The best local film scenes of 2017

You never really know what kind of moments stick with you months after a movie comes out. For our invited voters, below are the ten most memorable scenes in Philippine cinema in 2017. This list is part of our 7th Annual Film Poll, and like what we did last year, we have invited reviewers and filmmakers (directors, writers, actors) to talk a little bit about the particular scenes.

Scene of the year: The ending (Respeto)

Paul Castillo, Kung Sine Sine Lang: “Humantong si Hendrix sa katauhang pinakakinamumuhian niya—ang taong kayang magpadanas ng dahas at kamatayan sa ibang tao. Walang naidulot ang nabasa niyang mga salita sa mga isinulat ni Doc sa lumang mga pahina o ang pabigkas na pangangaral at pagpigil ng matanda sa kaniya. Hindi naging sapat ang muling pagbaling sa nakaraan ng kaniyang tinatangkilik na sining upang bitawan ang tangan niyang bato at matulad sa pagkakamali ng nakaraan. Ang parikala rito, sariling dugo ng matanda ang napagbalingan ng ganti na madaliang hustisya para kay Drix ngunit mahabang karma para sa dating nagawa ni Doc.

Ganito na lamang ang halaga ng sumasaboy na mga papel na naglalaman ng mga salita hindi lamang ni Doc kundi ng lahat ng nabuhay na manunulat sa iba’t ibang panahon. Ito ang pagkatapon at pagbagsak ng tula bilang kawalan ng silbi ng salita sa harap ng karahasan. Napapanday ng mga makata ang salita upang mapasunod ito ayon sa bisyon ng manunulat para sa kaniyang sining ngunit hindi ganoon kadaling mahuhubog ang katauhan ng kabataang pinatigas na ng kaniyang lipunan.”

Treb Monteras, director: “A few days before principal photography of Respeto, we still didn’t have an ending that we were happy with. This ending came about during one late night session with my producer Monster Jimenez, our creative consultant Mario Cornejo, our Cinematographer Ike Avellana and our Assistant Director Timmy Harn. I told them that I wanted a more poetic ending and told them about an idea that I’m not sure would work. I wanted to have pages fall from the sky. We all loved the idea but we were not sure if we could pull it off. On the day that we were supposed to shoot the scene, it rained and we had to reschedule. This scene is a composite of live and CG book pages.”

 

The extraction (Triptiko)

Nicole Latayan, Tit for Tat: “The highlight in Miguel Michelina’s debut of three vignette stories happened in the second episode when aspiring model Joseph Marco asks the help of shaman Art Acuña to cure his boil. This scene is Triptiko at its best – it’s over the top and gross, ambitious and odd, but at the same time disgustingly satisfying.”

Miguel Franco Michelena, director: “The Hinog segment in Triptiko is about vanity and the extremes that people are willing to go to for beauty. So I wanted a scene that will highlight these extremes, and I wanted the audience to experience it viscerally. The scene was inspired by the processing scene in The Master by P.T. Anderson. It’s a long scene with just the actors in medium close ups, but it worked so well because of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s and Joaquin Phoneix’s performances. It is such a powerful scene in spite of its technical simplicity.

While writing the extraction scene in Hinog, I was trying to gross myself out and at the same time I was trying to make myself laugh. I wanted to push the characters to their boiling point (no pun intended) and eventually ended up with a 16-page scene. It was written to be funny, but I didn’t want the actors to play for laughs and rather play it straight. That was crucial because for the scene to work, the audience would have to believe that what was happening, no matter how absurd, was really happening to the characters. Art Acuña and Joseph Marco understood what I was going for, and they did it perfectly.

When it was time to shoot the scene, I told the actors that I would shoot in segments, essentially cutting the 16 pages into 3 parts. But when we started shooting, we were so engrossed with Art’s and Joseph’s performances that we just let them play it out until the very end. They ended up doing most of the scene in just that one take. They were so unbelievably good that it was hard not to laugh while watching the monitor. It was such a fun scene to shoot.”

Joseph Marco, actor: “It was one of the most memorable projects I’ve done so far. I had so much fun doing it because it was one of my dream projects. I like scenes that are nasty and disgusting. Anything that will gross the audience, I’m a fan of. Doing Triptiko is one for the books! It was a dream come true for an actor like me. It’s not the usual kind of thing!”

