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The 23 independent Filipino films you should watch

While certain movies go against the norm, mainstream Filipino blockbusters have a reputation for clichéd and formulaic plots, repetitive celebrity tandems, and standard happy endings, among other factors. But when you delve into the world of independent movies, you’d find that there are some quality films that help elevate the local industry into something world-class.

The Binisaya Film Festival 2016, running from September 17 to 24, aims to help promote these movies by bringing them to a wider audience. After years of small screenings in coffee shops and under the bridge communities, this year marks the first time the festival will take place in commercial theaters.

Here are some of the independent films worth checking out:

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2013

Eluna Cepeda
2013

A romantic misadventure leaves our protagonist struggling with depression. He finds himself in the care of a male nurse, who lives with his gay brother. Together, they dole out equal measures of care and taunts to their patient. But one day, the urge to take revenge is felt. Bodies are dismembered and mutilated. No guilty party is spared. Will history be easily outrun?

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ALUNCINA

Grace Marie Lopez
aluncina

One day in the life of a young woman in a burgeoning city.

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AMBIHAS

Jaylou Dari
ambihas

When Jaylou, a mechanic, discovers the code of conventional courtship, he decides to use that discovery to carve his name in history. What could possibly go wrong?

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COBRA

Marco Campos
cobra

A bet collector makes the gamble of his life.

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engkwentro

ENGKWENTRO

Pepe Diokno

“Engkwentro” follows two teenage brothers attempting to escape an unnamed city controlled by an iron-fisted mayor. They must first break away from the cycle of crime, while trying to run from rival gang leaders and the state’s murderous vigilantes.

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FAMILIAR STRANGERS

Eric Peter
familiar-strangers

There is a social transformation worldwide into a positive attitude that unites us instead of tears us apart. Familiar Strangers: Conversations on the Near Future explores this very shift through a series of performative dialogues from a personal and local viewpoint. As a small-scale gold miner, Henerose Lorono can often be found digging for gold in his tunnel. Whereas, this practice seems to affect nature negatively, people’s lives have improved in financial terms. Heneroso’s daughter is now able to study.

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GET CERTIFIED

Isaias Herrera Zantua
get-certified

Heaven or Hell? These are the paths that the resurrected lost souls have to choose in the afterlife. But for Angelica — it’s hell or nothing! Will her strong conviction to become a full-fledged demon be enough for her to get certified?

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gugma-ni-olivia

GUGMA NI OLIVIA

Christian Linaban

Olivia, who sells knives for a living, develops a romantic obsession with her next door neighbor, Jeffrey.

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HAPPY FIESTA

Joe Bacus
happy-fiesta

A Western man in black pays local hospitals nightly visits carrying an ice bucket. Later revealed as a member of an international organ-trading association, he seduces women into spending nights with him with his ulterior motive. This night, however, he meets a mysterious woman who proves to be his match.

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HINAGUNOY SA GURYON

Karl Derick Sia
hinagunoy-sa-goryon

It was in the humble and peaceful countryside where the clouds spread across the sky and the palm leaves sway to the fresh mountain breeze that a growing fledgling experiences the pain of loss, the loss of time, and the time unspent with the father he never met. We follow the life of this tree sparrow towards the end of his, and the start of another.

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INAHAN SA KANUNAYNG PANABANG

Chloe Veloso
inahan-sa-kanunayng-panabang

Three brothers quarrel over the rights of their ancestral home and the care of their mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

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JUNILYN HAS

Carlo Francisco Manatad
junilyn-has

A dancer in a nightclub, Junilyn has to learn new moves to attract more customers during the Pope’s visit to the Philippines. But while she rehearses, she is also preparing her bold move to free herself.

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LOLA

Roberta Fuentes
lola

This is a portrait of my grandmother. Every day, she would sing her song while threading sorghum seeds that she sells in the market.

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LUNCHBOX

Remton Siega Zuasola
lunchbox

A mother works abroad leaving behind her sick husband and young son who couldn’t stand each other. Both boys suffer from intense longing of the same woman they loved and started drifting in a world of their own; Father drowns his sadness with his vices while son escapes through his drawings of imagined adventures, but an accident forces both boys to work together to become better men.

