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One of the best things that I love about Filipino movies is the ingenuity and creativity oozing out from their unique titles. I don’t know if it’s just me but I always find them hilarious and disturbing at the same time. It puzzles me every time I encounter a very long title that is meant to serve as that movie’s catchphrase when they could have nailed it by thinking of a simple yet unforgettable one-word title like “Anak” or “Relasyon”. Nonetheless, they have been a great source of good humor for me so I don’t find them that obnoxious at all. Perhaps creating catchy movie titles is parallel to formulating unforgettable shibboleths for our Filipino politicians; they both need to be something unique so people will surely support them no matter what.
And since I have a penchant in ranking anything under the sun, I have searched for my own version of top 20 most unforgettable Pinoy movie titles in Philippine cinematic history. You might have your own suggestions so feel free to give me your own list in the comment section of this blog. My top 20 list is in random order because I’m not an expert enough to rank them from best to worst. You can choose your top pick if you like! Here they are:
1. “GATAS… Sa Dibdib ng Kaaway” (2001)
Far more intriguing than its English translation “In the Bosom of the Enemy”, this Filipino war drama starring Mylene Dizon is a 2001 film directed by Gil Portes. It was the Philippines’ submission to the 74th Academy Awards for the 2001 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was not accepted as a nominee.
2. “Bata, Bata… Pa’no Ka Ginawa?” (1998)
Also known as “Child, Child… How were you made?”, this award-winning movie starring Vilma Santos was based from a Tagalog novel written by famous author and Palanca-awardee Lualhati Bautista.
3. “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” (2005)
One of the most critically-acclaimed Filipino movies abroad, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros is a story about a gay teen who is torn between his love for a young cop and his loyalty to his family. The film was the official entry of the Philippines to the 2007 Academy Awards.
4. “Patikim ng Pinya” (1996)
This erotic movie was one of Rosanna Roces’ breakout roles in the 90’s that made her one of the country’s famous sex symbols of that time.
5. “Menudo at Pandesal” (1987)
Combining two of the most popular Filipino foods, this movie title will surely make anyone hungry. Starring Gloria Diaz and Carmi Martin, “Menudo at Pandesal” is another comedic film of the 80’s that has been imortalized by its catchy title.
6. “May Lamok sa Loob ng Kulambo” (1984)
Starring Gloria Diaz, Amy Austria, Eddie Garcia, Tommy Abuel, and Suzanne Gonzales, this movie is another comedic film that went under the direction of the late Danny Zialcita, who also directed “Menudo at Pandesal” in 1987. The title sounds outright stupid but the movie is an entertaining piece nonetheless.
7. “Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi” (1983)
Another Danny Zialcita masterpiece, the movie “Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi” spawned one of the most unforgettable lines in Filipino moviedom history. This is where Laurice Guillen immortalized the line:“Pwede bang makausap ang asawa ko na asawa mo na asawa ng bayan?”
8. “T-bird at Ako” (1982)
This intriguing movie is about a lesbian lawyer (Nora Aunor) who tried to assist the dancer (Vilma Santos) with her legal battles and unexpectedly, falls in love with her. Just so you know, this is another Danny Zialcita’s work of art and only proves how diverse and fine he was as an 80’s film director.
9. “Kapag Tumabang ang Asin” (1976)
It seems that Danny Zialcita films are dominating our list because this 70’s movie starring Daria Ramirez and Chanda Romero is another movie with an eye-catching title that was polished by this iconic movie director.
10. “Curacha, Ang Babaeng Walang Pahinga” (1998)
Who would ever forget the name Curacha that has been the nickname for every Filipino woman who has an extremely active lifestyle? Thanks to this 1998 Chito Roño film, which has an equally intriguing English translation of Curacha: A Woman Without Rest, the name “Curacha” will never be forgotten.
11. “Kakaba Kaba Ka ba?” (1980)
KAKABAKABA KA BA? was a comeback film of sort for LVN after being inactive for several years. This satirical comedy-musical focuses on two pairs of lovers (Christopher de Leon, Charo Santos, Jay Ilagan and Sandy Andolong) who get caught in the crossfire between dope-trading Japanese and Chinese agents.
12. “Walang Matigas na Tinapay sa Mainit na Kape” (1994)
The late Fernando Poe Jr,. or popularly known as “‘Da King”, leads the cast of this film so expect that this is an action-packed movie filled with the traditional and predictable fight scenes from our great king of Philippine cinema.
13. “Kapag ang Palay naging Bigas, May Bumayo” (2002)
I can’t help but have the laugh of my life every time I hear this kind of movie title. There’s no doubt that there are sexual innuendos coming out from the title itself so don’t be shocked that the bombshell Lara Morena is starring in this erotic film.
14. “Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa” (1975)
Starring Joseph Estrada and Gloria Diaz, this movie won the best picture during the 1st ever Metro Manila Film Festival that was held on September 21, 1975.
15. “Ala Eh Kong Bisoy, Hale Hale Hoy – Laging Panalo Ang Mga Unggoy” (1998)
This one has one heck of a long movie title that I sometimes wonder what went inside its writers’ minds to come up with this brain-twisting and mind-boggling idea. Nevertheless, I just hope that this movie, with veteran comedians Redford White and Leo Martinez in it, gave quality humor during the time it was released.
16. “Nang Umibig ang Gurang” (1982)
One of the best movies that captured the perfect collaboration of Dolphy and his late side-kick Panchito, “Nang Umibig ang Gurang” will surely give you Filipino humor, the old-fashioned way.
17. “Haba-baba-doo, Puti-puti-poo” (1998)
Without even doing a research, I know that they got this funny title from the famous cartoon dog hero Scooby-doo. And with Babalu and Redford White in the lead roles, we already know why it got such a title.
18. “Tag-ulan Ngayon, Ang Bukid ay Basa” (2005)
Starring Nika Madrid, Yani Garcia and Paolo Rivero, this movie is a story of love, deceit and forgiveness. I don’t know that much about this movie but with the way the title was written, it’s safe to assume that this is just another sensual movie that will satisfy one’s wild imagination.
19. “Iputok mo, Dadapa ako” (1990)
At first, you will think that this is just another erotic movie of the 90’s, but when you see the names Vic Sotto and Francis M. in the movie credits, you already know that this is something wholesome.
20. “Hanggang Dito Na Lamang at Maraming Salamat” (2007)
I don’t know what to feel about this movie title; getting this kind of catchphrase is like saying “It’s done so go away and watch another movie, retard!” to all of your potential viewers. This is an indie movie about homosexuality but the title suggests otherwise.