Cinemalaya X Full List of Winners

The Cinemalaya Foundation awarded the best of the best in this year’s festival during last night’s awards ceremony. I haven’t watched all the films so I couldn’t really react about the results but those who were able to watch most, if not all, of the films have mixed reactions about the winners.

Here we go. Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Poster Design: Justin Besana for Asintado

Audience Choice Award, New Breed Category: Sundalong Kanin

Audience Choice Award, Directors’ Showcase: Hustisya

2014 Gawad Balanghai: Kidlat Tahimik, father of Philippine Independent Cinema


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[MOVIE REVIEW] 1st Ko Si 3rd: Nova Villa Shines


DIRECTED BY: Real Florido
MAIN CAST: Nova Villa, Dante Rivero, Freddie Webb, Ruby Ruiz, Lara Morena, RJ Agustin, Denise Barbacena, Coleen Borgonia, Ken Chan


I finally got to watch 1st Ko Si 3rd last night with the partner and friends. And it was a fun end to my #CinemalayaX experience.

Synopsis: “Matapos ang mahigit apat na dekada ay muling makikita ni Cory ang kanyang 1st love na si Third na siyang magbibigay kulay at gugulo sa kanyang buhay bilang may asawa at retiree.” (After more then four decades, Cory will again see her first love, Third, who will affect her life as a wife and retiree.)

Nova Villa shines as Cory, a recent retiree who tries to deal with her emotions when she saw her 1st love, Third. Her rekindled emotions and memories are what gave her a renewed energy, but at the same time brings up issues with her relationship with her husband Andong. We are used to Villa making us laugh in her sitcoms and movies, and she still manages to make us laugh here. Only this time, she is also able to make me feel sad, bored, guilty, and in love — the very same emotions she is feeling.

The movie works best in its lighthearted moments, like when it shows the heart of Cory and Andong’s relationship, despite their uncommunicated issues.

While there is much left to be desired in the story of Cory and Third, the movie makes me realize that more than anything, this is a story of Cory and Andong. The film is a story of a woman who has to deal with her what ifs. This is a story of a woman who has to wait decades for a closure.

1st Ko Si 3rd gives us a fresh love story. It gives us a peek of how couples in their twilight years maintain and sustain their relationship. And ultimately, it shows us that love is beyond emotions — it is a decision; it is a commitment.

You only have today until tomorrow to watch all the Cinemalaya entries, and if you’ll cut down your list of movies to watch, it still is worthwhile to keep 1st Ko Si 3rd in the list. (Of course I’ve only seen 5 films so my comparison is understandably very limited)


3.5/5 stars


[MOVIE REVIEW] #Y: A Look at the Troubled #Youth

DIRECTED BY:  Gino M. Santos
STARRING: Elmo Magalona, Coleen Garcia, Sophie Albert, Kit Thompson, Slater Young, Chynna Ortaleza


This is by far the movie I related the easiest to. Maybe because the characters are the same age as I. And somehow I can relate to their internal battles.

#Y “chronicles the adventures of the members of a generation made universal by the realms of social media, the internet, sex, drugs and alcohol, and the occasional YOLO.”

I haven’t watched Director Gino Santos’ first full-lkenth “The Animals” during last year’s Cinemalaya, but I’ve heard people say that the two films are somewhat similar. Maybe Santos wants to encapsulate the youth story. And with #Y, he did it well.


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[MOVIE REVIEW] Ronda: It needed more…much, much more

DIRECTED BY: Nick Olanka
Starring: Ai-Ai delas Alas, Julian Trono, Cesar Montano, Carlos Morales, Carlo Aquino

Ronda is a story of “a policewoman [who] roams the city of Manila to fulfill her duties as a police patrol and to look for her lost son.”

It looked like an interesting premise, but there was something severly lacking in the story that made me bored until the last few minutes of the film. It ended with a bang. But unfortunately, not even the ending can save the film.

The movie opens with a patrol car roaming Metro Manila. This went on for a few minutes while the credits are being shown. Ai-Ai delas Alas plays a police woman patroling the Metro in the wee hours of night. It was refreshing to see delas Alas playing a serious role. And in this movie, she did it well.

Together with delas Alas’ partner, the film shows the events of a one-night duty which involves solving a petty crime, dealing with a corrupt boss and the death of a police higher-up’s runner. All this while delas Alas’ character was trying to locate her son who has not been home for two days. While these seemed a lot, and along with the mother-looking-for-her-son angle, the movie lacked something…in every aspect.

Somehow, all these events failed to lead up to the ending, which is ultimately about her son. The movie tried so hard to present the dark side of the police force, but still presenting delas Alas’ character as a strong, empowered woman at work but helpless when it comes to her personal life.


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[MOVIE REVIEW] Kasal: Story and Execution Did Not Marry Well Together

Director: Joselito “Jay” Altarejos
Starring: Arnold Reyes, Oliver Aquino

Among all the Cinemalaya entries this year, I was looking forward to “Kasal” the most. I have soft spot for pink films. I still have this lifelong dream to tell my own in film.

Kasal is a “slice of life drama of a gay couple whose resolve to stay together is challenged as they attend a wedding. It also is an examination on how a gay couple navigates through the different institutions in Philippine society.”

I first heard of Director Jay Alterejos when “Ang Lihim Ni Antonio” became a critical hit.

Positives first: The story’s premise was interesting. A couple in the middle of mending their wounded relationship, caused by one committing infidelity, attends a wedding and in their journey tackles long-kept issues and struggles.