Tag Archives: Lovi Poe

Best Performances of the Decade So Far (Nos. 60-41)

  1. Chynna Ortaleza, #Y (2014)

60 Chynna #Y

Character: Abbie, a frazzled suicide hotline operator who is befriended by her caller

Ortaleza’s amiable turn as a hotline operator who goes out of her way to reach out to a troubled teen is a collective wish-fulfillment for our longing for genuine connection in an age of normalized fleeting, often hollow, encounters.

“Though the time she was in was very short, she made the most impact in a cast that was generally good. I kept on wanting to see more of her in the film but she was powerful in those few scenes she was in. That breakdown scene, just on the phone talking, is definitely the highlight of her career.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Carla Abellana, Punerarya (2010)

59 Carla Punerarya

Character: Dianne, a part-time tutor to children of a family that owns a funeral parlor

In probably the shortest lead performance in this list, Abellana proves that a good actor doesn’t need a lot of screen exposure to truly shine. As the beleaguered tutor who slowly learns the real nature of her employers, Abellana ably carries the weight of the movie with her steely resolve.

“A feisty, empathetic heroine – and a ‘star’ is truly born!” – Cathy Peña

  1. Carlo Aquino, Porno (2013)


Character:  Alex, a playboy porn dubber who gets haunted by an online ghost

Aquino’s haughty, smirking take of a strapping youth who is used to things going his way until he gets served cold vengeance can only be borne out of his experience in the industry honing his craft over the years.

  1. Agot Isidro, Mga Anino ng Kahapon (2013)

57 Agot Anino

Character: Irene, a married nurse suffering from schizophrenia

Isidro knows better than to play a mentally disturbed character with just the typical crazy-normal binary that lesser actors might resort to. She understands the condition from inside out and it shows in her layered, nuanced take on an illness not many are familiar with.

“Stripped of her dignity, Irene’s exasperation is palpable but never over-the-top in Isidro’s delicate thespic handling.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Dominic Roco, Ang Nawawala (2012)

56 Dominic Nawawala

Character:  Gibson Bonifacio, a young man who stops speaking after the death of his twin brother, for which he blames himself

“Dominic Roco delivers a well-limned performance as Gibson, who copes with guilt by going mute after he witnesses the death of his twin brother.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Bea Alonzo, The Mistress (2012)

55 Bea Mistress

Character: Sari, a seamstress who finds herself falling in love with a man who is the son of her much-older boyfriend

“Bea Alonzo, still the most gifted actress of her generation, delectably inhabits Sari with a highly nuanced turn. Her instincts are so fine-tuned she never misses a step.” – Cathy Peña

“As Sari, she is fragile yet assured, flighty yet sensible. It takes great skill to make viewers empathize with a kept woman and Alonzo manages to do just that.” – SCL

“Alonzo manages to make her less-than-likable character sympathetic, even when Sari’s choices don’t feel right.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Lorna (2014)

54 Shamaine Lorna

Character: Lorna, a 60-year old woman in search of life’s contentment

Buencamino dives into her character head-on and refuses to come up for air until she has fully grasped Lorna’s essence. She is at turns, funny, sad, sexy, motherly, logical, impetuous, and, above all, all-too-human.

  1. Eden Villarba, Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (2010)

53 Eden Damgo2

Character: A balikbayan cousin of a girl about to marry her foreigner boyfriend

Villarba’s role as a woman giving last-minute advice to her mail-order bride cousin could have been perfunctorily essayed by a less intuitive actor. Villarba attacks it as a small-town diva, complete with an umbrella-carrying servant at her beck and call, who has been there and done it all when she lived in Germany for some time. Her confrontation scenes with a rival sophisticate, the city-bred recruiter of her cousin, are the film’s most hilarious moments.

  1. Art Acuña, Niño (2011)

52 Art Nino

Character: Mombic, the prodigal son of a once-prominent family

Theater vet Acuña expertly juggles the many facets of his character, a wily, street-smart single father who leaves his son in the care of his sister as he strikes a covert deal to sell the ancestral house with a cousin he once had an affair with.

  1. Ronnie Lazaro, Boundary (2011)

51 Ronnie Boundary

Character: Limuel Alcantara, a cab driver who robs his passenger

About 90% of Boundary is shot inside a cab, with Lazaro as the driver who picks up the wrong passenger to rob. Lazaro skillfully shifts from tense to respectful to guilty to uncertain throughout the long drive, you almost wish he won’t push through with his plan.

