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3 Things to Look Forward to in ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’

We are all excited to watch this and other movie entries in MMFF 2020!

This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is back with a better, stronger, and even more diverse movie lineup — a perfect way to wrap up 2020 and start 2021 with a kick!

But as the pandemic still poses threats to everyone’s safety, the MMFF 2020 is extending its platform online. “MMFF 2020 will not be limited to Filipinos residing in the country but will allow overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to enjoy the festival on a legitimate platform— anywhere they are in the world,” Lim said.

Ten movie entries are featured in this year’s MMFF 2020. And one of the films that people are raving about is the biopic of Fr. Fernando Suarez— a Filipino healing priest who made headlines on the 4th of February due to his sudden demise from a heart attack. (Read: Throwback: The Pope’s Special Encounter with Healing Priest Fr. Fernando Suarez) The film, entitled, Suarez: The Healing Priest, is directed by Joven Tan and produced by Sarangola Media and Viva Films. 

So if you— just like the rest of us— are looking forward to watching Suarez: The Healing Priest on the big screen or online, read on as My Pope Philippines lists three things to expect from the film.

Suarez: The Healing Priest Is Based on a True Story

Photo from Saranggola Media YouTube

Fr. Suarez, popularly known as the “healing priest,” was once among the most sought-after clergymen in the Philippines.  His works have provided healing for many, gaining him a popularity that attracted the attention of many faithful and encouraged others to discover their faith. (Read: ‘Almusalita’ by This Vlogger Priest Is What We Need for Everyday Positivity)

This story of life, faith, and healing is what Suarez: The Healing Priest sheds light on. The MMFF movie entry gives viewers a glimpse of the life of Fr. Suarez and presents a timeline of how he discovered his faith and used his gift of healing to help others through the years.

Suarez: The Healing Priest Stars Veteran Actor John Arcilla

(Left) Fr. Fernando Suarez (Right) John Arcilla in ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ (Photos from Tempo and Saranggola Media YouTube)

Before his sudden demise last February, 53-year old Fr. Suarez handpicked John Arcilla to play him in the biopic. (Read: 167 Catholic Priests Succumb to COVID-19 Since February) Arcilla, a veteran actor in the Philippines, said he’s honored to be sharing the story of the healing priest. 

Parang napaka-symbolical [nito para] sa akin na gumagawa ng movie, parang hindi lang kami naging witness sa life niya, parang ginamit din kami na instrument ng Nasa Itaas kung paano ikukuwento ang kasaysayan niya bilang healing priest,” Arcilla said in an interview

Aside from Arcilla, the cast of Suarez: The Healing Priest also includes other notable Filipino actors such as Alice Dixson, Gina Pareño, Rita Avila, Dante Rivero, and Noel Trinidad.

Suarez: The Healing Priest Features a Prayer Video of Fr. Suarez

According to director Joven Tan, the finale of Suarez: The Healing Priest Stars features an exclusive clip of Fr. Suarez reciting his prayers. He describes the scene as “a powerful image from beyond that can heal movie-viewers.” (Read: 4 Prayers for Healing and Recovery) Now, if that’s not worth adding to your watchlist, we don’t know what is!

To know more about Suarez: The Healing Priest and other MMFF 2020 movie entries, you may check out the Metro Manila Film Festival Facebook page and website


Text by Mark Baccay with Aizel Dolom.

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