Philippine Cinema 2015: Best Editing

Lawrence Ang’s dynamic, playful editing of Apocalypse Child contributed a lot to the film’s overall mood, and it has reaped him accolades, winning QCinema’s lone technical jury citation in 2015 and topping the Pinoy Rebyu poll for Best Editing.

Jerrold Tarog’s and Lawrence Fajardo’s edits to their own films (Heneral Luna and Imbisibol, respectively) also paid off as they were cited runners-up in the category.

1 – Apocalypse Child (Lawrence Ang) 40 points

2 – Heneral Luna (Jerrold Tarog) 32 points

3 – Imbisibol (Lawrence Fajardo) 22 points, 8 votes

4 – Anino sa Likod ng Buwan (Lawrence Ang) 22 points, 7 votes

5 – An Kubo sa Kawayanan (Benjamin Tolentino) 20 points

6 – Kapatiran (Benjamin Tolentino) 19 points, 6 votes, 2 first-place votes

7 – Honor Thy Father (Jay Halili) 19 points, 6 votes, no first-place votes

8 – Dayang Asu (Mikee dela Cruz) 12 points

9 – Matangtubig (Brian Gonzales) 9 points

10 – Ruined Heart (Carlo Francisco Manatad) 7 points



MAYK ALEGRE (Cinemaddict)

  1. Lawrence Ang (Apocalypse Child)
  2. Lawrence Ang (Anino sa Likod ng Buwan)
  3. Brian Gonzales (Matangtubig)
  4. Jerrold Tarog (Heneral Luna)
  5. Salvage

JAMES ESPINOZA (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Kapatiran
  2. Honor Thy Father
  3. Anino sa Likod ng Buwan
  4. Heneral Luna
  5. Imbisibol


  1. Apocalypse Child
  2. Imbisibol
  3. An Kubo Sa Kawayanan
  4. Matangtubig
  5. Swap

RICKY GALLARDO (Business Mirror)

  1. Apocalypse Child
  2. Dayang Asu
  3. Anino sa Likod ng Buwan
  4. Imbisibol
  5. Hamog

EMIL HOFILEÑA (Cinemil Writes)

  1. Heneral Luna
  2. Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon
  3. Honor Thy Father

KAYO JOLONGBAYAN (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Kapatiran
  2. Honor Thy Father
  3. Dayang Asu
  4. Matangtubig
  5. Heneral Luna


  1. Apocalypse Child (Lawrence Ang)
  2. Heneral Luna (Jerrold Tarog)
  3. Honor Thy Father (Jay Halili)
  4. Anino sa Likod ng Buwan (Lawrence Ang)
  5. Ari: My Life with a King (Carlo Manatad)

LYNDON MABURAOT (Table Stretcher)

  1. An Kubo sa Kawayanan
  2. Apocalypse Child
  3. Kapatiran
  4. Imbisibol
  5. Tandem

MACKY MACARAYAN (Death of Traditional Cinema)

  1. Pusong Wazak
  2. Honor Thy Father
  3. Heneral Luna
  4. Dayang Asu
  5. Apocalypse Child

RENELSON MORELOS (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

  1. Heneral Luna (Jerrold Tarog)
  2. Imbisibol (Lawrence Fajardo)
  3. Honor Thy Father (Jay Halili)
  4. Ari: My Life with a King (Carlo Francisco Manatad)
  5. Tandem (Benjamin Tolentino)


Heneral Luna

MANUEL PANGARUY (Tagailog Special Presents)

  1. Apocalypse Child
  2. An Kubo sa Kawayanan
  3. Imbisibol
  4. Waves
  5. Kapatiran

NICO QUEJANO (Cinephiles!)

  1. Heneral Luna
  2. Kapatiran
  3. Anino sa Likod ng Buwan
  4. Imbisibol
  5. An Kubo sa Kawayanan


  1. Lawrence Ang – Apocalypse Child
  2. Benjamin Tolentino – An Kubo Sa Kawayanan
  3. Mikee Dela Cruz – Dayang Asu
  4. Jerrold Tarog – Heneral Luna
  5. Benjamin Tolentino – All You Need is Pag-ibig

NAZAMEL TABARES (Movies in the Philippines)

  1. Apocalypse Child
  2. Imbisibol
  3. An Kubo Sa Kawayanan
  4. Matangtubig
  5. Swap

JOHN TAWASIL (Present Confusion)

  1. Ale Alejandra (short)
  2. Heneral Luna
  3. Tandem
  4. Anino sa Likod ng Buwan
  5. Kapatiran

Special Mention: Swap. I suspect there is a clever edit hidden somewhere in this film.

EMIL NOR URAO (The Movie Bud)

  1. Anino sa Likod ng Buwan
  2. Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo
  3. Walang Forever
  4. Ruined Heart
  5. The Breakup Playlist


Philippine Cinema 2015: Best Music/Soundtrack

Aside from voting Honor Thy Father as the best film of 2015, movie reviewers have also voted it as the most musically satisfying film of last year. The film’s original score was composed by frequent Erik Matti collborator Erwin Romulo, and the soundtrack features haunting rearrangements of the Catholic song “Ama Namin” by Dong Abay and the Sampaguita folk classic “Tao” by Armi Millare.

Jerrold Tarog’s soaring score for his own Heneral Luna was voted second best soundtrack while Khavn dela Cruz and Brezel Goring’s rock jazz-inflected soundtrack to Ruined Heart placed third.

1 – Honor Thy Father (Soundtrack: Various artists, Score: Erwin Romulo) 31.5 points

2 – Heneral Luna (Jerrold Tarog) 25 points

3 – Ruined Heart (Score: Khavn dela Cruz and Brezel Göring, Songs: Various) 21 points

4 – Matangtubig (Brian Gonzales) 20 points

5 – Iisa (Emerzon Texon) 13 points

6 – Apocalypse Child (Armi Millare) 11 points

7 – Patintero (Mikey Amistoso, Jazz Nicolas, Diego Mapa) 9 points, 4 votes

8 – Miss Bulalacao (Rotsanjani Mojica) 9 points, 3 votes

9 – Sleepless (BP Valenzuela) 6 points, 3 votes

10 – An Kubo sa Kawayanan (Jema Pamintuan) 6 points, 2 votes



MAYK ALEGRE (Cinemaddict)

  1. Matangtubig
  2. Iisa
  3. Honor Thy Father
  4. Baka Siguro Yata
  5. Gayuma

EDUARDO DAYAO (Piling Piling Pelikula)

  1. Miss Bulalacao
  2. Iisa

 JAMES ESPINOZA (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Honor Thy Father
  2. Ruined Heart
  3. Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo
  4. Heneral Luna
  5. Sleepless


  1. Iisa
  2. Matangtubig
  3. Heneral Luna
  4. Dayang Asu
  5. Honor Thy Father

EMIL HOFILEÑA (Cinemil Writes)

  1. Ari: My Life with a King
  2. Honor Thy Father
  3. Waves

KAYO JOLONGBAYAN (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Matangtubig
  2. Water Lemon
  3. Miss Bulalacao
  4. Filemon Mamon
  5. Waves


  1. Heneral Luna (Jerrold Tarog)
  2. Honor Thy Father (Soundtrack: Various Artists, Score: Erwin Romulo)
  3. Apocalypse Child (Armi Millare)
  4. Ruined Heart (Khavn dela Cruz and Brezel Göring)
  5. Patintero (Mikey Amistoso, Jazz Nicolas, Diego Mapa)

MACKY MACARAYAN (Death of Traditional Cinema)

  1. Pusong Wazak
  2. Honor Thy Father
  3. Heneral Luna
  4. Dayang Asu
  5. Patintero

RENELSON MORELOS (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

  1. Heneral Luna
  2. Honor Thy Father
  3. Ari: My Life with a King


  1. The Breakup Playlist
  2. Honor Thy Father

MANUEL PANGARUY (Tagailog Special Presents)

  1. Ruined Heart
  2. Miss Bulalacao
  3. An Kubo sa Kawayanan
  4. Honor Thy Father
  5. Baka Siguro Yata

NICO QUEJANO (Cinephiles!)

