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29th PMPC Star Awards for TV Predictions   Leave a comment

While it’s obvious by now that the PMPC Star Awards for Television isn’t really what you’d call as prestigious, it’s probably the closest award giving body there is to local TV. That’s why it’s still somehow relevant. Besides, every now and then there are still some inspired lineup and wins from this group even if it’s at the expense of mostly boring ones. That’s why year in and year out, it’s still fun to predict these things just to see which direction they decide to be in every year. Anyway, let’s see which craziness they’d do. Here are my predictions for this year:

best station

Best TV Station

  • ABS-CBN (Channel 2)
  • ABS-CBN Sports+Action (Channel 23, still listed as Studio 23)
  • AksyonTV (Channel 41)
  • CNN Philippines (Channel 9)
  • GMA (Channel 7)
  • GMA News TV (Channel 11)
  • IBC (Channel 13)
  • Net 25 (Channel 25)
  • PTV (Channel 4)
  • TV5 (Channel 5)
  • UNTV Life (Channel 37)

It still amuses me why the PMPC still bothers including all the other stations when during the previous 28 years, the award has gone to either ABS-CBN and GMA only. That said, it’s refreshing to see both CNN Philippines and ABS-CBN Sports + Action here. However, they must do up the cleaning and leave PTV, IBC,and Aksyon TV to rest. As for who’s winning it, it seems like they’re still on a Kapamilya high so I guess it’s another year where Quezon Avenue trumps over Kamuning.


drama series

Best Primetime Drama Series

  • Bagito (ABS-CBN)
  • Bridges of Love (ABS-CBN)
  • Forevermore (ABS-CBN)
  • Hawak Kamay (ABS-CBN)
  • Nathaniel (ABS-CBN)
  • Pari ‘Koy (GMA)
  • The Rich Man’s Daughter (GMA)

Surprisingly enough, there isn’t an overwhelming frontrunner this year. There’s no really huge ensemble show like last year’s winner Ikaw Lamang. I think Bagito and Pari Koy are fillers here and they didn’t get any other nomination outside of this one. The Rich Man’s Daughter failed to come close with GMA’s previous same sex drama My Husband’s Lover in 2013, and even that lost the race. The race is probably between Nathaniel (high rated show promoting good moral values) and Forevermore (the show that really launched the Lizquen pairing), and I give the edge to the former.

ALTERNATE: Forevermore

daytime drama

Best Daytime Drama Series

  • Ang Lihim ni Annasandra (GMA)
  • Flordeliza (ABS-CBN)
  • Healing Hearts (GMA)
  • Kailan Ba Tama ang Mali? (GMA)
  • Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita (ABS-CBN)
  • Oh My G! (ABS-CBN)
  • The Half Sisters (GMA)

With no Be Careful with My Heart in the running anymore, this category could go to many contenders. The Half Sisters has been one of those rare shows that passed the one-year mark especially in this current time when dramas would run nine months the longest. And it still hasn’t showed any signs of ending yet. But then there’s also FlordeLiza which received three acting nominations and is seen as the comeback of Marvin Agustin and Jolina Magdangal in ABSCBN. And despite not getting nominations for its cast(outside of Breakthrough Actor and Actress), Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita is a Ricky Lee creation and one whose prestige can go well with the voters. Actually, you could pick any from the three.

PREDICTION: Flordeliza
ALTERNATE: The Half Sisters

drama lead actor

Best Drama Actor

  • Alden Richards (Illustrado / GMA)
  • Daniel Padilla (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
  • Eddie Garcia (Give Love on Christmas presents: The Gift Giver / ABS-CBN)
  • Gerald Anderson (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
  • Jericho Rosales (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
  • Paulo Avelino (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
  • Piolo Pascual (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)

There’s no Coco Martin in the race this year, so it’s hard to pin down which direction they’d go here. It’s one Kapuso actor vs. six Kapamilyas here, but we’re talking about the biggest Kapuso actor there is. Thus, I feel like PMPC will jump on the bandwagon and reward Alden Richards the win here. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before (Dingdong Dantes won in 2010), and he’s playing the role of the country’s national hero. You know it says something that they went all the way back to his Ilustrado project just to nominate him here, so they’d waste no time not giving him the actual win. That said, if not Richards, I think they’ll use this Coco-less field to reward either Paulo Avelino or Gerald Anderson who both are still winless here.

PREDICTION: Alden Richards, “Ilustrado
ALTERNATE: Paulo Avelino, “Bridges of Love

drama lead actress

Best Drama Actress

  • Aiko Melendez (Give Love on Christmas presents: The Gift Giver / ABS-CBN)
  • Angelica Panganiban (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
  • Coney Reyes (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
  • Empress Schuck (Kailan Ba Tama ang Mali? / GMA)
  • Jodi Sta. Maria (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
  • Jolina Magdangal (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
  • Maja Salvador (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
  • Shaina Magdayao (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)

Let me begin by saying it’s really surprising that Empress Schuck ended up as the lone Kapuso representative here considering that she’s a kontrabida in an afternoon soap opera. That said, I think the on air rivalry of their characters will just translate here with the two Pangako Sa’Yo characters battling it out. Back in 2000, Eula Valdez won over Jean Garcia in this same race with the latter winning the following year. As for this one, I see Jodi Sta. Maria finally getting her overdue win especially after she failed to win one for her turn in Be Careful with My Heart. Watch out for Jolina Magdangal though considering the amount of baity materials her character had gone through in Flordeliza. 

PREDICTION: Jodi Sta. Maria, “Pangako Sa’Yo
ALTERNATE: Jolina Magdangal, “FlordeLiza

drama supp actor

Best Drama Supporting Actor

  • Baron Geisler (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
  • Carlo Aquino (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
  • Edu Manzano (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
  • JM de Guzman (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
  • Mike Tan (The Rich Man’s Daughter / GMA)
  • Ronnie Lazaro (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
  • Tirso Cruz III (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)

To be frank, I’m certain that if JM de Guzman didn’t screw up his second chance, you know he has this one locked. But then again, I guess it will go to one of their two favorite character actors: Baron Geisler for his role as the evil villain in Nathaniel, or Carlo Aquino in Flordeliza. I’m giving the edge to Geisler simply because his is a more flat out evil role here and the three performances this category has awarded are all kontrabida turns.

