Cinemalaya 2008 at CCP, Manila

It is again the time of the year when the best of Pinoy indies are being shown at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Featuring the new breeds of independent film directors, producers and talents in twenty new stories that are waiting to be seen in ten days.

Lakwatsero, a self-proclaimed indie film fan, proudly features the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival as it kicks up on its fourth year.

The Cinemalaya 2008

Cinemalaya 2008

A dying woman is determined to complete her to-do list before entering mortality; the lives of inhabitants of an apartment complex are thrown into an upheaval when a fetus is found; one man’s freedom and food for all are both imperiled when a knife in the jailhouse kitchen goes missing; an uneasy friendship founded on a love for music blossoms between a Filipino family and a band of Japanese soldiers as World War II comes to a close… these are just some of Cinemalaya and other Filipino Indie Filmmakers have to tell the viewers in the festival days.

Full Length Films in Competition

Cinemalaya 2008[1] 100 – Chris Martinez
Cinemalaya 2008[2] Baby Angelo – Joel Ruiz/Abi Aquino
Cinemalaya 2008[3] Boses – Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil
Cinemalaya 2008[4] Brutus – Tara Illenberger
Cinemalaya 2008[5] Concerto – Paul Alexander Morales
Cinemalaya 2008[6] Huling Pasada – Paul Sta. Ana
Cinemalaya 2008[7] Jay – Francis Xavier Pasion
Cinemalaya 2008[8] My Fake American Accent – Onnah Valera
Cinemalaya 2008[9] Namets – Emilio “Jay” Abello
Cinemalaya 2008[10] Ranchero – Michael Christian Cardoz

Short Films in Competition

Cinemalaya 2008[1] Andong – Rommel Tolentino
Cinemalaya 2008[2] Ang Ibang Mga Pamilya – Joel Ruiz
Cinemalaya 2008[3] Angan-Angan (Dreams) – Sheron Dayoc
Cinemalaya 2008[4] Diamante Sa Langit – Vic Acedillo
Cinemalaya 2008[5] God Only Knows – Mark Reyes
Cinemalaya 2008[6] Huling Biktima – Vitaliano Rave
Cinemalaya 2008[7] My Pet – Anna Bigornia
Cinemalaya 2008[8] Panggaris – Dexter Cayanes
Cinemalaya 2008[9] Trails of Water – Sheron Dayoc
Cinemalaya 2008[10] Tutos – L.A. Yamsuan

Aside from the twenty new competing films, Cinemalaya 2008 will also be highlighted by the film congress and the screenings of world premieres, director’s cut and the very best of Filipino independent films on wide-ranging and controversial topics, including those Cinemalaya movies for the past three years. A children section is also introduced this year, which aims to encourage the development and production of culturally-relevant and kids friendly movies.

Also new this year is the tribute to Manuel Conde, a pioneer in Filipino independent film making, with the showing of his works. Lastly, the addition  of indie rock group performance in “Kuwento Mo, Kanta Natin”, a series of late evening band concerts during the festival.

World Premiere of “Adela”

Cinemalaya 2008 kicks up with the world premiere of “Adela”, featuring veteran actress Anita Linda and directed by Adolfo Alix Jr., a two time Cinamalaya finalist.

The movie essays the life of a Adela, a former radio talent celebrating her 80th birthday with nobody. A sad story of how an old age woman tries to hide the loneliness and longings for her family on her very special day.

Cinemalaya 2008[1] Adela – The World Premiere
Cinemalaya 2008[2] Director Adolf Alix with Ms. Perla Bautista and Ms. Anita Linda as Adela
Cinemalaya 2008[3] Jam packed CCP Main Theater for the premiere

Images of Cinemalaya 2008 Opening

Cinemalaya 2008[1] Cinemalaya 2008 at CCP.
Cinemalaya 2008[2] Competing films in display.
Cinemalaya 2008[3] Film streamers outside.
Cinemalaya 2008[4] Directors introduced.
Cinemalaya 2008[5] Opening performance.
Cinemalaya 2008[6] Another opening performance.
Cinemalaya 2008[7] The world premiere of Adela.
Cinemalaya 2008[8] Onnah Valera of My fake American Accent during an interview.
Cinemalaya 2008[9] Getting to know the directors.

Lakwatsero Review:

Twenty competing films, twenty different stories… in one big event. The 2008 Cinemalaya: Philippine Independent Film Festival opened its curtains this year with a bang. Lakwatsero, being a fan of indie films invaded the CCP to watch this years offerings.

Here are my insights to the movies I’ve seen:

Cinemalaya 20081. Boses – Ellen Ongkiko-Marfil

A story of a musician, who regains back his humanity by giving violin lessons to a child of the slums. This is a story of friendship founded on the sublime beauty of music.