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MISS BULALACAO

Ara Chawdhury

BEHIND THE SCENE: Director Ara Chawdhury films one of the movie's pivotal scenes. (Photo credit: Panumduman Pictures)

BEHIND THE SCENE: Director Ara Chawdhury films one of the movie’s pivotal scenes. (Photo credit: Panumduman Pictures)

A young drag queen, Dodong, joins a barangay gay pageant to gain acceptance in his father’s community. He is instead met with hostility from his father, who chases him to a jungle, where he sobs to a lone bright star. What follows is the strangest night in his entire life, and an even stranger 9 months when he realises he is pregnant. With his only his stepmother, Lisa, as support, Dodong deals with ridicule from a barangay who does not believe him – until the rumours become a headline in a tabloid, “BAKLA, INA NG DIYOS”

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ONE DAY, ISANG DIWA

Nickle John Lim
one-day-isang-diwa

Two people facing the same fate and meeting the same end: sadness, darkness, fulfillment, and enlightenment. Will they find solace until they learn to accept life as it is?

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PAKIGBISOG

Steven Atenta
pakigbisog

A few days after a super typhoon ravages a small town in the Philippines, a lone survivor scavenges for food in an abandoned compound. He stumbles upon a large can of food which he takes for himself but also discovers another desperate and starving survivor willing to use violence.

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PROLOGO SA ANG DAKILANG DESAPARECIDO

Lav Diaz
prologo-lav-diaz

It had been 325 years that the Philippines was under Spanish rule when the Revolution, led by Andres Bonifacio, exploded on August 21, 1896. But on May 9, 1897, Bonifacio was charged with death sentence by rival revolutionaries led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Bonifacio’s body has never been found. His wife, Gregoria De Jesus, searched for his body in the mountains for thirty days, calling for Andres and even spirits to help her find her husband.

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saranghae-my-tutor

SARANGHAE MY TUTOR

Victor Villanueva

Benjamin teaches English to Koreans in an ESL centre. Despite his mundane and routinary life, he still believes that he will find his soul mate. One day, as if destiny intervened, he meets his new Korean student, Mi-Ok North Park…. it was love at first sight! Is this the soul mate that he’s been longing for? Will there be a happy ending between the shy Cebuano teacher and the beautiful Korean Angel despite their language barriers?

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STATIC

Jose Victor Bacsarpa
static

An inspector tries to get to the bottom of a local drug-related killing.

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SUPERPSYCHOCEBU

Christian Linaban
superpsychocebu

A young man is on a quest to find a mythical strain of cannabis called the SUPERPSYCHOCEBU. Along the way, he meets characters that appear to have lost their minds after trying it, one of them even possessed by the Devil, at which point he starts questioning whether he’s in for some good weed or just one hell of a bad trip.

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uwan-init-pista-sa-langit

UWAN INIT PISTA SA LANGIT

Keith Deligero, Remton Siega Zuasola

A story about heaven and hell.

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YES

Hanz Florentino
yes

Miguel gives a surprise wedding proposal to his girlfriend Jonah, when in the middle of the proposal Jonah secretly leaves and appears to have been cheating on him over a mysterious guy named Henry. Miguel retreats to a bar where he meets the temptress Melena. He now faces the dilemma of sulking on his fate with Jonah or accept the sweet invitation of Melena?

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BINISAYA 2016 SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES:

SATURDAY, September 17
SM Seaside City Cebu

6:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Lunchbox (Remton Siega Zuasola | PG)

7:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Q&A with the cast and crew

8:00 – 10:00 p.m.
ASIAN SHORTS:
Daughters of a Lesser God (Ammar Aziz | Pakistan | PG)
Fat Boy Never Slim (Sorayos Prapapan | Thailand | R13)
Lo Sum Choe Sum (Dechen Roder | Bhutan | R13)
Sepatu Baru (Aditya Ahmad | Indonesia | PG)
There Is No Poetry Here (Kalinga Deshapriya | Sri Lanka | R13)
Three Wheels (Kavich Neang | Cambodia | PG)

