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Aug 23, 2014
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On August 25, National Heroes, Day, we get to experience one of the most wonderful Mondays in existence: a work-free Monday. And it's all thanks to the great men and women who once fought for the countrya country whose sovereignty (and in effect, its ability to declare holidays) would not have been possible without their sacrifices.

We'll all be enjoying the day off, but lest we forget to appreciate the likes of Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Lapu-Lapu and countless other undying icons of bravery, we planned a little movie marathon involving heroes that don't fly nor punch through walls.

Below is our viewing guide on Pinoy (non-super) hero movies, both the good, the bad, and even the fugly. (Yes, we know "both" indicates only two things grammatically, but come on, where's your sense of humor?) Now, on to the movies!


A DANGEROUS LIFE
 
(1988)

Quick recap: An Australian-made film that originated as a six-hour HBO miniseries. The film focuses on American TV journalist Tony O'Neil (a pre-crazy Gary Busey) as he covers the key eventsincluding Ninoy's fateful return to the Philippinesthat led to the downfall of the Marcos regime.  

Why watch: To see Ruben Rustia as President Marcos, Laurice Guillen as Cory Aquino, Tessie Tomas as Imelda Marcos, and Joonee Gamboa as Juan Ponce Enrile. The fact that the film was made by a foreign outfit not very long after the huge political events that happened in that era is intriguing.  


BAYANI

(1992)

Quick recap: Indie film director Raymond Red's first full-length feature. The subject: Andres Bonifacio and his rise and fall during the Philippine revolution, including his eventual execution.

Why watch: The film was noted for its stylistic looks and was well-respected in film festivals around the world, including Berlin, Vancouver, Hawaii, New York Asian-American, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. The only problem is tracking down a copy of the film as the last time it was screened in a cinema was in 2008 during Robinson's Galleria's IndieSine circuit.


TIRAD PASS: THE LAST STAND OF GREGORIO DEL PILAR
 
(1997) 

Quick recap: Massacre movie auteur (and National Artist!) Carlo J. Caparas' take on the events that transpired in the Battle Of Tirad Pass, with Romnick Sarmenta in the titular role.  


Why watch: Because you'd want to see for yourself the horrors that film critic Jessica Zafra once wrote about:

"The movie itself is untainted by historical authenticity. It is 1898 and the Katipuneros are armed with amazing rifles which require no reloading whatsoever. At the climactic Battle of Tirad Pass, the Pinoys fortify their positions with sharpened bamboo stakes which serve no conceivable purpose but to impale them as they get shot. It certainly gives new meaning to the term, ‘suicide troops’.

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There are loud explosions which cause no perceptible damage, and there is a three-second differential between the blast and the flying bodies. At one point a corpse comes back to life, then dies again."


NEXT: El Pepe!


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