Tag Archives: best filipino films of all-time

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)








Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time (Individual Ballots)

Below are the individual ballots of the invited respondents:

Joey Agbayani (Director; Lola, Kidlat)

Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Karnal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)


Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Director; Haruo, Kalayaan)

Biyaya ng Lupa
Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak
Nunal sa Tubig
Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim
Manila by Night
Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino


Misha Anissimov (Film Professor, University of San Carlos)

Juan Tamad Goes to Congress (Manuel Conde)
Oro, Plata, Mata (Peque Gallaga)
Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kano Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)
Badlis sa Kinabuhi (Leroy Salvador, Jr.)
Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (Remton Zuasola)
Kisapmata (Mike De Leon)
Orapronobis (Lino Brocka)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Lav Diaz)
Mababangong Bangungot (Kidlat Tahimik)

Honorable mention:
Halaw (Sheron Dayoc)
Ang Mundo Sa Panahon Ng Bato (Mes de Guzman)
Independencia (Raya Martin)
Himpapawid (Raymond Red)


1.Although I’ve never had the opportunity to see Juan Tamad Goes to Congress (only clips), I included it because based on what I’ve read it seems a film way ahead of its time, and seems to strike an incredible balance between social commentary and commercial genre (comedy) convention. How I wish to see the whole thing.

2. There are 2 Visayan films on the list …Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria & Badlis sa Kinabuhi…..both remarkable in their own way. They almost seem like companion pieces in that they both address societal (more of a provincial point of view than and urban poverty porn milieau) issues of women struggling to support their families & the resulting exploitation the protagonists and families are forced to deal with…..one set in the present and the other set 45 years earlier.

3. I could not resist adding 3 films as “honorable mentions”…also each remarkable in their own way. Perhaps over many years they will rise in the ranks of Filipino film canons.


Dwein Tarhata Baltazar (Director, Mamay Umeng)

1. Kisapmata
2. Himala
3. Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang
4. Batch 81
5. Bona
6. Oro Plata Mata
7. Segurista
8. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw
9. One More Chance
10. Jologs


Joey Baquiran (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)

  1. Manila By Night
  2. Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa
  3. Himala
  4. Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag
  5. Biyaya ng Lupa
  6. Kisapmata
  7. Salome
  8. Miguelito
  9. Ang Tatay Kong Nanay
  10. Karnal


John Bedia (Writer; Amok, Boundary)

Fatima Buen Story (Mario O Hara) A tabloidish pinoy story, given a surrealistic, Luis Bunuelish flourish.

Magnifico (Mario J. De Los Reyes) Beautiful script. Michiko’s best. The ensembles solid acting and Maryo J De los Reyes fluid direction tempers the material’s inherent melodramatic potential.

Misteryo sa Tuwa (Abbo De la Cruz) My personal best. Underrated. Narratively simple yet complex. A modern parable. Ama Quiambao’s mother role is the best matriarch character ever in Pinoy Cinema.

Tuhog (Jeffrey Jeturian) Perfect blend of script and direction. The movie is Witty and smart. Funny and sad but at the same time, true.

Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos) The Best FILIPINO FAMILY DRAMA ever. Universal and timeless.

Manila By Night (Ishmael Bernal) Bernal effortlessly juggles between different characters, story and place with ease and the skill of a magician and master.

Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (Lino Brocka) A searing and excellent social commentary.

Kisapmata (Mike De Leon) Masterful craftsmanship. Across the board triumph.

Tirador (Brilliante Mendoza) Mendoza’s best. Sharp and Raw.

(*tie) Karnal (Marilou Diaz Abaya) Theatrical and showy. Dark and twisted. A different take on family intrigue and small town set hiding a dark secret story. Charito Solis performance is for the books.


Oro, Plata, Mata (Peque Gallaga) Epic.

Worth Mentioning:

Ligaya and Itawag Mo Sa Akin (Carlitos Siguion Reyna)
Jay (Francis Pasion)
Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga)
Dahas (Chito Rono)
Hinugot sa Langit (Ishmael Bernal)


Theodore Boborol (Writer; My Big Love, Kelly! Kelly! Ang Hit na Musical)

Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag
Manila by Night
Batch 81
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros
Pare Ko
Aswang episode of Shake Rattle and Roll 2


Lex Bonife (Writer; Ang Lalake sa Parola, Ang Lihim ni Antonio)

Himala (Ishmael Bernal) – a Filipino classic

Babae sa Breakwater (Mario O’Hara) – an image of poverty in color and style

Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga) – erotica at its best

Bridal Shower (Jeffrey Jeturian) – it’s rare for Philippine comedy not to be stupid. So this should be on my list

Thy Womb (Brillante Mendoza) – an elegant and a modern step in Philippine Cinema

Bwakaw (Jun Lana) – the best Filipino gay film so far

Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal – Carlitos Siguion Reyna was the gem of the 90’s

Posas (Lawrence Fajardo) – an honest and gritty portrait of Philippine corruption

Kailangan Kita (Rory Quintos) – Star Cinema at its finest

Katas ng Saudi (Joey Reyes) – an honest portrait of the Filipino family fractured by the OFW phenomenon


Patrick Campos (Professor, UP Film Institute)

Lino Brocka’s Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag
Ishmael Bernal’s Himala
Mike de Leon’s Bayaning 3rd World
Lamberto Avellana’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino
Manuel Conde’s Genghis Kahn
Manuel Silos’ Biyaya ng Lupa
Peque Gallaga’s Oro Plata Mata
Raya Martin’s Independencia
Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?
Kidlat Tahimik’s Bakit Yellow ang Middle ng Rainbow?


Libay Cantor (Professor, UP Film Institute)

— Manila By Night

Gotta love Ishma. The first truly all spectrum queer-inclusive Pinoy film for me. You got the L, G, B and even the T and Q in there. Plus the fact that it was subversive for its time yet it remained artistically intact is something to take note of.

— Shake Rattle and Roll

Pinoys love a good scare regardless if it comes from our own folklore or an invented candidate for urban legend-hood. I mean, yung ref nangre-rape and a sexy manananggal gets beaten by a blessed palaspas! Galing!

— Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag

Social realism at its finest, and I think Brocka’s best work talaga. Well acted, nice shots, almost documentary feel ang atmosphere yet the fictional story is poignantly put to life from the novel.

— Bagets

I mean come on, every generation tends to come up with their own quintessential youth flick, but really, it’s Bagets that wins ’em over. It was really able to capture the Pinoy youth of that decade, and if you look at how it captured it, it was more honest and more daring than youth films of today. Like hello cougar ang jowa ni teen! Sankapa. Among other things.

— Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros

Concept pa lang — pagdadalaga ng boylet — patok na. What more the rest of the narrative and the unforgettable character and actor that portrayed him. Never mind if it was shot so Star Cinematically polished for an “indie film” but hey, it works.

— Here Comes the Bride

Parang Pinoy films work with ensemble cast. Mas better ang support system na nangyayari sa narrative. This is what happened here. Direk Chris Martinez did a good job of stitching this film together. The humor was great!