 

The blackout (Ang Larawan)

Tristan Zinampan, Screen Anarchy: “A point often raised against Ang Larawan is how safe it feels as an adaptation; not fully-exhausting the film form in its transition. But regardless of this safety, film’s inherent ability to show performances up close, as compared to theater, dramatically benefits Ang Larawan as it is able to better highlight the dynamism, range, and nuance of Joanna Ampil’s performance — especially in the film’s stand-out blackout scene. In it, Ampil’s Candida, under the duress of her and her sister’s dwindling capability to keep their noble house afloat, finally snaps after the lights fail to come on one evening.

Initially, she is restrained in her delivery of worry and shame for their house’s power might have been cut due to unpaid bills. But just as fast as she descends into hysterical laughter after learning that it was all a city-wide blackout, she starts belting wails of self-hate and pity. Ampil is able to traverse this full spectrum of emotions seamlessly, the burden of excellent acting seemingly at ease. Frustration, desperation, irony, all in the span of a few minutes. If this highly-celebrated West End actress’ name were the most obscure for movie-goers amidst an ensemble of Philippine star power, after this scene, it would be impossible to not take note of Joanna Ampil.”

Loy Arcenas, director: “The blackout scene was designed to use the length and expanse of the Villavicencio bahay-na-bato (the location used in the Ang Larawan shoot) to its maximum. The sequence had been rehearsed extensively prior to the shoot. Both Joanna Ampil (Candida) and Rachel Alejandro (Paula) had recorded the singing parts beforehand, except the final breakdown of Candida by the window; that was done live. If I remember correctly, Joanna did two takes of the laughter and breakdown.”

 

The run back (The Chanters)

Skilty Labastilla, Pinoy Rebyu: “Towards the end of The Chanters, we see Sarah Mae desperate not to miss the visit of her pop star idol in her school that she had to tether her increasingly senile grandfather to a sari-sari store just so he wouldn’t wander off on his own while she’d make a quick dash to her school. The second she makes it to school amidst students cheering for whoever was onstage, it suddenly hits her: the perks and accoutrements that modern society brings don’t mean jack compared to the love one shares with family. That epiphany sends Sarah Mae running back in tears to her grandfather, even if he doesn’t look bothered at all with being tied to a furniture piece. This scene works because it’s a powerful act not just of Sarah Mae’s acknowledgment of her grandfather’s important role in her life but also of her embrace of the culture and tradition he embodies, as the last living chanter of Sugidanon epics in their community. So we know when Sarah Mae chants at the end of the film, it’s no longer to impress a pop star idol, it’s to declare her pride of her own identity.”

James Robin Mayo, director: “During Pre-production, dumaan sa napakaraming revisions and versions ang The Chanters. Originally, yung treatment ay ginawa ng Executive Producer ko dati sa isang TV network, si Ms. Ana Puod. It was inspired from a 2011 documentary segment sa isa naming show. Hinanap pa namin sa archive yung segment na yun, kala namin nabaon na talaga sa baul, hahaha! Anyway, we went back to the community to immerse and do location-hunting. And to our surprise, sobrang iba na yung lugar. Ang dami nang nabago. Ang daming bago.

Then, nang makabalik na kami dito sa Manila, nag-revise na agad kami. Sa tulong ni direk Eduardo Roy Jr., napiga talaga utak namin to come up with a story na makaka-relate kahit hindi ka taga-roon sa community and at the same time ipinapakilala mo rin ang community through the perspective of an outsider. And then slowly, yung story naging personal sa akin. Simula pa lang kasi challenge na yung pagiging alien ko sa community; I’m not from there. I’m just a visitor na hindi naman expert sa history and culture nila. Iniiwasan namin yung Cultural Appropriation. Pre-prod pa lang, lagi ko nang tinatanong sarili ko, why do we need to preserve our traditions? Our culture? And it was during our immersion ako nagkaroon ng epiphany. The reason is always the person, not just the tradition itself. You want to keep the memory of your loved ones through these legacies. Gusto mong i-share ang pride, yung pinaghirapan nila, yung love nila sa isang bagay, especially the stories behind it, di ba? Pansinin mo yung mga nagkukwento about their traditions, laging may mga anecdotes about their parents, their lolos and lolas. In my case, father ko naman ang inspirasyon sa part ng story kung saan binalikan ni Sarah Mae ang kanyang lolo sa gitna ng paghahabol niya sa kanyang iniidolong artista. Ayokong iwan ang father ko, or family ko in general, sa journey ng buhay ko. I want them to be with me kasabay ng pagbabago ng panahon and at the same time din, hindi namin iniiwan ang alaala ng bawat isa. For me, pag family ang reason mo to preserve a certain culture, innate na yan. Hindi mo na kailangang pag-isipan pa.

Kaya yung eksenang yan, it was somehow a metaphor of my experience. In the midst of modernization and progress, madalas (or kung hindi man, minsan) iniisip ng mga tao yan ang dahilan kung bakit nawawala ang ating kultura, pero for me, hindi. Tayo, tayong mga tao ang dahilan kasi pinili nating iwan ang ating kultura sa nakaraan. Lagi namang may paraan para isalba ang mga dying cultures natin, we can always use technology and, especially, education para ma-preserve ang mga ito while enjoying the perks of the new trends.”

 

Kiko cries (Kiko Boksingero)

Json Javier, The Spotless Mind: “It is the simple and mundane moments demonstrating the palpable love between young Kiko and the ever-reliable Yaya Diday that makes Kiko Boksingero an emotional knockout. In the film’s most affecting scene, a heartbroken Kiko (abandoned yet again by his estranged father) receives the tightest hug from a person that redefined the concept of family. It is a relatively quiet sequence, free from all the usual hysteria of Pinoy melodrama, made even more powerful by the graceful performances of Noel Comia, Jr., Yayo Aguila, and a third character, the majestic view of the Baguio landscape at night.”

Thop Nazareno, director: “From the beginning, it was clear to me that this scene would be the highlight and will emotionally articulate the whole point of the film, which is family isn’t defined by blood. What defines family is being able to open yourself and allow yourself to be vulnerable kasi alam mong may sasalo sa’yo.

I spent a lot of time building this scene to make sure it comes out organic yet effective and powerful, from the script to editing. I wanted this to be the quietest scene sa buong pelikula to show that less is more and I wanted to maximize that effect. Hindi kailangan malaki ang eksena, hindi kailangang magimik at madaldal. In fact, marami akong kinunan na shots but during editing I decided not to use most of them and stick to my original vision which is to keep it simple.

Ultimately, this scene is a reflection of Diday’s love – hindi magarbo, simple at natural. Nasa everyday little things ang pagmamahal niya for Kiko: sa bimpo sa likod, sa coleman, sa gulay, sa juice, sa paghahatid sa school, etc. This scene is meant to highlight that kind of love – a love that endures.”

 

The ending (Bliss)

Macky Macarayan, The Death of Traditional Cinema: “I love abrupt endings, and the way Jerrold Tarog ended Bliss, it was a two-pronged payoff: once we realize Jane Ciego’s (Iza Calzado) condition halfway into the film, we wait for the moment when she finally comes back to reality. Enter Rose (Adrienne Vergara), an unhinged woman with a sex addiction due to a childhood incident. In the end, we both have the story payoff when Jane finally opens her eyes, and the more literal payoff of orgasm after Rose performs oral sex. I guess after Jerrold Tarog led us on a wild goose chase, the ending is cherry on top (pun not intended).”

Jerrold Tarog, director: “The ending was shot the way it was written and conceived, intercutting between Jane being molested by the troubled nurse, Jane climaxing in her dream, and the opportunistic people in Jane’s life caught in a screaming match at the hospital lobby, with each side claiming moral ascendancy. It was intended to be a clusterfuck of hypocrisy and abuse with an intentionally mellow soundtrack to highlight how ridiculous it all was. At the final moment, after complaining throughout the story about how she just wants to sleep, Jane finally wakes up to the face of the abuser/abused. Cut to heartbeats and that little wink at the end credits which, I confess, I’ve already done in an earlier film.

Iza Calzado was somewhat nervous about the nudity and Adrienne Vergara was weirded out about touching another girl, but they pulled it off and I’m proud of what they accomplished. Shamaine Buencamino had to exert the most effort. The part where she fell at the end was unintentional but it worked so well for the scene. I still feel bad for TJ Trinidad because we did around 4 takes in rehearsal and maybe 5 on camera for that fight and Shamaine slapped him for real every time (I told her to pretend during rehearsals but she slapped him anyway). Audie Gemora improvised some lines and made it all even more insane. It’s always amazing watching skilled actors give their best. Special mention to the male nurse walking around with the music player. That’s Jai Rabin who is required to have a cameo in every independent film I do.”

