10 Pinoy Indie Romance Films You Can Stream Now

Missed them during their respective festival runs? Here's your chance to watch them.

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but everybody knows that we Filipinos are suckers for romance films any time of the year. They’re made to entertain and make us all kilig—welcome distractions from our real-life woes. Romance films also represent our stories, or at least those we'd want to have, which is probably why they’re so addicting. This is especially true for local independent films, which tend to confront you with storylines that hit you right in the gut. From the aww-inducing to heartbreaking and realistic to the whimsical, here are movies that are worth watching, if you haven't yet.

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Here are 10 must-watch Pinoy indie romance films and where you can stream them:

Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa (2015)

Stream it on: iflix 
Sam (Nicco Manalo) and Isa (Emmanuelle Vera) may seem like an ordinary couple, albeit a bit more artistic than many of us, but their relationship is far more complicated than it initially lets on. Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa by Nestor Abrogena plays out slowly but surely and leaves the audience with hearts aching for the protagonists. Best to catch this, if you haven’t, before the sequel hits the cinemas this month!

That Thing Called Tadhana (2015)

Stream it on: iWant, Netflix
By now, we’re pretty sure everyone has, at the very least, already heard about this box office hit that also inspired droves of tourists to head up to Mount Kiltepan in Sagada to have their own cathartic screamfest a la Mace (Angelica Panganiban)—or to just take photos of the view for the ‘gram. Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana is filled not just with quotable hugot lines courtesy of Mace and Anthony (JM De Guzman), it also features scenic views of Baguio and Sagada as the pair go on their very burgis journey to healing their hearts, and an LSS-inducing soundtrack ("Oo" by Up Dharma Down and, of course, "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?" by Whitney Houston).

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Saving Sally (2016)

Stream it on: iWant
Saving Sally was one of the most memorable entries from the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival lineup. It took Avid Liongoren and his team 12 years to finish it, and the results were nothing short of impressive. Rhian Ramos plays Sally, who’s secretly the object of affection of her best friend Marty (Enzo Marcos). It’s "a very typical love story," as the movie’s tagline goes, but the blend of animation and live action made sure that it’s told in the most refreshing way possible.

Baka Siguro Yata (2015)

Stream it on: iflix
Baka Siguro Yata by Joel Ferrer features not just one, but three couples that represent modern-day relationships. There’s Carlo (Dino Pastrano) and Melissa (Bangs Garcia), high school classmates turned parents after a drunken one-night-stand; Adrian (Ricky Davao) and Remy (Cherie Gil), a middle-aged former couple who are cheating on their current significant others with one another; and Myka (Katrina Legaspi) and Jinno (Boo Gabunada), youngsters planning to do the deed, although with the latter more eager than the former. Their love stories are intertwined in this unconventional rom-com, which is also replete with hilarious jokes and punchlines.

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Flotsam (2015)

Stream it on: iflix
Jay Abello’s Flotsam depicts eight love stories all cultivated in and around the famous Flotsam and Jetsam artist hostel in popular surf town San Juan, La Union. It’s a seductive and gorgeous movie that features equally seductive and gorgeous young stars playing temporary residents of said hostel, having flings with one another and riding waves as they escape whatever awaits them back home. This movie is top billed by Solenn Heussaff and Rocco Nacino, who play Kai and Tisoy, respectively.

Sana Dati (2013)

Stream it on: iflix
Sana Dati rounds up Jerrold Tarog’s Camera Trilogy, so-called not because the stories of each movie are connected to one another but because in all three, cameras are both a medium by the protagonists and a symbol for life and truth before and behind the lens. In this case, Dennis (Paolo Avelino) is the man with the camera, a mysterious visitor who interviews bride Andrea (Lovi Poe) just moments before she walks down the aisle. Her soon-to-be-husband is Robert (TJ Trinidad), yet, as she talks to Dennis, she is reminded of her lost love, Andrew (Benjamin Alves). This romance-drama film has reaped accolades and rave reviews for the storytelling, cinematography, and acting.

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Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B (2016)

Stream it on: HOOQ
If you like romance with a dash or horror, look no further than this movie by Prime Cruz. In Ang Mananaggal sa Unit 23B, the feared manananggal from Filipino folklore is bestowed with human attributes. She works as an online teacher, lives a lonely life in a rundown apartment, and falls in love with her neighbor. The only problem is, she’s still a monster at the (literal) end of the day, and it’s a major hiccup that could have her hurting the very person she loves. The titular manananggal is played by Ryza Cenon, with Martin Del Rosario taking on the role of her beloved Nico.

Changing Partners (2017)

Stream it on: HOOQ
Dan VillegasChanging Partners is based on the Palanca Award-winning musical play of the same name by Vincent dela Cruz. It’s the story of a love that was once an all-consuming blaze but is now a dying flame. While the story is nothing we haven’t heard before, the treatment certainly isn’t something that we see often. Here, there are two couples, both with an older Alex (Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo) and a Cris (Sandino Martin, Anna Luna) who’s younger than them by 15 years. The film shows four permutations of relationships—young and old, heterosexual and homosexual—which is brilliant in its simplicity, because it clearly shows and proves that love truly is universal.

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Sleepless (2015)

Stream it on: Cignal Play
Before Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B, Prime Cruz came out with Sleepless, his first ever feature-length movie, in 2015. It follows the story of two insomniacs, Gem (Glaiza de Castro) and Barry (Dominic Rocco), both employees in a call center. Being in the same boat draws them to one another as they spend the wee hours of the night talking and exploring the concrete jungle.

The Write Moment (2017)

Stream it on: HOOQ
What do you do when you get your heart broken? Maybe write a story, as Jerald Napoles’ character Dave on Dominic Lim’s The Write Moment did. After being dumped by his beautiful girlfriend Joyce (Valeen Montenegro), Dave, a scriptwriter, copes with his heartache by writing a screenplay based on their relationship—but with a happy ending. Somehow, the script comes to life, and Dave and his characters are forced to follow everything to the dot lest they repeat everything until they get it right.

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