— Scorpio Nights

So whenever they say the Filipino is conservative and devoid of sensuality ek, please direct them to old(!) movies and redirect them to this one. Yes, as a culture, we have kink. And even if we don’t say it out loud, the movies are proof that some things do exist in our culture. Like this one.

— Kakabakaba Ka Ba?

Who says Pinoys can’t be philosophically witty and satirical at the same time? All the things we should be right now, nalipasan na at naiwan na lang sa film vault of history natin, like this one. Our old films like this one are actually very modern kung tutuusin. Loved the humor on this one.

— Working Girls

Ishma could also do comedy. Great material of contemporary life and again, modern na old film! Everything they do today pales in comparison dito, and yet dapat mas “modern” tayo ngayon di ba? The irony of things in this country, best captured and encapsulated by our films.

— Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa?

Maganda talaga ang pelikulang Pilipino kung ang nasa puso nito ay isang magandang kuwento. Like this one. It helped that Chito Rono got the essence of the story and Ate Vi got the essence of the character. Swak lang kay Lualhati.


Jan Philippe Carpio (Director; Balay Daku, Girl of My Dreams)

In no particular ranking and unfortunately not having seen many of the works of many Filipino filmmakers, both recognized and neglected.

Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos)

A film that showed me how the limiting form of film genre can be used to open us up into forms of living that challenge our commonly held biases and judgments by teaching us selflessness, compassion and forgiveness.

Mababangong Bangungot (Kidlat Tahimik)

A film that showed me how film can be anything and it is we who limit it, how “limited” resources can be turned into a great wellspring for creative freedom, and the independence of our souls is just as if not more important than political independence.

Broken Marriage (Ishmael Bernal)

A film that showed me for the first time an example from Philippine cinema that explored the inexplicable, fleeting, ever-changing, twisting, contradictory, paradoxical realm of emotions and feelings that is both a trap and a way to freedom.

Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (Lino Brocka)

A film that exposed the hypocrisy and collusion between the elite, the community and the religious and showed how much the dictates of society are incompatible with real love and compassion.

Heremias Book 1: Ang Alamat ni Prinsesang Bayawak (Lav Diaz)

A film that transformed my perception of the possibilities of cinematic time and space, a spiritual and yet also physical portrait of a particular Filipino soul and an experience similar to how film critic Acquarello describes Andrei Tarkovky’s final film The Sacrifice “the beauty of … sacrifice is that no one realizes what he is trying to do (and the lengths that he will go to) … a true sacrifice.”

Riles (Ditsi Carolino)

In a cinema accused of “poverty pornography” and “festival filmmaking”, the film showed me how much filmmakers and media producers (especially television pracitioners) impose their own notions of narrative and “drama” on life and how much the experience of life, particularly the paradoxical natures of our emotions and spirits, is much more than our limited ideas of it.

Ang Isla sa Dulo ng Mundo (Raya Martin)

A film that showed me the possibilities of the documentary form beyond the conservative opinion column type, advocacy and propagandistic types of documentary that tend to dominate, and instead moving towards an involved observation, exploration and comparison of different perspectives of experience.

Moral (Marilou Diaz Abaya)

A film that shattered the myth of separating the personal and the political and the tyranny of our film audience and life expectations of people.

Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)

A film that showed me how much of personal experience and perspective is left out of history and experiences, and how much of history has become myth making instead of a genuine investigation into the possibilities of experiences.

The Great Smoke (Roxlee)

A film that showed me how much of experience and life has been replaced by impositions of egotistical and dangerous beliefs about “reality”.


Jade Castro (Director; Endo, Zombadings)

1. Batang West Side (Lav Diaz, 2001)
2. Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka, 1975)
3. Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga, 1985)
4. Pila Balde (Jeffrey Jeturian, 1999)
5. Sibak: Midnight Dancers (Mel Chionglo, 1994)
6. Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal, 1980)
7. Autohystoria (Raya Martin, 2007)
8. Victory Joe (Manuel Silos, 1946)
9. Temptation Island (Joey Gosiengfiao, 1980)
10. Kesong Puti (Mauro Gia Samonte, 1997)
11. Babae sa Breakwater (Mario O’Hara, 2003)


Zurich Chan (Director; Teoriya, Boca)

Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno)
Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (Alvin Yapan)
100 (Chris Martinez)
Niño (Loy Arcenas)
Sa Kanto ng Ulap at Lupa (Mes De Guzman)
Wanted: Border (Ray Gibraltar)
Busong (Auraeus Solito)
Sampaguita (Francis Pasion)
Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (Remton Zuasola)
Amok (Law Fajardo)


Ina Avellana Cosio (Senior Lecturer, UP Film Institute)

Anak Dalita (Lamberto Avellana)
Badjao (Lamberto Avellana)
Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (Lamberto Avellana)
Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Babae sa Breakwater (Mario O’Hara)
Bayaning Third World (Mike de Leon)
Kubrador (Jeffrey Jeturian)
Kinatay (Brillante Mendoza)


Sari Dalena (Director; Ka Oryang, Himala Ngayon)

  1. Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
  2. Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
  3. Itim (Mike de Leon)
  4. Perfumed Nightmare (Kidlat Tahimik)
  5. Anak Dalita (Lamberto Avellana)
  6. Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
  7. Karnal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
  8. Batang Westside (Lav Diaz)
  9. Si Suring at ang Kuk-ok (Auraeus Solito) and Magpakailanman (Raymond Red)
  10. Independencia (Raya Martin)


Ray Defante Gibraltar (Director; Wanted: Border, When Timawa Meets Delgado)

Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Itim (Mike de Leon)
Mababangong Bangungot (Kidlat Tahimik)
Ang Tatay Kong Nanay (Lino Brocka)
Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Ganito Kami Noon Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)
City after Dark (Ishmael Bernal)
Insiang (lino Brocka)


Archie del Mundo (Director; Taksikab, Ang Misis ni Meyor)

1. Orapronobis (1989) Lino Brocka
2. Maynila sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (1975) Lino Brocka
3. City after Dark (1980) Ishmael Bernal
4. Batch 81 (1982) Mike De Leon
5. Himala (1982) Ishmael Bernal
6. Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (1976) Mario O’Hara
7. Biyaya ng Lupa (1959) Manuel Silos
8. Condemned (1984) Mario O’Hara
9. Lucia (1992) Mel Chionglo
10. Misteryo sa Tuwa (1984) Peque Gallaga


Wenn Deramas (Director; Ang Tanging Ina, Praybeyt Benjamin)

As a filmmaker, importante sa akin ang mga pelikulang alam nila ang objective nila at napagtagumapayan nilang maihatid ito sa mga manunuod, seryoso man ito fantasy o komedya. Importante ang ang entertainment value sa akin ano man ang tema ng pelikula dahil sine ito at nagbabayad ang mga tao. So, heto ang aking 10 films but i can write 100 if you want, adik rin rin ako sa panunuod ng pelikula.

1. Insiang – Tatatlo lamang ang tauhan, isang masikip at mabahong lugar, pero nabuo ang kwento ng pagmamahal, betrayal at paghihiganti, napakaganda ng characterization ni Insiang at ng nanay niya.