Adrienne Vergara, actor: “The last scene in Bliss was actually one of the easiest for me (compared to the other much heavier and loaded scenes). Yung only hurdle ko lang naman is to not tickle Miss Iza sa neck part nya during the scene or else magigising agad si Jane hehehe. May bed scenes na kaming nashoot before like yung sa dream na alternate kami ni Sir Ian on top of Miss Iza so hindi na ako masyadong naco-conscious at comfortable na. Although I admit may sense of awe pa rin sa beauty ni Miss Iza, lagi kong sinasabi homaygahd may Diyosa in front of me, so napapanganga lang ako minsan hahaha.

For Rose, aside from knowing by heart yung medical protocols ng isang nurse tending a patient with Jane’s condition, dapat magmukhang as if matagal na syang routine na ginagawa kay Jane. Yung sense of control ni Rose over Jane’s body, yung sense of triumph from giving pleasure, and reliving memories of Ate Ling yung what made it orgasmic for Rose. It reached an unexpected climax nung nagising si Jane and I can imagine how magical it was for Rose.

I really had a great time creating Rose and Lilibeth and favorite ko rin si Jerrold, Miss Iza and TBA katrabaho as in. Binaha ako ng happy memories!”

 

The bridge (Love You to the Stars and Back)

Den Lebantino, film reviewer: “Caloy’s pain seeping against his attempt at powerless repression is emotionally afflictive. The moment it bursts into an adamant assertion to be left by Mika on the bridge is home, because it is reflective of our own pain and indignation. Then he questions God, expresses deep contempt against his father, and pushes Mika away. The individual interpretations of both characters are far from being staged. Joshua Garcia as Caloy is human enough to feel and embrace his pain, and Julia Barreto as Mika responds instinctively to him–in palpable panic and concern. The scene captures both the intensity and natural despair of filling one’s emptiness with viable sense of affirmation that relieves him of existential guilt, which the scene is able to deliver in the absence of “hugot lines” that could have diminished its natural bravura. It is just so effective that all you can have for both Caloy and Mika is empathy for their vulnerable hearts, a reality that transcends even the truism of romantic love.”

Antoinette Jadaone, director: (from previous interview) ‘Two days naming kinunan yung scene. Nung first day, kulang pa rin yung emotions. So bumalik kami dun sa bridge nung second day. Wala na kaming balik. So sinabi ko kay Joshua, “Wala ka nang chance ha. Kapag ito hindi mo nagawa, wala na tayong babalikan dito talaga. Mahal na to.” (laughs) Si Joshua umaga pa lang nagpe-prepare na yun e. Sinabi ko sa kanya wag kang magpe-prepare nang hindi pa naman yun kasi madadala mo yung bigat sa eksena na hindi naman mabigat.

Yung eksena na yun, nung kinunan namin nung pangalawang araw, ang sabi ko sa kanilang dalawa, “Wala tong blocking. Hindi ko sasabihin kung ano yung blocking niyo. Huwag kayong mag-usap kung ano’ng gagawin nung isa.” So ang instruction ko dun kay Caloy, “Kailangan mapaalis mo si Mika. Make her leave. Yun lang ang instruction ko sayo. Dapat umalis siya.” Ang instruction ko kay Mika, “Kahit ano’ng mangyari, huwag na huwag kang aalis. Umalis ka lang pag na-feel mo na kailangan mo na talagang umalis.” Kaya yung ginawa ni Caloy dun na sumampa siya sa bridge, wala yun sa script. Pero yun yung way niya para mapaalis si Mika. Kaya nung nakita yun ni Mika, parang nakita ko biglang naging Julia siya e. Kasi nag-English siya, “Oh, don’t do that! Don’t do that!” So nung nakita ko yun sa kanilang dalawa, na-realize ko, matalino tong dalawang artista na to. Kasi wala akong instructions, pero yun yung gusto kong gawin ni Caloy talaga. Kaya bridge, kasi kung nandun ka na sa point na ano, wala, i-e-end mo na talaga yung life mo, di ba? “Umalis ka”, ganyan. Pero hindi ko sinabi kay Joshua na yun yung magpapaalis. Pero sobrang happy ako na na-gets ni Kuya! Tapos si Julia, ayun, di talaga siya umalis. Sabi ko, “Words, di naman magpapaalis sa iyo e.” Kaya yung itsura ni Julia dun, feeling ko sa totoong buhay talaga yun. So sobrang happy ako. Sabi ko kay Joshua, “Okay na na nag-second day tayo dito sa bridge.’

