and friends. Some films on this list may be something you may have watched already (Tick them off to your list, then!) So pop that corn, get a large drink and sit down because these movies are going to blow your mind, while simultaneously poking that proud Filipino heart of yours.

100 Tula Para kay Stella 

Directed by Paul Laxamana
100 poems = 100 reasons why the stuttering boy loves the girl in the black lipstick.

Psychology freshman and poet, Fidel, meets and falls in love with fellow freshman Stella, a rocker who prefers her band than her studies. Having difficulty to express his affection due to his stuttering, Fidel secretly writes her 100 poems in a fleeting course of four years.

Meanwhile, Stella goes through a rough patch in her life. The only thing she wants to achieve in her life is to score a record label and be the most famous rock star in the country. Along the way, she struggles to find love and her true self, oblivious to the fact that one person has set his heart for her.

This heart-wrenching film is one unforgettable story. And since everyone loves a heart-breaking story, it’s no wonder that this was the most suggested one of the bunch. The film depicts love in its most sincerest and silent forms, and how it could turn things around in the most unexpected ways.

Heneral Luna 

Directed by Jerold Tarog
The ultimate decision between self and country.

The year is 1898, and the Philippines has just been declared independent from the Spanish colony. Yet, a new problem arises our revolutionary leaders– the Americans. General Antonio Luna, with his great love of country than of himself, fights tremendously to save the Philippines from yet another foreign colonizer, and sees beyond the Americans’ sweet advances that entices his fellow leaders.

Heneral Luna takes us way beyond what we’ve learned from our History classes. It’s one of the most brilliant historical films produced in the Philippines. If you have seen this film, then you must agree on me on that note. If you haven’t, then I’ve got three words for you: Watch. It. Now.

That Thing Called Tadhana

Directed by Antoinette Jadaone
Where do broken hearts go? It takes you where you were meant to be.

Anthony and Mace meet at a rather unpleasant situation; Mace cries over which of her belongings to let go while relating everything to her recent breakup, while Anthony finds himself lending a hand to the poor lady at the airport in Rome. Upon arriving in the Philippines, they go on an unexpected journey to find a way to mend their broken hearts

On their journey, they help each other forget their own disappointment and heartbreaks in recent and previous events, while developing a closeness that deepens as they get to know each other more.

With its quirky statements and cheesy “hugot” lines, That Thing Called Tadhana will make you believe in love again. The film stirs from the usual Filipino love story format seen in commercial films with its simplicity and realistic vibes, the reason why audiences were captivated by this unlikely story. It catapulted to the success and recognition of Jadaone as a fierce and upcoming director of Philippine cinema.

Love You to the Stars and Back 

Directed by Antoinette Jadaone
Their love goes where the road takes them; part of it involves getting captured by aliens.

Mika, an eccentric and awkward girl, set out for a road trip after feeling out of place at home. She decides to go to Mt. Milagros, a place her mother used to talk to her about, to get captured by aliens. Along the way, she accidentally meets Caloy, a good-humored boy and decides to give him a free ride until he reaches his destination.

Mika is surprised when she learns that Caloy has cancer. Despite his condition, he accepts this and remains positive and joyful. They both embark on a series of adventures and misadventures that unexpectedly leads them to a memorable romance even at such a young age. They eventually arrive at their destination, learning an important lesson on love and life.

This movie is another setback for Barreto and Garcia, this being their second movie as a tandem. They have really spiced up audiences with their charm and chemistry, even with the simplicity of the storyline. Jadaone has yet again turned herself away from the usual rom-com and delivered.

Patay Na Si Hesus

Directed by Victor Villanueva
This is not a road trip movie; this is a funeral.

Iyay informs her three adult kids that their estranged father, Hesus, has passed away. Despite the reluctance of her children, she pushes them and her sister Lucy to join her on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral

This Cebuano dark comedy was one of the crowd favorites during last year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino film festival. Jaclyn Jose, having won the Best Actress award at the 2016 Cannes Film festival, takes a different take from her usual dramatic roles. In this film she proves that she can also do the comedic role. So put on your seatbelts, and take the dreary but funny road to Hesus’ funeral.