  1. Heneral Luna
  2. Honor Thy Father
  3. Walang Forever


  1. Jerrold Tarog – Heneral Luna
  2. Matangtubig
  3. Jema Pamintuan – An Kubo Sa Kawayanan
  4. Dinno Christopher Parafina – Manang Biring
  5. Emerzon Texon – The Breakup Playlist

NAZAMEL TABARES (Movies in the Philippines)

  1. Apocalypse Child
  2. Imbisibol
  3. Iisa
  4. Matangtubig
  5. Heneral Luna

JOHN TAWASIL (Present Confusion)

  1. Honor Thy Father
  2. Sleepless
  3. Apocalypse Child
  4. Abi (short film)
  5. Imbisibol

Special mention for sound design: Iisa. I wanted to mention this one because even though I don’t remember much about its music, its overall sound design was excellent.

EMIL NOR URAO (The Movie Bud)

  1. Ruined Heart
  2. Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo
  3. Tandem
  4. Bambanti
  5. Sleepless



Best Movie Houses in 2015

Movie reviewers have voted the cinemas in Quezon City’s TriNoma mall as the best in 2015. Aside from screening commercial fare, TriNoma cinemas have hosted several film festivals last year, including successful runs of QCinema, International Pink Festival, and Cinema One Originals Film Festival.

The movie theaters of Greenhills Promenade and Gateway Cineplex, which both feature a Dolby Atmos theater, were voted and second and third best, respectively.

1 – TriNoma Cinemas, Quezon City (13 points)


2 – Greenhills Promenade Movie Theater, San Juan (11 points)


3 – Gateway Cineplex, Quezon City (10 points)


4 – Greenbelt Cinemas, Makati (9 points)


5 – Shang Cineplex, Mandaluyong (8 points)


6 – Glorietta Cinemas, Makati (5 points, 4 votes)


7 – Century City Mall Cinemas, Makati (5 points, 2 votes)


8 – Newport Mall Cinemas, Pasay (4 points)

Newport  Cinemas at Resorts World Manila 3

9 – Bonifacio High Street Cinemas, Taguig (3 points)

Boni High

9 – Eastwood Mall Cinemas, Quezon City (3 points)


9 – Fisher Mall Cinemas, Quezon City (3 points)




MAYK ALEGRE (Cinemaddict)

  1. Shang Cineplex, EDSA Shangri-la
  2. Ayala Cinema, Glorietta 4
  3. Gateway Cineplex

 JAMES ESPINOZA (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Promenade
  2. Greenbelt
  3. Cine Adarna


Best Movie Theater

  1. Eastwood Mall Cinema
  2. Greenbelt 3 Cinema
  3. Gateway Cineplex

Worst Movie Theater

SM Cinemas, particularly SM Megamall Cinemas

EMIL HOFILEÑA (Cinemil Writes)

  1. Trinoma
  2. Shangri-La
  3. SM Megamall

KAYO JOLONGBAYAN (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Trinoma cinema
  2. Teatrino
  3. Greenhills Promenade


  1. Gateway Dolby Atmos
  2. Megamall IMAX
  3. Trinoma Cinemas

MACKY MACARAYAN (Death of Traditional Cinema)

  1. Greenhills Dolby Atmos Cinema 8
  2. Trinoma Cinema 7
  3. Shang Cineplex Premiere Cinema

RENELSON MORELOS (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

  1. Trinoma
  2. Gateway
  3. SM Marikina


  1. Trinoma cinemas
  2. SM City North Edsa cinemas
  3. SM Megamall cinemas

MANUEL PANGARUY (Tagailog Special Presents)

  1. Bonifacio High Street
  2. Century City Mall
  3. Powerplant Mall – Cinema 6 (ang kanilang bagong Atmos theater)

NICO QUEJANO (Cinephiles!)

  1. Century City Mall
  2. Shangrila Plaza
  3. Glorietta


  1. Fisher Mall
  2. Gateway Platinum Cinema
  3. Trinoma

NAZAMEL TABARES (Movies in the Philippines)

  1. Greenbelt 3 Cinemas
  2. Gateway Cineplex
  3. Resorts World Manila Cinemas

JOHN TAWASIL (Present Confusion)

  1. Resorts World Manila/Newport Cinemas
  2. IMAX SM Aura
  3. Greenhills Promenade Dolby Atmos

EMIL NOR URAO (The Movie Bud)

  1. Gateway Cinema
  2. Lucky Chinatown
  3. Glorietta 4

Philippine Cinema 2015: Best Scenes

1 – Luna’s assassination (Heneral Luna) 29 points


2 – Flashback to the past (Heneral Luna) 10 points

Luna flashback

3 – Edgar shaves head in front of daughter (Honor Thy Father) 9 points, 3 votes


4 – Sex scene (Anino sa Likod ng Buwan) 9 points, 2 votes


5 – Michelle’s love scene with the hut (An Kubo sa Kawayanan) 8.5 points


6 – Andy reaches the summit of Mt. Pulag (Above the Clouds) 7 points, 3 votes


7 – Soldiers struggle to get out of the mud/Opening scene (Iisa) 7 points, 2 votes


8 – Edgar robs a bank (Honor Thy Father) 6 points

Honor bank

9 – Rodel scurries like a rat in Linda’s house as he hides from the police (Imbisibol) 5 points


9 – Final patintero match (Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo) 5 points


9 – Fiona fights with Ford (Apocalypse Child) 5 points




MAYK ALEGRE (Cinemaddict)

  1. Nang sampalin at tadyakan ni Anna Luna si Therese Malvar (Hamog)
  2. Nang umalis si Anthony Falcon para sumalok ng tubig at biglang magtalik sina LJ Reyes at Luis Alandy (Anino sa Likod ng Buwan)
  3. Nang murahin ni Cherry Malvar si Therese Malvar hanggang mapaiyak ito (Hamog)
  4. No’ng nagsasalita sa wikang Kapampangan si Francisco Guinto na sinasagot naman sa wikang Tagalog ni Ronwaldo Martin (Ari: My Life with a King)
  5. Eksenang habulan o hinuli na si JM De Guzman sa katapusan ng Imbisibol.

 JAMES ESPINOZA (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Antonio Luna’s murder (Heneral Luna)
  2. Bank robbery (Honor Thy Father)
  3. Final scene (Above the Clouds)
  4. Monologue about Berlin (Kapatiran)
  5. Letter reading (The Comeback)


  1. In Heneral Luna, John Arcilla playing the guitar by his window while basking in the moonlight, alternately cutting to Mon Confiado’s Emilio Aguinaldo visage.
  2. In An Kubo sa Kawayanan, Mercedes Cabral on her bed among the squealing leaves one quiet night.
  3. Opening shot of Iisa: top view of a muddled, rain-soaked land with Jess Mendoza kneeling on the ground.
  4. The cathartic release in Ruru Madrid’s outcry with Pepe Smith on top of the mountain.
  5. “Last Supper” (Hamog)

EMIL HOFILEÑA (Cinemil Writes)

  1. Telegram correspondence between Luna and Mascardo (Heneral Luna)
  2. Attempted bank robbery (Honor Thy Father)
  3. Flashback to Luna’s past (Heneral Luna)

KAYO JOLONGBAYAN (Film Police Reviews)

  1. The sex scene – Anino sa Likod ng Buwan
  2. Heneral Luna’s murder – Heneral Luna
  3. Final patintero fight – Patintero
  4. Andy reached the top of the mountain – Above the Clouds
  5. The whole church sequence – Honor Thy Father


  1. Assassination (Heneral Luna)
  2. The four characters face off at the end of Ang Maangas, ang Marikit, at ang Makata
  3. Ross visits her mother-in-law (Iisa)
  4. Edgar shaves head while talking to daughter (Honor Thy Father)
  5. (tie) Balut-swapping kiss (Pusong Wazak) and blind girl sings French opera (Audio Perpetua)

MACKY MACARAYAN (Death of Traditional Cinema)

  1. Final shot, Dayang Asu
  2. Toto presents his mom with a wig, Toto
  3. Opening scene, Patintero
  4. Surfing montage, Apocalypse child
  5. Final scene, Honor Thy Father

RENELSON MORELOS (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

  1. The one-take flashback to Antonio Luna’s younger years in Heneral Luna
  2. Antonio Luna’s death scene in Heneral Luna
  3. John Lloyd Cruz shaving his hair in front of his daughter in Honor Thy Father
  4. JM de Guzman hiding like a rat from the chasing police officers in Ces Quesada’s house in Imbisibol
  5. Alessandra de Rossi confessing that she was the one who stole the watch in Bambant


  1. Assassination of Antonio Luna (Spoliarium homage), Heneral Luna

*The rest are in no particular order:
Sex scene with the Kubo, An Kubo sa Kawayanan
“Two Kisses of Eros”, Dahling Nick
Breakdown scene of Alessandra de Rossi when reading son’s letter, Bambanti
Murder scene, Honor Thy Father

MANUEL PANGARUY (Tagailog Special Presents)

  1. Pagsunog ng Philippine flag sa Heneral Luna
  2. Kalbo scene ni John Lloyd Cruz sa Honor Thy Father
  3. Final scene sa Imbisibol kung saan parang daga na hindi makatakas si JM de Guzman
  4. Pisikal na confrontation scene nina Sid Lucero at Annicka Dolonius sa Apocalypse Child
  5. Palitan ng “Hmmm” sa chat sa All You Need is Pag-ibig

NICO QUEJANO (Cinephiles!)