 

Carson’s confession (I’m Drunk, I Love You)

Emil Hofileña, Rogue Magazine: “Most romantic comedies treat the confession scene as a climactic moment wherein one character attempts to initiate a serious connection with another person. So how great for I’m Drunk, I Love You to play this moment against our expectations. Carson finally tells Dio how she’s felt about him for the last seven years, but this confession isn’t for him; it’s for herself. Everything leading up to this point has suggested that Carson confessing probably isn’t a good idea. She already knows what Dio’s answer is probably going to be. But she HAS to say it because this love that has consumed her–making her beat herself up and do reckless things like run off to La Union a day before graduation–is the very thing that’s holding her back from growing up. Carson lets the words go and only then does she realize how petty they sound. And in a moment that’s awkward, uncomfortable, and all too real, a tipsy Dio kisses her. She reciprocates first, then nudges him away. The one thing she’s always wanted is the same thing she knows she can’t have.”

JP Habac, director: “Ang isa sa pinakamahalagang eksena sa pelikula ay kung paano aamin si Carson ng pagmamahal niya kay Dio. May mga moments sa pelikula na tila akala mo ay aamin na si Carson pero hindi pa pala para ma-build up yung mismong pag-amin. Sa daldal ng pelikula, kailangan ng isang tahimik at masakit na eksena na babasag sa kaingayan ng buong pelikula – at ito yung eksena na yun.

Maraming nagtatanong kung bakit hinalikan ni Dio si Carson nung umamin si Carson sa kaniya. Pero halos lahat ata ng lalaki na kapag nalagay sa ganung sitwasyon, yun ata ang unang-unang gagawin. Pero dahil matalino si Carson, alam niyang ginagawa lang yun ni Dio hindi dahil mahal siya ni Dio, kung hindi dahil naaawa lang si Dio sa kaniya. Saket.

Kinuhanan namin ang eksena na ito ng isang buong gabi sa La Union. Binigyan ko ng option sina Maja at Paulo na pwede silang uminom ng kaunting alak para mas maramdaman nila ang eksena – na ginawa rin naman namin sa ibang mga eksena. Ano pa’t naging I’m Drunk, I Love You ang title kung walang totoong alak sa set. Hehe.”

 

The rooftop shooting (NeoManila)

James Espinoza, Film Police: “For a film basked in neon lights, Neomanila actually depicts a gray world where no single character can be defined as good or bad. This is most evident in the rooftop scene in which Irma, captivatingly played by Eula Valdez, executes the film’s unexpected twist, which upends the narrative. It was shocking, to be sure, (and one of the few times I let out an audible “shit!” while watching a movie) but a careful review reveals the responsibility with which the writers peppered just enough throwaway details to earn the deceit. While Mikhail Red should be commended for tackling timely issues in his films, Neomanila, up until that scene, could have been easily dismissed as just another EJK film, especially at a time when the audience is close to becoming, if they have not yet become, desensitized. But by letting a fully realized character like Irma make such a drastic choice, Neomanila contends that behind every individual, whether they be drug pushers or hired killers, is a set of personal motivations – not to justify wrongful actions but to open discourse.”

Mikhail Red, director: “Without spoiling anything, the rooftop scene in the third act of NEOMANILA comes as a disruptive shock to most viewers, just as intended. It turns the narrative on its head; the growing conflict erupts in a scene that catches the audience off-guard, delivering a powerful and unexpected blow. We finally see that one character’s journey comes to a sudden end, deprived of true freedom to choose between damnation and redemption; we realize that another character has already made that decision. We realize that in the grim reality of war, there are no victors, only victims. Lives are cut short all the time, and people’s choices, freedoms, and second chances are stolen from them. To the unprepared or inattentive, it may leave a bitter taste – which is only natural, the horrific moment is intended to shatter conventional narrative expectations, reminding us that there are no true protagonists in a time of war. For those who pay closer attention or for those who view the film more than once, the subtle hints that point to another character’s inner conflict start to reveal themselves, and the rooftop scene starts to appear as an inevitable collision that can only end in disaster. In fact, the very opening scene of NEOMANILA subtly prepares us for what’s in store, after an assassination we see the camera shift from one perspective to the other, and at the very final moments of the film, we see it happen again. We are faced with the tragic reminder that in life there are no real main characters, there is only the dead and the dying.

