All the films you can watch at Cinema Centenario this ‘Freedom and Pride Month’

Jace Amodo
PUBLISHED June 7, 2018 03:25 pm
Stills from ‘Honor Thy Father’ (left) and ‘Baka Bukas’ (right)

(Inside Manila) As we celebrate the Philippine Independence Day and Pride Month this June, Quezon City’s premiere microcinema, Cinema Centenario (CC), has prepared Freedom- and LGBTQ-themed movies to immerse ourselves to the spirit of the festivity.

Independence Day

It’s been over 120 years ago since Emilio Aguinaldo declared the country free from Spain at the Aguinaldo house. Time passed and a lot of films were produced to commemorate that day; now we get to see them as CC compiles a selection of films that address the theme of nationhood and freedom.

Panahon ng Halimaw

Directed by Lav Diaz

Lorena (Shaina Magdayao), a young doctor who opens a clinic for the poor in a remote Philippine village in the late 1970s, disappears without a trace. Her husband Hugo (Piolo Pascual), an activist, poet, and teacher, comes to the village that is controlled and terrorized by uniformed armed men to look for her wife.

Lav Diaz’ rock-opera, set during the Marcos regime, was an official entry to the 68th Berlinale-Berlin International Film Festival.

Citizen Jake

Directed by Mike de Leon

Jake Herrera, a 34-year-old journalist, has a conflict with his political family, particularly with his father who, a remnant of the Marcos regime, serves as a senator of the current administration.

The noir crime drama film serves as Mike de Leon’s comeback movie after 18 years since “Bayaning 3rd World” and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo’s acting debut.


Directed by Sigfried Barros Sanchez

Senator Juancho Magtanggol (Tom Rodriguez), keen on protecting the rights of overseas Filipino workers, becomes a prime suspect in a spate of killings of abusive OFW employers. He and his family try to hold on to their integrity and reputation as they face a difficult crisis.

Sanchez has directed several indie films in the past, including “Ang Mga Kidnaper Ni Ronnie Lazaro,” “Ang Anak Ni Brocka,” and “Lasponggols.” In this political thriller, he aims to ask the question “who is the hero of the modern-day heroes?”

Tu Pug Imatuy (Right to Kill in Manobo)

Directed by Arbi Barbarona

The displaced lives of a Lumad couple get compromised with their relation to the military.

Honor Thy Father

Directed by Erik Matti

What will do for your family? Or rather, what can you not do for them? This crime drama is about a family caught in an investment scam.


Directed by Treb Monteras II

Hendrix (Abra) dreams of hip-hop greatness, but he's spiraling down a rabbit-hole of crime and poverty until he meets Doc (Dido De La Paz), an old poet still haunted by his martial law past. Can they turn each other's lives around before they’re swallowed by their circumstance?

Also under the Freedom banner is Victor Tagaro’s “Yield,” a documentary about child labor shot in a five-year span. Further, CC also brings back the restored classics “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon” by Eddie Romero about the Philippines at the dawn of the American Occupation; Peque Gallaga’s “Oro Plata Mata,” a sweeping drama about Filipinos fighting among themselves during the Japanese occupation; Chito Roño’s “Dekada ’70,” based on Lualhati Bautista’s novel about a woman raising a family during Martial Law; and Mario O’Hara’s “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos,” which is about a woman who yields to the charms of a Japanese soldier during WWII.

Pride Month

It’s amazing how many Filipinos are slowly embracing diversity—considering our country’s religiousness—and independent films focused on LGBTQ+ topics were a big help. This June, CC joins in the celebration of Pride Month.

Baka Bukas

Directed by Samantha Lee

Alex (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) is a 23-year-old old director, photographer, writer, and social media manager who is secretly in love with her best friend Jess (Louise delos Reyes). When Jess learns about Alex’s feelings for her, she explores her own sexuality and they begin their relationship with self-discovery and love. “Baka Bukas” won Audience Choice Awardee at the Cinema One Originals 2016.

2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten

Directed by Petersen Vargaz

Felix (Khalil Ramos), a friendless high school sophomore, meets two new half-American students Magnus (Ethan Salvador) and Maxim (Jameson Blake) Snyder. Little did he know, his life was about to take a turn. This coming-of-age-story won Best Picture at the 2016 Cinema One Originals.

Miss Bulalacao

Directed by Ara Chawdhury

A drag princess gets pregnant following an alien abduction. The film’s accolades include 2015 Cinema One Originals Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Chai Fonacier, as well as Best First Feature at the 2016 Young Critics Circle.


Directed by Joselito Altarejos

A gay couple, who resolve to stay together, question their commitment to each other as they attend a wedding. “Kasal” was the Best Film at the 10th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

Quick Change

Directed by Eduardo Roy Jr.

Dorina (Mimi Juareza), a middle-aged transsexual, provides quick cosmetic fixes to other transgender. “Quick Change” won Special Jury Prize at the 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa

Directed by Alvin Yapan

Marlon (Paulo Avelino) tries to impress her literature professor, Karen (Jean Garcia), in her dance class to make up for his poor performance in her class. He invites Dennis (Rocco Nacino) to tutor him until he understands the intersections between the art of poetry and dance. Things go south when Dennis tells Karen that Marlon only enrolled in her class to be near her. Yapan’s film won the Gawad Urian 2012 Best Picture.

Mga Gabing Kasing Haba ng Hair Ko

Directed by Gerardo Calagui

Inspired by real people and events, this film follows three transgender seeking love, family, and livelihood in the red light district of Manila. It was a Best Picture nominee at the QCinema International Film Fest 2017 under the Rainbow Category.

Like the line-up of Freedom-themed films, this category will also feature a spate of restored classics: Danny Zialcita’s “T-Bird At Ako,” a Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos-starrer about a lesbian-lawyer who falls for her hostess-client; and Olivia Lamasan’s “In My Life,” a film about a mother who has to come to terms with her son and his male lover. Also under the Pride banner is Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s “Ang Huling Cha-cha Ni Anita,” a story of a 12-year-old girl who falls for the new girl in their provincial town of Obando; and and the musical Changing Partners, Cinema One Originals 2017 Audience Choice by Dan Villegas about Alex and Cris played by four actors (two males and two females) in several gender-bending combinations.

Apart from the Freedom and Pride screenings, CC has also partnered with the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino in organizing the first-ever CineManunuri Film Festival, happening from June 15 to 29. It will screen nominated and awarded movies in Gawad Urian 2018, a ceremony slated on June 14 at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent which will also air live on Cinema One.

Cinema Centenario is at 95 Maginhawa Street, Quezon City. For more information, visit Cinema Centenario on Facebook.



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