With the Philippine Cinema celebrating its Centennial Year, we have been forced to realize that there really are a lot of gems in our local movies.

Although we can’t deny that recent Filipino movies have lacked variety in theme and content, we must admit that there really are a lot of good local films. As the Philippine Cinema celebrates 100 years, we appreciate more of these movies which our local countrymen have created.

However, we must also acknowledge that there are ones that really stand out among the rest. And for that reason, we want to make a list of really good movies that every Filipino must watch in his lifetime.

Take note that we may lack all the movies that experienced readers may want to see in this list, so we just want to clear up that these are personal picks. It is influenced by the time and generation which we were brought up in.

With all that being said, here are 5 movies that you must absolutely watch in your lifetime.


A classic Vilma Santos film is what this is. This film is also super iconic that almost every Filipino is familiar with its soundtrack which was sung by Freddie Aguilar. We assume that you may have watched it already but if that is not the case, then you are just in the right place!

Anak’s two main characters are the iconic Ate V and Claudine Baretto playing as mother and child, respectively. The movie heavily shows how parents love their children, to the point where they go through heavy struggles and make sacrifices.

Honestly, you should watch this movie mainly because of the intense confrontation scenes and the fine acting. Moreover, a lot of information about the plight of OFWs could also be gotten from ‘Anak’.

Synopsis: Josie is a mother who was forced to work overseas to support her family financially. She faces challenges as she goes back home to her family and finds out that her eldest child is uninterested wants nothing to do with her.

Heneral Luna

This movie is a bit new, with its release just last 2015. However, it really deserves to be included in this must-watch list because of its epicness and the great production value. In addition, it is really educational.

It is a historical film based on the Philippines’ General Antonio Luna and his leadership during the Philippine-American War. This is really great to watch because of the patriotism it demonstrates as well as the lessons we need to learn once again as a country.

Synopsis: Heneral Antonio Luna is a great leader with a really strong personality. Because of this, he is often put at the end of heavy criticism and judgement. As the Philippines faces Americans as their new enemy, Heneral Luna confronts not just them but also his countrymen.

One More Chance

We have tried so hard to think of a romance movie that would be fitting to include in this list. We kept asking ourselves, what’s one romantic film that Filipinos must absolutely watch? The answer is not too hard though, maybe because it is a personal guilty pleasure – One More Chance.

Could there be another on-screen pairing more iconic than John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo? This romance film shows some relatable struggles in a relationship and the pain that comes with loving another person.

Synopsis: Popoy and Basha are college sweethearts who have got their lives all planned. However, when Basha realizes that Popoy is too controlling on a lot of aspects of her life, she decides to end things with him. The film shows the two characters’ struggles in their lives as they try to move on but still end up often crossing paths again and again.


This is the best Cinemalaya film of 2017. It mainly shows the art of modern rap combined with the traditional ‘Balagtasan’ poetry. We don’t want to say much, but this movie is educating and really serves as an eye-opener. And when we say eye-opener, we don’t say it lightly.

Honestly, we picked this movie to be included in this list because of the impact that it brought on our perspectives. This must be watched with an open mind and a strong heart. It also contains violence, profanity, and sexual content. Watch with caution.

Synopsis: Hendrix (played by Abra) is a young rapper who wants to make it big in the underground rap scene. The film follows his life as he faces struggles and in the process, strikes up an unexpected friendship with an old bookstore owner.


Magnifico is one of the best Filipino movies of all time. Plus, it is a personal favorite.

For us, it is the perfect movie to watch to know more about Filipino culture and how we see death. Poverty also plays a major theme in this film. This is a hell of a tearjerker so we must warn you to prepare A LOT of tissues.

Synopsis: Magnifico, a young boy who people see as dumb, builds a coffin for his ill grandmother because of their family’s inability to afford one. This movie shows Magnifico’s hope and determination, as well as his innocence as a child.

Is there any movie that you think we should have included in this list? Are you ready to watch these recommendations? Let us know your thoughts through the comments below! Or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPH.