What We’ve Learned from 6 Local Road Films

From Pauwi Na to Patay Na Si Hesus, life on the road remains the best teacher.

by Philbert Dy

Paolo Villaluna, 2015



THE TRIP: Metro Manila to an unnamed province. It looked like they were heading North, though.

THE PLOT: A poor family, fed up with struggling with life in Metro Manila, tries to make their way back to their hometown on a pedicab.

VALUABLE LESSON: Films set in abject poverty can have a sense of humor, too.



Antoinette Jadaone And Irene Villamor, 2014


THE TRIP: Manila to a beach in Leyte

THE PLOT: A teenage girl (Sofia Andres) drags along a guy she barely knows (Iñigo Pascual) on a trip to Leyte to find two lovers that she learned of through a love letter that she once found on a beach.

VALUABLE LESSON: It’s fun to be young and in love, guys.




Ice Idanan, 2016


THE TRIP: All over. Zamboanga, Marinduque, Ilocos, Siquijor, and Batanes

THE PLOT: A young woman (Alessandra de Rossi), while trying to get over a breakup, travels all over the Philippines trying to find the sender of a series of romantic postcards that showed up at her apartment.

VALUABLE LESSON: I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.




Zurich Chan, 2011


THE TRIP: All over the Zamboanga Peninsula

THE PLOT: A man (Alfred Vargas) tries to get to know his estranged, recently deceased father by driving to meet his family and friends.

VALUABLE LESSON: Alfred Vargas’ chest muscles are distractingly large.




Gil Portes, 2010


THE TRIP: From Tuguegarao to Sorsogon

THE PLOT: A funeral parlor mixup causes two bodies to end up with the wrong families. One of the families (led by a fierce Tessie Tomas) travels all the way to Matnog, Sorsogon to retrieve the body of their daughter.

VALUABLE LESSON: Tessie Tomas yelling at people is still one of the great pleasures in life.




Victor Villanueva, 2016

THE TRIP: From Cebu to Dumaguete

THE PLOT: A family of misfits (led by matriarch Jaclyn Jose) drives to Dumaguete in a minicab to attend the funeral of the father that left them.

VALUABLE LESSON: Ultimately, your dog is more important than the father that left you. Also: Bisaya humor is a lot more sophisticated than the government lets on.


Check this feature out with a full illustration by Pia Samson in The Sports Issue of Rogue, August 2017.