Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time (40-31)

40 – ANG TATAY KONG NANAY (Lino Brocka, 1978)

TatayBrocka’s landmark film on gay parenthood made viewers realize that love does not discriminate. Features what possibly is Dolphy’s best performance ever.

Voted by:

  • Joey Baquiran (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Ray Defante Gibraltar (Director; Wanted: Border, When Timawa Meets Delgado)
  • Gary Devilles (Professor, Kagawaran ng Filipino, Ateneo de Manila University)
  • Coreen Jimenez (Director, Kano: An American and His Harem): “Because Dolphy is my hero.”
  • Rolando Tolentino (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

39 – OLIVER (Nick Deocampo, 1983)

oliverThe first part of Deocampo’s Ang Lungsod ng Tao ay Nasa Puso trilogy, Oliver follows a female impersonator who supports his family by performing in Manila’s gay bars during the Marcos dictatorship. The film is one of the best illustrations of the fluidity of sexuality, as well as of the power of human agency in times of hardship.

Voted by:

  • Jag Garcia (Film Professor, De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde)
  • Ricky Orellana (Board Member, Society of Filipino Archivists for Film, Inc.): “The crudeness and the raw quality (shot on super-8 film) of this documentary does not distract but rather underpins the truth about the subject’s double life.”
  • Keith Sicat (Director; Ka OryangHimala Ngayon)
  • Mauro Feria Tumbocon (Founder, Filipino Arts and Cinema)
  • Cenon Palomares (Lecturer, UP Film Institute)

38 – BAYAN KO: KAPIT SA PATALIM (Lino Brocka, 1985)

bayan koBanned by the Marcos government upon its release, Bayan Ko has not lost its urgency and relevance today.

Voted by:

  • Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Director; Haruo, Kalayaan)
  • Patrick Flores (Founding Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Joni Gutierrez (Professor, UP Film Institute)
  • Senedy Que (Writer; Mga Munting Tinig, Homecoming)
  • Jerome Zamora (Writer; Bahay Bata, Haruo)

37 – AGUILA (Eddie Romero, 1980)

aguilaAguila is epic moviemaking at its grandest, condensing 80 years (from the 1896 Revolution to the 1970s) within 3 and half hours of solid, engrossing storytelling.

Voted by:

  • Gary Devilles (Professor, Kagawaran ng Filipino, Ateneo de Manila University)
  • Jerry Gracio (Writer; Mater Dolorosa, Aparisyon)
  • Ian Loreños (Director; Alagwa, The Leaving)
  • Simon Santos (Owner, Video 48)
  • Noel Vera (Film Writer, Critic after Dark): “Eddie Romero is best known for his beautifully written picaresque epic Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?; I prefer this, where history (from turn-of-the-century Philippines through the Second World War to near-recent times) is seen through the eyes of our thoughtful eponymous adventurer (the inimitable Fernando Poe, Jr.), and through the lenses of cinematographer Mike de Leon’s (a major filmmaker in his own right) quietly brilliant camera.”


encantosDiaz’ nine-hour opus examines the value of art amidst a tragic natural devastation.

Voted by:

  • Jet Leyco (Director; Ex Press, Patlang)
  • Adrian Mendizabal (Film Writer, Auditoire)
  • Chris Eriz Sta. Maria (Film Blogger, The One-Legged Woman is Queen)
  • Keith Sicat (Director; Ka Oryang, Himala Ngayon)
  • Award-winning young director who wishes to remain anonymous

35 – BADJAO (Lamberto Avellana, 1957)

badjaoThis is Avellana in his prime as a filmmaker, transporting mostly Christian Filipino viewers to an unfamiliar milieu (Tausug and Badjao relations in Southern Mindanao) and successfully crafting an absorbing tale of love triumphing against all odds.

Voted by:

  • Ina Avellana Cosio (Senior Lecturer, UP Film Institute)
  • Jose Javier Reyes (Director; Makati Ave: Office Girls, Kasal Kasali Kasalo)
  • Simon Santos (Owner, Video 48)
  • Nicanor Tiongson (Professor Emeritus, UP Film Institute)
  • Jake Tordesillas (Writer; High School Circa ’65, Bagets): “I found this timeless when we watched it recently, more than his other masterpiece Anak Dalita that I found dated (I may be wrong on this, just a personal opinion).”