  1. Kidnap Scene – Matangtubig
  2. Montage by the end of the movie – Kid Kulafu
  3. Confrontation Scene – The Love Affair
  4. Car chase scene – Salvage
  5. Piano Scene – Bukod Kang Pinagpala


  1. Jodi & Ian singing “Bilanggo” in the car – All You Need is Pag-ibig
  2. Ransack Scene at House of John Lloyd and Meryl Soriano – Honor Thy Father
  3. Confrontational Scene Between Sid and Anicka Where Sid got swollen eyes from beating – Apocalypse Child
  4. Mercedes Cabral Love Scene With Bamboo House – A Kubo Sa Kawayanan
  5. Death Scene of Heneral Luna

NAZAMEL TABARES (Movies in the Philippines)

  1. Anino Sa Likod ng Buwan (Climax)
  2. Heneral Luna (Long Take, Heneral Luna and his mother)
  3. Bambanti (Alessandra De Rossi scolding Micko Laurente)
  4. Hamog (“Last Supper”)
  5. Dayang Asu (Ricky Davao meets his demise)

JOHN TAWASIL (Present Confusion)

  1. Heneral Luna’s Death/Spoliarium

There are many great moments in Heneral Luna, including a continuous stream of consciousness-like tracking shot, but this one in particular stood out.

  1. Iisa’s Opening Scene

This overhead, figuratively godless god’s-eye view shot of people struggling to survive is perfect, and as some have said, mirrors the last scene of the film.

  1. Tracks in the Snow/Final Sequence – Imbisibol

I’m a fan of this whole sequence. It ties the whole thing together, and I loved the symbolism of the final frame.

  1. JLC in the Middle of COYS supporters – Honor Thy Father

There are a lot of great scenes in Honor thy Father, but this is probably my favourite. It is obvious here that there is more to JLC’s character than is evident at this point in time in the story. He sees through the pretense and the hypocrisy and he doesn’t give two shits about any of it.

  1. Cemetery Scene – Honor Thy Father

EMIL NOR URAO (The Movie Bud)

  1. Entire one-shot scene of Anino sa Likod ng Buwan
  2. Last scene of Bambanti
  3. Orgy scene of Ruined Heart
  4. Patintero matches in Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo
  5. Last scene of Honor Thy Father


Honor Thy Father tops 5th Annual Film Poll, leads five other categories

Honor Thy Father, Erik Matti’s taut drama-thriller about a family man taking matters into his own hands when his family gets threatened for their involvement in an unraveling Ponzi scheme, grabbed the top spot in the Best Film category of the 5th Annual Pinoy Rebyu Poll for excellence in Philippine cinema in 2015 as voted by online film reviewers. This is the second time that a Matti film has topped the category, after On the Job was picked Best Film in 2013. Honor Thy Father beat out second placer Apocalypse Child and third placer Anino sa Likod ng Buwan.

honor thy father2

Other films in the top 10 include Heneral Luna, Imbisibol, An Kubo sa Kawayanan, Manang Biring,  Dayang Asu, Bambanti, and Ari: My Life with a King.

John Lloyd Cruz, who plays the lead in Honor Thy Father, is the voters’ runaway choice for Best Lead Performance, ahead of John Arcilla for Heneral Luna and LJ Reyes for Anino sa Likod ng Buwan.

Tirso Cruz III, who plays a charismatic bishop in Honor Thy Father, was picked for Best Supporting Performance, beating out his Honor Thy Father co-star Meryll Soriano and Apocalypse Child‘s Annicka Dolonius.

Honor Thy Father also topped the categories for screenplay (Michiko Yamamoto), cinematography (Ber Cruz), and soundtrack (Erwin Romulo for original score, various artists for songs).

Jun Lana led the Best Director poll for Anino sa Likod ng Buwan, a one-take, two-hour film about a refugee couple and a soldier who suspects them to be communist rebels. Lana edged out Matti (Honor Thy Father) and Mario Cornejo (Apocalypse Child).

Apocalypse Child topped the editing category (for Lawrence Ang), while Heneral Luna topped the Best Scene category for the memorable Luna assassination sequence.

Jethro Patalinghug’s My Revolutionary Mother was deemed the best documentary, while Ara Chawdhury’s Miss Bulalacao topped the Best First Feature category.

Petersen Vargas’ Lisyun Qng Geografia was named top short film, ahead of Sanctissima (Kenneth Dagatan) and Pusong Bato (Martika Ramirez Escobar).

A new category, Best Movie Theater, was topped by Trinoma Cinemas.


In summary, here are the 2015 category topnotchers:

 Film: Honor Thy Father

Lead Performance: John Lloyd Cruz, Honor Thy Father

Supporting Performance: Tirso Cruz III, Honor Thy Father

Director: Jun Lana, Anino sa Likod ng Buwan

Documentary: My Revolutionary Mother, Jethro Patalinghug

Screenplay: Honor Thy Father (Michiko Yamamoto)

First Feature: Miss Bulalacao (Ara Chawdhury)

Cinematography: Honor Thy Father (Ber Cruz)

Editing: Apocalypse Child (Lawrence Ang)

Score/Soundtrack: Honor Thy Father (Songs: Various artists, Score: Erwin Romulo)

Scene: Antonio Luna’s assassination (Heneral Luna)

Short Film: Lisyun Qng Geografia (Petersen Vargas)

Movie Theater: Trinoma Cinemas


Click HERE for the FULL TALLY.


For a look back at the previous poll toppers from 2011 to 2014, see list below:



Film: Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

Lead Performance: Lilia Cuntapay, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

Supporting Performance: Geraldine Villamil, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

Director: Lav Diaz, Siglo ng Pagluluwal

Documentary: Tundong Magiliw (Jewel Maranan)

Screenplay: Niño (Rody Vera)

First Feature: Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

Ensemble: Niño

Cinematography: Busong (Louie Quirino)

Short Film: Hindi sa Atin ang Buwan (Jon Lazam)



Film: Kalayaan

Lead Performance: Nora Aunor, Thy Womb

Supporting Performance: Art Acuña, Posas

Director: Adolfo Alix Jr., Kalayaan

Documentary: Give Up Tomorrow (Michael Collins)

Screenplay: Colossal (Whammy Alcazaren)

First Feature (tie): Colossal (Whammy Alcazaren) and Pascalina (Pam Miras)

Ensemble (tie): Aparisyon and Mater Dolorosa

Cinematography: Kalayaan (Albert Banzon)

Score/Soundtrack: Kalayaan (Teresa Barrozo)

Scene: Opening mermaid scene in Kalayaan

Short Film: Nang Gabing Maging Sinlaki ng Puso ang Bato ni Darna (Jon Lazam)



Film: On the Job

Lead Performance: Joel Torre, On the Job

Supporting Performance: Dick Israel, Badil

Director: Lav Diaz, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan

Documentary: The Search for Weng-Weng (Andrew Leavold)

Screenplay: Sana Dati (Jerrold Tarog)

First Feature: Transit (Hannah Espia)

Ensemble: Transit

Cinematography (tie): Boy Golden: Shoot to Kill (Carlo Mendoza), On the Job (Ricardo Buhay III), Puti (Boy Yñiguez)