Eula Valdes, actor: “We were there early for the other scenes inside the building then had to wait to get dark. Prior to that scene we shot the scene after that first, where Irma chases after Raul. I enjoyed firing at him so much it became a joke that I was actually getting rid of him for real. Also, after I fired THE SHOT, I would point my gun at Raul and Rocky thought I would just do the motion of firing then point the gun at him. His reaction would be like, “What the…”, then he’d run. In the actual take, I fired talaga. The camera didn’t catch Rocky. Nagulat daw sya, biglang nawala sa frame.

For the crying in that scene, my shot was side view ko, and normally tears would just cascade down my cheeks, but luckily tears fell like corn kernels so it was visible on that angle.

We shot til 1 AM, I think. I have a 2 AM cutoff for my MWF TV taping schedule, BUT if we had to finish some scenes for NeoManila I would stay til 4 or 5 AM. Eager kame to do a good job rather than finish early. We would even ask for another take, or ask Mik if he’s happy with our work. He would be the one to say, “OK na tayo, pack up.”

 

The burning village (Balangiga: Howling Wilderness)

John Tawasil, Present Confusion: “There are many scenes in Balangiga that reflect the devastation brought upon by American forces, but one scene in particular sticks: Kulas and his grandfather travel through a devastated town, aflame and in ruins. The visual analogies to hell are evident here. But at the same time, this is the scene where Kulas discovers a toddler in the ruins. To me it shows that even in the most dire of places, hope still exists, perhaps even more so when such a hell is viewed through the innocent eyes of a child, untouched by the cynicism of adults.”

Jerry Gracio, screenwriter: “When Khavn asked me to collaborate with him, sabi ko, ‘sigurado ka?’ Medyo matagal na ako sa TV, I am perceived as a ‘mainstream writer’ and because I’m familiar with his works, sabi ko, ‘parang hindi tayo bagay.’ But I can’t say no to a friend, kaya isinulat ko ang Balangiga. Aware of production limitations, ayaw ko sana ng malalaking eksena, but how can you tell the story of Balangiga without the burning of a village by the Americans? So isinulat ko ang eksenang nasusunog ang isang baryo, at doon makikita ni Kulas ang two-year old na si Bula. Base sa pagkakasulat, alam ko kung gaano ito kahirap, kaya sabi ko bahala na siya, kung hindi kaya, puwede naman i-rewrite ang script. Nagulat ako nang mabalitaan na nag-set-up si Khavn ng isang buong village para sunugin. Isa ang mga eksenang ito sa kating kati akong panoorin: madalas, iba ang ini-imagine ng writer sa papel sa nakikita niya sa screen. Pero hindi ako binigo ni Khavn. Kaya binabawi ko na ang sinabi ko, mukhang in a way, bagay kami.”

 

INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS»

Mayk Alegre, Cinemaddict

  1. “Mabuhay ang mga Bata” monologue (Alipato)
  2. “Pigsa” extraction (Triptiko)
  3. Confrontation and interconnection (Changing Partners)
  4. Demolition and final sequences (Respeto)
  5. Lullaby (Balangiga)

Ace Antipolo, Movies for Millennials

  1. The final confrontation scene between Hendrix (Abra), Doc (Dido de la Paz), Fuentes (Nor Domingo) and Betchai (Chai Fonacier) in the film’s ending (Respeto)
  2. Felix and Maxim’s “Make It Hard” scene (2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten)
  3. Jane (Iza Calzado) kills Lilibeth (Adrienne Vergara) and wakes up, only to see Rose (Vergara) molesting her unconscious body (Bliss)
  4. Felix “seeing” Magnus and stripping off his clothes during the film’s final scene (2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten)
  5. Mika and Caloy’s confrontation scene at the bridge (Love You to The Stars And Back)

Paul Castillo, Kung Sine-Sine Lang

  1. Papers falling scene (Respeto)
  2. Burning village scene (Balangiga)
  3. Mass grave scene (Birdshot)
  4. Pest control scene (Neomanila)
  5. Opening the door at the hallway (Bliss)

Robert Cerda, Space Aso

  1. Pedro Calosa and the burning bush/tree – Dapol Tan Payawar Na Tayug
  2. The end sequence of Ang Larawan
  3. Close-up of Chai Fonacier singing and then cut to a frame/montage of kids playing in the garbage – Respeto
  4. Sex between Raul and Irma, Irma wearing a motorcycle helmet – Neomanila
  5. Iah and Gennie’s five-hour walk to reach the school for Aetas – Ang Maestra