2. Himala – Malaking Pelikula na nagpapakita ng paniniwala/pananampalataya nating mga Pilipino, hinaluan pa ng init at gutom, ito ang pwedeng mangyari.

3. Ina Ka ng Anak Mo – Again, tatlong tauhan sa isang bahay, na kinalimutan ang mga posisyon sa loob ng bahay at lipunan. Napakahusay ni Nora at Lolita.

4. Inday Bote/Inday Inday sa Balitaw – Comedy ito pero may laman at punong puno ng aral, napakahusay ni Maricel at hawak nya ang manunuod, may kaeksena man sya o nagsasalitang mag-isa.

5. Relasyon – Si  Vilma Santos ang buong pelikula, maaaring istorya or a day in a life lamang ito ng isang kabit, pero sa sobrang husay ng ibinigay nii Vilma, lumaki ang buong pelikula.

6. Ang Tanging Ina – Hindi dahil sa ako ang gumawa nito pero binago at gumawa ng sariling brand ng comedy ang pelikulang ito.

7. Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap – Mula sa komiks ginawa ni Laurice Guillen na makatotohanan ang isang melodrama at napagalaw niya ang mga tauhan ng naaayon at hindi lumabis sa dapat asahan.

8. Atsay – Napaka-advance nito para sa panahon nya nuon, mounting and storytelling ang ibig kong sabihin, pantay rin nyang naisadula ang kwento ng amo sa katulong, may pagmamalabis ang amo, ganuon rin ang mga katulong na pumatol sa amo dahil sa pera.

9. Bituing Walang Ningning/Hinugot sa Langit – Magkaibang magkaiba ang genre at tema pero parehong nagbigay kulay kung ano ang meron sa mga pilipino, ang maging escapist at aliwin ang sarili sa pamamagitan ng mga idolo at pelikula, at ang pagtakbo sa responsibilidad, kahirapan at moralidad dahil sa pansariling kapakanan. Pero parehong hindi nakalimutan ang commercial values ang dalawang pelikulang ito.

10. Darna ni Rosa del Rosario/Dyesebel ni Edna Luna – Pinapakinabangan natin magpahanggang ngayon ang mga pelikulang ito higit sa anumang mga pelikulang ipinadadala natin abroad! Bakit? Dahil ito ang Pelikula.


Jojo Devera (Film Writer, Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy


Directed By: Eddie Romero

The Passionate Strangers exhibits visuals that capture the topography of the film’s location and the lives of its damned inhabitants. It established progression in the narrative as well as nuances in the behavior, character and action of the dramatis personae simply by resorting to adept composition and minimalist camera approach.

BATCH ’81 (MVP Pictures, 1982)

Directed By: Mike de Leon

Ostensibly the story of seven young men who join a college fraternity, Batch ’81 is an orgy of physical and psychological violence. What makes the film classic is its use of the technical virtuosity displayed by Mike de Leon to convey political, social and philosophical meaning.


Directed By: Lav Diaz

Ebolusyon Ng Pamilyang Pilipino is a powerful movie. It is a movie that makes us abide by the torment and agony that is Philippine history in the last thirty years. It relieves the darkness of Martial Law, the dilemmas of the Aquino transition and the bedlam that constitutes the present. The movie explains much of the horror and confronts it.

TUBOG SA GINTO (LEA Productions, 1971)

Directed By: Lino Brocka

Based on a Mars Ravelo serial, Tubog Sa Ginto dared to explore the life of a married homosexual, a bold pioneering attempt to treat the subject with honesty and compassion.

NUNAL SA TUBIG (Crown Seven Film Productions, 1976)

Directed By: Ishmael Bernal

A landmark in Philippine filmmaking. Aside from showcasing connotative employment of the filmic language, it is the first Filipino film that comes closest to projecting a statement not about conditions obtained in the Philippine countryside but about a universal issue generally designated as the human condition.

ANG KABIYAK (Trigon CInema Arts, 1980)

Directed By: Danny L. Zialcita

One of the few movies about upper middle-class denizens which reflects a wry, clever and ironically humurous sensibility while exposing the sham and dry rot of smiles, handshakes, hugs and kisses between husbands, wives, friends and lovers.

HUWAG MO AKONG LIMUTIN (Premiere Productions, 1960)

Directed By: Gerardo de Leon

A sex melodrama of men and women trapped in a society corroded by lust and money treated with sensitivity and intellectual content.


Directed By: Lamberto V. Avellana

A poignant elegy to the custom and ceremony that died with a city and the the innocence and beauty that lived too briefly.

ANG ALAMAT (FPJ Productions, 1972)

Directed By: Celso Ad Castillo

Innovative and daring. Castillo made over the Filipino cowboy movie in this film about a reluctant hero, a former Huk rebel who hopes to find peace by going back to his hometown only to find out that g=he has to go back to gun fighting in order to rid the place of bad elements.

VIRGIN FOREST (Regal Films, 1985)

Directed By: Peque Gallaga

Gallaga has been able to bring to a focus his varied talents in Virgin Forest. The lyrical exuberance with which he invests starkly realistic situations and the intense confrontations among his characters, and found fellow artists with temperaments congenial to his in the coming together of skills that make film art possible.


Gary Devilles (Professor, Kagawaran ng Filipino, Ateneo de Manila University)

  1. Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising
  2. Aguila
  3. Kakabakaba Ka Ba?
  4. Ang Tatay Kong Nanay
  5. Orapronobis
  6. Salome
  7. Sister Stella L.
  8. Himala
  9. Insiang
  10. Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros


Zig Dulay (Writer; Posas, Ad Ignorantiam)

Batch ’81 (Mike de Leon)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Lola (Brillante Mendoza)
Magnifico (Maryo J. delos Reyes)
Moral (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Orapronobis (Lino Brocka)
Relasyon (Ishmael Bernal)
Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga)
Thy Womb (Brillante Mendoza)
Tuhog (Jeffrey Jeturian)


Katski Flores (Director; Still Life, Dreamboy)

Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (Mike de Leon)
Itim (Mike de Leon)
Sana Maulit Muli (Olivia Lamasan)
Lucia (Mel Chionglo)
Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (Auraeus Solito)
Madrasta (Olivia Lamasan)
Anak (Rory Quintos)


Patrick Flores (Founding Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)

Burlesk Queen
Genghis Khan
Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos
Perfumed Nightmare
Bayan Ko/Kapit sa Patalim
Itanong Mo sa Buwan
Broken Marriage
Luksang Tagumpay


Benjamin Garcia (Director; Batad: Sa Paang Palay, Malan)

1. “Himala”
2. “Itim”
3. “Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag”
4. “Insiang”
5. “Bona”
6. “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?”
7. “The Moises Padilla Story”
8. “Noli Me Tangere”
9. “El Filibusterismo”
10. “Nunal sa Tubig”


Jag Garcia (Film Professor, De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde)