PREDICTION: Baron Geisler, “Nathaniel
ALTERNATE: Carlo Aquino, “FlordeLiza

drama supp actress

Best Drama Supporting Actress

  • Amy Austria-Ventura (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
  • Carmina Villaroel (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
  • Eula Valdez (Illustrado / GMA)
  • Irma Adlawan (Forevermore / ABS-CBN)
  • Jean Garcia (The Half Sisters / GMA)
  • Sheryl Cruz (Strawberry Lane / GMA)
  • Sofia Andres (Forevermore / ABS-CBN)

It’s sooooooooo PMPC to nominate Eula Valdez and Jean Garcia against each other the same year they nominated Jodi Sta. Maria and Angelica Panganiban in Lead. You know they’re trying to score that all four would attend and have that epic reunion photo. That said, I have no idea who’ll win here considering this is only the category’s third year of existence and the previous two years were back to back wins for KC Concepcion. If that’s any indication, maybe they like their younger actresses, so I guess I’ll have to go with Sofia Andres here.

PREDICTION: Sofia Andres, “Forevermore
ALTERNATE: Amy Austria-Ventura, “Pangako Sa’Yo

child performer

Best Child Performer

  • Alonzo Muhlach (Inday Bote / ABS-CBN)
  • Ashley Sarmiento (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
  • Chlaui Malayao (Yagit / GMA)
  • Harvey Bautista (Wansapanataym presents: “Remote ni Eric” / ABS-CBN)
  • Jana Agoncillo (Dream Dad / ABS-CBN)
  • Marco Masa (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
  • Xyriel Manabat (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
  • Zaijian Jaranilla (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)

I think Jana Agoncillo is considered as the breakout young child discovery of the year, and as shown by her two nominations, the PMPC is fond of her. But knowing that she has no chance to win in New Female TV Personality, this might be where they reward her. Watch out for Marco Masa considering that the only winners here are two performances headlining their own show (Andrea Brillantes’ AnnaLiza and Raikko Mateo in Honesto.)

PREDICTION: Jana Agoncillo, “Dream Dad
ALTERNATE: Marco Masa, “Nathaniel

comedy series

Best Comedy Program

  • 2 1/2 Daddies (TV5)
  • Home Sweetie Home (ABS-CBN)
  • Ismol Family (GMA)
  • Luv U (ABS-CBN)
  • Mac and Chiz (TV5)
  • Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento (GMA)
  • Vampire Ang Daddy Ko (GMA)

The presence of the two TV5 comedies here at least provided some diversity, regardless of their actual quality. And due to lack of competition anymore in the Youth Oriented Program, 3x winner Luv U has been transferred here instead. But then, count on current winner Home Sweetie Home to bag a consecutive one. The show hasn’t been canceled anyway, and it’s still doing good in the ratings.

PREDICTION: Home Sweetie Home

comedy actor

Best Comedy Actor

  • Clarence Delgado (Goin’ Bulilit / ABS-CBN)
  • Jayson Gainza (Banana Split Extra Scoop / ABS-CBN)
  • John Lloyd Cruz (Home Sweetie Home / ABS-CBN)
  • Michael V. (Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento / GMA)
  • Ryan Agoncillo (Ismol Family / GMA)
  • Sef Cadayona (Bubble Gang / GMA)
  • Vic Sotto (Vampire Ang Daddy Ko / GMA)

With his new Asian TV Awards nomination this year for his turn in Pepito Manaloto, expect Michael V to win his fifth trophy in this category. That said, it’s not wise to dismiss current champ Sef Cadayona targeting back to back wins as the Bubble Gang representative or Jayson Gainza who has yet to win one here despite being nominated multiple times already for his work in Banana Split.

PREDICTION: Michael V., Pepito Manaloto
ALTERNATE: Sef Cadayona, “Bubble Gang

comedy actress

Best Comedy Actress

  • Angelica Panganiban (Banana Split Extra Scoop / ABS-CBN)
  • Carmi Martin (Ismol Family / GMA)
  • Manilyn Reynes (Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento / GMA)
  • Mutya Orquia (Goin’ Bulilit / ABS-CBN)
  • Rufa Mae Quinto (Bubble Gang / GMA)
  • Ryzza Mae Dizon (Vampire Ang Daddy Ko / GMA)
  • Toni Gonzaga (Home Sweetie Home / ABS-CBN)

Since 2000, Rufa Mae Quinto has won this category eight times, so it’s a bit of a giveaway that as long as she’s nominated, then she’s in contention for the win. And considering the dire emptiness of this category, then this can be an easy ninth win. That said, if they decide to have both Amor and Claudia win, then they might give this one to Angelica Panganiban so that they’d both be rewarded on Star Awards night.

PREDICTION: Rufa Mae Quinto, Bubble Gang
ALTERNATE: Angelica Panganiban, “Banana Split Extra Scoop

single performance actor

Best Single Performance by An Actor

  • Alex Medina (Ipaglaban Mo! episode: “Niloko Niyo Ako” / ABS-CBN)
  • Arjo Atayde (Maalala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Liham” / ABS-CBN)
  • Coco Martin (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Watawat” / ABS-CBN)
  • Edgar Allan Guzman (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Box” / ABS-CBN)
  • John Lloyd Cruz (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Hat” / ABS-CBN)
  • Matt Evans (Ipaglaban Mo! episode: “Nasa Maling Landas” / ABS-CBN)
  • Mike Tan (Magpakailanman episode: “8 Shades of Gay: The Tubato Family Story” / GMA)

It’s really a battle of two PMPC favorites in this category. On one hand, there’s Coco Martin who has won four of the last six years in Best Actor: Drama category. Chances are, when he’s nominated, you know he’s winning. Add the fact that he still hasn’t won in this category, and it’s for the most buzzed about MMK episode of the year about the SAS44 soldiers, and you know it’s a shoo-in already. But then there’s Arjo Atayde who has won one Star trophy the last three years: New Male Personality in 2012, Drama Supporting Actor in 2013, and this exact category last year. I’m actually predicting a tie, but look at Mike Tan to possibly upset since they tend to favor gender bender performances here.