Score/Soundtrack: How to Disappear Completely (Eyedress)

Scene: Jhong Hilario discovers Mercedes Cabral’s secret and becomes violent in Badil

Short Film (tie): Onang (JE Tiglao) and Pantomime for Figures Shrouded by Waves (Jon Lazam)



Film: Dagitab

Lead Performance: Eula Valdez, Dagitab

Supporting Performance: Barbie Forteza, Mariquina

Director: Jun Lana, Barber’s Tales

Documentary: Little Azkals (Babyruth Villarama)

Screenplay: Dagitab (Giancarlo Abrahan)

First Feature: Dagitab (Giancarlo Abrahan)

Cinematography: Dagitab (Rommel Sales)

Editing: Barber’s Tales (Lawrence Ang)

Score/Soundtrack: Mariquina (Jerrold Tarog [score] and Various Artists [soundtrack])

Scene: Eula Valdez and Martin del Rosario lie on the sand in Dagitab

Short Film: Lisyun Qng Geografia (Petersen Vargas)





Top 20 Filipino Short Films of 2015

Lisyun Qng Geografia, Petersen Vargas’ wistful Kapampangan short film about a young man who revisits his hometown and recalls memories of a dear high school friend, tops Pinoy Rebyu’s 5th Annual Poll of the best Filipino short films of 2015, as voted by online film reviewers. This is the second year in a row that the film, which screened in a number of local film festivals last year, has topped the category, after it screened in several filmfests in 2014 and was also voted as the best for that year.

In a close vote, Lisyun edged out Kenneth Dagatan’s Sanctissima, a horror film about an old abortionist harboring a dark secret, and Martika Ramirez Escobar’s Pusong Bato, a surrealist tragicomedy about a former actress who gets hit on the head by a mysterious heart-shaped rock.

Below are the top 20 films and the individual voters’ ballots and write-ups.

TOP 20 »

1 – Lisyun Qng Geografia (Petersen Vargas, 76.5 points)


2 – Sanctissima (Kenneth Dagatan, 72 points)


3 – Pusong Bato (Martika Ramirez Escobar, 70.5 points)

Pusong Bato still main

4 – Junilyn Has (Carlo Francisco Manatad, 65.5 points)


5 – Wawa (Angelie Mae Macalanda, 59 points)


6 – Ang Maangas, ang Marikit, at ang Makata (Jose Ibarra Guballa, 46 points)


7 – Man in the Cinema House (Bernard Jay Mercado, 40 points)

Cinema House

8 – Ang mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasya (Hector Barretto Calma, 31 points)


9 – Tami-aw (Mary Ann Gabisan, 29 points)


10 – Cyber D3vil x Ahas (Timmy Harn, 23 points)


11 – Mumu (Jean Cheryl Tagyamon, 19 points)


12 – Operation Prutas (Ara Chawdhury, 18.5 points)

Operation Prutas

13 – Memorial ng Isang Saliksik (Jan Pineda, 18 points)


14 – Ang Kapitbahay Ko sa 2014 (Anya Zulueta, 17.5 points, 6 votes)


15 – Asan si Lolo Mȇ? (Sari Estrada, 17. 5 points, 3 votes)

Lolo Me

16 – Walay Naa Diri (Jean Claire Dy, 17 points)

Walay Naa Diri

17 – Pusong Bato (Pam Miras, 16 points)

Pusong Bato Miras

18 – Nenok (Rommel Tolentino, 15 points)


19 – Bayan ng mga Kontraktuwal (King Catoy, 14 points)


20 – Ang Nanay ni Justin Barber (Victor Villanueva, 13 points)


20 – My Revolutionary Mother (Jethro Patalinghug, 13 points)


20 – Ano ang Halaga ng Pangalan? (Mike Esteves, 13 points)




MAYK ALEGRE (Cinemaddict)

  1. Junilyn Has
  2. Mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasya
  3. Bayan ng mga Kontraktwal
  4. Ang Maangas, ang Marikit, at ang Makata
  5. Lisyun Qng Geografia
  6. Man in the Cinema House
  7. My Revolutionary Mother
  8. Pusong Bato, Pam Miras
  9. Sanctissima
  10. Kyel


DODO DAYAO (Piling Piling Pelikula)

  1. Cyber D3vil X Ahas
  2. Junilyn Has
  3. Pusong Bato (Pam)
  4. Pusong Bato (Martika)
  5. Sanctissima


EPOY DEYTO (Kawts Kamote)

Some weeks ago, I asked Skilty (the one who organized this poll) what does he think of 2015 for short films. He answered: “maraming matino ang pagkakagawa” (“most are decent productions“). This remains true; however, I still find it hard to assess last year (or even the past 3 years) for short films: while the comfort of digital filmmaking brought short films at par with (or probably even better than) most feature length films, the recent years have seen lesser filmmakers who explore and experiment with the medium, probably the only things I look for in a short film. This list might be the reflection of that personal struggle to find challenging pieces of work.

The last year has also been a challenging year for me for witnessing cinema as life always needs more urgent attention, so forgive me if most of what was written here are either films I saw on CinemaLibre Film Screenings (probably the only times that I’ve actually watched a film in a venue) which I helped organized or films and video works which were released online. I have not covered much from last year, but I think this lot that I’ve listed below are nonetheless the more interesting bunch from the films I get to see from last year (also, thanks to Skilty from helping us participants of this poll to catch up).

You might notice my thematic selection of meta-cinematic works and analog-fusion works in this list: this recent trend of exploring cinematic history thru films and technology has taken an interest in me, as though these filmmakers were trying to find answers by placing contrasts in place: the past and the present, the hardware and the software. The rest of the films I mention here are just from my own honest personal liking that I really wanted to share with everyone, hoping you’d find the same experiences I did.

10. Pusong Bato (Pam Miras)

True to its title, Miras’ Pusong Bato involves two people who have never opened themselves to each other over the course of the whole film. The notion of being “stuck” is apparent throughout the film, and maybe in the filmmakers themselves, who have not seemed to tire playing around with celluloid hand-processing. I’d say that it’s still worth the adoration the way they still want to physically interact with the medium, however, this is a work with old tricks (pseudo-flickers, deframing, etc). Pusong Bato, while an achievement in persistence of celluloid production, must remain as a reminder for the Tito and Tita collective to explore what more could the hand-processing method give them aside from getting the retro film. How about let’s take this question for a queue: Would celluloid give us the feel of a future?

  1. Dindo (Martika Ramirez Escobar)

Editing was the highlight in Dindo: it stressed an editor’s function as something as vital as the director’s all in an easy to digest manner. Ramirez never really had any trouble making any film she made as light as possible but still retaining wit and intellect, making her the most audience-friendly young filmmaker working today.

8. Sanctissima (Kenneth Dagatan)

Dagatan’s Sanctissima showed the thin line between love and bizarre – how one would go to extended measures to nurture, extend and protect who they love. This would have been a good poetry about motherhood, but only with flesh-eating and demons. Sanctissima is made with all the basic elements of horror films made more effective with great screen composition.

  1. Shotgun Tuding (Shireen Seno)

The question of why Shotgun Tuding was created is still a mystery to me, but one thing’s for sure, it wouldn’t have been made if not with 16mm. The desaturated frames compliment a lot with the sand dunes, the Western-inspired costumes and the B-movie-ish production design. I wonder how it would feel if this was projected in celluloid.

  1. Iris (Mike Esteves)

Esteves’ silent work took obsession in weird turns. One would see Wes Anderson on one side and feel Junji Ito on the other. The 4:3 aspect ratio added tension on every pan of the screen, some scenes are too tense they’re almost dreamlike. A weird mix of beauty and absurd.

  1. Mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasya (Hector Barretto Calma)

The main achievement of Mga Alingawngaw… is that it’s one of the works that actually take a step in criticizing the current administration (though indirectly) and takes a look at the situation of its current milieu and what is actually happening to the country: one thing that almost all Filipino filmmakers (young and old) seem to have forgotten to do with all these recent wave of “feelms”. Mga Alingawngaw… makes me think that the recent scene is not yet a hopeless case as long as people like Calma are still creating films.