MONDAY, September 19
UP Cebu

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
BINISAYA CLASSICS
Saranghae My Tutor (Victor Villanueva)
Gugma ni Olivia (Christian Linaban)
Uwan Init Pista Sa Langit (Keith Deligero, Remton Siega Zuasola)

7:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Q&A with directors

TUESDAY, September 20
CIT

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
BINISAYA CLASSICS

3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A with directors

WEDNESDAY, September 21
CNU

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
BINISAYA CLASSICS

3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A with directors

Robinsons Galleria

5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno | R13)

8:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Miss Bulalacao (Ara Chawdhury | R13)

THURSDAY, September 22
USJR MassComm Studio

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
BINISAYA CLASSICS

3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A with directors

FRIDAY, September 23
USC SAFAD Theater

1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Filmmaker’s Forum with FDCP chair Liza Diño-Seguerra

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Prologo sa Ang Dakilang Desaprecido (Lav Diaz)

SATURDAY, September 24
USC SAFAD Theater

9:00 – 12:00 p.m.
The Film Business and Production with Cebuana producer Bianca Balbuena

SM Seaside City Cebu

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
REGIONAL SHORTS IN EXHIBITION
Happy Fiesta (Joe Bacus | Cagayan de Oro)
2013 (Eluna Cepeda | Manila)
Cobra (Marco Campos | La Union)
Aluncina (Grace Marie Lopez | Cebu)
Familiar Strangers (Eric Peter | Compostela Valley/Surigao del Sur)
Pakigbisog (Steven Atenta | Cebu)
Junilyn Has (Carlo Francisco Manatad | Tacloban)
Lunchbox (Remton Siega Zuasola | Cebu)

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
SHORTS IN COMPETITION
Lola (Roberta Fuentes | Bantayan | PG)
Hinagunoy Sa Goryon (Karl Derick Sia | Cebu | PG)
Inahan Sa Kanunayng Panabang (Chloe Veloso | Cebu | PG)
One Day, Isang Diwa (Nickle John Lim | Davao | R13)
Static (Jose Victor Bacsarpa | Cagayan de Oro | R13)
Get Certified (Isaias Herrera Zantua | Cebu | PG)
Ambihas (Jaylou Dari | Cebu | PG)
Yes (Hanz Florentino | Cebu | R13)

5:10 – 5:30
Q&A with Directors

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
SUPERPSYCHOCEBU (Christian Linaban)

7:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Q&A with the cast and crew

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Like Binisaya on Facebook for more updates.

All plot synopses courtesy of Binisaya.

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Events

BVLGARI in Cebu

May 10 – Cebu City  |  Step inside a world of opulence where gold shimmers and diamonds sparkle. BVLGARI, the renowned Italian luxury brand, is celebrated for its exquisite gemstone jewelry, thin watches, perfumes, and leather goods. With a legacy dating back to 1884, BVLGARI has become synonymous with elegance and craftsmanship. The newest BVLGARI boutique opened last week at the sparkling The Mall at Nustar Resort and Casino, fast becoming the shopping destination for discerning consumers.

Eva Gullas, Jeffrey Hang, Jaja Chiongbian-Rama and Butch Carungay

Jeffrey Hang, BVLGARI’s Regional Marketing Director for South East Asia, flew in from Singapore to welcome guests. “We are happy to unveil BVLGARI to the Cebu market. This is the company’s 140th year, and BVLGARI celebrates this landmark with the Aeterna High Jewelry Collection in Rome this coming May 20, attended by all our global ambassadors like Zendaya and Black Pink” Jeffrey shares with us. The collection will be available in SE Asia later in the year and in the Philippines at the end of the year.

Leading the ribbon cutting was Joseph Muñoz (commercial director of Bulgari Philippines, Jeffry Hang (regional marketing director of Bulgari South East Asian operations, Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey (Bulgari Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015), Allan Teo (chief operating officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino and May Adolfo (mall director of NUSTAR Cebu).

Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015

Sheila Osmeña-Go and Jaja Chiongbian-Rama

Spotted at the event was Joseph Muñoz, Commercial Director of Bulgari Philippines escorting Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015, Allan Teo, Chief Operating Officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino, Howard Go, Summit Media’s CEO and his wife, Cebuana Sheila Osmeña-Go as well as some of Cebu’s young fashionable set like Claudia Bezza Yeung, Marjay Ramirez, and Danessa Onglatco.

May Adolfo, Danessa Onglatco, Marjay Ramirez and Claudia Bezza-Yeung

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Business

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino Celebrates 25 Years of Commitment to Service

Waterfront Hotels & Casinos’ flagship property in Cebu is proud to announce its 25th-year anniversary on July 25, 2023. Over the past quarter-century, the hotel has been home to local and international tourists traveling to Cebu City for business or leisure.

Since 1998, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino has been recognized for maintaining its commitment to providing both patrons and guests with remarkable and notable services to create memorable experiences. From the hotel’s world-class amenities, luxurious accommodations, to exceptional dining experiences, and exciting offers, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino continues to be the venue of choice for special events, large conventions, concerts for local and international artists, trade exhibits, a relaxing staycation, and much more.

2013 – Top Producing Hotel by Room Nights from Expedia

2016 – Tin Gow as the Grand Slam Winner for Best Chinese Restaurant from SunStar’s Best of Cebu

Exemplary for its ability to provide for large groups and conventions, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino has warmly welcomed nationwide governing positions and well acknowledged communities for events throughout the years such as the Governors’ Workshop on Social Welfare and Development: Partnership for Devolution in 1999, the 25th Annual Convention of the Philippine Neurological Association in 2003, the United Architects of the Philippine’s 16th National Conference in 2004, the Annual General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in 2007, the Sangguniang Kabataan National Congress in 2008, and Liga ng mga Barangay events are set to take place in the property this year .

Being one of the city’s well visited venues for getaways, special occasions, grand events, and an appreciative dining experience, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino to name a few has been recognized for major and key awards on the following years:

  • –  2012: Gold Circle Award from Agoda
  • –  2013: Top Producing Hotel by Room Nights from Expedia
  • –  2014: Most Engaged Hotel Partner from Expedia
  • –  2015: Powering Global Travel Award from the Global Tourism Awards
  • –  2016: Tin Gow as the Grand Slam Winner for Best Chinese Restaurant from

    SunStar’s Best of Cebu

  • –  2017: Chinese Preferred Hotel from Ctrip
  • –  2018: Venue Standard Award from MICE
  • –  2019: Top Taxpayers Award from the Cebu City Government
  • –  2020: Grand Slam Winner for Best Events Venue from SunStar’s Best of Cebu
  • –  2021: Traveler’s Choice from Tripadvisor

2020 – Grand Slam Winner for Best Events Venue from SunStar’s Best of Cebu

From Cebu’s humble beginnings, it’s safe to say that Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino was there in the midst of the city’s development into one of the Philippines’ most progressive areas. Since the beginning, the property and its peers have always prioritized the citizens’ convenience by strategically placing themselves at the center of it all. Right across the hotel, what used to be Cebu’s very first airport is now a well-known destination for business development and commercial establishments, commonly referred to as the I.T. Park. Although the area has drastically changed over the years, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino managed to adapt and develop just as the Queen City of the South developed.

CSR – Bureau of Fire Protection

Waterfront Cebu does not only provide a place to stay but is an avenue that evokes feelings and creates significant memories to be cherished for a lifetime. One memory that’s worth remembering was when Regine & Martin Nieverra had their concert at the Pacific Grand Ballroom in 2003. Not to mention, 2005 SEA Games held their Dancesport event at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino followed by the prestigious Mr. and Miss Cebu in 2008.

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino is not only an essential part of the hospitality industry. The property continues to play its role as a vital force when it comes to giving back and uplifting the community. The premier hotel has contributed significant developments to the city’s growth, economy, and even tourism, but the property did not stop there. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities were also organized for Cebu’s social welfare as well as for the preservation of the environment with the aid of local NGOs and barangays.