PREDICTION: Coco Martin, Maalaala Mo Kaya” and Arjo Atayde, “Maalaala Mo Kaya
ALTERNATE: Mike Tan,”Magpakailanman

single performance actress

Best Single Performance by An Actress

Current winner Sunshine Cruz is in contention again so she can easily do a repeat back to back win in this category just like Gretchen Barretto in 2009 and 2010. Then it’s not safe to dismiss the Superstar Nora Aunor in the race especially since she played a comfort woman haunted by her past in Karelasyon. And then there’s Angel Locsin possibly winning seven years since her first if the voters are big fans of the two-parter SAF44 special. Right now, I’d give the edge to La Aunor winning here.

PREDICTION: Nora Aunor, Karelasyon
ALTERNATE: Sunshine Cruz, “Maalaala Mo Kaya

new actor

Best New Male TV Personality

  • Alonzo Muhlach (Inday Bote / ABS-CBN)
  • Jemuell Ventinilla (Yagit / GMA)
  • Joshua Garcia (Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita / ABS-CBN)
  • JV Cruz (Iskoolmates: May Pakialam Ka! / PTV)
  • Kurt Ong (Wansapanataym presents: “My Kung Fu Chinito / ABS-CBN)
  • Kyle Blanco (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
  • Sancho Vito (Let the Love Begin / GMA)

This is surprisingly a weak year for new male actors as a lot of these are really fringe contenders. But then sometimes, this is the type of an open category that gives them the freedom to choose really random contenders such as 2009 winner JR de Guzman for TV 5’s Midnight DJ. I’d say Alonzo Muhlach wins this one just for being the easiest choice here. Incidentally enough, it was also in 2009 when a child star last won here (Zaijan Jaranilla for May Bukas Pa) which tied him with previously mentioned JR de Guzman. Maybe this year Alonzo ties with a random contender too. Who’s your bet?

PREDICTION: Alonzo Muhlach, Inday Bote
ALTERNATE: Joshua Garcia, “Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita

new actress

Best New Female TV Personality

  • Ali Forbes (Pinay Beauty Queen Academy / GMA News TV)
  • Jana Agoncilo (Dream Dad / ABS-CBN)
  • Loisa Andalio (Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita / ABS-CBN)
  • Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza (Eat Bulaga!/Kalyeserye / GMA)
  • Maris Racal (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Lobo” / ABS-CBN)
  • MJ Lastimosa (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Takure / ABS-CBN)
  • Stephanie Yamut (Yagit / GMA)

Two words: MAINE MENDOZA. ‘Nuff said.

But really, it’s such a strong category and a lot of these other nominees would have won in much weaker years. But it can’t be refuted that this is Maine Mendoza’s year, and there’s no one more fitting to win this one than her. She really is the female TV personality to look for this year. The only way I see the others winning this is if there’s a tie, and you know even that is unfair.

PREDICTION: Maine Mendoza, Eat Bulaga
ALTERNATE: Maris Racal, “Maalaala Mo Kaya

male tv host

Best Male TV Host

  • Billy Crawford (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
  • German Moreno (Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman / GMA)
  • Luis Manzano (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
  • Martin Nievera (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
  • Robi Domingo (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
  • Vice Ganda (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
  • Wally Bayola (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)

Sure it’s not the traditional hosting per se, but Wally Bayola has been doing the equal lifting as we enjoy the daily Kalyeserye episodes. Lola Nidora has been a huge part of Pinoy pop culture especially this year that if Allan K can win this category in 2011, you know it’s Wally Bayola’s to lose.

PREDICTION: Wally Bayola, Eat Bulaga
ALTERNATE: Billy Crawford, “It’s Showtime!

female tv host

Best Female TV Host

  • Anne Curtis (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
  • Julia Clarete (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
  • Pia Guanio (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
  • Sarah Geronimo (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
  • Toni Gonzaga (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
  • Vina Morales (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
  • Zsa Zsa Padilla (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)

Toni Gonzaga has been dominating this category winning four of the last five years that you know it will just be an additional trophy to her mantle case for this year. That said, the only time she lost was to Anne Curtis two years ago, and since they’re duking out here again, maybe she’d be the one to dethrone her too.

PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga, ASAP 20
ALTERNATE: Anne Curtis, “It’s Showtime!

As for the rest of the categories, here are my predictions:

Best Drama Mini-Series

ALTERNATE: Give Love on Christmas

Best Drama Anthology

PREDICTION: Magpakailanman
ALTERNATE: Karelasyon

Best Gag Show

PREDICTION: Goin Bulilit
ALTERNATE: Banana Split: Extra Scoop

Best Musical-Variety Show

ALTERNATE: It’s Showtime

Best Reality Show

ALTERNATE: Pinay Beauty Queen Academy

Best Reality Show Host

PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, Enchong Dee and Robi Domingo, “Pinoy Big Brother: 737
ALTERNATE: Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, John Prats and Robi Domingo, “Pinoy Big Brother: All In

Best Game Show

ALTERNATE: Celebrity Bluff

Best Game Show Host

PREDICTION: Luis Manzano, “Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal
ALTERNATE: Willie Revillame, “Wowowin

Best Talent Search Program

PREDICTION: Talentadong Pinoy 2014
ALTERNATE: Bet ng Bayan

Best Talent Search Program Host

PREDICTION: Billy Crawford, “Your Face Sounds Familiar
ALTERNATE: Toni Gonzaga, Luis Mazano, Robi Domingo, Alex Gonzaga, “The Voice of the Philippines Season 2

Best Celebrity Talk Show

PREDICTION: Aquino and Abunda Tonight
ALTERNATE: Gandang Gabi Vice

Best Celebrity Talk Show Host

PREDICTION: Vice Ganda, “Gandang Gabi Vice
ALTERNATE: Kris Aquino, Boy Abunda, “Aquino and Abunda Tonight

Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show


Best Male Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host

PREDICTION: Ricky Lo “Startalk
ALTERNATE: Joey de Leon,”Startalk

Best Female Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host

PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga, “The Buzz
ALTERNATE: Kris Aquino, “The Buzz

Best Educational Program

PREDICTION: Matanglawin
ALTERNATE: Swak na Swak

Best Educational Program Host

PREDICTION: Kim Atienza, “Matanglawin
ALTERNATE: Jennlyn Mercado, “Sarap with Family

