Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) marks its second year since its triumphant launch last year. The weeklong celebration that showcases Filipino films for the Filipino audience kickstarted Wednesday and will run until Tuesday, August 21 in theaters nationwide. While the festival selected eight feature-length movies, we consider its selection of the six highly-acclaimed feature films as the must-watch films at PPP 2018.

Organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), its chairperson Liza Diño said that these six must-watch films at PPP are “are more than worthy to be watched and appreciated by a wider audience.” The Special Feature section also targets the students as it’s part of an ongoing school promotion at the University of the Philippines, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, Unibersidad de Manila, Asia Pacific Film Institute, Adamson University and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina.

Make sure these must-watch films at PPP make it to your list when you hit the cinema this week:

Balangiga: Howling Wilderness

A full-length film in the Waray language,  “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness” is based from the tragic Balangiga Massacre in 1901. Directed by Khavn dela Cruz and produced by Achinette Villamor, the film centered on the journey of an eight-year-old boy, his grandfather, and their carabao as they tried to survive the American occupation following the slaughter. Bells rang loud for the “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness” film as it won big at the FAMAS 2017 when it grabbed the Best Picture award.

Tu Pug Imatuy

“Tu Pug Imutay,” which means “the right to kill” in Manobo, is another must-watch film at PPP chiefly because of its social relevance. It portrays the struggles of the Lumad people from the story of a Lumad couple Obunay and Dawin whose lives were toppled upside down after a military encounter. Directed by Arbi Barbarona, “Tu Pug Imutay” almost swept all the major awards in last year’s Sinag Maynila, including Best Picture and Best Director. It also garnered nominations and more awards from the FAMAS and Gawad Urian 2017.

Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus

Winner of the Second Best Picture in CineFilipino Film Festival 2018, “Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus” is a story centered on desire. Director Dwein Baltazar takes the audience around downtown Manila as the story follows the intertwining subplots of four men who desire the same mysterious woman.

High Tide

Directed and written by Tara Illenberger, “High Tide” explores the devastating effects of climate change on sea level and the lives of coastal people. Illenberger shot the advocacy film in her hometown, Iloilo. The cast also consists of Ilonggo actors and actresses as well as Ilonggo kids with little to no acting experience. The only non-Ilonggo cast member, Dalin Sarmiento, had to learn Hiligaynon for his role. “Hight Tide” won Best Picture at last year’s ToFarm Film Festival.

Kiko Boksingero

The highly-celebrated film “Kiko Boksingero” is a coming-of-age story that won Noel Comia, Jr. the Best Actor for child star and Best Supporting Actress for Yayo Aguila at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2017. Shot in Baguio, it’s about a young boy who’s mom has passed away and has since been left under the care of a loyal nanny until he could join his relatives in the US. He finds out that his estranged father, who’s also a boxer, is back in town and so he finds himself trying to reconnect with his father.

Paki

We’ve come to the last on our list of the must-watch films at PPP. “Paki,” a movie directed by Giancarlo Abrahan, tackles the relationship of a modern Filipino family which has at the center of it an 80-year-old woman who wants to end her 60 years of marriage and her grown-up children who refuse to support her decision but are also caught up in their own issues. “Paki,” a Filipino word that can both be translated as “please” or “care” took home the Best Picture at the 2017 CinemaOne Originals Film Festival.

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