Archie del Mundo, DList.ph

  1. Bembol Roco bugged by his family’s inability to reconnect with him in What Home Feels Like
  2. The phone scene before bed time with Sharon and Robin in Unexpectedly Yours
  3. The funeral scene at sea in Baconaua
  4. Kiko tearfully expresses his innocence in Kiko Boksingero
  5. The kids trying to survive at sea in High Tide

Macoy Delociento, PEP.ph

  1. Death of Maya’s father (Birdshot)
  2. Abra’s flip top battle (Respeto)
  3. Agot Isidro as lesbian (Changing Partners)
  4. Jojit Lorenzo as gay (Changing Partners)
  5. Aicelle Santos & Cris Villonco’s dance number (Ang Larawan)

Engelbert Rafferty Dela Cruz-Dulay, Sine de Kalibre

  1. The ending of Respeto
  2. Kiko crying to Yaya Diday
  3. Maleta scene in Changing Partners
  4. The animated sequence of Alipato
  5. The bridge scene in Love You to the Stars and Back

James Espinoza, Film Police

  1. Final sequence (Respeto)
  2. Mika and Caloy’s hesitation to be abducted by aliens/go through with suicide pact (Love You to the Stars and Back)
  3. Rooftop shooting (Neomanila)
  4. When Lea revisits the places that Tonyo had taken her (Kita Kita)
  5. Doña Loleng and company’s arrival at the house (Ang Larawan)

Fred Hawson, ABS-CBN News

  1. Tony Javier seducing Paula Marasigan (Ang Larawan)
  2. Final shot in the style of Girl with Pearl Earring (The Chanters)
  3. Final shot of family mourning the dog (Patay na si Hesus)
  4. Final bloody massacre scene (Nay)
  5. Women only doing the farming (Sinandomeng)

Emil Hofileña, Rogue Magazine

  1. The ending (Respeto) – When a series of shocking acts of violence occur, Doc feels his world crumble around him once more—tying his fate to Hendrix’s, revealing the cycle of fear and hatred all of them are living in.
  2. Carson confesses to Dio (I’m Drunk, I Love You) – Carson tells Dio she’s loved him for the past seven years. But she already knows that they are never meant to be, and painfully rebuffs Dio’s advances.
  3. One of the Malaya Lolas sings a song (Haunted: A Last Visit to the Red House) – an old woman who survived the Japanese occupation recounts, from memory, their experiences through song.
  4. The family photo (Paki) – The Sanchez family, finally complete, takes a group photo, displaying both their unconditional love, and their individual issues with each other.
  5. Jason gets his boil drained (Triptiko) – Seeking a cure for the effects of a curse placed on him, Jason has his boil forcibly removed. Gleefully disgusting.

Json Javier, The Spotless Mind

  1. The slow motion final scene of Respeto with the flying pages
  2. Kiko and Yaya hugging each other with Baguio at night as backdrop in Kiko Boksingero
  3. The pulley scene of Jane Ciego in Bliss
  4. Candida Marasigan’s window breakdown scene in Ang Larawan
  5. One of the Malaya Lolas singing her original composition in Haunted

Skilty Labastilla, Pinoy Rebyu

  1. Sarah Mae realizes mistake and runs back crying to her grandfather in The Chanters
  2. Extraction of huge-ass boil in Triptiko
  3. Astri dances while looking at her ex at the end of Si Astri maka si Tambulah
  4. Rose stimulates unconscious Jane Ciego in Bliss
  5. Chedeng talks to long-lost lover in Si Apple at si Chedeng

Jay Lacanilao, Jaynormous Mind

  1. Rommel trespasses in Jason Harper’s house, Nabubulok
  2. Lilibeth mirror scene, Bliss
  3. Rooftop shooting, Neomanila
  4. Carson reveals her secret admiration for Dio, I’m Drunk I Love You
  5. Kulas hides in his carabao, Balangiga

Nicole Latayan, Tit for Tat

  1. Art Acuna helping Joseph Marco remove his pigsa in Triptiko
  2. That final shot of Respeto with the flying pages
  3. Jally Nae Gilbaliga running back to her lolo she left in the store in The Chanters
  4. Maris Racal and Janella Salvador escaping the killer in Bloody Crayons
  5. Final scene in Bliss