Best Documentary Program

ALTERNATE: Reporter’s Notebook

Best Documentary Program Host

PREDICTION: Sandra Aguinaldo, Kara David, Jay Taruc, Howie Severino, “I-Witness
ALTERNATE: Jiggy Manicad, Maki Pulido, “Reporter’s Notebook

Best Documentary Special

PREDICTION: Spratlys: Mga Isla ng Kalayaan
ALTERNATE: #PUSO2019: Ang Pambihirang Love Story ng mga Pinoy sa Basketball

Best News Program

PREDICTION: State of the Nation with Jessica Soho

Best Male Newscaster

PREDICTION: Julius Babao “Bandila
ALTERNATE: Erwin Tulfo,”Aksyon Prime

Best Female Newscaster

PREDICTION: Karen Davila, “Bandila
ALTERNATE: Jessica Soho,”State of the Nation

Best Morning Show

PREDICTION: Umagang Kay Ganda
ALTERNATE: Unang Hirit

Best Morning Show Host

PREDICTION: Umagang Kay Ganda hosts
ALTERNATE: Unang Hirit hosts

Best Magazine Show

ALTERNATE: Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho

Best Magazine Show Host

PREDICTION: Susan Enriquez, Cesar Apolinario, “iJuander
ALTERNATE: Jessica Soho,”Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho

Best Children Show

PREDICTION: Tropang Potchi

Best Children Show Host

PREDICTION: Sabrina Man, Miggy Jimenez, Isabel “Lenlen” Frial, Nomer Limatog, Miggs Cuaderno, and Kyle Daniel Ocampo, “Tropang Potchi
ALTERNATE: Aira Binas, Gerard Pangusan, Rissey Reyes, Alex Reyes, and Fred Lo,”Hi-5 Philippines

Best Public Affairs Program

PREDICTION: The Bottomline with Boy Abunda
ALTERNATE: Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie

Best Public Affairs Program Host

PREDICTION: Boy Abunda, “The Bottomline
ALTERNATE: Winnie Monsod, “Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie

Best Public Service Program

PREDICTION: T3: Alliance
ALTERNATE: SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives

Best Public Service Program Host

PREDICTION: Tulfo brothers, “T3: Alliance
ALTERNATE: Vicky Morales, “Wish Ko Lang

Best Travel Show

PREDICTION: Biyahe ni Drew
ALTERNATE: Business Flight

Best Travel Show Host

PREDICTION: Drew Arellano, “Biyahe ni Drew
ALTERNATE: Venus Raj, Cristina Decena,”Business Flight

Best Lifestyle Show

ALTERNATE: Gandang Ricky Reyes

Best Lifestyle Show Host

PREDICTION: Kris Aquino, “KrisTV
ALTERNATE: Ricky Reyes, “Gandang Ricky Reyes


Top Local Movies of 2012   8 comments

2012 in cinema is probably one of the most enjoyable in a while. I liked a lot of the movies that I’ve seen this year, (though maybe I really avoided the bad ones? LOL), and a lot of these films would have topped any other weaker years. On top of that, we’ve also seen a lot of impeccable performances from these films. Mind you, while I have seen 60+ local films this year, there’s a lot left still to be seen. Despite that, I feel that 2012 is one of the better years in recent Filipino cinema, and here are 12 reasons why:

Unofficially Yours


Arguably, the best output from commercial filmmaking this year is this Cathy Garcia Molina’s relationship story between two people that sprouted from a one night stand. Molina has really mastered how to make supposedly conventional studio produced films more engaging and interesting. Also, watch out for John Lloyd Cruz and Angel Locsin’s palpable chemistry here.

MNL 143

11. MNL 143

I’m a sucker of travel/road movies. With that said, Emerson Reyes’s first feature length film is a poignant love story of a man (Allan Paule) who’s looking for the woman of his life is something that’s easier to relate to; not the search per se, but the longing and the optimism for it to finally arrive is a familiar feeling that can resonate well to its viewers.


10. REquieme!

Loy Arcenas’ consecutive Cinemalaya entry is a dark comedy that focuses on Swanie, a barangay captain who involves herself as a relative of a suspect in an international murder case. With a witty screenplay and Shamaine Buencamino’s effective portrayal as Swanie and breakthrough talent Anthony Falcon, the movie is definitely one of 2012’s brightest spots.



This Cinema One Originals winner which was also Pam Miras’s feature debut about one’s self discovery about her monsters within is one of the surprise entries in my list. Not because it is bad, but because I liked and appreciated it better days after seeing it. Oh, and if Maria Veronica Santiago’s performance in the title role won’t charm you enough, then I don’t know what will.

Ang Nawawala


Another first feature effort this year, this time by Marie Jamora, Ang Nawawala is bound to be a cult classic. Yes, it probably caters to a younger crowd, to those in the middle status, or to those who are into local music scene, but one universal thing that I sure can relate to is how it connects you back to yourself. Plus points for the eye candy production design and the compilation soundtrack.



The Philippines’ submission to the Oscar Foreign Language Film category this year (and its best submission in years, I must say) is this little gem by Jun Lana about an old gay man living alone with only his dog named Bwakaw, and how he tries to make the most out of his remaining days. It’s just one of the most heartfelt films of the year that makes you laugh and cry while watching. Also, Eddie Garcia’s performance is to watch for here.

Thy Womb


Brillante Mendoza’s Venice entry this year is also the comeback vehicle of one of the Philippines’ greatest actresses to date, the Superstar Nora Aunor. I guess my favorite aspect of the film is how it showcased to us this little gem of a place called Tawi-Tawi, and how the film introduced us to its culture. That, and of course La Aunor’s towering performance in it.

Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim


My favorite from the whole Cinema One Originals bunch this year is Arnel Mardoquio’s feature about the escape of three Muslim rebels, together with a ten year old child in the midst of the Bangsa Moro issues in Mindanao. But unlike any previous Mindanao related war-themed films, this one stands out because it’s  does not lecture you. And within this silence is where the actual emotions linger.

Give Up Tomorrow


This Filipino/Spanish/American production directed by Michael Collins on what was labeled as the trial of the century in the Philippines (the involvement of  Paco Larrañaga to the disappearance of the Chiong sisters) is one film that probably triggered the most emotions while watching. The film for the most part was half maddening and half heartbreaking. But it probably contains one of my most favorite quotes of the year when Paco said “If you want to give up, give up tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, then give up tomorrow.



