100 Best Filipino Films Directed by Women, 20-11

20     Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, 2013) 

Huling Chacha

A 12-year old Anita (Therese Malvar) falls in love with the new woman in town (Angel Aquino); years later, a girlhood crush blossoms during the Fiesta of Santa Clara in Obando, Bulacan.

19     Tundong Magiliw (Jewel Maranan, 2011) 

Tundong Magiliw

An immersion into life before birth in the smallest home in the seams of Manila’s premier international port. Virgie’s family feeds on the fishes that lurk under the industrial ships of North Harbor. Their alternatives are packs of tasteless gelatin found in the same waters. Their entertainment comes from imagining stories behind DVD inlays of Hollywood films and a tabloid article on Hillary Clinton and a rat’s ass. One morning when the fishes are dead and the sea’s color is that of milk, uncertainty is born on the same floor where she eats.

18     That Thing Called Tadhana (Antoinette Jadaone, 2014) 


While struggling to meet the strict airline baggage requirements, a woman (Angelica Panganiban) meets a man (JM de Guzman) who heroically comes to her aid. Both are in despair out of love, which urges them to form a charming friendship which would take them out of the crowded airport and into the secluded city of Sagada where they would attempt to mend each other’s hearts and find the answer to the question, “Where do broken hearts go?”

17     Muro-ami (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1999) 


Fredo (Cesar Montano) is a fisherman who has endured more than his share of hardship in life; his wife and child both perished in a boating accident, and today Fredo approaches each trip to the sea with the angry determination of a man out for revenge. Fredo commands a crew of young people from poor families as he takes his rattletrap ship into the ocean in search of fish that live along the reefs, snaring catch with an illegal netting system. Not all of Fredo’s youthful sailors are willing to put up with his abusive arrogance, however, and even his father Dado (Pen Medina) and close friend Botong (Jhong Hilario) have grown weary of Fredo’s tirades. Fredo’s body is beginning to betray him as well, and as he and his crew damage the sea’s reef beds in search of fish, no one is certain how much longer he will be able to continue.

16     Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay (Antoinette Jadaone, 2011) 

Lilia Cuntapay

A professional horror movie extra (Lilia Cuntapay) prepares for her first-ever acting award nomination.

15     War Is a Tender Thing (Adjani Arumpac, 2013) 


War is a Tender Thing retells the blood-soaked story of war-torn Southern Philippines. Portrayed by the media as a locus of unbridgeable conflicts between and among different cultures living side by side, this documentary gently unravels the war as an endless attempt at survival and adaptation of the Southern Philippine citizens to state policies that disregard the most basic concept of home. How does one account for the many lives played upon by these political maneuvers that have not taken into consideration the faceless and nameless? One listens to their stories, however imperfect, however partial. These memories make up a narrative of the war that is as cogent as the factual telling.

14     Tanging Yaman (Laurice Guillen, 2000) 

Tanging Yaman2

Three siblings Danny (Johnny Delgado), Art (Edu Manzano) and Grace (Dina Bonnevie) are now well settled with their respective families, in widely contrasting lifestyles. The one common thing that binds them loosely together is the love that their mother Dolores Rosales (Gloria Romero) holds for all of them and her grandchildren, albeit expressed in varying ways and degrees, but always equally nurturing and self-giving. Much as they are held together by her, they are in turn separated by physical distance and the sad legacy left behind by their deceased, erstwhile strong-willed, patriarchal father.

13     Kano: An American and His Harem (Coreen Jimenez, 2010) 


In 1969, an American Vietnam war hero (Victor Pearson) relocates to a remote village in the Philippines and invites hundreds of women to live with him in his compound. Through money and violence, he was able to rule as a king. In 2002 he was charged with over 80 counts of rape.

12     Imelda (Ramona Diaz, 2003)


A “beyond the shoes” documentary on the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos.

11     Transit (Hannah Espia, 2013) 


Transit tells the story of Moises (Ping Medina), a Filipino single-dad working as a caregiver in Herzliya, Israel, who comes home to his apartment in Tel Aviv to celebrate his son Joshua’s (Marc Justine Alvarez) 4th birthday. It was on that day that Moises, together with their Filipino neighbors Janet (Irma Adlawan) and her daughter Yael (Jasmine Curtis), finds out that the Israeli government is going to deport children of foreign workers. Afraid of the new law, Moises and Janet decide to hide their children from the immigration police by making them stay inside the house.

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