Kita Kita

Director- Sigrid Bernardo
A heartwarming story of an unlikely couple who meets and proves to themselves that love is not blind.

Lea, a Filipina tourist guide who lives in Sapporo, Japan loses her eyesight after seeing her fiancé cheating on her. As she lives her life in temporary blindness, she encounters Tonyo, her neighbor who is also Filipino. Tonyo tries to cheer Lea up by doing her a few favors. Once he gained her trust, the both of them visit Sapporo’s tourist destinations.

On the night that Lea finally regains her eyesight, she sees Tonyo happily waving at her from the other end of the street, but he gets hit by a vehicle afterwards. Days after, Lea visits Tonyo’s house and discovers a lot more about Tonyo. Later on, she revisits all the places she and Tonyo used to go, carrying with her always a blindfold.

With this unlikely duo, this movie shows you that love is truly unconditional. It knows know condition or circumstances; it is as it is. Be prepared, though, because tears may also be involved when watching this film.

Ang Larawan 

Directed by Loy Arcenas
A high-price bidding war of an unlikely masterpiece. In song form!

A throwback to the American colonization of the Philippines, this movie was based on a play titled Larawan by national artist Nick Joaquin. The film circles around two sisters, Candidad and Paula Marasigan, who find themselves in a financial crisis after their father, Don Lorenzo was caught in a recluse and has stopped painting for a long time now. To get some money, they take in a boarder named Tony Javier.

Meanwhile, a self-portrait made by Don Lorenzo sparks the interest of many high-profile personalities. Although the bid price could help them ease their way out of their financial problems, Candidad and Paula fear that they will lose such a precious treasure from their family. From there on, the two sisters shall choose between family and stability.

This is a perfect film to watch with your family, especially that the story surrounds one as well. Aside from that, it also gives a clear picture of the lifestyle of that time, when materialism and consumerism were on the rise. With an original score composed by the iconic Ryan Cayabyab, this Filipino musical will surely captivate you.

Culture

PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later

Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202

AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.

We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.

We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.

Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.

 

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Business

Keep Calm by Knowing These Myths About COVID-19

by Chrissy Grey Resaba

 

In these times of pandemic, hysteria and panic have taken over the world and nonchalance is a word not to be manifested for today. Worry and fear are enveloping around Cebu with enough evidence of the actions taken by the public – the hoarding of necessities and goods.

 

Cebu – both the city and the province – is working towards making the island a safe haven from the pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus. Entry points of both ports – aerial and naval – are now closed. Curfew hours are being implemented to secure that no one is outside during the hours indicated. Business and academic sectors shifted their modes to work-from-home and online classes. Medical professionals have been on the frontlines battling against the proliferation of COVID-19.

 

It is quite eerie to look at the main streets of the Queen City of the South having few crowds to none. The hustle and bustle of the metropolis has gone into an empty space. The actions taken by the government and the Republic of the Philippines are for better or for worse; it is only for the good of the public.

 

Cebu has been under the state of community quarantine and certain measures were implemented to ensure the public’s safety and well-being. However, there are still myths making rounds in social media and the public in general about the ways to avoid COVID-19. These myths are not supported by scientific evidence. The scattering of fake news worsens the situation instead.

 

Here are some myths about the Novel Coronavirus:

 

1. Hot and cold weather

Contrary to popular belief, the COVID-19 virus will never die when exposed to hot or cold weather. This type of coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas regardless of the weather.

 

2. Drinking water

It is necessary to hydrate ourselves and to moisturize the throats but there is no scientific evidence that consuming volumes of water can flush out the virus.

 

3. Antibiotics

Clear enough from the name of the medicine, antibiotic never kills the virus but bacteria instead. It is not advisable to take antibiotics to prevent COVID-19.

 

4. Eating banana

There is a video circulating in social media about the banana fruit that miraculously kills the COVID-19 virus. However, if one should be keen enough to examine the video, it is a hoax. To date, there are no approved treatments for the virus. Eating a banana and other fruits can boost the immune system instead but not kill the COVID-19 virus.