  1. Cyber D3vil X Ahas (Timmy Harn)

Harn did what was usually isn’t done by filmmakers here: to extend the universe of the films they created. Cyber D3vil X Ahas follows the reptilian, in contrast to what we saw in Ang Pagbabalat ng Ahas, being free and enjoying himself on a bicycle. The film is presenting a narrative possibility that may or may not happen, but sure is something worth considering to be extended.

  1. Corazon (Francis Sacil-Espina)

What seems to be a murder scene was actually a double suicide gone wrong. Espina retells Romeo and Juliet backwards in crisp black and white cinematography in high contrast to compliment a song of adoration by Brickcity – whom I consider as the most interesting musical act in the country right now. Espina also did a great video work for Brickcity’s Common Remedies for Contemporary People last year.

  1. Man in the Cinema House (Bernard Jay Mercado)

Mercado couldn’t be any clearer about his criticisms against and intentions for Philippine Cinema. What he presents in Man in the Cinema House is not just the things he sees wrong but also what he thinks our Cinema ought to be. Mercado must be admired for his fearlessness and honesty.

  1. Excerpt from “INDEPENDENCIA 86: The Lost Film of Arturo Madlangbayan” as re-edited by Miko Revereza and Raya Martin (Miko Revereza | Raya Martin)

Independencia 86 simulates the experience of how enthusiasts and scholars alike have seen MOWELFUND shorts (or any independent film work) in the 90s: watching from an analog video recording of a celluliod projection with 4-track audio recording. The short seems to attain what Raymond Red’s Kamera Obskura wanted to attain with lesser running time and more appeal. Of all the neo-retro (or pseudo-retro, if you prefer) short films I’ve seen recently, this one has attained the intended effect closer to the real thing.



  1. Memorial ng Isang Saliksik (Jan Pineda)

Relying heavily in the strengths of memory, it possesses a confident experiment on how this very memory serves a person: lasting as it eats one up bit by bit.

2.  Wawa (Anj Macalanda)

Deep within its silence lies a valiant inspection of an interesting tradition set on an equally silent backdrop.

  1. Junilyn Has

The retribution of the titular underage dancer shows how powerful the showcase is from start to finish. Strong performance makes it essential and memorable.

  1. Ang Maangas, Ang Marikit at Ang Makata (Ibarra Guballa)

Witty, humorous and clever as a great comedic period piece that boasts its production design, screenplay and musical score while paying homage to Western films.

  1. Run Manila Run (MV Isip, Christine Sartorio, Christoph Doncillo)

Sucks one deep into its hypnotic core through sensible writing that pays tribute to urban lifestyle and pop culture.

  1. Man in the Cinema House (Bernard Jay Mercado)

A provocative letter to cinema with lasting effect thanks to its hybrid form that can be deemed as a meritorious protest.

  1. Oda sa mga Nangangarap (Jan Michael C. Jamisola)

Charming is an understatement for a film this brilliant, delectable and insightful. It tickles the imagination while staying grounded to reality.

  1. Pektus (Isabel Maria Luz Quesada)

The smallest details of this interesting and gripping story have to be commended, given its effective characterizations portrayed well by actors who have a strong command of the script.

  1. Mumu (Jean Cheryl Tagyamon)

Its calculations in comedy may be all too familiar but it effectively works to bring out laughter while actually poking fun at its own humor.

  1. Geo (John Aurthur Mercader)

Simply proves that we have a future in the field of animation with full support and appreciation.


KAYO JOLONGBAYAN (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Lisyun Qng Geografiya, Petersen Vargas

A melancholic and heartbreaking personal tale told with such ease and tenderness.

  1. Tisoy, Sari Estrada and Martika Ramirez Escobar

Wickedly funny and esoteric; some of the wittiest films I’ve seen in recent memory.

  1. September at Simon, James Robin Mayo

Uncomfortable to watch, but absorbing and fascinating.

  1. Sanctissima, Kenneth Dagatan

A bleak and disturbing film experience. The production aspects are all top notch.

  1. Malati Ya Mu, Jason Paul Laxamana

Hilarious, charming, without being too self-conscious.


PRINCESS KINOC (Film Police Reviews)

2015 was my first Cinema Rehiyon experience so I guess I’d have to draw out favors from all the short films featured in here. It was great that I got to see it in one of the old “rooms” or baluartes in Intramuros, and best of all — perhaps in the most cinephile sense — it was free. And so here are my top ten short films of 2015, most of which were screened during Cinema Rehiyon’s run in Intramuros.


  1. Happy Fiesta, Sherlyn Doloriel
  2. Gaid, Tara Illenberger
  3. Imperfect, Olga Vivero and Joyce Gula
  4. Bahig, Raoul Tatel
  5. Gatilyo ng Baril, Glenmark Doromal and Eero Francisco
  6. Nenok, Rommel Tolentino
  7. Operation Prutas, Ara Chawdury
  8. Hulagway sa Namumuno, Bryan Wong
  9. Bantay Salakay, Reymundo Salao
  10. Bagabag, Adrian Rey Manapil



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  1. Junilyn Has (Carlo Francisco Manatad)
  2. Ang Maangas, ang Marikit, at ang Makata (Jose Ibarra Guballa)
  3. Man in the Cinema House (Bernard Jay Mercado)
  4. Tami-aw (Mary Ann Gabisan)
  5. Walay Naa Diri (Jean Claire Dy)
  6. My Revolutionary Mother (Jethro Patalinghug)
  7. Bayan ng mga Kontraktuwal (King Catoy)
  8. Pusong Bato (Martika Ramirez Escobar)
  9. Pusong Bato (Pam Miras)
  10. Kyel (Arvin Kadiboy Belarmino)


NICOL LATAYAN (Pinoy Exchange)

  1. Pusong Bato (Escobar)
  2. Sanctissima
  3. Lisyun Qng Geografia
  4. Junilyn Has
  5. Operation Prutas
  6. Pusong Bato (Miras)
  7. My Revolutionary Mother
  8. Tami-aw
  9. Asan si Lolo Me
  10. Ang Kapitbahay Ko sa 2014


LYNDON MABURAOT (Table Stretcher)

  1. Nenok (Rommel Tolentino)
  2. Lisyun Qng Geografia (Petersen Vargas)
  3. Man in the Cinema House (Bernard Jay Mercado)
  4. Lapis (Maricel Cariaga)
  5. Wawa (Angelie Mae Macalanda)
  6. Pusong Bato (Martika Ramirez Escobar)
  7. Ang Maangas, ang Marikit, at ang Makata (Jose Ibarra Guballa)
  8. Momento (Jan-Kyle Nieva)
  9. Sanctissima (Kenneth Dagatan)
  10. Pusong Bato (Pam Miras)


MACKY MACARAYAN (Death of Traditional Cinema)

  1. PUSONG BATO, Martika Ramirez Escobar

A former actress couldn’t get past her ex-lover co-star in Martika Ramirez Escobar’s funny and subversive “Pusong Bato.” Mailes Kanapi delivers a perfomance that is equal parts hilarious and bizarre.

  1. ANG KAPITBAHAY KO SA 2014, Anya Zulueta

Friendship is vivid in any language in this charming little film, between two little girls living a building apart from each other. The film brilliantly captures the awe, innocence and beauty of childhood even in such short a time.

  1. CYBER D3VIL X AHAS, Timmy Harn

Inspired and hauntingly beautiful, “Cybe3r Devil X Ahas” beckons the viewer to know more. It’s not everyday that you get to see a snake man riding a bicycle with no hands.

  1. ANG NANAY NI JUSTIN BARBER, Victor Villanueva

The film satirizes fame, child stars and ultimately, the state of the local entertainment industry. The film knows when to poke fun at those issues, and when to tug your heartstrings.


A mother’s love knows no bounds. The parallelism between abortion and motherhood is clear as day in this atmospheric horror short, where blood is what matters (no pun intended).