34 – PAGPUTI NG UWAK, PAG-ITIM NG TAGAK (Celso Ad. Castillo, 1978)

pagputiCastillo and co-writers successfully adapt (albeit unconsciously) Romeo and Juliet to a post-WW2 rural Philippines.

Voted by:

  • Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Director; Haruo, Kalayaan)
  • Jerry Gracio (Writer; Mater Dolorosa, Aparisyon)
  • Jason Jacobo (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Nonoy Lauzon (Programmer, UP Film Institute)
  • Jon Lazam (Director; Nang gabing maging singlaki ng puso ang bato ni Darna, Hindi sa Atin ang Buwan)

33 – BABAE SA BREAKWATER (Mario O’Hara, 2003)

breakwaterO’Hara’s magical realist take on people living in one of Manila’s polluted breakwaters is a welcome respite from the spate of social realist melodramas that came before it.

Voted by:

  • Lex Bonife (Writer; Ang Lalake sa ParolaAng Lihim ni Antonio): “An image of poverty in color and style.”
  • Ina Avellana Cosio (Senior Lecturer, UP Film Institute)
  • Jerry Gracio (Writer; Mater DolorosaAparisyon)
  • Eli Guieb (Professor, UP Film Institute)
  • Jeffrey Jeturian (Director; KubradorPila Balde)
  • Pam Miras (Director; PascalinaWag Kang Titingin)
  • Vincent Sandoval (Director; AparisyonSeñorita)

32 – BAGETS (Maryo J. delos Reyes, 1984)

bagetsProbably the most enjoyable film in the list, Bagets proved to be wildly popular among the country’s teenagers, who soon began imitating the hair and clothing styles of the lead stars.

Voted by:

  • Libay Cantor (Professor, UP Film Institute): “I mean come on, every generation tends to come up with their own quintessential youth flick, but really, it’s Bagets that wins ’em over. It was really able to capture the Pinoy youth of that decade, and if you look at how it captured it, it was more honest and more daring than youth films of today. Like hello cougar ang jowa ni teen! Sankapa. Among other things.”
  • Coreen Jimenez (Director, Kano: An American and His Harem): “The structure of this film is so flawed and there are so many loopholes in the script but it all makes sense in the end. Feels so much like the movie of my generation.”
  • Skilty Labastilla (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Arminda Santiago (Professor, UP Film Institute)
  • Dondon Santos (Director; NoyDalaw)
  • Rolando Tolentino (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

31 – KUBRADOR (Jeffrey Jeturian, 2006)

kubradorGina Pareño stars in the role of her life as a no-nonsense jueteng collector. The film marks the beginning of influential screenwriter Bing Lao’s foray into real-time mode (later seen in films such as Foster Child, Serbis, and Kinatay, among others).

Voted by:

  • Ina Avellana Cosio (Senior Lecturer, UP Film Institute)
  • Ralston Jover (Director; Bakal Boys, Marlon)
  • Ed Lejano (Director, UP Film Institute)
  • Dado Lumibao (Director; In da Red Corner, Must Be Love)
  • Rianne Hill Soriano (Film Reviewer, Business World)
  • Award-winning young director who wishes to remain anonymous







7 thoughts on “Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time (40-31)

  1. Erratum: ‘Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Director; Tirador, Kalayaan)’?

    Tirador is Mendoza’s film. Adolf’s are: Kalayaan, Adela, Donsol, Fable of the Fish, Manila, Presa, D’ Anothers, Batanes, Chassis, Mater Dolorosa

  2. I notice that “Thy Womb” suddenly appears, replacing “Relasyon” on the 49th spot. Then “Relasyon” appears after the 39th place “Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising” still bearing the rank of 49? Can you explain this admi?

    1. Hi Hermie,
      Yes, there were changes to the ranking of some films because while we were rolling out the list, two of our invited respondents submitted their ballots, increasing the ranking of the films in their lists. Relasyon moved up to number 40, but we did not notice that the ranking was still written as 49. It has now been corrected. Thank you!

  3. Thanks SCL. By the way, dapat ang tied sa # 40 ay ang “Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising” at ” Hinugot Sa Langit” both with 4 votes. Tied in #39 position ang “Pagputi Ng Uwak, Pag-itim Ng Tagak”, “Tatay Kong Nanay”, “Bayan Ko: Kapit Sa Patalim”, “Oliver”, “Aguila”, “Death in the Land of Encantos”, “Badjao” and “Relasyon”, all of them with 5 votes. Tied in # 38 Position ang “Kubrador” and “Bagets”. THANK YOU!!

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