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Lenten watchlist: Films and TV programs to help you reflect during Holy Week

By Kristal de Leon Published Apr 05, 2023 8:42 pm

For many Filipinos, Holy Week is a time to meditate on our faith and spend time with our family. While some choose to book a summer getaway, others opt to stay indoors for their annual self-reflection.

If you're among those who prefer to spend time to slow down indoors, binge-watching films and Lenten TV specials would also be a good way to reflect on life from different perspectives.

The Lenten season is a time when TV programs do not go by regular programming. Along with the Bible-themed films that are aired yearly, there are other Lenten specials and family-centered shows, though, that you can try watching while finding solemnity during the long weekend. 

Here are some films and series that you can watch over the holiday break that will teach you about the Catholic or Christian faith, as well as life in general: 

Doll House

Doll House is a bittersweet father-daughter story starring Baron Geisler as Rustin, Althea Ruedas as Yumi, and Izah Hankammer as the teenager Yumi.

The story revolves around Rustin, a local band singer who was also a drug addict. Years ago, he decided to abandon his wife Sheena and their daughter Yumi. However, Sheena and her second husband died in an accident, leaving Yumi with his uncle Bok in the United States. As time goes by, Rustin decides to visit his daughter and rekindle his relationship with her. He then volunteers to babysit her without revealing his true identity to her and those around him.

While the plot may seem cliche, the persuasive acting and emotional dialogues of Doll House's cast will leave you in tears. The film is available for streaming on Netflix.


Ikigai is a Lenten drama special produced by the noontime show Eat Bulaga in 2019. It was directed by Ricky Davao and was entirely filmed in Japan. With Jose Manalo, Vic Sotto, and Ryzza Mae Dizon leading the drama, Ikigai turned out to be a light yet touching film for its viewers.

This Lenten drama special is about a dying father who went miles to search for his long-lost daughter. While trying to make amends with his child, he was also able to build unlikely friendships with others and develop a purpose-filled life. 

Watch the drama for free on Eat Bulaga's YouTube channel or click here.

Family History 

This family drama will both move you to tears and bring you moments of laughter. Family History centers on the values of love, marriage, and life in general. With the cast led by Michael V. and Dawn Zulueta, this drama will make you realize that having a perfect life is not permanent. Unexpected events, such as a disease, may put your stable marriage to the test. 

 Watch it with your family on Netflix. 


It may be an animated film full of wit and adventure, but Disney and Pixar's Onward could make for a good Lenten film for its lessons on fatherhood and family.

The 2020 urban fantasy flick tells the story of two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who go on a magical journey to bring their deceased father, named Walden, back to life within 24 hours. Along the way, they face obstacles and discoveries that would give viewers an impactful message on the value of parental love.

The touching film features the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer. It is available for streaming on Disney+.


Polycarp is a film that shows the early Christian life under the rule of the Roman Empire in the second century. It is about the life of Polycarp, the aged Christian Bishop of Smyrna who adopted a young slave girl, Anna. Being born in dark circumstances, Anna finds it difficult to believe in the Christian faith. As the story progresses, Polycarp and fellow Christians face persecution as they refuse to worship Caesar. 

With threats in their life, the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ made them firm in their faith. One famous quote from Polycarp states, “86 years have I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” 

You may watch the whole film for free on the Christian Movies YouTube channel or click here.  

The Pilgrim’s Progress 

The Pilgrim’s Progress is based on the masterpiece of John Bunyan, a Christian English writer and Puritan preacher. This animated film is an allegory that shows the life journey of Christian, the main character, who faces hurdles and obstructions in his faith as he journeys from his hometown, called the City of Destruction, to a heavenly place called the Celestial City.

You may watch it for free on Vision Video's Youtube channel here.