50 – ANG DAMGO NI ELEUTERIA (Remton Siega Zuasola, 2010)


Cebuano Remton Zuasola’s debut feature film achieved the (almost) impossible: to shoot a 90-minute film in one long take, the camera following Terya and her family as she departs her home to begin a journey to Germany as a mail-order bride.

Voted by:

  • Misha Anissimov (Film Professor, University of San Carlos)
  • Zurich Chan (Director; Teoriya, Boca)
  • Skilty Labastilla (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Ed Lejano (Director, UP Film Institute)

49 – MALVAROSA (Gregorio Fernandez, 1958)

Malvarosa photo- 59- Charito Solis2Fernandez’ engaging family melodrama features a feisty Charito Solis as the youngest and only female sibling of a family beset by misfortunes.

Voted by:

  • Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Director; HaruoKalayaan)
  • Christopher Gozum (Director; AnacbanuaLawas Kan Pinabli)
  • Gerard Lico (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Ramon Nocon (Board Member, Society of Filipino Archivists for Film)

48 – A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS FILIPINO (Lamberto Avellana, 1965)
portraitAvellana’s adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s landmark play about an upper-class family’s struggles on the cusp of WW2 captures the spirit both of the play and of the human condition of a bygone era.

Voted by:

  • Patrick Campos (Professor, UP Film Institute)
  • Ina Avellana Cosio (Senior Lecturer, UP Film Institute)
  • Jojo Devera (Film Writer, Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy): “A poignant elegy to the custom and ceremony that died with a cityand the innocence and beauty that lived too briefly.”
  • Ramon Nocon (Board Member, Society of Filipino Archivists for Film)

47 – EL FILIBUSTERISMO (Gerardo de Leon, 1962)

El Fili- Robert Arevalo-sfDe Leon’s masterful adaptation of Jose Rizal’s sequel to Noli Me Tangere brought to life the characters that most Filipinos are familiar with from their high school literature classes. Pancho Magalona delivers a towering performance as Simoun.

Voted by:

  • Benjamin Garcia (Director; Batad: Sa Paang Palay, Malan)
  • Nicanor Tiongson (Professor Emeritus, UP Film Institute)
  • Mauro Feria Tumbocon (Founder, Filipino Arts and Cinema)
  • Noel Vera (Film Writer, Critic after Dark): “Jose Rizal’s great social novel turned into Gerardo de Leon’s great Gothic film–Crisostomo Ibarra’s quest for revenge, given unforgettable cinematic life by Pancho Magalona’s menacing performance as Ibarra (here called Simoun), shot through de Leon’s monumentally angled lenses.”

46 – BONA (Lino Brocka, 1980)

BonaBrocka directs Aunor in one of her iconic roles: that of a suffering martyr who gets her comeuppance in the end.

Voted by:

  • Dwein Tarhata Baltazar (Director, Mamay Umeng)
  • Benjamin Garcia (Director; Batad: Sa Paang Palay, Malan)
  • Eduardo Roy, Jr. (Director; Bahay Bata; Ang Pinakamagandang One-Night Stand)
  • Shaira Mella Salvador-MacKenzie (Writer; Tanging Yaman, Sana Maulit Muli)

45 – THE MOISES PADILLA STORY (Gerardo de Leon, 1961)

The-Moises-Padilla-StoryDe Leon’s gripping political drama based on the real life story of the eponymous hero set the standard for much of the political films that came after it.

Voted by:

  • Benjamin Garcia (Director; Batad: Sa Paang Palay, Malan)
  • Simon Santos (Owner, Video 48)
  • Nestor U. Torre (Film Writer, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
  • Noel Vera (Film Writer, Critic after Dark): “In mostly Roman Catholic Philippines, this is Gerardo de Leon’s Passion Play, a political tract that transcends its propaganda intentions to become a great character study–of the man who becomes the film’s Christ figure (Leopoldo Salcedo at his most heroic), and his compellingly tormented Judas (former president Joseph Estrada, in the performance of his career).”

44 – HINUGOT SA LANGIT (Ishmeel Bernal, 1985)


The quintessential Filipino abortion movie expertly navigates the heightened emotions involved in the struggle between personal freedom and societal burden.

Voted by:

  • Rody Vera
  • Antoinette Jadaone
  • Jason Jacobo
  • Wenn Deramas

43 – RELASYON (Ishmael Bernal, 1982)


Bernal’s empathetic examination of the psyche of a kept woman provided the template for the spate of Filipino mistress films that is to come in the coming years.

Voted by:

  • Carlitos Siguion-Reyna
  • Jose Javier Reyes
  • Pam Miras
  • Zig Dulay
  • Wenn Deramas

42 – SALAWAHAN (Ishmael Bernal, 1979)

One of the wittiest and most quotable Pinoy films ever, Salawahan shows the lighter side of Bernal, telling the story of two young male cousins who decide to trade courtship styles to hilarious consequences.

Voted by:

  • Coreen Jimenez (Director, Kano: An American and His Harem): “Bernal really knows his comedy. I love watching this movie over and over and over again. One time, I also watched this film in a very intimate screening  with Matt Ranillo. That was so fun!”
  • Jon Lazam (Director; Nang gabing maging singlaki ng puso ang bato ni Darna, Hindi sa Atin ang Buwan)
  • Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez (Art Studies Professor, UP Diliman)
  • Vincent Sandoval (Director; Aparisyon, Señorita)
  • Jessica Zafra (Film Reviewer, InterAksyon)

41 –  KUNG MANGARAP KA’T MAGISING (Mike de Leon, 1977)

kung mangarap

Perhaps the most romantic film in the list, featuring Hilda Koronel at her loveliest and Christopher de Leon at his dreamiest, Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising was made when Baguio was still the coolest place to be.

Voted by:

  • Simon Santos
  • Joaquin Enrico Santos
  • Mike Sandejas
  • Jon Lazam
  • Gary Devilles