Vincent Sandoval’s Cinemalaya entry about the secluded lives of nuns in a monastery in 1972. The film’s strength lies in its capability to build an atmosphere that was intense and arresting that once the movie hits it middle part, you just feel as if you’re a part of it. If you’re into the technical aspect, this movie also boasts of a complete top notch production values: neat production design,  applicable costumes, captivating cinematography, polished editing, and haunting score.



Ron Morales’s Tribeca entry about a loyal driver caught in the middle of his congressman employer’s paying of sins is as intense as one can get. Fifteen minutes in, there’s already a shooting scene. And the rest of the movie was packed with emotional punches, as it dwells with questions about one’s choices in life. Is this the correct choice? What happens when it’s not? Where do we go next? Also, Arnold Reyes’s terrific performance as the driver is a must see.



And my top pick for local cinema this year is Adolf Alix’s Kalayaan. On the outside, it’s about a soldier solely stationed in the Kalayaan islands and a run on his daily activities, until two additional soldiers were sent there with him. The first hour of the film solely shows on the day to day routine of Julian. Rarely any dialogue was spoken in it, but the message was effectively sent. Once the credits rolled, you feel that you’ve known enough yet it will also prompt you to ask some more. Definitely my favorite film of the year!

Well that’s it! What are your favorite local movies of the year? In case you are wondering, the reason why there’s no top international picks yet is because I’m still catching up on a lot of the Oscar movies til the next two months. So I guess, you can expect my list by March.

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

2012: The Year in Lead Actresses   7 comments

2012 lead actresses

Hey there everyone! And Happy New Year once again from Tit for Tat! 😀

There’s no better way to kick off 2013 with a blog post that covers a topic awards prognosticators love the most: BEST ACTRESS. The past few days, I have been covering acting performances in local cinema, and we’ve already tackled supporting actressessupporting actors and lead actors. To complete the list, here’s my coverage of lead actress.


There’s no better person more fitting to begin this coverage with the one and only Superstar herself Nora Aunor. After years of absence in local filmmaking scene, she is back with Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb as midwife Shaleha who wants to grant her husband’s wish of having a child. Aside from La Aunor, Gina Alajar‘s role as the matriarch in Adolf Alix’s Mater Dolorosa gives her a huge possibility to have an awards comeback as well. A pair of Kapamilya actresses can find themselves contending at different award giving bodies: Angel Locsin will definitely be nominated either for her role as the sultry Princess in Unofficially Yours though my bet is she’ll get nods  for her role as a mother who will do anything for her son in the MMFF entry One More Try. Bea Alonzo‘s most mature performance to date as the title role in Olivia Lamasan’s The Mistress can reap some nods as well. As for the fifth spot, a consecutive visit at award giving bodies is plausible for veteran actress Shamaine Buencamino, this time, for her comedic turn in Loy Arcenas’s Requieme.


Aside from the five names above, other noteworthy lead actress performances the past year were from Jodi Sta. Maria as the newest member of Adoracion Convent in Aparisyon, Pokwang as another mother who sacrificied as an OFW in the US in A Mother’s Story, and French actress Isabelle Huppert having the most vital role in Brillante Mendoza’s Berlin entry Captive. Vilma Santos can get in based on name status alone for her movie last year, The Healing, while Lauren Young as the psycho best friend of Maxene Magalona in Catnip can break through the awards circuit too. Other performances that gained buzz this year were Cinemalaya Best Actress winner Ama Quiambao in Diablo, Erich Gonzales who is in search of her sister in Manila in Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi, Veronica Santiago who plays the charming  title role in Pascalina, LJ Reyes who resorted to being the town prostitute in Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino, and Judy Ann Santos as the owner of the diary in Mga Mumunting Lihim.


As for the rest of the race, there’s also Anne Curtis, not as the other woman, in A Secret Affair, the pair of Fe GingGing Hyde and Glorypearl Dy trying to escape in Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin ng Gabing Madilim, Mylene Dizon as the other nun in Aparisyon, and Cinema One Originals Best Actress Mara Lopez in Palitan. There’s also the performances of Erich Gonzales as the unang aswang in Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang, Angelica Panganiban as the naive Majoy in Every Breath U Take,  and real life sisters Assunta and Alessandra de Rossi in Baybayin. Lastly, Angel Aquino can also see herself nominated either for her performance as the torn mother in Amorosa: The Revenge or as the reporter who everybody thought was dead in Biktima.

That’s it. Who are your bets this year? Are you excited for the coming award giving bodies? I sure am! 🙂

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

12 Best Local Shows of 2012   7 comments

Local television in 2012 have been filled with star studded primetime dramas, variety specials, and more interesting shows to watch to. With every personality trying to get a TV gig nowadays, it’s safe to say that TV is indeed one of the most powerful form of message delivery these days. For 2012, these are the shows that took top honors:

Showbiz Inside Report

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Hosts: Ogie Diaz, Carmina Villaroel, Janice de Belen, Joey Marquez | Saturdays, 3:00-4:00 PM

This Saturday showbiz oriented program of ABSCBN is different from the usual fare of tsismis related shows nowadays. It does not need guests on its studio just to discuss something. Each host usually does canned and a long interview that tackles beyond the usual promoting questions that personalities are usually asked. It also does not hurt that the four hosts have charming rapport with one another and that the audience can be a part of the discussion via Facebook and Twitter.

Luv U

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11. LUV U (ABSCBN 2)
Cast: Miles Ocampo, Kiray Celis, Igi Boy Flores, Marco Gumabao | Sundays, 3:15-4:00 PM

Usually the time slot for teen dramas, the usual 4PM Saturday barkadahan show has shifted to the Sunday 3PM slot, and there’s no better show to represent it than ABSCB’s Luv U. Unlike previous shows, it does not go beyond the usual teens acting as mature dramas that past youth oriented programs tried to depict. This one is very tongue in cheek, light, and fun, and that’s where the show’s strength lies.