  1. Alex Medina, Babagwa (2013)

50 Alex Babagwa

Character: Greg, an online scammer who falls in love with his victim

“As a counterpoint to Joey Paras’ explosive scheming character, Medina more than holds his own by refusing to succumb to mug for the cameras. His slacker, stoic mien throughout hides the inner turmoil he’s undergoing as he slowly discovers the immorality of his trade by falling in love with a potential victim.” – SCL

  1. Raymond Bagatsing, Boundary (2011)

49 Raymond Boundary

Character: Emmanuel Lazaro, a mysterious cab passenger held up by the driver

As the other half of the duo in that fateful taxi ride to Antipolo, Bagatsing is calm personified as he begins to realize the situation he finds himself in. His cool confidence turns what would otherwise have been an implausible scenario of prey-turns-predator very logical.

  1. Maria Veronica Santiago, Pascalina (2012)

48 Veronica Pascalina

Character: Pascalina, a young woman who embraces her inner aswang when her boyfriend deceives her

“It’s Santiago’s courage to appear unlikable that makes her ironically likable. Her Pascalina is insouciant, antisocial, and operates to the beat of her own drum, yet Santiago makes sure that Pascalina doesn’t lose audience empathy by imbuing the character with just the right doses of quirky charm and cool level-headedness so that even when she does terrible things towards the end, viewers will still be rooting for her.” – SCL

  1. Jean Garcia, Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2011)

47 Jean Sayaw

Character: Karen, a literature professor who gets entangled in a love triangle with two of her students

“Garcia gives a sublime performance, something that I have never seen from her before. She excelled most in the quiet moments.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Lovi Poe, Sana Dati (2013)

46 Lovi Sana Dati

Character: Andrea Gonzaga, a young bride who gets cold feet when she meets a man who reminds her of the love of her life

“Poe has always been a natural onscreen and here she relishes the opportunity to wholeheartedly embrace her character, warts and all.” – SCL

  1. Olga Natividad, Mga Dayo (2012)

45 Olga Mga Dayo

Character: Ella Regalado, a housekeeping supervisor in a Guam hotel who’s finding it difficult to juggle her responsibilities at work and at home

Natividad, with her warm smile and dogged determination concealing the many problems she is facing, embodies the OFW spirit in Julius Cena’s gentle drama about Filipino workers in Guam. In a hotel breakdown scene she displays her formidable acting skills as she releases all her pent-up emotions without uttering a single word.

  1. Angelica Panganiban, Beauty in a Bottle (2014)

44 Angelica Beauty

Character: Estelle, a starlet struggling with her weight who gets chosen to be an endorser of a beauty product

Panganiban brings the house down in her uproarious performance that sends up her own image as a big-boned actor in an industry obsessed with Hollywood-dictated ideals of beauty. Her audition and shooting scenes (featuring her endless repetition of the line “Come back to the young and beautiful you”) are guaranteed to keep the audience in stitches.

  1. Ama Quiambao, Diablo (2012)

43 Ama Diablo

Character: Nana Lusing, a mother of five who sleeps restlessly as a mysterious, sinister-looking shadow watches over her

Quiambao is a force to be reckoned with in her dignified depiction of a silently suffering mother dealing with the loss of her husband and the petty squabbles of her grown-up sons.

“Quiambao’s luminous turn is just one of many standout portrayals in the eighth edition of the eagerly anticipated indie festival.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Martin del Rosario, Dagitab (2014)

42 Martin Dagitab

Character: Gab Atienza, a precocious college writer

Del Rosario’s surprisingly restrained performance in Giancarlo Abrahan’s arty film proves that when TV-bred young actors are given fully textured roles, they are more than capable of delivering the goods.

“I was mightily impressed with del Rosario’s performance. I knew somehow that he could act but I did not know that he could deliver such an intense performance, controlled without going overboard. He’s got that sort of pompous arrogance of a teenager down, then we see him mature in front of your eyes as the story progresses.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Art Acuña, Posas (2012)

41 Art Posas

Character: Police Inspector Domingo, a ruthless cop who tortures a suspected thief

“Acuña is a sinister presence in Posas.” – Rito Asilo

“The revelation in the movie is theater actor Art Acuña. With his lean frame, calm delivery and mild demeanor, he succeeds to impart a level of malignity and truculence without even raising his voice. He scared the bejesus out of me. He likewise imparts charm in savagery, which is antipodean at best.” – Cathy Peña

“Acuña understands that a villain doesn’t know that he’s a villain: for him, he’s the bida. And you actually feel from Acuña’s performance that his character does not realize he’s a crooked person. Even when he’s waterboarding suspects and playing mind games with them, he believes that he’s doing it for a noble purpose. Acuña finds the humanity within each of the characters that he plays, good or bad. That is a mark of good acting.” – SCL


PART 1: Nos. 100 to 81

PART 2: Nos. 80 to 61

PART 4: Nos. 40 to 21

PART 5: Nos. 20 to 11

PART 6: Nos. 10 to 1


Best Performances of the Decade So Far (2010 to 2014)

Performance has always been one of Philippine cinema’s most popular film elements. We know, of course, that it is just but one of myriad components that make up a film. Yet when we watch movies, we tend to ask “Who’s in it?” rather than “Who made it?” Still, no one would argue that actors can make or break a film. A good actor can make watching a crappy film tolerable while a bad actor can ruin an otherwise okay movie.

