100 Best Filipino Films Directed by Women, 30-21

30     Nervous Translation (Shireen Seno, 2017) 

Nervous

Eight year-old Yael (Janna Agoncillo), shy to a fault, lives in her own private world. One day she finds out about a pen that can “translate” the thoughts and feelings of nervous people.

29     Init sa Magdamag (Laurice Guillen, 1983) 

Magdamag

Becky (Lorna Tolentino) is in love with Armand (Joel Torre). When Armand leaves for the United States, Becky promises to wait for him and she does, until Armand’s wife-to-be confronts Becky with her past: once upon a time, she was named Irene, and had an affair with a married man. The man died in a motel room, presumably a heart attack, and Irene had left without reporting his death. Becky is blackmailed into forgetting Armand; she vanishes, then recreates herself as Leah, a fashion model. She attracts the attention of Jaime (Dindo Fernando), a wealthy hedonist, with whom she is locked in an ever-tightening sexual embrace, from role-playing to voyeurism to sado-masochism. Then she meets Armand again, and discovers she still feels for Armand. Becky-Leah-Irene finds herself forced to choose, between a husband and a matchless sexual partner. (From Critic After Dark)

28     Ka Oryang (Sari Dalena, 2011) 

Oryang

A young woman (Alessandra de Rossi) witnesses the beginnings of a revolution during the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos.

27     Madrasta (Olivia Lamasan, 1996) 

Madrasta

The loving and nurturing Mariel (Sharon Cuneta) marries Edward (Christopher de Leon) after his first wife abandons him and their three children. Mariel strives to win the acceptance and affection of her new stepchildren, even as she tries to define her role in the family.

26     One More Chance (Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2007) 

One More Chance2

Popoy (John Llyod Cruz) and Basha (Bea Alonzo) had been together forever. Their love story begins when they meet as students at university. They are inseparable and do everything together—eating, studying, and attending parties. However, Popoy’s incessant planning and nagging take a toll on their relationship, leading Basha to break up with him.

25     Jose Rizal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1998) 

Jose Rizal

Accused of treason, Dr. Jose P. Rizal (Cesar Montano) awaits trial and meets with his colonial government-appointed counsel, Luis Taviel de Andrade (Jaime Fabregas). The two build the case and arguments for the defense as significant events in the central figure’s life prior to his incarceration unfold. Upon hearing Rizal’s life story, Taviel begins to realize that the accused is not just innocent but exhibits in fact all the qualities of an extraordinary man. When the mock trial unreels, Taviel is all set to act as the prime advocate for his client as Rizal himself is about to give an earth-moving speech to defend his honor and address his countrymen. Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities have worked out the vast political machinery to ensure a guilty verdict. A revolution waits in the wings.

24     Oda sa Wala (Dwein Baltazar, 2018) 

Oda sa Wala

Sonya (Marietta Subong), an old maid, is about to give up on herself until one day, she meets a corpse in her family’s embalming business that changes her life.

23     Pascalina (Pam Miras, 2012) 

Pascalina2

After a series of unpleasant events in her life, Pascalina (Veronica Santiago) receives news that her Aunt Taba (Peewee O’Hara) is dying but cannot do so unless she passes on a curse. Pascalina visits her aunt thinking that the news is only a big joke. But she begins to experience changes in her life that will push her to the edge of madness and monstrosity.

22     Nick and Chai (Cha Escala and Wena Sanchez, 2014) 

Nick & Chai

In November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan claimed the lives of Nick and Chai Quieta’s four children, leaving them with nothing but each other and a house torn to pieces. Now, four months later, we step inside the Quietas’ home and observe how they cope with their loss. What is reality like to lose all your kids all of a sudden?

21     Motherland (Ramona Diaz, 2017) 

Motherland2

Taking us into the heart of the planet’s busiest maternity hospital, the viewer is dropped like an unseen outsider into the hospital’s stream of activity. At first, the people are strangers. As the film continues, it’s absorbingly intimate, rendering the women at the heart of the story increasingly familiar.

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