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Host: Charo Santos-Concio | Saturdays, 8:00-9:30 PM

The only one who made the list for the second consecutive year, the longest running drama anthology in Asia is still far and away one of the best showcases not only of acting performances but some of the most interesting stories as well. This year alone we saw the award winning Kamao with a boxer Coco Martin, Edgar Allan Guzman as a gay student wanting to be a seaman in Bangkakng Papel, and my personal favorite, the Angel Aquino-Jane Oineza starrer Manika about a young girl’s cursed beauty.

Himala Ngayon

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Premiered: December 9, 2012

Premiering as a special documentary on Sunday’s Best, this documentary by Sari Dalena and Keith Sicat about the behind the scenes details of what is arguably the best film in local cinema, Ishmael Bernal’s Himala was premiered to local viewers nationwide. It is just fitting that this was the year they showed it after the restoration of the film in its 30th anniversary. Watching this documentary was such a blast and I’m not sure it’s not just the cinpehiles and the Noranians who enjoyed this.

Pinoy Adventures

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Host: Richard Gutierrez | Saturdays, 6:00-6:45 PM | May 13, 2012 – September 29, 2012

Despite the show being canceled now, it was still a blast to see Richard Gutierrez travel all around the country to find the most engaging activities and learn more about the cultures of different provinces in the Philippines. From Palawan to Bukidnon and from Surigao del Norte to Bicol, we witnessed interesting things that’s why it’s sad that it only lasted for a season.

Dolphy Alay Tawa

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When the Comedy King passed last July, it is given that the whole showbiz industry regardless of network, genre, and age will mourn as we all lost an icon. One good thing that came out of it was this joint benefit concert that featured talents from the three biggest stations in the country. Simultaneously broadcasted over at ABSCBN, TV5, and GMA, history was definitely made this time around.


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Host: technically, nobody | Fridays, 11:00 PM

Now nearing its fifth year on air and with almost 300 episode under its belt, Storyline has maintained its quality given the range of the theme of its episodes. Headlined by the tandem of Patricia Evangelista and Paolo Villaluna, this weekly documentary shows gives much of the thinking and realizing part to its audience rather than spoon feeding them about it. We need more of this in local television, but I’m also thankful that we have at least there’s one that already exists.

Inside the Cinema

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05. INSIDE THE CINEMA (Cinema One)
Host: Boy Abunda | Every first Tuesday of the month, 7PM

This informative movie talk show is probably the closest one that we’ll have in terms of tackling the different experiences of important people in the film industry with their past efforts. Think of  Brillante Mendoza discussing the moment before he was announced to be the Cannes Best Director or Amy Austria discussing her disappointment with her Bubbles film, this discusses moments in movie making that are too good to be true. And for this year alone, Boy Abunda got the likes of Cesar Montano, Gina Alajar, and Nora Aunor to discuss what’s inside the cinema.

Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho

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Host: Jessica Soho | Sundays, 7:30-9:00 PM

Just this year alone, this magazine shows has picked up awards from the PMPC Star Awards for Television, PMAP Makatao Awards for Media Excellence, USTv Student Choice Awards, Gawad Tanglaw Awards, and even the 6th Hildegarde Awards for Women in Media & Communication. Need I say more? Jessica Soho’s covered topics range from really anything and everything under the sun, and that’s what makes the show fresh when you watch it every single week.


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Premiered: November 24, 2012

Probably the celebrity wedding of the year, there’s no better way to be a part of it than by watching how this fairy tale unfolds right before our eyes. And by the time that the couple has exchanged their I Do’s already, there’s literally not a single dry eye in the room.

Walang Hanggan

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Cast: Coco Martin, Julia Montes, Paulo Avelino, Richard Gomez, Dawn Zulueta | January 16-October 26, 2012

Probably the year’s biggest primetime drama, this ABSCBN soap opera that included three generations of actors in it from veterans like Susan Roces and Helen Gamboa to the likes of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta up to the next in line such as Coco Martin and Julia Montes, Walang Hanngan has been both a critical and commercial success during its ten-month run. The show has been the most widely watched and has left a lot of pop culture references in it. It will definitely go down as one of the most prominent TV dramas in soap opera history.

Be Careful with My Heart

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Cast: Jodi Sta. Maria, Richard Yap | Mondays-Fridays, 11:15 AM – 12:00 NN

And probably the biggest surprise in local television this year is Be Careful with My Heart. Thinking about it, this is the little show that could. And it actually did! But given more time to think, there is no surprise why this certainly hooked to all demographics. This simple tale of an optimistic young lass who aims to be a flight stewardess yet ends up as a household maid captured the hearts of the whole country with its natural and positive approach. This show proves that a program does not need a major villain for people to watch it. And it does not need a young loveteam for it to actually work. And with that, I say kapit bisig!

That’s it! What are your favorite shows in local boob tube? Pipe them in the Comments section! 🙂

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

Entertainers of the Year 2012   12 comments

Hey everyone! It’s two days before Christmas, and just eight days before 2012 comes to a halt. With that said, there’s no perfect time than this week to publish year end lists. Just two days ago, I unveiled my picks of the local movie posters of the year. Now this one is a concept that was inspired from Entertainment Weekly’s annual list of Entertainer of the Year. This is usually comprised of anybody in the entertainment industry that made an impact during the past year. Whether it’s from film, TV, fashion, radio and even to anything related to pop culture, as long as I think you made 2012 a memorable one, then you’re in. This is the first time I posted an article about this, though I made a list last year and had Anne Curtis as 2011 Entertainer of the Year.

After careful consideration, here are Tit for Tat’s Entertainers of the Year for 2012:

12. janine tugonon

11. paulo avelino

10. dolphy

09. john lloyd -bea

08. iza calzado

07. jodi sta maria

06. kikay barkada

05. carmina-zoren

04. art acuna

03. janice de belen

02. jessica sanchez

01. nora aunor

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

13 Best Filipino Horror Movies of the Last 12 Years   6 comments

Halloween is right around the corner, and though the primary purpose of All Saints Day is to recognize those who are already there up with Him in the heavens, majority of those who await Halloween season are in for the horror stories that come during this period. Horror themed stories, shows, and movies seem to be a hit here in the Philippines, and with Asia being the region that produces the best horror films, the country has produced its fair share of horror themed films.