  1. “Tami-Aw,” Mary Ann Gabisan
    This beautifully shot short docu-narrative is a heartbreaking illustration of poverty, with Pnoy’s cash transfer program providing temporary peace of mind.
  1. “Wawa,” Angelie Mae Macalanda
    Poetic, riveting, and gorgeously shot tale of a son’s journey as they take his father to his final resting place.
  1. “Maestro Basurero,” Moises Jhon Catbagan
    An engaging docu on an intelligent, educated scavenger with a tragic past, who learns to embrace his fate.
  1. “Sukat,” Jae-Re Louise Liwanag
    An emotional and thought-provoking docu about a woman whose parents gave her away— just because she’s a midget.
  1. “Ano ang Halaga ng Pangalan,” Mike Esteves
    Experimental black and white, a mesmerizing blend of construction and destruction. Building and destroying.
  1. “#JUSTLANDED,” Christian Lat
    Highly relevant; the truth about our obsession with social media, and our continuous search for self-validation on the Internet.
  1. “Cold Sand,” Noah del Rosario
    A painful letter of a daughter still haunted by her father’s disappearance.
  1. “Pasan,” Jorel Lising
    Impressive performances, great cinematography, this unique psychological sci-fi short will hook you from start to finish.
  1. “Ang Kapitbahay Ko sa 2014,” Anya Zulueta
    A cute, charming tale of a friendship blossoming from across the street.
  1. “Run Manila Run,” MV Isip, Christine Sartorio and Christoph Doncillo
    An excellent local version of Allen Gisberg’s “Howl,” perhaps inspired by the animated sequence in the 2010 movie, starring James Franco.




  1. Ang mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasya (Echoes in the Midst of Indecision, Hector Barreto Calma)
  2. Wawa (Anj Macalanda)
  3. Ang Sayaw ng mga Puting Mukha (Mike Esteves)
  4. In the end close of a long day when she said to herself time she stopped (Jean Claire Dy)
  5. Walay Naa Diri (There is Nothing Here, Jean Claire Dy)
  6. Translación (Christian Tablazon)
  7. What is a Day (Christian Tablazon and Carlo Pacolor Garcia)
  8. Eskinita: Bayan ng Kontraktwal (Pinoy Media Center)
  9. Pusong Bato (Pam Miras)


RENELSON MORELOS (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

  1. “Lisyun qng Geografia” by Petersen Vargas

An affecting, wistful and sincere story of youthful love and heartbreak.

  1. “Sanctissima” by Kenneth Dagatan

This has the makings of a midnight cult classic – mysterious, graphic and disturbing.

  1. “Imahe” by Kristopher Navarro

This one is to be admired for its restraint and austerity, with a final scene that may lead us into thinking.

  1. “Pusong Bato” by Martika Escobar

A film-within-a-film narrative isn’t something new, but this short still manages to make it refreshing and original in its own way.

  1. “Ang Nanay ni Justin Barber” by Victor Villanueva

A funny tale of stage parenting, with an outstanding performance by Giselle Sanchez, who’s able to exhibit both hilarity and hurt as the title character.

  1. “Malati Ya Mu” by Jason Paul Laxamana

A comedy of manners that reminds one of the kind that the French and Spanish make.

  1. “The End of War” by Joeromer Bacus

Any cinematic work that comes from Mindanao will be most likely politically-strong and -relevant – and this is one such work.

  1. “Sky is Everywhere” by Ralph Quijano

Despite the gratuitous “money shot” at the end, this short is still remarkable for bringing into focus a serious illness that’s seldom discussed and yet can also afflict anyone of us.


*In no particular order:

  • Ang Kapitbahay Ko sa 2014

Such a fun and heart-warming short. May tamang amount ng whimsy at believability para ma-hook ka completely.

  • Junilyn Has

Mas titindi ang impact ng short na ‘to kung ta-Tagalog-in ‘yong title (i.e. “Meron si Junilyn”). Although as it is, matindi na rin naman talaga ang tama sa audience—isang ‘di inaasahang sucker punch.

  • Pusong Bato

Ang strength ng ‘Pusong Bato’ ay na alam niya kung gaano lang karaming oras at frames ang kailangan n’ya para mailahad ang kanyang kuwento nang buo, may laman, at may just the right hint of ka-weird-duhan

  • Asan si Lolo Me?

Ang effortless ng pagpapatawa ng ‘Asan si Lolo Me?’ It’s this rare combination of wholesomeness and originality na kaunting-kaunting pelikula lang (full-feature o short) ang nagsa-succeed na gawin.

  • Gloria

Isang clear-eyed 20-minute glimpse (oo, glimpse lang) into dementia na empathetic rather than sympathetic. And it made all the difference.

  • Happy Fiesta

Experimental pero hindi nakakairita kasi may point at buo at alam niya ang kanyang tinutumbok.

  • Lisyun Qng Geografia

Lisyun is a charming autobiography set in great original music with even greater cinematography.


Iisipin mong mas pang-art installation ito kaysa pang-film showing dahil sa extreme stylistics, pero pasok naman kasi sa subject matter ang napiling medium e. Sa ganitong paraan, malinaw na naiparating ang otherness at loneliness na sentro sa short na ‘to.

  • Cinématique

Isang mesmerizing visual spectacle ang ‘Cinematique’. Nirespeto at inangkin nito ang sine bilang medium. Ang galing nito ay nasa panghihikayat niya sa utak mo na ma-recognize ang mga hubog at tanggaping may kuwento rin ang bawat galaw ng katawan ng tao.

  • Sanctissima

Nakakakabog ang galing ng mga eksena; hindi mo alam kung mapapalunok ka sa kaba o masusuka sa mga imaheng ipapakita.


MANUEL PANGARUY (Tagailog Special Presents)

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1. Sanctissima (Kenneth Dagatan). Una akong nakuha nito nang dalawang beses pinalakpakan sa loob ng CCP Main Theater. Merong magic ang short film na ito upang makuha ang manonood. Siguro ay nakita rin nila ang nakita kong attention sa detalye ng pelikula. Masinop ang production design at naikalat ang terror sa limitadong running time nito.

2. Lisyun Qng Geografia (Petersen Vargas). Mahirap i-contest ang isang pelikula kapag masyado itong personal lalo na’t lahat ay dumaan sa unang heartbreak. Sa kaso ng short film, dumating ito nang maaga pero matagal na pinasan at ininda. Ang geography lessons sa title, most likely, ay ang lesson sa kabiguan na kailanman ay hindi matututunan. Memorable din ang performance ng dalawang lead dito na sina Earl Policarpio at Ross Pesigan.

3. Pusong Bato (Martika Escobar). Stylish ang short film pero inalagaan naman nito ang naratibo tungkol sa isang babaeng nangungulila at piniling magpatali sa kanyang nakaraan. Bravura ang art direction at sa buong pelikula ay ramdam ko ang retro na gusto nitong i-evoke. Parang pinapa-throwback din ang audience.

4. Wawa (Angelie Mae Macalanda). Vocal ako na hindi ko gusto ang short film na ito matapos mapanood. Kinakailangan lang namnamin kung ano ang gusto nitong tumbukin at iparanas para tuluyang ma-appreciate. Proseso ng pagdadalamhati ang core. Tungkol ito sa anak na namatayan ng ama. Ang facade n’ya ay emotionless kahit na ang katawan n’ya mismo ang bumigay (nakitang hinimatay ang bata sa isang bahagi). Saksi ang Wawa Dam sa bawat hakbang kabilang ang ilog na s’yang simbolo ng buhay.

5. Cold Sand (Noah del Rosario). Ang puso ng short film ay isang pagbasa ng liham mula sa iniwang anak na babae sa Germany para sa kanyang ama na nagkaroon ng bagong pamilya sa Pilipinas. Kung tutuusin, simplistic ang materyal na sinahugan ng mga imahe ng nature, ng paruparo, ng pag-apak sa buhangin at ng pag-alon ng dagat sa naapakang bahagi ng buhagin. Pero hindi ito nanahan dito. Marami s’yang gustong sabihin sa issue ng communication (snail mail versus email na argumento sa miscommunication), sa interracial family, sa sikolohikal na aspeto ng divorce at sa human nature.

6. Operation Prutas (Ara Chawdhury). May ilan na rin akong napanood na short film na isinali sa maliit na film festival para sa Sinulog. Kadalasan na kumbensyonal ito na tumatalakay sa himala ng “Señor” sa storytelling na melodramatic ang approach. Witty ang “Operation Prutas” na tungkol sa mag-asawang nais nakawin ang poon at pagkakitaan (hindi ko alam kung may statement ito tungkol sa kakarampot na proteksyon ang inilalaan para sa ating heritage). Kumbaga, nakalawa sa molde ang pelikula pero na-disect naman nito ang spirituality na gustong iangat.

7. Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig: Ding (Jewels Sison). Payak lang din ang tagpo sa short film na ito na kasali sa isang koleksyon mula sa iba’t ibang filmmaker. Tungkol ito sa dalawang magkasintahan na nagkita muli. Panibagong pagtingin ito sa nag-uumpugang tulak ng bibig at kabig ng dibdib at minsan, ayon sa pelikula, walang gustong sumuko at magpakita ng pagkatalo.

8. Reyna Christina (Pia Dimagiba). Isa sa mga paborito kong tema sa pelikula ang coming of age o ‘yong specific na trigger situation ng maturity ng isang bata. Naka-focus ang dilemma ng short film tungkol sa isang batang babae na nakatakdang maging sagala, isang visual na pagsasalarawan ng pagiging ganap nitong dalagita. Tingin ko, nakuha ng pelikula ang essential na pagbukas ng pakpak ng isang teenager at paglipad nito sa piling ng mga magulang.

9. Lapis (Maricel Cariaga). Medyo palasak na ‘yong statement nito tungkol sa nawawalang era ng hand-drawn animation kontra sa mga bagay na isinusubo sa atin ng technology. Malungkot ang tone tungkol sa decay at hindi nito binigyan ng pagkakataon ang computer graphics bilang isang alternatibo. Sa kabila n’yan, kahit na nagamit na, malungkot ang huling imahe nito na ang pintor (Soliman Cruz) ay tila nagtatanong kung barya na lang ba ang kanyang halaga.

10. Momento (Jan-Kyle Nieva). Wala na rin namang bagong ipinakita ang short film na ito sa Chavacano tungkol sa stand nito kung meron nga bang forever o wala. May mga bagay lang talaga na kahit paulit-ulit na ay masakit pa ring maulinigan. Ang matandang babae rito ay ayaw kumawala sa katotohanan na s’ya ay nag-iisa na. Bahagi ng kanyang denial ang malungkot na pagtabi sa kanyang asawa. Naalala kong bigla ang isang may-ari ng punerarya sa bayan namin nang mamatayan ito ng anak. Hindi n’ya muna ito ipinaembalsamo at pinalipas muna ang gabi na kasiping ang anak.


JAY ROSAS (Sine/Salida)

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  1. Bayan ng mga Kontraktuwal – King Catoy, Pinoy Media Center (Pandayang Lino Brocka)

The power of this short documentary lies in how the personal story/crusade blends and eventually forms part of the success stories it presents. The message is clear and the call to action is urgent. But we can carry the weight of this continued struggle.

  1. The End of War – Joe Bacus (Cinemagis, Cinema Rehiyon)

There is power to its silences and chaos, giving us an immersive and compelling experience. Its topicality, while evident, is matched by a clear vision, reminding us of the fragility of peace and the difficulty of the quest towards attaining it.

  1. Sanctissima – Kenneth Dagatan (Cinemalaya, Binisaya)

Man’s unlikely propensity for the macabre is what makes Dagatan’s short horror tale tick aside from its sumptuous production design and cinematography. Kenneth Dagatan delivers a knee-weakening terror that takes me back to the Shake Rattle and Roll of my childhood.

(tie) Operation Prutas – Ara Chawdhury (Sinulog Film Festival)

Ara Chawdhury’s caper captures the lively spirit of its Cebu origins. Poking fun at one of the most revered Catholic icons, the couple at the heart of the story ends up snared by its supernatural powers and the mischievous machinations of fate.

  1. Dindo – Martika Escobar (Cinema One Originals)

Nostalgia is the currency that runs in both Escobar’s Pusong Bato and Dindo, but I connected most to the latter. Dindo reminds us that like in films, while remembrances of the past is painful and bittersweet, it is essential to the soul and necessary for the continuity of our present.

  1. Ang Kapitbahay ko sa 2014 – Anya Zulueta

The film is awash in bright colors and brimming with charm thanks to its two child leads. The film’s skillful storytelling depicts the blossoming of friendship, but it also underlines what we adults sometimes lack – the need for genuine connection in our increasingly divided and distanced worlds.

  1. Walay Naa Diri – Jean Claire Dy

We seem to have a lack of autobiographical/personal, essay films that Claire Dy’s short film comes as a breath of fresh air. It isn’t so much about the familiar subject matter – one’s search for identity and a sense of place – but in the longing ache of her narration and the confusion in her images that makes the search more palpable and grounded.

  1. Mga Alingawngaw sa Panahon ng Pagpapasya – Hector Barretto Calma

The black and white cinematography in Calma’s period short works very well in the interior scenes, evoking the mood of the era. From carefully composed shots, the camera shifts to movement in the final third somehow capturing the spirit of unrest, ending in that powerful last shot – the answer to the indecision that pervades its first act.

  1. Cyberdevil x Ahas – Timmy Harn

A red devil, a green human snake on bicycle. I imagine this playfully disturbing film as what a computer Christmas virus would look like. A virus, a hack, an assault into one’s consciousness. In less then two minutes, Timmy Harn’s yarn manages to be all that, then some punch and a laugh.

  1. Tami-aw – Mary Ann Gabisan

Short films that have come out of the Nabunturan Indie Film Exhibition have captured the element of setting expertly sans tourism. Films like Tami-aw seems to suggest that stories of life in the provinces want to surmount this recurring motif of mountainous landscapes and controlled spaces. I was surprised to learn later that the film is labeled as a documentary – Gabisan’s direction seems to have blur the fictive and real elements of the story in the documentation process creating a mesmerizing portrait or marginalization, and proving once again the enormous talent and stories that abound outside the capital.

  1. Ang Maangas, ang Marikit at ang Makata – Jose Ibarra Guballa

There is only one female character in this fun Western-inspired film, subservient to patriarchy and torn between traditional male attachments, but it’s this character’s desires – her wanting to dance and not her father’s rifle or her avid suitor’s endless crooning – that rings the loudest. And Guballa, in that memorable final act, made sure to remind us of that.



  1. Pusong Bato, Martika Ramirez Escobar

The satire on this film is at times both deep and clever with matching top-notch performance from Mailes Kanapi. Unique, witty and discerning. A one of a kind short film!

  1. Lisyun Qng Geografia, Petersen Vargas

A unique, subtle, affecting relationship short film with the look, color and shots that tells a thousand words.

  1. Junilyn Has, Carlo Francisco Manatad

Boldly unconventional and refreshingly honest, an eye opener short film that addresses its themes and its protagonist.

  1. Mumu, Jean Cheryl Tagyamon

Alternately hilarious, scary, and simply diverting, a rare horror-satirical comedy that delivers on both fronts.

  1. Sanctissima, Kenneth Dagatan

Effectively scary, with good direction, technically polished and audience pleaser horror short film.

  1. Wawa, Angelie Mae Macalanda

Visually stunning and beautifully photographed short film that please the eyes of the audience.

  1. Drama Station, Kyle Nieva

A well written script that that amazingly shows the character deeper in just one sequence.

  1. Serbisyo Publiko, Mark Sicat Dela Cruz

Short and compelling that effectively delivers its intention.

  1. Usapang Matanda, Danica Sarmiento

A charming short film that will make you wish you were a kid again.


NAZAMEL TABARES (Movies in the Philippines)

  1. Wawa
  2. Ang Maangas, Ang Mariki at Ang Makata
  3. Memorial ng Isang Saliksik
  4. Ano ang Halaga ng Pangalan
  5. Junilyn Has
  6. Man in the Cinema House
  7. Pektus
  8. Mumu
  9. Geo
  10. One Week Earlier


JOHN TAWASIL (Present Confusion)

  1. Umuuga ang Ngipin ni Clarissa (Jose Ibarra Guballa)

I’m new to Jose Ibarra Guballa’s films, but I often find them possessing a unique, quirky class of humor that I really like; of all of his 2015 films this film about mysterious tooth snatchers is my favorite.

  1. Kusina ni Clara (Nikki Ferriols)

This film really nails its dramatic timing, and Barbie Forteza really brings it home with the last, heartbreaking sequence.

  1. Junilyn Has (Carlo Francisco Manatad)

Hypocrisy, revenge, hoo haa assassination techniques, this film has it all.