Itim (Mike de Leon)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)
Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Oro, Plata, Mata (Peque Gallaga)
AKO Batch ’81 (Mike de Leon)
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (Auraeus Solito)
Mababangong Bangungot (Kidlat Tahimik)
Oliver (Nick Deocampo)
Shake, Rattle & Roll 1 (Maning Borlaza, Ishmael Bernal, Peque Gallaga)


Christopher Gozum (Director; Anacbanua, Lawas Kan Pinabli)

  1. Manila By Night (Ishmael Bernal)
  2. Nunal sa Tubig (Ishmael Bernal)
  3. Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
  4. Sisa (Gerardo de Leon)
  5. Noli Me Tangere (Gerardo de Leon)
  6. Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos)
  7. Malvarosa (Gregorio Fernandez)
  8. Pagdating sa Dulo (Ishmael Bernal)
  9. Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino (Lav Diaz)
  10. Mababangong Bangungot (Lav Diaz)


Jerry Gracio (Writer; Mater Dolorosa, Aparisyon)

1. Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag, Lino Brocka (1975)
2. Biyaya ng Lupa, Manuel Silos (1959)
3. Sanda Wong, Gerardo de Leon (1955)
4. Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, Mario O’Hara (1976)
5. Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak, Celso ad Castillo (1978)
6. Himala, Ishmael Bernal (1982)
7. Kisapmata, Mike de Leon (1981)
8. Agila, Eddie Romero (1980)
9. Nunal sa Tubig, Ishmael Bernal (1976)
10. Babae sa Breakwater, Mario O’Hara (1984)


Eli Guieb (Associate Professor, UP Department of Broadcast Communication)

1. Nunal sa Tubig, Ishmael Bernal
2. Manila by Night, Bernal
3. Sister Stella L, Mike de Leon
4. Orapronobis, Lino Brocka
5. Himala, Bernal
6. Maynila, sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, Brocka
7. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon, Eddie Romero
8. Pagdating sa Dulo, Bernal
Sisa, Mario O’Hara
9. Babae sa Breakwater, Mario O’Hara
Burlesk Queen, Celso Ad. Castillo
10.  Bayaning Third World, M. de Leon
Engkwentro, Pepe Diokno


Chuck Gutierrez (Producer, MNL 143; Director, Ulian)

Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag
Genghis Khan
Batch ’81
Bayaning 3rd World
Laro sa Baga


Joni Gutierrez (Professor, UP Film Institute)

1.            Insiang (Lino Brocka, 1976)
2.            Himala (Ishmael Bernal, 1982)
3.            Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Mario O’Hara, 1976)
4.            Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos, 1959)
5.            Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (Auraeus Solito, 2005)
6.            Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim (Lino Brocka, 1985)
7.            Ganito Kami Noon… Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero, 1976)
8.            Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga, 1982)
9.            Kisapmata (Mike De Leon, 1981)
10.          Jose Rizal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1998)


Mario Hernando (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

1. Batang West Side (Lav Diaz)
2. Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
3. Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
4. Anak Dalita (Lamberto Avellana)
5. Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos)
6. Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
7. Insiang (Lino Brocka)
8. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon (Eddie Romero)
9. Lola (Brillante Mendoza)
10. Nunal sa Tubig (Ishmael Bernal)


Jason Jacobo (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)

1. Hinugot sa Langit (Ishmael Bernal, 1985)
2. Batch ’81 (Mike de Leon, 1982)
3. Miguelito: Ang Batang Rebelde (Lino Brocka, 1985)
4. Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Mario O’Hara, 1976)
5. Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak (Celso Ad. Castillo, 1978)
6. Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos, 1959)
7. Banaue (Gerardo de Leon, 1975)
8. Temptation Island (Joey Gosiengfiao, 1980)
9. Anak Dalita (Lamberto Avellana, 1956)
10. Palabra de Honor (Danny Zialcita, 1983)


Antoinette Jadaone (Director; Six Degree of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay, Tumbang Preso)

1. Oro Plata Mata
2. Himala
3. Manila by Night
4. Hinugot sa Langit
5. Bayaning Third World
6. Don’t Give Up On Us
7. One More Chance
8. Working Girls
9. Sa Huling Paghihintay
10. Magic Temple


Jeffrey Jeturian (Director; Kubrador, Pila Balde)

Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad. Castillo)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)
Batang Westside (Lav Diaz)
Babae sa Breakwater (Mario O’Hara)


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

Disclaimer: My list changes all the time depending on the mood.

Salawahan – Bernal really knows his comedy. I love watching this movie over and over again. One time, I also watched this film in a very intimate screening with Matt Ranillo. That was so fun!

Kisapmata – This movie still gives me goosebumps.

Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag – this is like my Citizen Kane. It just had to be in my list.

Ang Tatay Kong Nanay – Because Dolphy is my hero

Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino – This opened my eyes about watching movies. I didn’t know I was actually going to appreciate watching a 10-hour movie. Lav is crazy!

Burlesk Queen – That long dance sequence of Chato is movie magic, it’s one of the most mesmerizing scenes ever shot.

Magnifico – I always watch this movie whenever I see it in cable. There’s something special about this movie.

Kakabakaba Ka Ba? – Just like Salawahan, I love watching this movie over and over.

Bagets – The structure of this film is so flawed and there are so many loopholes in the script but it all makes sense in the end. Feels so much like the movie of my generation.

Todo Todo Teros – I’ve only seen this movie once but it was unflinchingly honest and raw that I’m so scared for John Torres. I applaud the honesty, it’s like reading someone’s diary.

here are my runners-up:

1. Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio (Mario O’Hara)
2. Maicling Pelicula Nang Ysang Indio Nacional (Raya Martin)
3. Riles (Ditsi Carolino)
4. Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
5. Himala (Ishmael Bernal)


Ralston Jover (Director; Bakal Boys, Marlon)

  1. Maynila Sa Kuko Ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
  2. Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
  3. Kubrador (Jeffrey Jeturian)
  4. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)
  5. Nunal sa Tubig (Ishmael Bernal)
  6. Perfumed Nightmares (Kidlat Tahimik)
  7. Magnifico (Maryo J. delos Reyes)
  8. Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
  9. Milagros (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
  10. Manila By Night (Ishmael Bernal)


Skilty Labastilla (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)

  1. Batch ’81, Mike de Leon (1982)
  2. Himala, Ishmael Bernal (1982)
  3. Mababangong Bangungot, Kidlat Tahimik (1977)
  4. Genghis Khan, Manuel Conde (1950)
  5. Kisapmata, Mike de Leon (1981)
  6. Ganito Kami Noon…Paano Kayo Ngayon?, Eddie Romero (1976)
  7. Insiang, Lino Brocka (1976)
  8. Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria, Remton Siega Zuasola (2010)
  9. Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, Lino Brocka (1974)
  10. Bagets, Maryo J. delos Reyes (1984)


Nonoy Lauzon (Programmer, UP Film Institute)

