The declaration of Philippine independence is one of the most important milestones in the country’s history. Known as “Independence Day” or “Araw ng Kalayaan“, this day commemorates the liberation of the Philippines from Spain on June 12th, 1898.
However, with any recurring celebration, there is a possibility of forgetting its true essence—celebrating Philippine history and those who made huge sacrifices for the country’s freedom. That’s why, on this day, we must remind ourselves of the dedication and the sacrifices of all our heroes, so as we would not repeat the mistakes of the past.
And what better way to get into the nationalistic spirit other than delving deep into the art of exquisite story-telling through our well-loved Filipino films? Here’s a list of movies for your Independence Day streaming. (READ: Pamilya Ordinaryo, Lola Igna, other indie films to premiere on Netflix)
Heneral Luna (2015)
Directed by: Jerrold Tarog
Starring: John Arcilla, Arron Villaflor, Epy Quizon, Mon Confiado, and Nonie Buencamino.
Heneral Luna tells the bravery of General Antonio Luna, a commander of the Filipino revolutionary army who battled with both Spanish and the United States of America forces until his assassination. The critically acclaimed independent historical fiction film by TBA Studios gained its popularity among the youth and can now be streamed worldwide via Netflix.
GOYO: Ang Batang Heneral (2018)
Directed by: Jerrold Tarog
Starring: Gwen Zamora , Paulo Avelino, Mon Confiado , Arron Villaflor, Carlo Aquino
Goyo, portrayed by Paulo Avelino is a historical biopic of Gregorio “Goyo” Del Pilar — the hero of Tirad Pass. It is directed by Jerrold Tarog and follows the events of the Philippine revolution after the death of General Antonio Luna. GOYO: Ang Batang Heneral, began streaming on Netflix on January 26, 2019.
Jose Rizal (1998)
Directed by: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Starring: Cesar Montano, Joel Torre, Jaime Fabregas, Gloria Diaz, Gina Alajar, Chin-Chin Gutierrez, Pen Medina
Jose Rizal is a 1998 film directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya. It is a unique retelling of the Philippine national hero’s life and works, and serves as a time machine that unfolds the life of Jose Rizal as lover, friend, brother, doctor, writer, and propagandist. The movie is now available in iflix for streaming.
Bayaning Third World (1999)
Directed by: Mike de Leon
Starring: Ricky Davao, Joel Torre, Rio Locsin, Cherry Pie Pecache
If you want to dig deeper into Jose Rizal’s life, the black-and-white part-investigative documentary and part-satire Bayaning Third World is for you. This film is one of a kind as it does not only give you a linear story, it makes you think as well. The movie unfolds questions, scenarios, and brings up possibilities that may change your perspective about Rizal as well as our history, sense of nationalism, and society. The movie is now for streaming in iflix.
Dekada ‘70 (2002)
Directed by: Chito S. Roño
Starring: Vilma Santos, Christopher de Leon, John Wayne Sace
This film is based on a ground-breaking novel with the same title by award-winning writer Lualhati Bautista. It tells the story of an average middle-class family caught in the traumatic decade of Martial Law in the Philippines. Dekada ’70 is a powerful film that is timely and relevant. The film is available on iTunes for streaming.