Top 5 Filipino Films to Watch During Holy Week

The Holy Week has always been special particularly to us Filipinos being the only Christian country in Asia. for centuries we have always been abiding by the dictates of the Vatican.

This Holy Week is no exception. We usually spend this week in quiet reflection of our lives and choices for the past year. For most Filipino households, it has been tradition to watch Holy Week related films.

This article lists 5 Filipino movies that you and your family can watch during the Holy Week.

Top 5 Filipino Films to Watch During Holy Week
Nora Aunor in Himala

1. Sister Stella L.

Mike De Leon directed this 1984 film which stars Vilma Santos , Jay Ilagan, Gina Alajar, and Laurice Guillen. Said to be Vilma Santos’s in this moment as an actress, she plays the titular character voice actually a nun. The story revolves around her originally fighting with the masses at an ongoing labor. The non-politicized strike turned into something deeper beyond face value. It shows Sister Stella’s fight in plight to defend the working masses.   

2. Santa Santita (2004) by Laurice Guillen

Santa Santita is a movie about three misfits brought together by fate.  Directed by Laurice Guillen, it stars Angelica Panganiban, Jericho Rosales, and Johnny Delgado. Raised by an intercessor played by Hilda Koronel, Malen (Angelica) began working as intercessor despite having sworn the profession . In one of her working days, she healed a child through prayers.  This incident stirred a lot of commotion and hostility both from other intercessors and the clergy. This film resonates the story of the biblical character Magdalene, with a prostitute who became a saint.

3. Himala

Himala is a film icon in its own right. Although it has been released in 1982 almost four decades ago, it’s still among the critically acclaimed film inside or outside Holy Week. Directed by Ishmael Bernal and produced by Charo Santos Concio and Bibsy Carballo, it stars Nora Aunor, one of the country’s acting pillar. She plays the role of a young woman Elsa, who started faith healing after seeing an apparition of the blessed Virgin Mary coincided with a total eclipse in a remote isolated village.

4. Makiusap Ka sa Diyos

This 1991 film by the legendary filmmaker Lino Brocka was produced by Lily Monteverde, and stars Ruffa Gutierrez, Christopher de Leon, and Gabby conception. The movie centers around a nun – Dolores played by Ruffa Gutierrez who was raped and got pregnant due to the horrible event. Being a nun, she was punished cruelly by her superiors in the convent. Upon quitting her vocation, she married Vince which was played by Christopher de Leon. Her internal struggle and turmoil had continued when she discovered that the man she married is the same man who raped her. This is a powerful film that tackles both faith and forgiveness and helps you open your mind to the things that the world is made of.

5. Tanging Yaman

Tanging Yaman is a 2000 religious family film that was produced by Star Cinema. It stars veteran actors and actresses such as Gloria Romero, Hilda Koronel, Johnny Delgado, Edu Manzano, Dina Bonnevie, Joel Torre, and Cherry Pie Picache. The story starts with the death of Danny who was played by Johnny Delgado. Three siblings who had been separated by time and space revisited their family home to settle a property dispute. Old disputes and arguments had been resurfacing coupled with the worsening condition of their mother who was play by the legendary actress Gloria Romero. This movie will remind you that no matter what happens your family has your back. With forgiveness, unending love, and repentance, this film is the perfect watch for your Holy Week break.  

Which among these films have you watched? Which one is your favorite? I hope that this coming Holy Week, we get to reflect on the past year and be thankful that we made it through. It is time for us to set our paths straight and pay gratitude to whom everything is owed. Keep safe!