So for those who are looking for a Halloween themed movie playlist to marathon these next few days, here are thirteen titles that I  consider as the best of the best of the last twelve years and can recommend to you:

Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Maricel Soriano, Mika dela Cruz, Derek Ramsay
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño, Aloy Adlawan, Chris Martinez
Release Date: April 11, 2009

While I’m no big fan of the over the top yet unpolished CGI effects in this one, I’m still pretty amused with the storytelling in the first two-thirds of the film. It focused on the different sayings, rituals, and legends from the Southern provinces of the country. I remember our helper telling me that she has experienced some of the scenes featured in the film like the group of black pigs that will suddenly block your way when traveling late at night which supposed to reincarantion of a group of aswangs. Doppelgangers were also present,  in the film, as well as the legends involving seeing a big submarine in a small creek or the simple sundo concept from the dead. If anything, this is the scary part of learning the rich culture of some parts in the country.

Director: Jose Javier Reyes
Stars: Rica Peralejo, Marvin Agustin, Dingdong Dantes
Story and Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes
Release Date: December 25, 2003

This one is very reminiscent of that Keanu Reeves’s starrer The Gift about a woman’s psychic abilities. In here, Sara (Peralejo) has shown signs of possessing that gift of knowing if something bad will happen. The first sign of it will be a nose bleed which she has experienced way back when she was still a child. What I find creepy about this is that I experience nose bleed in a very frequent manner, so I somehow got paranoid after seeing this one. The film also benefits from having slick effects, cinematography, editing, and sound.

Director: Yam Laranas
Stars: Rhian Ramos, Marvian Agustin, Carmina Villaroel
Story and Screenplay: Yam Laranas, Aloy Adlawan
Release Date: November 30, 2011

The Road is one of those psychological thrillers more than your typical straight out horror film. With that said, it is very engaging and captivating enough to stay all through out the film. While there are particular loopholes within the storytelling of the film, its lavish technical effects make up for it. Also, watch out for Carmina Villaroel’s performance who was so good here and deserved some awards mention for her portrayal in the movie.

Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Vilma Santos, Janice de Belen, Pokwang
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño
Release Date: July 25, 2012

The Healing certainly fits the bill of those Chito Roño horror film formula. However, with that said, this one goes deep into the Filipino habit of depending on healers for help. This one poses the man of science vs. man of faith concept that has been one of the age old questions that has every been asked. Also, among all of his past horror flicks, this one is the goriest and fits right up the crazy story that it presented in the movie.

Director: Richard Somes
Stars: Mark Anthony Fernandez, Tanya Garcia, Elizabeth Ororpesa
Story and Screenplay: Joven Tan
Release Date: December 25, 2005

After an eight year hiatus, in 2005, the Filipino film franchise Shake, Rattle, and Roll is back and has become the longest horror trilogy in Philippine cinema. While films in the series has been a hit or miss, there are still few solid gems in it like this one directed by Richard Somes. Lihim ng San Joaquin  is about a young newly-wed couple played by Mark Anthony Fernandez and Tanya Garcia who transfers into this rural town that is known to be inhabited by a manananggal and attracts all the men there and kills them one by one. This is a real breath of fresh air in terms of storytelling and production skills.

Director: Bobi Bonifacio
Stars: Maricel Soriano, Albert Martinez, Meryll Soriano
Story and Screenplay: Juan Miguel Sevilla, Bobi Bonifacio
Release Date: November 3, 2006

Numbalikdiwa has a richly interesting concept, probably one of the cleverest in recent years. The horror is not in your face; it’s more of something that will creep you out when you think about it. Here’s an interesting definition of what numbalikdiwa is as taken from the movie’s official blog site: An ancient, macabre ritual where the dead assumes the body of a living person. Like cannibalism, it involves the ingestion of the deceased’s ground meat andbones as part of the ritual. With the help of the Sasigloho, an ancient tribal deity, the dead assumes the identity of the living and continues to live his/her life accordingly, granting near immortality to the one who practices it. And yes, after seeing the film, I laid off eating any grilled street foods.

Director: Jerrold Tarog
Stars: Kathryn Bernardo, Louise delos Reyes, Sam Concepcion
Story and Screenplay: Maribel Ilag, Jerrold Tarog
Release Date: December 25, 2011

The 13th batch of the SR&R episode is one of its best. The first one, while bordering on fantasy territory, has good production values. The third one is relevant and also excellent. However, the best is the second one entitled Parola. Not only does it brag of a rich storytelling, it is also a perfect throwback to the early heydays of the said franchise. It represents the type of horror that Filipino moviegoers love, and it also contains exemplary production skills to boot. Definitely one of the best the whole series has ever produced.

Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Danilo Barrios, Vhong Navarro, Spencer Reyes
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño, Roy Iglesias
Release Date: January 1, 2003

Probably one of the most prominent entries during its Metro Manila Film Festival batch, the follow up to the Spirit Warriors movie franchise is also the better movie between the two. I like how the movie has incorporated an interesting story to tackle referring to the “shortcut” that the spirits go to when they want to go to the world of the mortals. It also included a backstory at the start of the film that was shot perfectly in Vigan. I don’t see this in a lot of horror films list, but its inclusion is definitely merited here.

Director: Yam Laranas
Stars: Richard Gutierrez, Angel Locsin, Iza Calzado
Story and Screenplay: Roy Iglesias, Yam Laranas
Release Date: December 25, 2004

Sigaw is more popularly known as the horror flick that got an international version. But even with that distinction, I still prefer the original version about the bachelor who lives in an old building whose history seems to catch up with the present tenants. I feel that this is one of the underrated horror flicks of the past decade. People seem to catch on its appreciation with the film later on and not during its actual showing. And come on, a bloody Iza Calzado staring at your face? While Iza was every inch beautiful albeit the blood in her face, if that does not give you enough chills, then I don’t know what will.

Director: Richard Somes
Stars: Ronnie Lazaro, Tetchie Agbayani, Joel Torre
Story and Screenplay: Richard Somes, Dwight Gaston
Release Date: December 3, 2008

The Best Picture winner during the 2008 Cinema One Originals, Yanggaw definitely leans on its approach to manage the fight in you. With that said, the concept of a transforming aswang is something that is so popular and rich in this country’s culture, and that alone already deserves a slot in this list. The production design and cinematography, among all things, were also top notch. And lastly, the acting of the three actors (Ronnie Lazaro, Tetchie Agabayani, Joel Torre) is very convincing for that there’s no option left but to be swept along the whole ride.

