10 Amazing Songs From Pinoy Indie Films
Non-cheesy theme songs that are totally playlist-worthy!
(SPOT.ph) As any film—or music—buff will tell you, the perfect song can set the stage for capturing emotions or thoughtfully telling a story. And yes, there's more to local movie soundtracks than cheesy love song revivals performed by the leads. We're talking carefully curated music that add to a film's emotional impact. Here are 10 indie films that aren't just worth a watch; their songs are a must-listen, too.
Indie movie: Ang Nawawala (2012)
This Cinemalaya entry tells the story of Gibson (Dominic Roco), who stopped talking as a child and returns home for Christmas. He reconnects with a childhood friend and gets a chance to find love, all while exploring the vibrant local music scene. The award-winning soundtrack is scored by Mikey Amistoso, Diego Mapa, and Jazz Nicolas; it features music from underground favorites to popular bands like Pedicab, Ebe Dancel, Hannah & Gabi, Tarsius, Ang Bandang Shirley, Ciudad, and more. (Download the full, official soundtrack on iTunes or CD Baby.)
Artist: Up Dharma Down
Indie movie: Sana Dati (2013)
This 2013 film revolves around Andrea (Lovi Poe), who is set to wed the kind-hearted Robert (TJ Trinidad), but is still hung up over her late boyfriend (Benjamin Alves). On the day of her wedding, she's suddenly drawn to a mysterious photographer (Paulo Avelino). The film prominently features Up Dharma Down's heart-wrenching "Indak," but its musical score by director Jerrold Tarog deserves a listen, too.
Artist: Armi Millare
Indie movie: Apocalypse Child (2015)
Armi Millare makes another appearance on this list, this time as a solo artist crooning a stripped-down, guitar-driven ballad. Its the perfect song to capture the rollercoaster of emotions only a film like Apocalypse Child can deliver. In the movie, Sid Lucero plays Ford, a carefree surfing instructor who is forced to confront reality when his childhood friend returns to town.
Artist: BP Valenzuela
Indie movie: Sleepless (2015)
Prime Cruz's QCinema entry depicts the blossoming romance of two insomniacs (Glaiza de Castro and Dominic Roco), who are drawn together by their shared loneliness. The film is sparsely scored—giving way to plenty of insightful conversations—but its final scene memorably closes with the thrumming beats of indie artist BP Valenzuela.
"Kinukumutan Ka ng Aking Titig"
Artist: Jema Pamintuan and Christine Muyco
Indie movie: Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2011)
Its premise—a love triangle between two friends (Rocco Nacino and Paulo Avelino) and their dance teacher-slash-literature professor (Jean Garcia)—is simple, but the delivery is beautifully profound. The award-winning musical score features pieces performed by Filipino feminist poets, including Ruth Mabanglo, Ophelia Dimalanta, Rebecca Añonuevo, and Merlinda Bobis.
"A Melody of Malady"
Artist: Alessandra de Rossi
Indie movie: Water Lemon (2015)
Lem Lorca's QCinema entry revolves around the residents of a small, mundane town in Mauban, Quezon. At its heart is Filemon (Jun-Jun Quintana), who struggles to fit in with everyone else. Actress Alessandra de Rossi doesn't just star in the film; she also sings a hauntingly beautiful song that landed her a Gawad Urian nomination for Best Music.
Artist: Johnoy Danao
Indie movie: Senior Year (2010)
Director Jerrold Tarog actually cast real high school students to depict 10 students in their final months before graduation. Its youthful and upbeat score features music composed by Tarog, with three tracks from acoustic performer Johnoy Danao. (Listen to two more songs from Danao on SoundCloud.)
Indie movie: Rakenrol (2011)
This 2011 film stars Jason Abalos and Glaiza de Castro as best friends who gather an unlikely crew of music lovers to form the fictional band, Hapipaks. Director Quark Henares' visual love letter to OPM naturally features music from Hapipaks, as well as tracks from artists like Pupil, Urbandub, Taken by Cars, Chillitees, and more.
Indie movie: Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa (2015)
Sam (Nicco Manalo) and Isa (Emmanuelle Vera) walk the fine line between friends and something more. Their complicated love story is put to the test when circumstances force them to go their separate ways. If you've ever spent time crying about your ex (or love life), this movie—and its heartbreaking song—is for you.
Artist: Armi Millare
Indie movie: Honor Thy Father (2015)
Erik Matti paints a grim portrait of desperation and religious hypocrisy in Honor Thy Father, which stars John Lloyd Cruz, Tirso Cruz III, and Meryll Soriano. Armi Millare's guitar-driven cover of Sampaguita's Tao is lovely and emotional, almost jarring to the heavy subject matter, but somehow, it works perfectly.