The film shows that there are voices not spoken but best heard… that silence though deafening speaks more than words… that talent utters more than voice. Prepare your hanky and expect to shed tears. Starring Coke Bolipata, Julian Duque, Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache and Meryll Soriano, this movie has great cast that delivered effective performances. Hats off to Julian Duque who played Onyok, for his superb acting. My rating: 9/10.

Cinemalaya 20082. Baby Angelo – Joel Ruiz/Abi Aquino

The film centers on an investigation that ensues when an aborted fetus is found in the dumpster of a run-down apartment complex.

Main actors are Jojit Lorenzo, Katherine Luna, Ces Quesada, Alchris Galura, Archie Alemania and Diana Mahalay. The story leaves more questions than answers. The complicated story of what seems to be simple plot will make the audience think and guess. My rating: 7.75/10.

Cinemalaya 20083. Huling Pasada – Paul Sta. Ana/Avin Yapan

The movie follows the creative process of Ruby, a prolific writer, abandoned wife and protective mother who writes about Mario, a taxi driver and a father figure to a street child.

The movie tells that there’s a real story in every composed story and that there is a thin line that separates reality with fiction. Though there seems to be unnecessary scenes, the story effectively relayed the message to the audience. Kudos to main actors Agot Isidro, Dimples Romana, Neil Ryan Sese, John Manalo and Gian Sotto. My rating: 8.25/10.

Cinemalaya 20084. Jay – Francis Xavier Pasion

Jay is the name of the two protagonist in the film, one is living, the other is dead. The living jay is producing a documentary of the dead jay, a gay teacher who was brutally killed.

The movie is one of the biggest surprise of the festival. It was able to show the humor out of grief. All praises to Flor Salanga for her raw performance and to Baron Geisler for his surprisingly funny yet effective interpretation of his role. My rating: 9/10.

Cinemalaya 20085. 100 – Chris Mendoza

Is about a stern, uptight and exacting woman with a terminal illness who tries to accomplish a list of 100 things to do before she dies.

Personally, it is perhaps among if not the best screenplay of all cinemalaya entries. The story is simple yet realistic. The cast portrayed their roles effectively. Congrats to Mylene Dizon, Eugene Domingo, Tessie Tomas et al for superb acting. The sound rendition and music are remarkable too. The story is indeed compelling… so if I may ask, what’s your number 5? My rating: 9/10.

6. Namets- Emilio “Jay” Abello

The movie follows the flirtation between Jacko and Cassie, two Negrenses who grew up in Bacolod, and whose lives revolve around food

A unique film that ventures into an unpopular film genre – foods. The movie is a perfect recipe of fun, food and love. I bet, you will definitely will want to eat after seeing the film. Good story and cast led by Christian Vasquez and Angel Jacob. Prepare to crave as the movie treats you to a mouthwatering experience that is so Namets! My rating: 8.5/10.

7. Ranchero – Michael Christian Cardoz

In a jail where some inmates see no reason to continue living, what is the role of the food? Is it to extend life or to prolong the pain of those who don’t want to live?

Ranchero is somehow lacking. I heard some moviegoers asking “yun na yun?” (is that all?) In all fairness though, the story was laid clearly but it limits itself to its boundary. Starring Archie Adamos and Gary Lim. My rating: 8/10.

8. Concerto – Paul Alexander Morales

Based on a true story from the director’s family, the film celebrates a family whose reverence for life, expressed through their love of music and friendship, can survive even war, and shows how beauty and compassion can grow in even the harshest of situations.

Concerto is a serious film and a classic on its own way. Superb cinematography, great actors, remarkable story blended with good sound and music resulted in a grand and striking overall production, thus making it one of my bets for the festival’s top honor. The unpredicability of the story will make you stick to it. Kudos to Jay Aquitania, Meryll Soriano, Sharmaine Buencamino, Nonoy Froilan and the rest of the cast. My rating: 9.25/10.

9. My Fake American Accent – Onnah Valera

An inside look into the maddening, sleep-deprived, caffeine-fueled lives of those who ply their trade in the call center industry.

Despite a non so stellar cast, the film successfully and effectively relayed to the audience the life, the fun and the often overlooked and underrated lives of call center agents. Overall, it is a good and worth seeing film. Starring Mailes Kanapi, Jonathan Neri, Martin dela Paz, Cherry Mae Canton, Miro Valera and Tracy Abad. My rating: 8.75/10.

10. Brutus – Tara Illenberger

A tale of two Mangyan children, hired by Illegal loggers to smuggle wood from the mountains of Mindoro, as they embark on a dangerous journey to deliver the goods to the lowlands.

