When we hear the word, “documentary” we often think of how long and boring it will be. Most of it will last for more than 2 hours and think that we have more important things to do.
And rather than watching long documentaries, we choose to watch movies that will entertain us. But my concept of documentaries changed when I stepped into college. I realized how important documentaries were and how a single film can change someone’s perspective about life.
I also discovered Filipino documentaries that only last for 30 minutes but will give you goosebumps about the incredible life of people. Seeing through the eyes of the documentarist, it gave me reasons to be motivated and to cherish the smallest things that I have.
If you haven’t tried watching Filipino documentaries, maybe now’s the time to explore our culture and see the world from a different point of view. And as a start, here are the best Filipino documentaries that you should watch:
Sa Mata Ng Isang Dokumentarista
In the eye of a Documentarist is one of the best documentaries that I’ve seen so far. It is a story between two documentaries about their best experience. Who is their favorite child story, what’s the most extreme thing that they did, and the things they have learned from their field of work.
Ambulansyang de Paa
Imagine an ambulance that has no wheels. Rough roads and rushing water currents isolate a small and isolated sitio in Mindoro Oriental, which makes vehicles in the area unable to pass through.
Residents from the small Sitio often compromise their needs especially in the health sector, where most of them die because even the local government could not be able to reach them out. In order to rush patients to a nearby hospital, they use cradles instead of ambulances.
This documentary was aired last June 8, 2019. The story is about Dr. Henry Fabro, who is the sole jail doctor in the entire NCR. Currently, he meets the medical needs of more than 36,000 Persons Deprived of Liberty or PDL.
Agusan del Sur is one of the well-known provinces in terms of illegal logging, and instead of hiring older men to help cut trees, a group of children joins loggers to make a living out of carrying a heavy load of wood from the mountain top
Minsan sa Isang Taon
Sitio Banli in Saranggani in Mindanao is considered one of the poorest areas in the province. The only way locals earn money is by farming Abaca, species of a banana native.
But this strange plant is used to make money. So the question is, why are they considered to be the poorest people when in fact they are the one who harvests the materials to make money?
Walking for 8 hours and crossing 6 rivers just to get to Labo Elementary School to teach is the everyday life of teacher Annie.
12-year old Anthony from the islands of Eastern Samar dives in the waters every day to catch sea cucumbers, something that he has been doing for the past four years.
In this documentary by Kara David, she got the chance to discover the children’s everyday life from catching sea cucumbers up to selling them in the market, apart from doing sidelines that would help them earn more for their families.
Minsan Lang Sila Bata
A 1996 documentary about child labor in the Philippine provinces. The directors recorded small children working under excruciating conditions in slaughterhouses, sugarcane fields, and ship docks in order to add to their family income.
After watching these heartbreaking documentaries, it opened my eyes and made me realize how difficult life is. I appreciate every single thing around me, the things that I have taken for granted and the small things that I’ve ignored.
How I wish I could help those people and give them hope that everything will be better at the right time.