  1. Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak (Celso Ad. Castillo)
  2. Itim (Mike de Leon)
  3. Manila By Night (Ishmael Bernal)
  4. Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi (Danny Zialcita)
  5. Emily (Gregorio Fernandez)
  6. Kontrobersyal (Lino Brocka)
  7. Anak Dalita (Lamberto Avellana)
  8. Lilet (Gerardo de Leon)
  9. Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos)
  10. Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Mario O’Hara)


Jon Lazam (Director; Nang gabing maging singlaki ng puso ang bato ni Darna, Hindi sa Atin ang Buwan)

Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising (Mike De Leon, 1977)
Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008)
Ang Alamat ni Julian Makabayan (Celso Ad. Castillo, 1979)
Pangarap ng Puso (Mario O’Hara, 2000)
Salawahan (Ishmael Bernal, 1979)
Orbit 50: Letters to My 3 Sons (Kidlat Tahimik, 1992)
Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Lav Diaz, 2004)
Kisapmata (Mike De Leon, 1981)
Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak (Celso Ad. Castillo, 1978)
Ang Ninanais (John Torres, 2010)


Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez (Art Studies Professor, UP Diliman)

Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Bayaning Third World (Mike de Leon)
Bakal Boys (Ralston Jover)
Kamera Obskura (Raymond Red)
Bulaklak ng Maynila (Joel Lamangan)
Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
Bulaklak sa City Jail (Mario O’Hara)
Salawahan (Ishmael Bernal)
Biyaheng Lupa (Armando Lao)
Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (Lino Brocka)


Ed Lejano (Director, UP Film Institute)

1) Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag
2) Biyaya ng Lupa
3) Kisapmata
4) Scorpio Nights
5) Manila by Night
6) Serbis
7) Kubrador
8) Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria
9) Burlesk Queen
10) Batang West Side


Jet Leyco (Director; Ex Press, Patlang)

Kisapmata – M. De Leon
Death in the Land of Encantos – Lav Diaz
The Middle Mystery of Kristo Negro – K. de la Cruz
Todo Todo Teros – John Tores
Itim – M. De Leon
Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag – Brocka
Kinatay – B.Mendoza
Himala – Bernal
Huling Balyan ng Buhi – Sherad Sanchez
Confessional – Jerold Tarog


Gerard Lico (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)

Higit sa Lahat
Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag
Luksang Tagumpay
Biyaya ng Lupa
Manila by Night
Giliw Ko
Oro Plata Mata


Ian Loreños (Director; Alagwa, The Leaving)

These are the films that changed how I see Philippine cinema. And also how much the impact these films raised the level of Philippine cinema internationally.

1. Aguila (Eddie Romero)

The rest are in no particular order:

Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Batch 81 (Mike de Leon)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)
Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
City after Dark (Ishmael Bernal)
Batang Westside (Lav DIaz)
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (Solito)
Tinimbang Ka ngunit Kulang (Brocka)


Masahista (Brilliante Mendoza)
Lola (Brillante Mendoza)
Relasyon (Ishmael Bernal)
Bayaning Third World (Mike de Leon)


Bienvenido Lumbera (National Artist for Literature)

Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Huwag Mo Akong Limutin (Gerardo de Leon)
Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
Orapronobis (Lino Brocka)
Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos)
Moral (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Karnal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)


Dado Lumibao (Director; In da Red Corner, Must Be Love)

1. HIMALA (Ishmael Bernal, 1982)
3. KISAPMATA (Mike de Leon, 1981)
4. MAYNILA SA KUKO NG LIWANAG (Lino Brocka, 1975)
5. ORO, PLATA, MATA (Peque Gallaga, 1982)
6. MANILA BY NIGHT (Ishmael Bernal, 1980)
8. THY WOMB (Brillante Mendoza, 2012)
9. KAKABA KABA KA BA? (Mike de Leon, 1980)
10. KUBRADOR (Jeffrey Jeturian, 2006)


Gutierrez Mangansakan II (Director; Limbunan, Qiyamah)

Biyaya ng Lupa
Nunal sa Tubig
Oro Plata Mata
Perfumed Nightmare
Ang Daan Patungong Kalimugtong
Huling Balyan ng Buhi
Ebolusyon ng isang Pamilyang Pilipino


Dennis Marasigan (Director; Sa North Diversion Road, Vox Populi)

1. Biyaya ng Lupa
2. Himala
3. Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag
4. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon
5. Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang
6. Manila by Night
7. Pahiram ng Isang Umaga
8. Oro, Plata, Mata
9. May Minamahal
10. Asedillo


Adrian Mendizabal (Film Writer, Auditoire

1. Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Lav Diaz, 2004)
2. Death in the Land of Encantos (Lav Diaz, 2007)
3. Orapronobis (Lino Brocka, 1989)
4. Batang West Side (Diaz, 2001)
5. Ang Ninanais (John Torres, 2010)
6. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008)
7. Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Brocka, 1975)
8. Anak Dalita (Lamberto Avellana, 1956)
9. Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (Brocka, 1974)
10. Bomba Star (Joey Gosiengfiao, 1980)


Pam Miras (Director; Pascalina, Wag Kang Titingin)

Andong, Milo Tolentino
Babae sa Breakwater, Mario O’ Hara
Batang Westside, Lav Diaz
City after Dark, Ishmael Bernal
Itim, Mike De Leon
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? Mike De Leon
Paulo’s Flight, Fruto Corre
Relasyon, Ishmael Bernal
RPG: Metanoia, Luis Suarez
Silip, Elwood Perez
Walai, Adjani Arumpac
Yanggaw, Richard Somes


Ramon Nocon (Board Member, Society of Filipino Archivists for Film)

Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos)
Malvarosa (Gregorio Fernandez)
Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (Lamberto Avellana)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Aliw (Ishmael Bernal)
Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (Lino Brocka)
Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
Batang West Side (Lav Diaz)
Ang Kabiyak (Danny Zialcita)


Bono Olgado (Director, National Fim Archives of the Philippines)

Genghis Khan (1950), Manuel Conde
Biyaya ng Lupa (1959), Manuel Silos
Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1975), Lino Brocka
Mababangong Bangugot (1977), Kidlat Tahimik
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (1980), Mike de Leon
Himala (1982), Ishmael Bernal
Moral (1982), Marilou Diaz Abaya
Babae sa Bubungang Lata (1998), Mario O’Hara
Batang West Side (2001), Lav Diaz
Todo Todo Teros (2006), John Torres


Just in case…ten more films:

Noli Me Tangere (1961), Gerry de Leon
Pagdating sa Dulo (1971), Ishmael Bernal
Manila by Night / City After Dark (1980), Ishmael Bernal
Ang Magpakailanman (1983), Raymond Red
Tronong Puti (1983), Rox Lee
Revolutions Happen Like Refrains in a Song (1987), Nick de Ocampo
Orapronobis (1989), Lino Brocka
Minsan Lang Sila Bata (1996), Ditsi Carolino
Tuhog (2001), Jeffrey Jeturian
Sa North Diversion Road (2005), Dennis Marasigan


Ricky Orellana (Board Member, Society of Filipino Archivists for Film, Inc.)

