Screengrab: Youtube/ABS-CBN Star Cinema

MJ Gonzales│

The box office success of Epic Filipino film Heneral Luna is apparently gives hope to filmmakers and Filipino cinephiles.  It was not produced by big time movie outfit and featured non matinee idol-type lead star, but it became a huge hit due to good reviews. Perhaps, it’s also reasons why alternative films like Old Skool (Cia Hermosa-Jorge/Bonfire Productions), Lakbay2Love (Ellen Ongkeko- Marfil/ Erasto Film) and Honor Thy Father (Erik Matti/Reality Entertainment) try their luck to win moviegoers.

Though independent movies may not usually earn in the box office, filmmakers and producers behind them deserved commendation and support for their courage to offer something different for the public. In the old days, the Filipino moviegoers could choose a variety of films from comedy, horror, drama, fantasy and others. Those films were not only entertaining, but offer superb stories that were relevant up to these days like Gaano Kadalas Ang MinsanTinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, and  Ganito Kami Noon…Paano Kayo Ngayon?

If the remaking unconventional film is in today, here my suggestions:

Dance Film like Hataw na – When was the last time we see a dance film in mainstream cinemas? The last dance film I can remember is Kaleidoscope World starring Sef Caydona and Yassi Pressman. It’s a movie about hip hop dancing and featured Francis Magalona’s songs.

Apart the movies done of 90s hit dance group Universal Motion Dancers, the probably popular dance film of this generation is the 1995 film Hataw Na of Gary Valenciano and 1993 Miss Universe Dayanara Torres.

With famous celebrities known for their dance moves and acting skills like Yassi, Ella Cruz, Julian Trono, Sarah Lahbati,  Maja Salvador, Enrique Gil, and Marian Rivera they can  star in one film.  In addition to this, a lot Filipino dancers won internationally like Asia’s Got Talent and World Hip Hop Championship 2015. They can pump up and promote dancing in powerful ways.


Horror Flick like Halimaw sa Banga – Arguably, Filipinos like horror stories that’s also perhaps the reason why Shake Rattle & Roll film series had 15 parts.   Meanwhile, the Dingdong Dantes starrer and co-produced film Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles proved that a Filipino horror film could afford to show world class visual effects. By the way, it had a sequel in 2014 entitled Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2 and hopefully will have more parts in the future.

What possibly unnoticeable things in horror stories are beyond scaring or giving thrill, they’re reflection of Filipinos’ creative imaginations and culture. That is whether you believe in creatures like Aswang, Tiktik and Tikbalang.


In 1986, Halimaw sa Banga was a huge success and bagged major awards in 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival.  This horror flick, which was co-directed by two award-winning Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang stars Christopher de Leon and Mario O Hara, proved filmmakers could pack thrill, terror and excitement in a jar without outlandish effects and prosthetics.

screengrab from Youtube
Screen grab from Youtube

Period Movie filmed in regional dialect like Panaghoy sa Suba – We watch and enjoy foreign movies even if most the time they filmed in their native languages.  It’s hard at first, watching and reading subtitles all at the same time, but this kind of entertainment brings unique feel.  We learned foreign words and feel the authenticity of their being foreign.  Thus, why not we can adapt that and promote regional dialects?

In 2004, Cesar Montano showcased not only his talent in writing and directing film (this was directorial debut), but also the richness of Visayan language. Panaghoy Sa Suba (The Call of the River) was critically acclaimed period film set in 40s and featured cinematic views in Bohol.