100 Best Filipino Films Directed by Women, 80-71

80      Señorita (Isabel Sandoval, 2011) 


Wanting to quit sex work in Manila and start a new life, Donna (Isabel Sandoval), a transgender woman, gets her chance when an old friend asks her to look after her 12-year-old son Tomas while she works overseas for a year. Donna moves to a small town to look after Tomas only to find out that the town mayor who is seeking re-election is a crony of one of her regular clients back in Manila. In her efforts to break away from her past, she becomes entangled in the town’s local politics and ends up leading a double life.

79     Mga Pusang Gala (Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil, 2005) 

pusang gala

Two best friends, a gay man (Ricky Davao) and a woman (Irma Adlawan), are always unlucky in finding love.

78     May Nagmamahal sa Iyo (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1996) 

May Nagmamahal

A woman (Lorna Tolentino) searches for the child (Stefano Mori) she put up for adoption.

77      Audio Perpetua (Ivy Universe Baldoza, 2015) 

Audio Perpetua3

Play, Listen, Pause. Rewind. A series of audio recordings present an unseen America, this documentary feature unfolds through the eyes of eavesdroppers from the tropics.

76     Gulong (Sockie Fernandez, 2007) 


Gulong is about friendship, love and life. The story is told from the point of view of Apao (Steven Fermo), a smart, kind-hearted boy whose quest for an old bicycle reveals the stuff he is made of. With him on this adventure are his cousin Momoy (Jopet Concordia) and best friend Tom-Tom (Timothy Castillo). Tom-Tom suggests that they go to his uncle’s fishpond, an hour’s bike ride from where they live. Momoy finds an old bicycle but the owner will only give it to him if he pays her a hundred pesos. He agrees and promises to come back with the money the next day. This starts a series of events which affects Apao, his friends, his family and even his community. In the end, a discarded 40-year-old bicycle connects the past to the present and becomes a catalyst for healing old wounds and reviving a love affair that has long been left for dead.

75     Ilusyon (Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos, 2005) 


Set in Philippine post-American colonialist era, where the American influence was still apparent, Ilusyon tells the story of Miguel (Yul Servo), a young man from the countryside, who decides to visit his father, Pablo, a Modernist painter in Manila. Upon his arrival, he discovers that his father has decided to leave for the province but he opted to stay in Manila for a vacation. One day, he meets Stella (JC Parker), a nude model originally scheduled to pose for Miguel’s father. Struck by her beauty, Miguel does the unthinkable – he pretends to be his painter father. Developing a relationship based on a lie, things turn for the worse as Stella begets a strange skin disease that turns off Miguel. Surrounded by strange characters – a talking cow, a talkative mailman, and a nosy landlady – Miguel is driven into a frenzy realization about beauty, lust, love, and being true to oneself. An ambiguous ending underlines the surreal tone of the film.

74     Santa Santita (Laurice Guillen, 2004) 


After taking up with a charming cab driver, a wild and hedonistic teenage girl (Angelica Panganiban) returns home to succeed her mother as a prayer woman.

73     Camelia (Susana de Guzman, 1949)

Camelia (1949)1

Ang Camelia ay isang pelikula ng pag-ibig at drama. Naglalahad ito ng kuwento tungkol sa dalawang pusong nag-iibigan na ginanapan nina Carmen Rosales at Rogelio dela Rosa. May kanser ang tauhang babae at may taning na kaya puno ng dalamhati at pagdaramdam dahil sa suliranin ng minamahal ang lalaking kasintahan. (From Video 48)

72     Sarung Banggi (Susana de Guzman, 1947) 

Sarung Banggi-sf

Nanding (Rogelio dela Rosa) is a fisherman/farmer who also happens to possess a fine singing voice. Never without his guitar, either he’s singing in church with the local choir or at the village store owned by Kapitan Bestre (Jose Cris Soto). Bestre’s store also happens to be the only source of news, gossip, local or otherwise. And the barrio is astir with the return of Marina (Mila del Sol), the daughter of the despotic Cabesang Berong (Engracio Ibarra), the town’s richest resident.

71     Pag-ukit sa Paniniwala (Hiyas Baldemor Bagabaldo, 2018) 


A sculpture believed to have been imported in town during Spanish colonial conquest, locally known as “Mahal na Señor Sepulcro” (Holy Sepulchre), is celebrating its 500 years. Meanwhile, composed of non-actors, Senakulo re-enacts the sufferings and death of Jesus. As the local community yearly unites to commemorate the Passion of Christ, a laborious journey unfolds following local craftsmen in transforming blocks of wood into a larger than life Jesus crucified on a 12-ft cross. The film is a 5-year visual ethnography of traditional yet practical orchestration of Semana Santa in a small town where religious woodcarving is the livelihood. An experiential film on neocolonial Philippines’ interpretation of Saints and Gods through many forms of rituals and iconography, exposing wood as the raw material that undergoes production processes before becoming a spiritual object of devotion.

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