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Daang Dokyu continues with biggest docufest this October

By Kara Santos Published Sep 30, 2020 11:44 pm

Daang Dokyu will be giving viewers five weeks of free access to a wide array of rare films and documentaries from 1914 to 2020. The largest collection of Philippine documentaries will be streaming online from October 2 to November 5, 2020.

The biggest documentary film festival in the Philippines is back with a whopping 45 documentaries from the past century, including the rerun of some titles presented during the Martial Law-themed opening program.

These are Lito Tiongson’s Mendiola Massacre; ABS-CBN’s Marcos: A Malignant Spirit; Nettie Wild’s A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution; and Kiri Dalena’s Alunsina.

Marcos: A Malignant Spirit; Mendiola Massacre, and A Rustling of Leaves: Inside the Philippine Revolution are screening October 9 to 15.  Alunsina reruns from October 30 to November 5.

Fresh from its latest win at the 12th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, Alyx Arumpac’s award-winning film Aswang, will highlight the fest’s Halloween special HuwagMatakot, screening from October 31 to November 2. It will also be presented from October 9 to 15.

There’s a lot in store this month, starting with 14 ecology-themed reels about nature, nation's identity, and our indigenous people next week. 

The featured films running from October 2 to 9 include: 

Native Life in the Philippines (1914)

dir. Dean Worcester

37 MINS. | G

Made in collaboration with government photographer Charles Martin, Native Life in the Philippines is a comprehensive ethnographic documentation of Philippine tribes at the end of Dean Worcester's term as Secretary of the Interior for the insular government in the Philippines. With this archival record, he aimed to secure the United States colonial government support in keeping control of a colony of "primitives" in need of reform and development assistance.

Glimpses of the Culion Leper Colony and of Culion Life (1929)

dir. Merl La Voy

36 MINS. | G

Premiereing for the first time in the Philippines, this documentary is one of the earliest representations of the Philippines in moving images. Stored in the British Film Institute archives, this administrative reconnaissance film exhibits the Culion leper colony in the province of Palawan and is being shown for the first time in the country.

Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI (2017)

dir. Kidlat Tahimik

140 MINS. | G

Spanning more than three decades of work that show the profound and playful fluidity of his process, Kidlat Tahimik’s most recent feature bears both sides of his esteemed artistic fixtures: the positioning and exploration of the Filipino in the physical – the circumnavigation of the globe by Enrique, the slave of the colonizer Ferdinand Magellan – and in the spiritual: brewing the memories of homeland into reality, a journey backward being as complex and significant as a journey forward.

Pagbabalik Sa Tribo (1999)

dir. Howie Severino, prod. The Probe Team and PCIJ

40 MINS. | G

Howie Severino, who grew up on the American East Coast, returned to the Philippines and found work as media journalist. As he follows the story of filmmaker Auraeus Solito’s rediscovery of his tribal Palawan roots, Severino likewise interrogates his own notions of seeking identity and community as Filipino.

Sabangan (1983)

dir. Jose Cuaresma, Frederico Espiritu; B. Libres; R. Gruta; L. Fisher, through IBON Foundation

29 MINS. | G

Remontados are one of the ethnic groups who live in the forests of Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the Philippines, also known as the backbone of Luzon. Recalling how the Pantabangan Dam had disrupted the lives of kinsmen in the southern part of Sierra Madre, the Remontados in Tanay, Rizal, in the eastern part, stand their ground in opposition to the proposed Kaliwa-Kanan Dam, a project of the Marcoses funded by the World Bank.

Dam Nation (2019)

dir. Grace Simbulan

4 MINS. | G

Dam Nation documents the struggle of the Dumagat of Quezon Province and Tanay, Rizal, against the building of Kaliwa-Kanan-Laiban Dam or the New Centennial Water Source project of the Duterte administration. The dam will flood 300 hectares of forests and communities in the eastern Sierra Madre mountain ranges, destroying their means of living.

Siyanan (2017)

dir. Summer Bastian

20 MINS. | G

Siyanan looks into the disappearing traditions among the indigenous peoples of Bontoc, Mountain Province. Told through a manifold narration that weaves the autobiographical with the mythological, Siyanan takes up where the sons of Lumawig, the supreme deity of Bontoc-Igorots, left off in the quest for finding their father/cultural hero.

Pinatubo: Pagbangon Mula sa Abo (2011)

prod. ABS-CBN News, hosted by Noli de Castro

28 MINS. | PG-13

In this special report, ABS-CBN host Noli de Castro looks back twenty years later on the catastrophic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991, putting together video footage of the days leading up to the tragedy and recollections of survivors years after it. With characteristic accessibility and emotional force, it covers a wide spectrum of discourses ranging from the abuse of nature and displacement of natives to the spirit of community and resilience in one of the darkest times in Philippine history.

Balud (2014)

dir. Francis Solajes

7 MINS. | PG-13

Someday, the sea will devour our land. Balud is a response to Typhoon Haiyan, which wiped out the director’s hometown in November 2013.

Ang Pagpakalma Sa Unos (2020)

dir. Joanna Arong

19 MINS. | PG-13

Intertwining myths and video diaries, Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos (To Calm the Pig Inside) ponders on the devastating impact of Typhoon Yolanda on Tacloban.

Tungkung Langit (2013)

dir. Kiri Dalena

20 MINS. | PG-13

Apolonio, 12, and Analou, 9, lost their parents and three siblings to Typhoon Sendong, which devastated Iligan City in Northern Mindanao. The title refers to the god in the Panay epic whose tears become rain. But in this short film, the two young children do not weep. They speak to each other of their trauma – through play and in the smallest of whispers before falling asleep – small but significant means by which they heal.

The War We Were Not Taught About (1994)

dir. Jin Takaiwa

113 MINS. | PG-13

The narratives of Filipinos and Japanese soldiers who lived through the Japanese Occupation trace the destructive effects of the war that lasted decades after.

Bird Hunt (2019)

The Atom Araullo Specials, prod. GMA Network

43 MINS. | G

In this special documentary by Atom Araullo, he explores the many endangered bird species in the country, covering important environmental issues such as poaching, mining, and deforestation.

Bullet-laced Dreams (2020)

dir. Kristoffer Brugada and Charena Escala

29 MINS. | PG-13

Bullet-laced Dreams follows the Lumad children in Mindanao as they escape from military rule due to the incessant armed conflicts between the government and communist rebels. Rising tensions pushed these kids to transfer from place to place just to continue their schooling. The conflicts separated 14-year old Chricelyn Empong from her family, but she vows to fight for her right. In the evacuation site, Chricelyn and her classmates continue studying and protest for the end of martial law so they could go to back to their homeland. She says the only way to regain their way of life is to defend their right to education.

More films will be rolled out in the subsequent weeks, following thematic film selections tackling vital issues including nation, taboos, localities and the future. The online film festival also has a number of talkbacks, industry talks, and other special events scheduled throughout the next 40 days. 

More information is available at The virtual cinema opens on October 2 at

(Image from Daang Dokyu)