Director: Jerrold Tarog
Stars: Carla Abellana, Sid Lucero, Nash Aguas
Story and Screenplay: Rona Lean Sales
Release Date: December 3, 2010

Another one from the Shake, Rattle, and Roll franchise, Punerarya follows the story of Diane (Carla Abellana) who home tutors two kids from the street’s funeral parlor. Unbeknownst to her, the family is hiding deep secrets that Diane unfortunately learned. The problem now is how she can escape unscathed from them. There are so many things that’s so commendable in this episode. Tarog’s approach in the direction is the primary reason for this episode to work, though. That, and Carla Abellana’s performance as the heroine  in the film. It definitely is deserving of the title as one of best Shake, Rattle, and Roll episodes of all time.

Director: Enrico Santos
Stars: Jodi Sta. Maria, Barbie Sabino, Gianna Cutler
Story and Screenplay: Joel Mercado
Release Date: July 14, 2010

Paa is the second episode in the five-parter Cinco (Duh. LOL). This one tackles a revengeful ghost of a young kid who visits the mother of her classmate. It was then revealed in the end what the connection of the mother (played perfectly by Jodi Sta. Maria) was to the untamed ghost. I think that this episode in particular is very underrated. The direction and approach was top notch, and the short length time of the episode worked well in its favor. The editing was also sharp, and Jodi Sta. Maria was more than capable in the lead role. My favorite scene perhaps was the end part with the montage, where everything was revealed. This is one of the few films that gets better and stands the test of time.

Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Kris Aquino, Lotlot de Leon, Jay Manalo
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño, Roy Iglesias
Release Date: September 15, 2004

But of course, what’s a horror film list without Feng Shui? Chito Roño’s flick that showed how the fate of people depend on the Chinese ornament called bagua, and how one’s luck and demise are affected by it. Whether your creeped out by the “May uwi si Nanay… si Nanay… sa bahay” chant, the connection of one’s horoscope to the cause of your death, the scene where Alice (de Leon) comes across an image of the Lotus Feet holding a bloody and dead version of herself, or just by Kris Aquino’s kunot noo approach to show that she’s scared, there are no other reasons why this won’t be the top horror film of the last 12 years. 

How about you? What are some of your favorite local horror films? Do you feel there’s something that’s missing on the list? Or do you think there’s an undeserving entry here? Pipe them in below the Comments section.

8th Cinemalaya Film Festival Review: Part 4   1 comment

Today marks the last day of the 8th Cinemalaya Indepedent Film Festival, and my experience has been a blast. I’m still deciding if I’ll attend the awards night later (depends if the rain decides to stop), but I’m hoping you all get to see majority of the films in Greenbelt and Trinoma cinemas this day.

Now, this contains the last part of my Cinemalaya coverage by doing a review of the three remaining films. So far, I have covered Mga Mumunting Lihim, Kamera Obskura, Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino, and Kalayaan during the first batch which you can find here. The second one included The Animals, Bwakaw, Mga Dayo, and Ang Nawawala which you can read here. Yesterday, I reviewed Oros, REquieme, Santa Nina, and Posas here.

Here we go with the last batch:

Director: Mes de Guzman
Starring: Ama Quiambao, Carlo Aquino, Roeder Camanag, Arnold Reyes
Competition: New Breed

Nanay Lusing who lives alone in an old house deals with the different directions and fates of her five sons.

de Guzman does a very interesting job in getting the audience invested with the direction that the film wants to go to, and once it hits its stride, it gives a good portrayal of a mother who’s alone and the five different sons living five different lives. However, the main problem I had with the film was that it took a long time before it reached that point, and the slow pace affected the overall film. Nevertheless, it is filled with good performances from the always capable Carlo Aquino to character actors who played Nanay Lusing’s sons (Aquino, Arnold Reyes, Jose Escobedo, Fredie dela Cruz, and Roeder Camanag), but it was bittersweet to see Ama Quiambao get lead credits and deliver as the matriarch of the family.

Rating: 3 / 5

Director: Vincent Sandoval
Starring: Mylene Dizon, Jodi Sta. Maria, Fides Asensio, Raquel Villavicencio
Competition: New Breed

A life changing incident involving Sister Lourdes (Sta. Maria) and Sister Ruth (Dizon) changed the monastery headed by Sister Ruth (Asensio) with close assistant Sister Vera (Villavicencio).

The moment the movie started, it already gave you a clear atmosphere of the coldness and mystery that’s bound to happen as the film goes on. This one clearly exceeded expectations when it carefully and intricately highlighted the fear, the suspense, and the drama without bordering on boring or preachy territory. I also liked how the movie did not pretend to play safe, it was as intense and arresting as one can get. I’d specifically like to single out the cinematography, and Teresa Barrozo’s haunting score won me over. That and the fact that the four female cast all gave convincing and effective performance that it’s hard to single out who takes the cake. All in all, if this one wins awards later, call it a very deserving sweep.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Director: Aloy Adlawan
Starring: Dennis Trillo, Ronnie Lazaro, Angelina Kanapi, Althea Vega
Competition: New Breed

A caretaker of a former president’s house starts to inhibit the characteristics of his new idol.

There’s way too much potential that lies about the story of Aloy Adlawan’s “Ang katiwala”, but it seems that the filmmaker has no idea to which direction he wants the movie to take, so (imagine Michelle Branch singing this part) he did a little bit of this, a little bit of that. The end result is a mix of historical lessons, action film, a comedy, and drama. Clearly, the movie showed some potential at the start but only to see it go nowhere and as a whole, it is literally just the sum of its parts. It’s good to see Dennis Trillo getting interesting projects again, and his acting is better than what his mainstream project demands him to do, but it was supporting cast Ronnie Lazaro and Angelina Kanapi who stole the scenes every time they’re on screen.

Rating: 2 / 5

That’s it! I’m done covering all ten movies in the New Breed section, and the five films in the Directors Showcase. I’m wishing all the films a good luck at the awards ceremony later, and this has been one fun Cinemalaya experience. Until next year! 🙂

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @nikowl