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    9 Films That Will Restore Your Faith In Philippine Cinema

    Don't lose hope yet, folks. There's still great cinema around.

    9. Anak

    Star Cinema

    This 2000 film depicts the life of an Overseas Filipino Worker who faces everyday struggles as house help for a family in Hong Kong — only to return home and find her children hating her for leaving her family. With superb actors and great dialogue, this Filipino classic is a must-watch.

    8. Magnifico

    Violet Films Production

    I'm not gonna give away anything, but I think it's safe to say Magnifico can AND will make any macho man cry. This is a classic story about a boy who would do anything for the people around him. Funny how a protagonist so innocent can make a story that's so heart-gripping. I'm telling you, there's a reason why this film is being shown on local networks annually during Holy Week.

    7. On the Job

    Star Cinema / Reality Entertainment

    I can't even begin to describe how good this film is — I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! OTJ may not be for the faint of heart, but it sustains your interest so well and leaves you wanting more. It tackles very sensitive social and political issues that other films of today are quite wary to touch. Oh, and you can also create a drinking game every time someone says a bad word.

    6. Batch '81

    Sampaguita Pictures

    By now, everybody knows what happens in a fraternity initiation, but Batch '81, with its brutally good storytelling, manages to open not only the eyes but also the hearts of its audience. It questions the concept of brotherhood and fascism, which symbolizes a big political issue in the Philippines at that time because of the Marcos dictatorship. It ends with a feeling of sad triumph that will leave you reeling for days.

    5. Thy Womb

    Center Stage Productions

    Shot in a remote part Mindanao, Philippines, Thy Womb takes us into the culture of the Badjaos through the stunning performances of the best Filipino actors, including Ms. Nora Aunor. Among other issues this tribal group faces, this film depicts the struggles of a loving married couple who, failing to conceive a child, find themselves in a series of conditions upon their search for a surrogate mother.

    4. Transit


    This film is shot mostly in Israel but screams 100% Pinoy with the values it depicts. It tells us the story of a single OFW father who hides his son from the immigration police after the government of Israel decided to deport children of overseas employees. I'm not gonna spoil you except to say that the ending was shot in an airport.

    3. The Janitor

    Star Cinema Productions

    This 2014 film follows the story of an ex-cop who was given the chance to redeem himself when he was tasked to search for the masterminds of a brutal bank robbery. Like OTJ, it's one of those crime films that will make your heart race and question your own concept of justice.

    2. Dagitab


    This is not your typical love story with a sad/happy ending — rather, it's a love story that enfolds a lot of concepts, societal issues, and even supernatural phenomena. It may sound like a long shot on paper, but once you've seen this film, it will stay with you for a really long time.

    1. Barber's Tales

    APT Entertainment

    Another film set during the Marcos dictatorship, Barber's Tales follows the story of a widow who inherits her dead husband's barbershop in a rural town. This film is a gold mine of unlikely friendship and secrets waiting to be told. Intrigued yet?