To celebrate the country’s best film performances of the decade so far, Pinoy Rebyu invited six bloggers/journalists who have been following and writing about Philippine film since 2010: Rito Asilo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Fidel Antonio Medel of Pixelated Popcorn and formerly of PEP.ph, Carl Joseph Papa of whatevercarl.com, Manuel Pangaruy of Tagailog Special Presents, Cathy Peña of Make Me Blush, and Pinoy Rebyu’s own Skilty Labastilla, to list down what they think are the greatest performances from 2010 to November 2014. Each of the six submitted a list of 100 best performances and we tallied them and came up with the top 100.

Starting today, we will roll out the list in increments, starting from 100.

100.  John Lloyd Cruz, Unofficially Yours (2012)

100 John Lloyd Unofficially Yours2

Character: Macky Galvez, a romantic yuppie who falls hard for a woman who does not want commitment

As Star Cinema’s top male romantic draw, Cruz has perfected the art of playing the ultimate dreamboat who more than makes up for his lack of hard abs by turning on the charm full blast. When Cruz uses those puppy-dog eyes to express deep emotion, even Angel Locsin won’t hesitate serenading him to win back his affection.

  1. Felix Roco, Ang Nawawala (2012)

99 Felix Nawawala

Character: Jamie Bonifacio, the lead character’s dead twin brother

The Roco twins were born to play the roles of upper class brothers in Marie Jamora’s engrossing tale of loss and redemption. Felix plays the departed twin, now free from the mundane worries of the living, with sexy, uber-cool nonchalance.

  1. Archie Alemania, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2013)

98 Archie Norte

Character: Joaquin, a poor family man imprisoned for a crime he did not commit

In Diaz’s bleak Norte, Alemania, who is more known as a comic actor, shows his range in a way that doesn’t call attention to his subtlety.

  1. Nonie Buencamino, Dagitab (2014)


Character: Jimmy Tolentino, a Humanities professor in search of his muse

It’s never easy playing a professor: an actor has to possess that mix of gravitas, intellect, and warmth that all students look for. Buencamino displays all three, yet adds an extra layer of vulnerability, portraying Jimmy not as a typical bookish academic but as a complicated, full-blooded husband/lover.

“His work in Dagitab keeps you guessing. It is not trivial, it is just that it seems that he is thinking differently from the way he acts. That line reading scene was quite heartbreaking (del Rosario and Buencamino square off, WOW).” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. TJ Trinidad, Sana Dati (2013)

96 TJ Sana Dati

Character: Robert Naval, a politician about to get married to a woman he just recently met

The go-to mode of most actors who get cast as a foil to a romantic pairing is to tap into their character’s unflattering side. Thankfully, Trinidad is not most actors. It’s a testament to his skill (though undoubtedly aided by Tarog’s fully realized script) that viewers actually root for Robert to end up with Andrea .

  1. Lovi Poe, Mayohan (2010)

95 Lovi Mayohan

Character: Lilibeth, a young woman from the barrio in charge of an annual festival ritual

“Lovi Poe is luminous all throughout (thanks in part to the brilliant cinematography) taking her character Lilibeth with edifying intuition. It’s quite palpable why young boys would fall for Lilbeth.” – Cathy Peña

  1. Dennis Trillo, The Janitor (2014)

94 Dennis Janitor

Character: Crisanto Espina, a dismissed cop tasked to assassinate suspected bank robbers

“The most fully realized performance by any actor in the Director’s Showcase at this year’s Cinemalaya was turned in by Dennis Trillo, who delivered a thespic high-wire act as a disgraced cop who is as ruthless as an assassin as he is gentle as a much-abused son in Mike Tuviera’s exceptional action-drama.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Raquel Villavicencio, Niño (2011)

93 Raquel Nino

Character: Raquel, a US migrant returning to the Philippines to sell her ancestral house to salvage her own economic woes abroad

Villavicencio is one of very few filmmakers (she’s an award-winning scriptwriter) who are also very good actors. In Niño, she plays a villain type (she knows that her actions will lead to depriving her aunt of a home) yet, through her sympathetic performance, she makes the audience understand her plight.

  1. Irma Adlawan, Vox Populi (2010)

92 Irma Vox Populi

Character: Connie de Gracia, a mayoral candidate in a small town

Adlawan, one of the country’s top theater products, delivers an expertly controlled performance as a political greenhorn who realizes she is gradually crossing over to the dark side but can’t yet decide whether she is principled enough to change the system or weak enough to allow herself to just be swallowed by it.