Brutus tells not just a story but a clear message of environmental protection. Kudos to the mainscreen debut of child actors Timothy Mabalot and Rhea Medina for carrying the film, also to Ronnie Lazaro and Yul Servo. Joey Ayala’s rendition of good sound and music is also remarking. My rating: 8.5/10.


  1. Cris

    Hi! Does anyone here know where I could purchase copies of indie films? Thanks. 🙂

    Hi Cris, cinefilipino ( produces original DVD of Filipino Indies as well as Classic Movies. You can purchase it at Powerbooks, National Bookstore and other selected store. Or you can purchase it online via their website.

  2. Yeah RIGHT you can watch those films.

    I, on the other hand, will work with my ass up here in Mount Makiling. Hargh. This post is frustrating. I SRSLY WANNA GO WATCH THOSE FILMZ.


  3. M

    Booyah, astig ang films! Hindi nga lang pwede saken kasi ayoko mag-isip! Ahahaha.

    Pero siyet, malaki ang respeto ko sa mga indie films. Nasa kanila ang tunay na essence ng astig na pelikula na hindi ginawa para kumita. Masaya ako at naka-experience akong makanood ng mga ganito na sinisilip-silip ko lang sa mga local at cable channels minsan kung meron.

    Salamat sir Bleue!

    Astig talaga! Nood kayo!

    Ahehe, salamat din sa pag ampon nyo sa akin! 😛
    Astig nga ang mga indie films! Kakaiba! Mahitrap maipaliwanag basta astig!

  4. i can’t watch cinemalaya with my friends tonight tapos napadpad pa ko dito. reading what you have to say and seeing all those pictures, mas lalo akong nalungkot that i can’t watch them. hay…

    i wish i can catch these films even outside cinemalaya. i wonder how though.

    yay, sayang! watch out na lang for their screenings sa UP Film Center or sa mga commercial release or sa Indie Cinema ng Robinson’s Mall 😀

  5. maraming salamat, lakwatsero!
    im really glad to meet u kanina.
    isa kang tunay na film buff. kala ko nga nanood ka rin ng ranchero kanina. i hope makanood ka rin ng ranchero this wkend.
    alam mo sa totoo lang, mejo hindi ako ganun kahappy sa movie kasi yung part ko, it was dubbed. sabi sakin dahil daw mahina ang audio kaya may ibang nag-voice over sakin, pati na rin yung iba pang actors dun sa story namin. pero okay na rin, masaya. at least natatawa ang audience.
    i particularly like yung twist dun sa story ni menk.
    nakakatuwa ka naman, lakwatsero. you are very passionate about films, pareho tayo. hihihi. 🙂

    aw, di mo pala boses yun? hehehe! will watch ranchero this weekend, congrats againj arnel. actually i rarely watch movies, pero pag indie and pag maganda talaga, I make sure na di ko mapapalampas

  6. Mukhang ok mga movies, now to find some time to watch them.

    naku, you should find time! they are all worth watching! 😀

    1. Hi Mervin,Sige po i’ll try to contact the posern incharge in on our trip to Nagsasa kasi ang alam ko yung group talaga nila ang kilala pagdating sa zambales ranges.Actually they have monthly invites you could they’re invites yabag mountaineering.Pero once na makuha ko kagad ipost ko or iPM ko thru FB po. thanks….

  7. yes yes, sagada din ang theme non eh. And Foto baryo, you’ll love it. i swear! yung mga bata sa baryo yung may kuha nung mga photos. parang social experiment din sya. ang ganda talaga!

    hahaha! ang ganda nga! asteg! i took some pic, will post it in

  8. Hi am intersted to watch some of the indie films.How do i get reservations?cAn i buy tickets at CCp?

    Hi k-ann, yes tickets are available at CCP, P100 for adult, P50 for students.

  9. huy sagada boy! nakita mo yung photo exhibit sa taas sa ccp? i loves it.

    ganda nun huling pasada! nakakatawa yung my fake american accent. sana mapanood ko din lahat.

    it was nice meeting you, maglakwatsa nalang tayo ulit ni M. yeah! (GAHD I MET SIR BLEUE!)

    yay, what photo exhibit? sa taas? cge check ko pagbalik, ang nakita ko lang ay iyong sa baba, maganda ang BOSES, panoorin nyo yun!

  10. Gusto ko panoorin lahat huhu

    masaya manood! 😀

  11. yahoo!! manonood ako mamaya.
    baby angelo at ranchero.

    ayus, aabangan kita sa mga muvees mo, hehe! astig!

  12. manonood kami bukas ng my fake american accent, gala night nila eh. wee!

    ahehe, nakita din kita at si M, sasama sana ko sa inyo kaso baka istorbo ako sa date nyo ni M 😀

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