1. BIYAYA NG LUPA (1959) Directed by Manuel Silos

I heard Ed Cabagnot praising this film as “the quintessential Filipino movie.” I totally agree with him.

2. GANITO KAMI NOON PAANO KAYO NGAYON (1976) Directed by Eddie Romero

Eddie Romero’s picaresque narrative set in the 1890’s captured the panache that belies the theme’s seriousness (Filipino’s search for national identity).

3. KISAPMATA (1981) Directed by Mike De Leon

Mike De Leon’s scenes of mixed suspense and violence can cause great unease. Vic Silayan’s powerful performance is noteworthy.

4. MORAL (1982) Directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya

One particular scene in this movie which I can’t forget because it is funny yet strangely affecting is when Kathy (played by Gina Alajar) tries her best to sing in a studio believing that she can deliver but then realizes that she can’t hit the right notes; breaking down to heartfelt sobs in the middle of a recording.

5. ANG MAGPAKAILANMAN (1983) Directed by Raymond Red

A landmark experimental film and one that helped define the local independent cinema movement during the early 80’s.

6. OLIVER (1983) Directed by Nick Deocampo

The crudeness and the raw quality (shot on super-8 film) of this documentary does not distract but rather underpins the truth about the subject’s double life.

7. MAGNIFICO (2003) Directed by Maryo J. De Los Reyes

Michiko Yamamoto’s script is the heart of this moving bittersweet drama. Good ensemble acting too.

8. MUTYA (2009) Directed by Nelson “Blog” Caliguia, Jr.

A mature work from a promising new artist, this is Blog Caliguia’s third animated short film. Aside from non-verbal/no dialogue story telling, he thought of a clever device using illustrative transitions not just for the purpose of piecing together his scenes but also to tell a brief undercurrent adding more story details in his straight forward narrative structure.

9. MARIANING (2012) Directed by Niko Salazar

The eerie atmosphere and the superb animation are the highlights of this 8-minute film, but the centerpiece of this action drama is the climactic battle scene between the “aswangs” and the mysterious avenger.

10. BWAKAW (2012) Directed by Jun Robles Lana

Eddie Garcia is always good in portraying characters both endearing and repelling at the same time, but here he is totally brilliant and poignant.


Cenon Palomares (Lecturer, UP Film Institute)

Himala – d: Ishmael Bernal
Karnal – d: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? – d: Eddie Romero
Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag – d: Lino Brocka
Mababangong Bangungot – d: Kidlat Tahimik
Oro Plata Mata – d: Peque Gallaga
Manila by Night – d: Ishmael Bernal
Itim – d: Mike de Leon
Lola – d: Brillante Mendoza
Oliver – d: Nick de Ocampo


Senedy Que (Writer; Mga Munting Tinig, Homecoming)

Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Moral (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Salome (Laurice Guillen)
Jaguar (Lino Brocka)
Karnal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim (Lino Brocka)
Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad. Castillo)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)
Sister Stella L. (Mike de Leon)
Kinatay (Brillante Mendoza)


Jose Javier Reyes (Director; Makati Ave: Office Girls, Kasal Kasali Kasalo)



Jun Cruz Reyes (Former Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Bayaning Third World (Mike de Leon)
Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
Sister Stella L. (Mike de Leon)
Tinimbang Ka ngunit Kulang (Lino Brocka)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)
Genghis Khan (Manuel Conde)
Perfumed Nightmare (Kidlat Tahimik)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Ah, Ewan, Basta sa Maynila Pa Rin Ako (Ishmael Bernal and Eddie Rodriguez)


Eduardo Roy, Jr. (Director; Bahay Bata; Ang Pinakamagandang One-Night Stand)

Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Bona (Lino Brocka)
Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)
Magnifico (Maryo J. delos Reyes)
Batch 81 (Mike de Leon)
Laman (Maryo J. delos Reyes)
Bulaklak sa City Jail (Mario O’Hara)
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (Auraeus Solito)


Shaira Mella Salvador-MacKenzie (Writer; Tanging Yaman, Sana Maulit Muli)

1. Cain at Abel (Lino Brocka)
2. Haplos (Tony Perez)
3. Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
4. Karnal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya
5. Tanging Yaman (Laurice Guillen)
6. Bona (Lino Brocka)
7. Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
8. Tuhog (Jeffrey Jeturian)
9. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (Celso Ad. Castillo)
10. Tinik sa Dibdib (Leroy Salvador)


Mike Sandejas (Director; Tulad ng Dati, Dinig Sana Kita)

1) Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
2) Itim (Mike de Leon)
3) Batch 81 (Mike de Leon)
4) Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (Mike de Leon)
5) Bayaning 3rd World (Mike de Leon)
6) Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
7) ‘Merika (Gil Portes)
8) Tinimbang Ka ngunit Kulang (Lino Brocka)
9) Batang West Side (Lav Diaz)
10) Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising (Mike De Leon)


Vincent Sandoval (Director; Aparisyon, Señorita)

1. Insiang (Lino Brocka)
2. Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
3. Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
4. Moral (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
5. Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
6. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)
7. Sister Stella L (Mike de Leon)
8. Salawahan (Ishmael Bernal)
9. Babae sa Breakwater (Mario O’Hara)
10. Laman (Maryo J. Delos Reyes)


Chris Eriz Sta. Maria (Film Blogger, The One-Legged Woman is Queen

Batang West Side (Lav Diaz)
Batch 81 (Mike de Leon)
Death in the Land of Encantos (Lav Diaz)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Imburnal (Sherad Anthony Sanchez)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)
Mababangong Bangungot (Kidlat Tahimik)
Maicling Pelicula nang Ysang Indio Nacional (Raya Martin)
Melancholia (Lav Diaz)
Turumba (Kidlat Tahimik)


Arminda Santiago (Professor, UP Film Institute)

Nunal sa Tubig (Ishmael Bernal)
Orapronobis (Lino Brocka)
Anak (Rory Quintos)
Magnifico (Maryo J. delos Reyes)
Thy Womb (Brillante Mendoza)
Working Girls (Ishmael Bernal)
Bagets (Maryo J. delos Reyes)
Sakada (Behn Cervantes)
Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Mario O’Hara)
Moral (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)


Dondon Santos (Director; Noy, Dalaw)

  1. Orapronobis (Lino Brocka)
  2. Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)
  3. Dahas (Chito Roño)
  4. Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
  5. Bagets (Maryo J. delos Reyes)
  6. Batch ’81 (Mike de Leon)
  7. Dekada ’70 (Chito Roño)
  8. Nasaan Ka Man (Cholo Laurel)
  9. Pare Ko (Jose Javier Reyes)
  10. Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)


Joaquin Enrico Santos (Writer; In the Name of Love, The Strangers)

Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad. Castillo)
Karnal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Jay (Francis Xavier Pasion)
Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga)
Itim (Mike de Leon)
Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising (Mike de Leon)
Jose Rizal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)


Simon Santos (Owner, Video 48)

My list of top 10 Filipino Movies is primarily based on what I saw and the availability of the copy. Many other worthy movies should have been included like “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Daigdig” (1958/ Gerardo de Leon) and “Daigdig ng mga Api” (1965/ Gerardo de Leon).

