8 Pinoy Indie Films
That Made Us
Want to Travel
to Our Provinces
By Patti Sunio
There is no better feeling when watching a film than getting lost in it—and even find ourselves in the process, too. The picturesque shots of places you’ve only heard of, the storylines that resonate with what you’re currently going through, the characters that are so alike the friends you’re surrounded with in real life.
If there’s anything that is making it a great time to be Filipino at this point, it’s the provinces we can explore, its people and culture, and the films that have captured it all, for us to get lost in, again and again.
Here are 8 that we hope would get reruns in theaters:
“Donsol” (2006), Adolfo Alix, Jr.
Welcome to Donsol, the whale shark capital of the world, home of the gentle giants, the butanding. More than getting caught in the summer love story between two heartbroken individuals, we fell in love with the underwater world as well, the butanding’s habitat, and were moved to protect it by all means.
“K’na The Dreamweaver” (2014), Ida Anita Del Mundo
Diving into the clear waters, romance under the rain, waking up to trees in full bloom. These are all everyday occurrences for the T’boli tribe, living in this indigenous beauty.
The film is vivid as it is dreamy; inviting us to see for ourselves the faraway province of South Cotabato, the pristine waters of Lake Sebu.
“Bwaya” (2014), Francis Xavier Pasion
Throughout the film, the townspeople search for the body of a 12-year-old girl killed by a crocodile. The marshland in Agusan del Sur has quiet nights lit by the moon and drops of sunlight reflected on the waters in the morning, so beautiful it makes us wonder what it would be like to live with hardly a barrier from our surroundings.
“Sakaling Hindi Makarating” (2016), Ice Idanan
From the colorful vinta regattas in Zamboanga to the Moriones masks of Marinduque, the rainy bike rides through Siquijor and the sunny walks among the stone houses in Batanes, the film is rightfully “a love letter to the Philippines” as director Ice Idanan puts it. Each scene is a postcard worth painting and keeping.
“Ploning” (2008), Dante Nico Garcia
Set in Cuyo, Palawan, director Dante Nico Garcia takes us through his hometown, with scenes from the Intigan beach and the pier, the awaited town fiestas like the Ati-Atihan. The place provides the perfect backdrop for telling the story of Ploning, a kind-hearted girl who pines after her long lost love.
“Apocalypse Child” (2015), Mario Cornejo
This film makes us thankful for powerful underwater cameras that not only capture pristine images but crystal clear sound, too. We can sit back, relax, and take in the long, dwelling scenes of Sid Lucero underwater; or get on that four-hour drive to Baler to indulge in the waves ourselves.
“That Thing Called Tadhana” (2014), Antoinette Jadaone
In 2014, because of Mace and Anthony’s spontaneous trip to Baguio, everyone wanted to visit Sagada to climb to its peak and shout their heartaches out. We forgot about it being the summer capital of the Philippines, and remember it now as the place where broken hearts go.
“I’m Drunk, I Love You” (2017), JP Habac
Unlike other films that owe much of its cinematography to the natural setting, here, it’s a mix of everything: the poetic screenplay, handsome actors who are perfect even as they sleep, the production work and design. But ultimately, the feeling of temporarily escaping from, reality, the world, our true feelings, makes us want to get drunk in La Union, too.
What other films do you recall that made you want to see the country? Share them with us below!