Through the years here are some sustainable and transformative activities that the peers at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino have participated in:

  • –  2013: Lapu-Lapu Tourism Council Coastal Clean-Up
  • –  2019: Refurbishment Initiatives at Barangay Kang-atis Elementary School
  • –  2020: Waterfront Cares for Brgy. Suba (Part II)
  • –  2020: Weekly Round-Up – Frontliners of Brgy. Lahug
  • –  2021: Waterfront Bakuna Center
  • –  2021: Waterfront Care Packages
  • –  2022: Packages of Love to Barangay Looc
  • –  2022: Christmas Party for the Children at Barangay Pardo
  • –  2023: Tree Planting at Barangay Pung-ol
  • –  2023: Tree Planting at the Nug-as Forest Reserve

 

As Waterfront continues to blossom in the hospitality industry, its service with a warm smile is a Filipino value that guests would always come back to. In the effort to embody and maintain excellent guest satisfaction, the property’s department heads boast high training to its peers that remain visible in every guest interaction.

Keeping its grounds strong, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino would like to acknowledge the 25 years of support from the local government of the city as well as from the province in Cebu. Celebrating 25 years of Commitment to Service will only continue and progress for the years to come as the property and its management is looking forward to 25 years and beyond of excellent service wearing the ‘Waterfront’ smile.

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino would also like to thank their sponsors for this year’s 25th Anniversary celebration: Global Star Motors Corp., Cebu New Life Press, Premium Sole, Metro Retail Stores Group Inc., DC Fresh Flower Shop & Supply, Kettle & Shaker, and The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

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Events

Careless’ WAVY BABY Takes Over Sinulog

Careless’ first ever music festival, Wavy Baby, is bound to make the return of Sinulog one for the books.

Wavy Baby is a two-day music festival happening on January 13-14, 2023 at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City, Cebu with a lineup of over 20 artists recognized both locally and internationally.

Wavy Baby will feature international performers Pink Sweat$, Bambam, Sunmi, The Rose, Bag Raiders, Manila Grey, and Yultron. All artists signed under Careless namely, James Reid, Massiah, Jolianne, Lesha, August Wahh, Issa, SOS, Destiny Rogers, and A-Team will also be performing. Other Filipino acts include Ben & Ben, December Avenue, Urbandub, Franco, Denise Julia, and more. The festival will also feature local Cebuano acts such as Cookie$, The Sundown, Mandaue Nights, Three Legged Men, and Wonggoys.

Careless’ CEO, Jeffrey Oh, says “We’re really excited to do Wavy Baby in Sinulog because it’s the biggest and most historic festival in the Philippines. We want to build a festival that brings the best of the Philippines and the world together to meet and celebrate life and culture, which is what Sinulog is all about. We call it Wavy Baby because we want a wavy lifestyle and a wavy mindset. It also pays homage to Sinulog because the Sinulog symbols are water and the baby Jesus so it’s also a nod to that as well. We’re excited to be part of the Cebu family and build something special that hopefully we can repeat year after year.”

The festival itself will be held at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City, Cebu. There will be an Artist Lounge, VVIP Lounge, a VIP Area in front of the stage, Cocktail Pods, Sponsor’s Hives, and Market Pod.

The Cocktail Pod serves as an area for anyone to purchase drinks at the venue while the Market Pod is designated for food and other merchandise that will be sold. The Sponsor’s Hive will be where Wavy Baby’s brand partners will have different booths that festival goers can visit.

Regular Tickets are priced at Php 8,510 for VIP and Php 4,260 for General Admission. One-day Passes are also now available at Php 5,540 for VIP and Php 2770 for General Admission.

Keep up to date on all things Careless.

Follow Careless and Wavy Baby on their respective Social Media Accounts.

Careless Instagram – @carelessph

Careless Twitter – @careless_ph

Careless Facebook – @CarelessMusicOfficial

Wavy Baby Instagram – @wavybabyfest

Wavy Baby Website – www.wavybabyfest.com 

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