 

 

Practicing proper hygiene such as regular hand washing with soap and water remains to be an effective way of preventing infection since soap dissolves the structure of the virus. The public should not be very complacent enough to rely on hand washing alone. Maintaining social distance, staying at home, having proper coughing or sneezing etiquette, and putting oneself in self-quarantine if one traveled from outside Cebu or the country are some of the best ways to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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Culture

La Liga Henerales: Shaping History Awareness Back Again in Cebu

La Liga Henerales is a community of young talents passionately promotes historical awareness through periodic costumes carefully researched for its authenticity and accuracy and promoted as well in events and schools.

Only few individuals before were into pursuit in this historical awareness project until the age of communication where internet is convenient in the palm of our hands through our gadgets. New information travel fast and data is retrievable, yet also possess a disadvantage with the plethora of different social media platforms carried by various makers as well. In a daily basis, historical backgrounds are unearthed making its trend until now as new discoveries are released, but the idea of these information being shown and shared is as close as not valuing or commemorating to its sources leaving this information just a trend.

There is a certain community of Cebuanos that are taking a quest to rewrite and restructure what was in the past, filling the gaps in facts with further research of variable sources that are made debatable but sticks to it true cause, to unveil the truths of our heritage and our origins, as Cebuanos and as Filipinos as well.

La Liga Henerales is a Cebu-based, non-profit organization composed of a group of talented, committed and respectable individuals from different walks of life, schools and profession whose primary aim is to promote both, Cebuano and filipino culture and heritage that was depicted before in pre-colonial and colonial eras via re-enactment with costumes vested in proper research and investigation to achieve authenticity. They also push their cause on schools and other social gatherings promoting and spreading awareness about our local, and national heroes that we look up to. With these said, they also portray a closer look of the lifestyle of the past to where they perform stories, perform forgotten dances and rituals and portray their individual roles, vital in the fight of our country’s future during those challenging times, and in honor to spread awareness of the lost practices we had in those times.

The Founder

Combining passion and education. Louis Villaflor re-enacts his way patriotism through his periodical costumes and expresses his love for Cebu and Philippines as a culture-centric country.

Louis Kenneth Villaflor, an entrepreneur and an avid history enthusiast and costumer, founded the group on the purpose of re-educating the youth about real local and national history, he saw the opportunity to combine his favourite hobbies which is costuming and story role-playing and the process to instill the historical awareness and value among the youth and in schools, along with a group of fellow enthusiasts who shares his passion about research and history, they took it among themselves to be purposeful in the advocacy in spreading historical awareness in schools or events by wearing periodically correct costumes and sharing the stories and its value to the youth.

Behind the Garments

With the its senior expertise of fashion design and a teacher of the field, his passion also of history caters also in his designs as he pushes through sustainable fashion and historical awareness combined.

Meet Rodney “Pee-Wee” Senining, who has been in the fashion industry since the late 90’s, strives  in concepts of avant-garde, innovation and cutting edge-fashion forward design. And also a teacher of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design of University of San Carlos, he had grown into research of books like the holy grail in the Library Resource Center and is always fascinated of the periodical times and how to preserve it; Hence, his interest had grown for the affinity of Periodical Costumes and Sustainable Fashion.

 Being part of the group La Liga Henerales, he was tasked to instantly be their mentor for the young talents and as the organization is still new and developing with limited funds, resourcefulness and research were done to come up with a good output of photo shoot and was quite proud of it and still promise on the next editions of pieces to be more historically accurate. Even as teacher for Fashion Design in SAFAD, his expertise comes hand in hand with the members as he helps them do research as well. His passion and interest somehow led him with enough knowledge to key the insights of the significant periods and historical backgrounds of it.

Historical Awareness in Cebu

The strength and progress of a country is anchored on how well they know and honor its history. The means of historical awareness in Cebu is almost non-existent among the Cebuanos, although we push forward in tourism and promote beauty through sceneries and other aspects of culture yet never commemorate deeply on historical icons such as our other local heroes, and ancient cultures as well that is almost been forgotten in an urban Cebu. Nevertheless, as long as communities’ like La Liga Henerales are now evolving in a learning state by real discovery by multiple resources, this will always reflect of how we appreciate love, patriotism and honor to our country and would look forward to progress.

 

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