1. Biyaya ng Lupa (1959/LVN Pictures) Manuel Silos
2. Anak Dalita (1956/ LVN Pictures) Lamberto Avellana
3. Badjao (1957/ LVN Pictures) Lamberto Avellana
4. The Moises Padilla Story (MML Production/1961) Gerardo de Leon
5. Maynila, Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Cinema Artists/1975) Lino Brocka
6. Kisapmata (Bancom Audiovision/1981) Mike de Leon
7. Aguila (Bancom Audiovision /1980) Eddie Romero
8. Kung Magarap Ka’t Magising (LVN/1977) Mike de Leon
9. Oro Plata Mata (1985) Peque Gallaga
10. Noli Me Tangere (Bayanihan-Arriva/1961) Gerardo de Leon

11. El Filibusterismo (Bayanihan-Arriva/1962) Gerardo de Leon
12. Insiang (1977) Lino Brocka
13. Tinimbang Ka Nguni’t Kulang (1974) Lino Brocka
14. Higit sa Lahat (LVN/ 1955) Gregorio Fernandez
15. A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (Diadem Production/ 1965) Lamberto Avellana
16. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon (1976) Eddie Romero
17. Asedillo (FPJ Productions/1971) Celso Ad Castillo


Keith Sicat (Director; Ka Oryang, Himala Ngayon)

1.            Himala (Dir. Ishmael Bernal)
2.            Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Dir. Lino Brocka)
3.            Itim (Dir. Mike DeLeon)
4.            Karnal (Dir. Marilou Diaz-Abaya)
5.            Riles (Dir. Ditsi Carolino)
6.            Oliver (Dir. Nick DeOcampo)
7.            Ang Magpakailanman (Dir. Raymond Red)
8.            Puting Paalam (Dir. Sari Dalena)
9.            Death in the Land of Encantos (Dir. Lav Diaz)
10.          Independencia (Dir. Raya Martin)


Carlitos Siguion-Reyna (Director; Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal, Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin)

I’d call this my list of most memorable Filipino films.

1. Maynila… sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Brocka)
2-10. Biyaya ng Lupa (Silos)
2-10. Oro, Plata, Mata (Gallaga)
2-10. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Romero)
2-10. Relasyon (Bernal)
2-10. Sibak (Chionglo)
2-10. Tirador (Mendoza)
2-10. Bulaklak ng Maynila (Lamangan)
2-10. Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Diaz)
2-10. Luksong Tinik (J. Reyes)


Rianne Hill Soriano (Film Reviewer, Business World)

Genghis Khan (1950)
Insiang (1976)
Ganito Kami Noon… Paano Kayo Ngayon? (1976)
Mababangong Bangungot (1977)
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (1980)
Kisapmata (1981)
Himala (1982)
Moral (1982)
Scorpio Nights (1985)
Kubrador (2006)


Nicanor Tiongson (Professor Emeritus, UP Film Institute)

Noli Me Tangere (Gerardo de Leon)
El Filibusterismo (Gerardo de Leon)
Badjao (Lamberto Avellana)
Anak Dalita (Lamberto Avellana)
Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (Eddie Romero)
Maynila, sa Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Orapronobis (Lino Brocka)
Bayaning 3rd World (Mike De Leon)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Oro Plata Mata (Peque Gallaga)


Rolando Tolentino (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

maynila sa kuko ng liwanag
manila by night
ebolusyon ng pamilyang pilipino
sister stella l
batch 81
oro plata mata
tatay kong nanay
ganito kami noon paano kayo ngayon


Jake Tordesillas (Writer; High School Circa ’65, Bagets)

Brocka’s Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang…brought awareness during 70s that Pinoy films can compare with American movies.

Bernal’s Manila by Night – his masterpiece. Showed Manila at its darkest

Brocka’s Maynila sa Kuko Ng Liwanag – Bembol’s eyes and Hilda’s helplessness will forever be in my memories

Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon – Boyet as Kulas is a fun way to do Phil. history

Maryo de los Reyes’ Magnifico – there is goodness in everyone

Biyaya ng Lupa – Manuel Silos’ powerful portrait of rural life

Gallaga’s Oro Plata Mata – shows Gallaga can combine his mastery of direction and production design

Bernal’s Himala – unforgetable. Need i say more?

Avellana’s Badjao – I found this timeless when we watched it recently more than his other masterpiece “Anak Dalita” that I found dated (I may be wrong on this, just a personal opinion)

tie: Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan – the first Filipino film to make an impact abroad and Gerry de Leon’s Sisa – should be shown every year to show how a filmmaker made good use of passion in creating a historical drama

Note: I hate doing lists like this because i miss out on my other favorite films like Celso Ad. Castillo’s Nympha, Marilou Diaz’ Rizal & Moral, Laurice Guillen”s Kasal (my personal favorite) & Tanging Yaman, Mike de Leon”s Kakaba Kaba Ka ba & Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising, Jeturian’s Pila Balde & Minsan Pa, Malvarosa (another personal favorite), Bernal’s Relasyon, O’Hara’s Tatlong Taon Walang Diyos & Bagong Hari, Lamasan’s Madastra and especially Mendoza’s Foster Child and Kinatay (which on second thought, should be in the greatest list since he is the only director to win in Cannes)


Nestor U. Torre (Film Writer, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag
Biyaya ng Lupa
Juan Tamad Goes to Congress
Geron Busabos, ang Batang Quiapo
Kundiman ng Lahi
Ganito Kami, Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?
Batch ’81
Sister Stella L
The Moises Padilla Story
Jose Rizal

Published here on August 28, 2003.


Mauro Feria Tumbocon (Founder, Filipino Arts and Cinema)

Biyaya ng Lupa (Manuel Silos)
Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad. Castillo)
Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino (Lav Diaz)
El Filibusterismo (Gerardo de Leon)
Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (Lav Diaz)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal)
Kinatay (Brillante Mendoza)
Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)
Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Lino Brocka)
Nunal sa Tubig (Ishmael Bernal)
Oliver (Nick Deocampo)


Noel Vera (Film Writer, Critic after Dark

14. Init sa Magdamag (Midnight Passion)

Laurice Guillen’s erotic masterpiece (with a sharp script from Raquel Villavicencio, and a brave lead performance by Lorna Tolentino) makes an assertion so outrageous it offends even feminists–that women have the right to be not just sexual beings, but sexually self-destructive beings–and does so with a breathtaking sensuality that involves not a stitch of nudity.

13. Bagong Bayani (Unsung Heroine)

Narrative filmmaker Tikoy Aguiluz tells the true story of Flor Contemplacion, the hapless housemaid accused of murder in Singapore, same time documentary filmmaker Tikoy Aguiluz tells a larger story, of the Great Diaspora that has scattered Filipinos to the far corners of the Earth, and of their collective shock and dismay at the apparent injustice of her execution. With Helen Gamboa giving a great performance as Flor, and Irma Adlawan as a luminous Virginia Parumog.

