5 Films that take you around PH
MANILA, Philippines – There’s more to the Philippines than the bustling, often chaotic streets of Metro Manila.
With over 7,000 islands, one can never really run out of places to visit on our side of the globe. Unexplored destinations are slowly becoming popular thanks to social media.
Movies also allow you to travel without leaving the city. Need ideas on where to head next? Travel the Philippines from north to south through these local films:
Mount Pulag in Above the Clouds (2014)
The tranquil beauty of the Mountain Province takes center stage in Pepe Diokno’s 2014 film, Above the Clouds. Following the tragic death of his parents during the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy, Andy (Ruru Madrid) was sent to live with his estranged grandfather (Pepe Smith) in Baguio City.
The film was shot in Baguio City and Sagada, but the highlight of Above the Clouds happens in Mount Pulag. There, Andy goes on a journey to retrace the steps his parents and grandfather took in happier times. (READ: Above the Clouds: A video diary)
Mount Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon and third highest in the Philippines, is visited by 500 trekkers everyday. Majestic views and its famous “sea of clouds” make the long trip to the summit – up to three days – all worth it. (READ: The sun and the moon at Mount Pulag)
Batanes in Dementia (2014)
Picturesque Batanes was the setting of the Perci Intalan-helmed thriller, Dementia. Nora Aunor plays Mara, a woman afflicted with dementia, who was brought back to Batanes by a relative and her family in an attempt to help her cope with the illness.
Dementia’s moody look and eerie score cast Batanes in a sinister light, yet its beauty still shines through. The movie is set in different locations across the main island of Batan, including the municipality of Basco.
Often dubbed the “Last Frontier of the North,” Batanes is always included in any avid traveler’s bucket list. The journey going to the northernmost part of the country is long and may even be costly, but one will be rewarded by unforgettable views of its green rolling hills, rocky beaches, traditional stone houses, lighthouses, and the sea. (READ: Beautiful Batanes: 10 things to do)
Baler in Apocalypse Child (2015)
In the ‘70s, Francis Ford Copolla flew to the Philippines to film Apocalypse Now. According to tales that have been told since, the locals of the municipality of Baler, Aurora – one of the movie’s filming locations – learned how to surf through a surfboard Copolla’s team left behind.
Director Mario Cornejo takes off from this story to tell his own (fictional) tale. Apocalypse Child is about a surf champ and instructor named Ford, who is believed to be Copolla’s son with a local lass.
The Philippines boasts of many surf spots and Baler is one of the most popular ones. Surfers of all levels and nationalities regularly drive to this surf town, which also boasts of other natural sights such as the Millennium Tree and Ditumabao Falls. (READ: Swim, eat, stay fit in Baler)
Bantayan Island in Camp Sawi (2016)
The beautiful Bantayan Island in Cebu was the setting for Irene Villamor’s romantic-comedy movie, Camp Sawi.
One of the key locations was Kota Beach where Camp Sawi, a fictional camp where brokenhearted five ladies (Andi Eigenmann, Bela Padilla, Arci Muñoz, Yassi Pressman, and Kim Molina) go to mend their broken hearts, was set.
Aside from sunbathing and swimming at its pristine white sand beaches, visitors of Bantayan Island can also explore the rest of the island either on a bicycle or motorcycle, or go island hopping.
Lake Sebu in K’na the Dreamweaver (2014)
Film maker Ida Anita del Mundo set her Cinemalaya 2014 entry, K’na the Dreamweaver, in the municipality of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. It stars Mara Lopez as K’na, an aspiring dreamweaver.
Lake Sebu is the home of the famed T’boli dreamweavers, who believe the patterns for the t’nalak fabric are given through dreams. Lake Sebu takes its name from the biggest of the three lakes in the town (the other two being Seloton and Lahit). (READ: 9 spectacular places to visit in Mindanao)
Arguably the most picturesque view of Lake Sebu are people rowing on boats through tranquil waters dotted by lily pads. Aside from this, travelers can also visit the so-called Seven Falls: Hikong Alo, Hikong Bente, Hikong B’Lebel, Hikong Ukol, Hikong Tonok, Hikong K’Fo-l, and Hikong Lowig. (READ: Add these 4 stunning destinations to your PH travel bucket list)
Feel the wanderlust kicking in? Go on, start planning your summer getaways now! Travel light but don’t forget to include essentials such as a water bottle to help you keep hydrated and a versatile pillow mat so you can bring the comforts of home wherever you go.
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