Filipino Movies to Stream on Netflix This Independence Day
Let’s take a moment to appreciate there are currently more Filipino shows and movies on Netflix than ever before. This Independence Day you can kick back to some local favorites from the streaming service’s considerable selection of rom-coms, horror flicks, and action thrillers.
If you’re feeling especially patriotic, the time off on June 12 is perfect for learning something new about our culture through some of the historical and independent movie choices on the app. Here are some of our picks for what to watch this June 12.
If you are looking for a history lesson on some of the personalities behind our independence:
Heneral Luna (2015) and Goyo: The Boy General (2018)
History buffs will rejoice to see these two gems of movies covering the lives of the key personalities during the Philippine-American War. The first film focuses on the life of Antonio Luna, one of the fiercest generals of that time period, while the second film focuses on Gregorio del Pilar, one of the country’s youngest officers who became well-renowned for his bravery. Watching these contemporary retellings of history will get you into the spirit of revolution as well as commemorate the efforts of those who contributed to the independence we celebrate today.
If you wish to ponder on what it means to be a modern-day hero:
Caregiver (2008) and Kid Kulafu (2015)
Who do Filipinos consider their heroes today? Surely one could say that Manny Pacquiao, one of the country’s best athletes, fits the bill. Kid Kulafu, which focuses on his rags-to-riches journey to becoming an international boxing champion is an inspiring take on how through perseverance and sweat, it is possible to attain the Philippine dream. On the other hand, Caregiver, which features '90s cinema queen Sharon Cuneta, dramatizes the challenges and struggles of Philippine migrant workers leading martyr-like existences as they strive to become heroes to their own families, and consequently become heroes to the entire nation.
If you believe the best way to celebrate Independence Day is with an indie film:
Metro Manila (2013) and Birdshot (2016)
Merging achingly beautiful cinematography with dramatic storylines that serve as metaphorical commentary on some of the current issues the country faces, these two local indie films will definitely give you some food for thought. Metro Manila is as much the story of a provincial family who migrates to the city as it is a sketch of the capital’s character. Callous and cruel, the film will make you question what are the structures that make such a reality possible? Birdshot showcases the beauty of a more rural setting but warns the audience that even the countryside isn’t immune to tragedy. This unique story focuses on the morality play inside the head of a middleman who has the fate of the more vulnerable characters of the film in his hands. “How should one choose to act burdened by such knowledge?” is a question teased out by this excellent movie.
If you just want to feel good and chill out to the latest romance offering from our Filipino filmmakers:
Hintayan Ng Langit (2018)
Hintayan Ng Langit is about two ex-lovers who meet each other again in the afterlife, but it is not your typical rom-com. Lisang is a spirit who passed away from diabetes two years before and has overstayed her welcome in purgatory. She finds her ex-lover Manolo in the waiting room and they rekindle their relationship while waiting for Lisang to cross over. Skillfully acted by Gina Pareno and Eddie Garcia, it is a highly original story with well-developed, fleshed-out, witty characters that will surely have you reaching for the tissues by the end of the film.
Family Movie Night Pick: Four Sisters and A Wedding (2013)
Feel-Good & Laugh Out Loud: The Amazing Praybet Benjamin (2014)
For the Alternative But Sentimental: That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)
For the Adrenaline Junkies: Buy Bust (2018)
For Horror Fans: Sukob (2006)