10 movies featuring PH national heroes
MANILA, Philippines – Many filmmakers have opted to be inspired by the Philippines' rich history, using historical events as the backdrops for their films.
Here are 11 movies to look back on, depicting the lives of those who have become an integral part of our history – from the age of Lapu-Lapu to the time of the Philippine-American war.
1. Sakay (1993) Starring Julio Diaz as Macario Sakay. Directed by Raymond Red
One of the movies to win international recognition, Sakay is the story of Macario Sakay, who fought both the Spanish and the Americans during his career.
2. José Rizal (1998) - Starring Cesar Montano as Dr. Jose Rizal. Directed by Marilou-Diaz Abaya
Considered one of the best movies on the life of Jose Rizal, it was entered in the 1998 Metro Manila Film Festival and was hailed by many critics. It went on to be shown in international festivals (Berlin, Toronto, Chicago).
3. Bayaning 3rd World (1999) Starring Joel Torre as Dr. Jose Rizal. Directed by Mike de Leon
A critical hit, the movie revolves around Jose Rizal's supposed "retractions" against the Catholic Church.
4. Rizal sa Dapitan (1997) Starring Albert Martinez as Jose Rizal. Directed by Tikoy Aguiluz
Written by Jose F. Lacaba, the movie traces Rizal's life during his exile. There's also a focus here on his relationship with Josephine Bracken, one of Rizal's loves. In the movie, she's played by Amanda Page.
5. Jose Rizal: The First Hero (2012) Documentary. Directed by Paolo Abella
Another documentary on the national hero Dr. Jose, Rizal: The First Hero chronicles the more human side of Rizal before his death.
6. El Presidente (2012) Staring ER Ejercito as Emilio Aguinaldo. Directed by Mark Meily
The movie tells the story of the first president Emilio Aguinaldo and the battle for the country's independence.
7. Supremo (2012) Starring Alfred Vargas as Andres Bonifacio. Directed by Richard Somes
8. Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio (2010) Starring Alfred Vargas as Andres Bonifacio, Lance Raymundo as Emilio Aguinaldo. Directed by Mario O'Hara
This movie is an entry to the Director's Showcase category of Cinemalaya by the late Mario O' Hara, and focuses more on the conflicting sides represented by Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio.
9. Lapu-Lapu (2002) Starring Lito Lapid as Lapu-Lapu and Joyce Jimenez. Directed by William G. Mayo
Action star Lito Lapid steps into the shoes of one Lapu-Lapu, the first Philippine hero and defender of Mactan against the Spaniards. Explorer Ferdinand Magellan met his death at the Battle of Mactan.
10. Another film on the life of Andres Bonifacio starring Robin Padilla and Vina Morales was part of the lineup of this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF 2014), called Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, directed by Enzo Williams.
BONUS: Heneral Luna (coming 2015) Starring John Arcilla as Antonio Luna. Directed by Jerrold Tarog
An upcoming film to be released in 2015, Heneral Luna focuses on Antonio Luna, known as a brilliant military talent and for his wide-ranging skills, though he was also known for his harsher temperament. He fought in the Philippine-American war, and he was also the brother of the great painter Juan Luna.
Do you have any favorite Filipino hero movies? These are only a few of many films featuring our heroes. Let us know in the comments below.