10 Tagalog Movies You Should Watch This Holy Week Break
It's that time of year when Manila feels like a ghost town and homebodies rejoice in a holiday that encourages you to actually stay home because most places are closed. If you're not out catching up with religious duties or filling up your Instagram with travel photos, stay in and catch up on these titles that will surely lighten up your long weekend.
Piolo Pascual and Toni Gonzaga team up again after the success of Starting Over Again in this beautifully filmed movie written by Bela Padilla about love, loss and what it takes to dig yourself out of the hole you've buried yourself in.
Plot: Mark is set on killing himself, until he meets another distressed soul, Carmina, who rides on the suicide train with him until he realizes he still has something to live for. But a heart-wrenching twist of fate leaves him even more despondent after learning something about Carmina.
The unlikely tandem of Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez brings a lot of heartwarming moments to the screen in this romantic comedy set in Japan. This movie set the bar pretty high for our own independent flicks when it became the highest-grossing indie film in local box-office history crossing the 300M mark, bumping off 2015’s Heneral Luna.
The Plot: The movie follows the lives of two lonely people in Sapporo, Lea and Tonyo. Lea is a Filipina tourguide whose breakup with her Japanese fiance causes her to suffer temporary blindness. Tonyo is also heartbroken. He manages to drink himself all the way to Sapporo where he and Lea cross paths. They form an unusual friendship and find the kind of love they needed at the time they needed it most.
Meet me in St. Gallen
This movie is slightly reminiscent of Richard Linklater’s Before… series and A Lot Like Love. Meet Me in St. Gallen takes place over a number of years, following the romantic lives of two people who meet by chance and live by the choices they make.
The Plot: Celeste (Bela Padilla) and Jesse (Carlo Aquino) meet after Celeste quits her job and Jesse was given an ultimatum that'll change his path towards a direction he's reluctant to take. They spend a perfect night together and go their separate ways--which is basically the theme of the movie. It asks the age-old question: is there such a thing as the right love at the wrong time?
That Thing Called Tadhana
Apparently there is an answer to Whitney Houston's question "Where do broken hearts go?" And it is Sagada. Written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, this movie released in 2015 has gained an almost cult status. The cult probably being all the broken-hearted people from 2015 onwards. Kidding aside, it's a really good movie.
The Plot: It follows Mace (Angelica Panganiban) and Anthony (JM de Guzman) as the latter volunteers to help the former in her airport woes, among other things. They embark on a spontaneous journey to Sagada, where shouting your frustrations to the clouds brings renewed hope and sense of purpose.
Starring Paolo Ballesteros, who rose to Instagram fame for doing fantabulous makeup transformations of celebrities, this drama is about a transgender's journey to become the beauty queen she knows she was destined to be.
The Plot: The movie starts with Trisha (Ballesteros) already dead, from having collapsed because of a brain aneurysm after she is crowned Binibining Gay Pilipinas. Every day of her wake, she's transformed by Barb, her best friend, into different female celebrities, as this was Trisha's request when she died. The film will give you a glimpse of how it is to walk a mile in a transgender's shoes and teach you a thing or two about kindness and acceptance, and how far it goes down the line.
Smaller and Smaller Circles
This movie hails from the novel of the same title written by F.H. Batacan. It paints a gruesome picture of life in Payatas and evokes the mysterious atmosphere that characterize the killings and disappearances that still happen today.
The Plot: Gus Saenz (Nonie Buencamino) and Jerome Lucero (Sid Lucero) are Jesuit priests tapped to help in the investigation of a series of children's deaths in their jurisdiction. They use forensic methods and criminal profiling to solve the murders and eventually zero-in on the killer. The movie is as chilling as the novel, and if you're looking for a brain teaser, this is a good candidate.
Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita
People have pointed out the similarities of Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto to a popular 90's tandem, Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto. But in order to make that judgment, millennials need to watch some of their best films, which includes this movie by the late Wenn Deramas.
The Plot: Mela (Claudine Barretto) is the school's Queen B, with the "B" standing for beautiful badgirl. Her boyfriend is campus badboy Ryan (Diether Ocampo) who is a softie at heart and has issues of his own. Meanwhile, there's Miguel (Rico Yan) the golden boy on and off campus, and who's secretly Mela's crush. Although there seems to be a triangle brewing there, the story unfolds beautifully. The feels in this movie is matched only by the powerful performance of its stars.
Before mistress movies were a thing and scripts started sympathizing with the other woman, there were movies like this that depicted a more 'normal' response of wives and audiences to third parties.
The Plot: Dodie (Edu Manzano) has left his wife Melissa (Maricel Soriano) for his mistress. He blames Melissa and her busy career for the dissolution of their marriage. At first, Melissa is livid, and in constant self-doubt and panic. But with the help of her friends, she regains the confidence to build a life after her husband and find peace within herself.
This recently remastered blockbuster film stars Aga Muhlach and Aiko Melendez. The first romantic comedy to ever come out of Star Cinema, it deals with the issue of priorities and how a great love helps put those priorities in perspective.
The Plot: Carlitos (Aga Muhlach) finds himself in a pickle when he meets Monica (Aiko Melendez) in a challenging time in his life. His father had just died, leaving him in charge of the four women who comprise the rest of the family. The film shows the struggles of Carlitos juggling his roles as breadwinner, brother, son, and boyfriend, amidst the glaring reality that his family and his love life don't mix.
Minsan, Minahal Kita
After the release of Sharon Cuneta's TVC with former husband Gabby Concepcion, stories from her past started surfacing, no small thanks to the Megastar herself who shared a great deal of it on Facebook. One of the juicier tidbits has her saying "great loves start with R." Based on her statement, one of those Rs refer to her partner in this movie, a hauntingly painful but beautiful love story of destiny and missed chances.
The Plot: Dianne (Sharon Cuneta) and Albert (Richard Gomez) are unhappily married to Louie (Edu Manzano) and Menchu (Angel Aquino), respectively. When Dianne and Albert meet, sparks fly immediately. They eventually go their separate ways but fate steps in to give them one more chance.