12. Batang West Side (West Side Avenue)

As the filmmaker himself put it the first true Lav Diaz film, and to my mind finest: witty dialogue and moody cinematography and a grave manner of musing over life’s imponderables that recalls Terence Malick (only Malick never invested as much time–near five hours–over said imponderables). Along with Bagong Bayani the definitive portrait of the Filipino Diaspora, with a hauntingly ambiguous conclusion.

11. Pangarap ng Puso (Demons)

Mario O’Hara’s film–by turns horror movie, love story, expose of military atrocities, and celebration of Filipino poetry–encapsulates in its wide-ranging, free-wheeling, all-too-brief (a mere 100 minutes) running time the terrors and triumphs of living in the Philippines during the ’80s and 90’s.

10. Agila

Eddie Romero is best known for his beautifully written picaresque epic Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? (We Were Like This Then; How Are You Doing Now?); I prefer this, where history (from turn-of-the-century Philippines through the Second World War to near-recent times) is seen through the eyes of our thoughtful eponymous adventurer (the inimitable Fernando Poe, Jr.), and through the lenses of cinematographer Mike De Leon’s (a major filmmaker in his own right) quietly brilliant camera.

9. Anak Dalita (The Ruins)

Lamberto Avellana combines the terrible images of Manila’s ruins (the film was shot a decade after war’s end, but due to lack of funds reconstruction was hardly complete) with a penchant for directing lively colloquial dialogue, and fine unforced performances from Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos; the result is a noirish melodrama set in an unrelentingly bleak postwar reality.

8. Biyaya ng Lupa (Blessings of the Land)

Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos again struggling for survival, this time in the gorgeous Philippine countryside and under the direction of Manuel Silos; the film’s storytelling has the understated intensity of Renoir, the epic lyricism of Dozhenko–with Silos’ baskets, brimming to overflowing with fat lanzones, standing in for Dozhenko’s gigantic pears.

7. Himala (Miracle)

Ishmael Bernal’s most visually striking, most hallucinatory film, the wasted landscape (actually the sandy dunes of Laoag) foreshadowing the devastation wreaked by the 1991 Pinatubo eruption. In this eerily prescient setting Bernal explores the hypocrisies and worse absurdities of religious institutions and religious faith, particularly the cult that has sprouted around the iconic figure of Nora Aunor’s miraculous faith healer.

6. Insiang

Lino Brocka’s slum masterpiece–based on Mario O’Hara’s teleplay, with unforgettably squalid cinematography from the great Conrado Baltazar–is a tight-knitted three-way melodrama (mother, daughter, mother’s lover) whose intensity recalls Shakespeare’s Othello. Jealousy, hatred and revenge in a reckless carousel whirl, with an ambiguity rare in Brocka’s films–who is the victim, who the victimizer?

5. Burlesk Queen

Celso Ad Castillo’s film about an innocent lass turned burlesque dancer is really less about narrative coherence (why is Joonnee Gamboa’s impresario–a great performance, by the way– in this picture, and what, exactly, is he saying?) and more about visual texture and lyrical imagery. A masterpiece from what fellow filmmaker Mario O’Hara once called “the finest eye in Philippine Cinema.”

4. Kisapmata (Blink of an Eye)

Mike de Leon’s film adaptation of the Nick Joaquin true-life crime story “The House on Zapote Street” takes its cue from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and in my opinion outstrips its inspiration in terms of claustrophobic horror. Easily his most intense, most real, most personal work, and arguably the most perfect Filipino film ever made.

3. The Moises Padilla Story

In mostly Roman Catholic Philippines, this is Gerardo de Leon’s Passion Play, a political tract that transcends its propaganda intentions to become a great character study–of the man who becomes the film’s Christ figure (Leopoldo Salcedo at his most heroic), and his compellingly tormented Judas (former president Joseph Estrada, in the performance of his career).

2. El Filibusterismo (The Subversive)

Jose Rizal’s great social novel turned into Gerardo de Leon’s great Gothic film–Crisostomo Ibarra’s quest for revenge, given unforgettable cinematic life by Pancho Magalona’s menacing performance as Ibarra (here called Simoun), shot through de Leon’s monumentally angled lenses.

1. Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Three Years Without God)

Mario O’Hara’s masterwork, a film with enough empathy to understand even the wartime Japanese at their worse, the wartime Filipinos at their best. Visually and emotionally, the greatest Filipino film ever made.


Rodolfo Vera (Writer; Niño, REquieme!)

1. Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag by Lino Brocka
2. Hinugot sa Langit by Ishmael Bernal
3. Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos by Mario O’Hara
4. Insiang by Lino Brocka
5. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? by Eddie Romero
6. Milagros by Marilou Diaz-Abaya
7. Oro, Plata, Mata by Peque Gallaga
8. Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang by Lino Brocka
9. Manila by Night by Ishmael Bernal
10. Batch 81 by Mike de Leon


G.A. Villafuerte (Director, Lihim ng mga Nympha, Hardinero)

  1. Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita (Lino Brocka, 1989)
  2. No Other Woman (Ruel Bayani, 2011)
  3. Darna (Joel Lamangan, 1991)
  4. Ika-11 Utos: Mahalin Mo Asawa Mo (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1994)
  5. Himala (Ishmael Bernal, 1982)
  6. May Minamahal (Jose Javier Reyes, 1993)
  7. Maalaala Mo Kaya (Olivia Lamasan, 1994)
  8. Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (Lino Brocka, 1974)
  9. Karnal (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1984)
  10. Itim (Mike de Leon, 1976)


Jessica Zafra (Film Reviewer, InterAksyon)

Salawahan (Ishmael Bernal)
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (Mike De Leon)
Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad. Castillo)
Haplos (Butch Perez)
Misteryo sa Tuwa (Abbo dela Cruz)
Oro, Plata, Mata (Peque Gallaga)
Manila by Night (Ishmael Bernal)
Barilan sa Baboy Kural (Carlos Vander Tolosa)
Virgin Forest (Peque Gallaga)
Insiang (Lino Brocka)

(First published in jessicarulestheuniverse.com, September 2, 2012)


Jerome Zamora (Writer; Bahay Bata, Haruo)

Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim
Burlesk Queen
Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag
Bulaklak sa City Jail
Sister Stella L.
Foster Child


Award-winning young director who wishes to remain anonymous

1. Nunal sa Tubig by Ishmael Bernal
2. Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino by Lav Diaz
3. Death in the Land Of Encantos by Lav Diaz
4. Himala by Ishmael Bernal
5. Tuhog by Jeffrey Jeturian
6.  Kubrador by Jeffrey Jeturian
7. Years When I Was My Father’s Child Outside by John Torres
8. Coming Soon by Raya Martin
9.  Indio Nacional by Raya Martin
10. Anak Dalita by Lamberto Avellana


Award-winning scriptwriter/producer who wishes to remain anonymous

Broken Marriage
Tinimbang Ka Nguni’t Kulang
Batang West Side
Manila by Night
Burlesk Queen
Palabra de Honor
Biyaya ng Lupa
Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story
Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio
Scorpio Nights