Den Lebantino, film reviewer

  1. Crying scene of Noel Trinidad in Paki (Yung nagkakaraoke ang family tapos nilapitan sya ni Dexter Doria)
  2. Bridge scene in Love You to the Stars and Back
  3. Last scene in Respeto
  4. Mount Arayat scene nina Bela at JC sa 100 Tula
  5. Bintana scene ni Candida at Paula in Ang Larawan (Yung nawalan ng kuryente)

Ricardo Espino Lopez, The Knee-Jerk Critic

  1. EDGAR ALLAN GUZMAN CONFRONTING JOROSS ABOUT HIS EX IN DEADMA WALKING
  2. JOANNA’S BREAKDOWN AT THE END OF LARAWAN
  3. JOANNA’S BREAKDOWN DURING THE BLACKOUT
  4. DIDO DELA PAZ’S RAP TAKE DOWN OF ABRA IN RESPETO
  5. DOG FUNERAL SCENE – PATAY NA SI HESUS

Macky Macarayan, Death of Traditional Cinema

  1. ENDING SCENE, BLISS
  2. ENDING SCENE, RESPETO
  3. OPENING SCENE, NEOMANILA
  4. JOROSS GAMBOA TRIES TO CONFESS TO THE CROWD DURING THE WAKE, BUT EA FOILS HIS PLAN BY MAKING A PUNCHLINE, DEADMA WALKING
  5. ENDING SCENE (FILM-WITHIN-A-FILM), THE ASHES AND GHOSTS OF TAYUG 1931

Jim Paranal, Ang mga Nabuo sa Aking Isipan

  1. Heartwarming scene of Angeli Bayani when she discovered that she passed the board exam in Maestra.
  2. Jaclyn Jose’s outstanding yet hilarious scene when she accidentally damaged her husband’s coffin in Patay na si Hesus.
  3. The cat-and-mouse action scene including Eula Valdez, Rocky Salumbides and Timothy Castillo turned out to be a dramatic confrontation and surprising revelation in Neomanila.
  4. Coming home scene of Anthony Falcon in Mga Gabing Kasinghaba ng Hair Ko.
  5. Emotional breakdown scene of JC Santos to Bela Padilla in 100 Tula Para Kay Stella.

Bernard Santos, My Movie World

  1. Alessandra De Rossi dancing on blindfold – Kita Kita
  2. JC Santos and Bela Padilla heartbreak scene in Mt. Arayat – 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
  3. Maja Salvador confess her love to Paulo Avelino – I’m Drunk I Love You
  4. When Noel Comia knows that his dad left – Kiko Boksingero
  5. When Maya discovers dead bodies at sanctuary forest- the last scene of Birdshot

Nazamel Tabares, Pelikula Mania

  1. Respeto – Climax where papers are falling in the most intense part of the movie
  2. Kiko Boksingero – Closing scene where Noel and Yayo discuss life
  3. Love You to the Stars and Back – Bridge scene
  4. Ang Larawan – Walang Ilaw
  5. Kita Kita – Alessandra visits all the locations they’ve gone to.

John Tawasil, Present Confusion

  1. Ending of Respeto
  2. Walking through the burning town in Balangiga
  3. Ending of the Chanters
  4. Maleta – Changing Partners
  5. Dexter Doria alone in a bar in Paki

Emil Nor Urao, Film reviewer

  1. Family Picture (Paki)
  2. Nakatitig Lang Siya sa Akin (Changing Partners)
  3. Ako’ng Nagkamali (Ang Larawan)
  4. Showdown (Balangiga: Howling Wilderness)
  5. Final Scene (Respeto)
    Special Mention: Melay at Bong sa Babuyan (Salvage)

Tristan Zinampan, Screen Anarchy

  1. Joanna Ampil’s Brown Out Scene (Ang Larawan)
  2. Jun Jun Quintana’s Hallway Confession with Noni Buencamino (Smaller and Smaller Circles)
  3. Dido de la Paz’ Surprise Challenger vs Abra (Respeto)
  4. Jojit Lorenzo x Agot Isidro x Sandino Martin x Anna Luna Final Confrontation (Changing Partners)
  5. Jally Nae Gabaliga’s Back and Forth Sari-Sari Store Scene with Lolo (The Chanters)
  6. Edgar Allan Guzman learning about the Joross’ cancer diagnosis while they’re in jacuzzi [or so I recall, memory may be a bit fuzzy] (Deadma Walking)
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