  1. Sanctissima (Kenneth Dagatan)

If there were just one genre film I would champion this year, this would be it.

  1. Lisyun qng Geografia (Petersen Vargas)

Out of all the films in this list, Lisyun is one of the most technically proficient – and its tale of painful nostalgia rips at the heart.

  1. Wawa (Angelie Mae Macalanda)

Gorgeously shot, abstract and artful.

  1. Gloria (Jethro Jamon)

While other short documentaries this year are objectively better made, this is one of the most personal, and one that hit me the deepest.

  1. Ang Kapitbahay Ko sa 2014 (Anya Zulueta)

Its relatively lighthearted compared to the other films on the list, but its narrative is filled with interesting surprises.

  1. Pusong Bato (Martika Ramirez Escobar)

Production wise, its simulation of the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema is exquisite; storywise, it manages to depict the folly of nostalgia through metaphor and magical realism.

  1. Ale Alejandra (Samantha Solidum)

While the story is not as robust as the other entries, it gains a place in my list thanks to its unique visual aesthetic and editing style.

  1. Happy Fiesta (Joe Bacus)

Its reverse chronology adds to a narrative that works told backwards and forwards.


EMIL NOR URAO (The Movie Bud)

  1. Asan si Lolo Mȇ?, Sari Estrada
  2. Sanctissima, Kenneth Dagatan
  3. Malati Ya Mu, Jason Paul Laxamana
  4. Ang Nanay ni Justin Barber, Victor Villanueva
  5. Pusong Bato, Martika Escobar
  6. Ama Namin, Nasa Langit Ka?, Jose Ibarra Guballa
  7. Daisy, Brian Reyes
  8. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas, Bor Ocampo
  9. Lisyun Qng Geografia, Petersen Vargas
  10. Mumu, Jean Cheryl Tagyamon


TRISTAN ZINAMPAN (Film Police Reviews)

  1. Pusong Bato

Weird and yet strangely familiar… Pusong Bato serves undeniable wit and charm as it shifts through reality and fantasy in tackling the theme of weathered dreams and tragic love.

  1. Lisyun Qng Geografia

Heartfelt all throughout, Lisyun perfectly captures the pain and confusion of young love and self-identify through the lens of nostalgia and sentimentality.

  1. Ding (Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig)

An anti-rom com which oddly reminds me of Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightley’s segment in Love Actually, Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig’s Ding humorously (and painfully) hits all the right heart notes in its dealing with closure and the always hovering feeling that love can still remain after it has been lost.

  1. Mumu

Blending horror and comedy, at its heart Mumu is a tale of self realization and growth amidst the very relatable problems of fitting in and foregoing one’s past.

  1. Redlights

“Playing like a tense thriller reminiscent of the films of Michael Mann, Redlights plays up its atmosphere of uneasiness – that feeling that’s something’s up but you just can’t put your finger on what it is – to deliver a suspenseful look into the seedy underbelly of Cebu.”

  1. Sanctissima

“Sanctissima is easily the best amongst the the other short films it screened alongside with, as part of Cinemalaya’s Shorts A block. This is not to say that the short is perfect. The film has many good points as it delivers its promise of very Filipino barrio-set horror. Its flaws though lie on missed opportunities stemming from tonal shifts and its abrupt editing.”

  1. Maria (Anatomiya ng Pag-ibig)

Internationally, cults have been all the rage these days. Maria serves as a worthy addition to this 2015 trend as it tackles the disturbing devotion (and dare i say, love) in the realms of religion.

  1. Tisoy

Weirdly off-kilter as the rest of Martika Escobar’s works. Tisoy exudes charm through it smart script as it tackles the largely humorless topic of school molestations.

  1. Little Lights

Stylistically, a visual delight. Little lights foregoes complex storytelling to deliver heart that from its simple plot and wondrous painting-like animation.

  1. Wawa

Wawa is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Forgoing dialogue and a solid plot, it carries its narrative through the use of visual poetry and making its landscape the main character of the story.



Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time

When we conducted our 2013 poll for the Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time list, 81 respondents (critics, filmmakers, archivists, academics, etc.) provided us with a total of 204 films, ranging from obscure gems like Kidlat Tahimik’s Orbit 50: Letters to My 3 Sons to the unabashedly campy No Other Woman. We decided then to limit the list to 50 because we had a lot of ties, and it seemed unwieldy to publish a top 100 list with so many ties.

That was before we discovered a sensible method to break ties based on which of the tied films are ranked higher by their voters. We have since used that method to rank the 100 Best Performances of the Half-Decade. It’s a pretty boring task to detail the equation we used (you can message us if you want to know how we did it) so let us get on with the more exciting job of revealing which films are the 50 next best.

100 – Tanging Yaman (Laurice Guillen, 2000)

tanging yaman

99 – Emily (Gregorio Fernandez, 1960)

1960 - Emily (1960)

98 – Pila Balde (Jeffrey Jeturian, 1999)

pila balde

97 – Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi (Danny Zialcita, 1983)


96 – Dahas (Chito Roño, 1995)


95 – Ina Ka ng Anak Mo (Lino Brocka, 1979)

ina ka2

94 – Sanda Wong (Gerardo de Leon, 1955)

sanda wong

93 – Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa (Celso Ad. Castillo, 1974)


92 – Cain at Abel (Lino Brocka, 1982)


91 – Puting Paalam (Sari Lluch Dalena, 1997)

puting paalam

90 – Temptation Island (Joey Gosiengfiao, 1980)


89 – Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (Celso Ad. Castillo, 1975)


88 – Pagdating sa Dulo (Ishmael Bernal, 1971)

pagdating sa dulo

87 – One More Chance (Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2007)


86 – Laman (Maryo J. delos Reyes, 2002)


85 – Palabra de Honor (Danny Zialcita, 1983)


84 – Milagros (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1997)


83 – Pare Ko (Jose Javier Reyes, 1995)

pare ko

82 – Maicling Pelicula nang Ysang Indio Nacional (Raya Martin, 2005)


81 – Lucia (Mel Chionglo, 1992)


80 – Sisa (Gerardo de Leon, 1951)


79 – Biyaheng Lupa (Armando Lao, 2009)


78 – Tirador (Brillante Mendoza, 2008)


77 – Huwag Mo Akong Limutin (Gerardo de Leon, 1960)

huwag mo akong limutin

76 – Bulaklak ng Maynila (Joel Lamangan, 1999)


75 – Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008)

now showing

74 – Ang Huling Balyan ng Buhi (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2006)

Sherad Anthony Sanchez The woven stories of the other (Huling balyan ng buhi, ang) 2

73 – Ang Kabiyak (Danny Zialcita, 1980)


72 – Confessional (Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto, 2007)

confessional (1)

71 – Luksang Tagumpay (Gregorio Fernandez, 1956)


70 – Anak (Rory Quintos, 2000)


69 – Shake, Rattle and Roll (Emmanuel Borlaza, Ishmael Bernal, Peque Gallaga, 1984)


68 – Juan Tamad Goes to Congress (Manuel Conde, 1960)

Juan Tamad Goes to Congress (Release Date - September 22, 1959, State Theater)c

67 – Sibak: Midnight Dancers (Mel Chionglo, 1994)


66 – Miguelito: Ang Batang Rebelde (Lino Brocka, 1985)


65 – Ang Ninanais (John Torres, 2010)


64 – Riles (Ditsi Carolino, 2002)


63 – Haplos (Tony Perez, 1982)


62 – Jose Rizal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1998)


61 – Independencia (Raya Martin, 2009)


60 – Misteryo sa Tuwa (Abbo dela Cruz, 1984)


59 – Ang Magpakailanman (Raymond Red, 1982)


58 – Lola (Brillante Mendoza, 2009)


57 – Working Girls (Ishmael Bernal, 1984)

working girls

56 – Salome (Laurice Guillen, 1981)

Salome ad (1981)

55 – Todo Todo Teros (John Torres, 2006)


54 – Bulaklak sa City Jail (Mario O’Hara, 1984)

bulaklak city jail

53 – Broken Marriage (Ishmael Bernal, 1983)

broken marriage

52 – Noli Me Tangere (Gerardo de Leon, 1961)

noli me tangere

51 – Thy Womb (Brillante Mendoza, 2012)








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