  1. Jodi Sta. Maria, Aparisyon (2012)

91 Jodi Aparisyon

Character: Sister Lourdes, a novice nun who gets attacked outside her convent

Sta. Maria has that face that immediately draws attention. She is not conventionally attractive yet she possesses that serene confidence that only comes with life experience. In Aparisyon, she is devastating as a promising young nun whose dreams are crushed by a random act of violence.

  1. Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Requieme! (2012)

90 Shamaine Requieme

Character: Swanie, a barangay captain who turns a high-profile crime into a vote-generating opportunity

Buencamino, along with theater contemporary Adlawan, has successfully straddled the worlds of theater, TV, and independent film.  In Loy Arcenas’ tragicomic Requieme!, she displays both expert comedic timing and touching pathos as a woman who desperately needs emotional closure.

  1. Archie Alemania, Slumber Party (2012)

89 Archie Slumber Party

Character: Jhana, an outrageous gay man who becomes party to a hostage-taking

Violence should never be funny, but Alemania, in a riotous performance as a lascivious molester, sure missed the memo and is not apologizing for it.

  1. Opaline Santos, The Natural Phenomenon of Madness (2011)

88 Opaline Madness

Character: Unnamed, a woman coping with the impacts of a traumatic sexual violence

Only an actor as unafraid to be unlikeable as Santos could have pulled off her brave performance as a rape victim who, after a couple of years, is still in love with her rapist.

  1. Eugene Domingo, Instant Mommy (2013)

87 Eugene Instant Mommy

Character: Bechayda, a woman who pretends she is pregnant to keep her foreigner boyfriend

Domingo has emerged over the last decade as arguably the country’s biggest female comic draw and her talent is in full display here as she plays a family breadwinner who has to keep up appearances in fear of losing her man.

  1. Dido dela Paz, Amok (2011)

86 Dido Amok

Character: Dido, a sidewalk vendor who runs amok in Pasay Rotonda

Theater vet dela Paz is a horny husband one moment and a menacing hooligan the next in Lawrence Fajardo’s riveting portrait of a sweaty, throbbing, chaotic Pasay. The moment dela Paz’s character loses his temper, we know bad things will happen.

  1. Arron Villaflor, Astro Mayabang (2010)

85 Arron Astro

Character: Astro, a brash, xenophobic teenager who finds himself falling for a Filipino-American

Villaflor burst onto the local film scene with his sure-footed portrayal of a young buck who overcompensates for his impotence with hollow braggadocio.

  1. Jodi Sta. Maria, Chassis (2010)

84 Jodi Chassis

Character: Nora, a young mother forced into prostitution by dire circumstances

“Jodi Sta. Maria performs in almost every scene. She is the spark that gives Chassis life and flesh-and-blood realism. Her Nora is a portrait of a mother consumed by love for her daughter—a love powerful enough to drive her to the extreme. Similarly, Jodi pushes her limits in portraying a character radically different from anything she has done on TV and movies. She downplays the determination of her character for a haunting effect, and then bares her emotions in the heart-wrenching final act.” – Fidel Antonio Medel

  1. Irma Adlawan, Transit (2013)

83 Irma Transit

Character: Janet, an OFW mother who needs to keep her teenage daughter from being deported by Israeli authorities

Adlawan demonstrates her acting skills in a restrained performance as a mother torn between respecting the choices of her Hebrew-speaking daughter and instilling in her more Filipino values.

  1. Sue Prado, Mga Dayo (2012)

82 Sue Mga Dayo

Character: Alexandria Caballero, a boyish newspaper photographer in Guam forced to enter a green-card marriage

“Sa dulo, nakarating sa akin ang lungkot ng mga karakter at hindi maiikailang malaki ang naiambag dito nina Sue Prado at Olga Natividad. Sa katunayan, kapag naaalala ko ang mga eksena nila, nakukurot pa rin ako. Para sa akin, naibigay nila ang pinakamahusay na pagganap sa buong festival.” – Manuel Pangaruy

  1. Dick Israel, Badil (2013)

81 Dick Badil

Character: Ponso, a local politician’s trusted aide

“Recently recovered from a stroke, Israel’s slump and slurred speech do not diminish but instead add to his role’s respectability and gravitas. It takes extreme charisma to command the screen even when the body is failing, and Israel, bless his heart, has it in spades.” – SCL


PART 2: Nos. 80 to 61

PART 3: Nos. 60 to 41

PART 4: Nos. 40 to 21

PART 5: Nos. 20 to 11

PART 6: Nos. 10 to 1