10 Great Songs From Filipino Indie Films

IMAGE Tuko Film Productions

The somewhat recent influx of local independent cinema has given movie fans plenty to cheer over, but music fans will also be pleasantly surprised at the fantastic songs these films come with. A lot of these titles often recruit underrated or up-and-coming artists to underscore the story's most emotional moments.

Consider this list even more reason to support indie movies. It's like discovering two gems in one.

"Cincinnati Clocks"
Artist: Ourselves The Elves
Indie movie: 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (2016)

This critically acclaimed LGBT flick revolves around a brilliant high-school outcast (Khalil Ramos) whose life changes when he befriends two Fil-Am students (Ethan Salvador and Jameson Blake). The soundtrack, curated as a playlist by director Petersen Vargas on Spotify, is entitled "First Friend, First Love" and features music suggested by fans of the movie.

"Para Sa Respeto"
Artist: Abra x Loonie
Indie movie: Respeto (2017)

Respeto wowed audiences and critics alike when it debuted at the 2017 Cinemalaya Film Festival and eventually took home several top prizes, including Best Film. Naturally, the movie features plenty of rap music with some truly fantastic rhymes using actual poetry but more importantly, it tackles important sociopolitical issues, from poverty to the drug trade and Martial Law.

Artist: 3D (Danao, Dancel, Dumas)
Indie movie: I'm Drunk, I Love You (2017)

Unlike many of its fellow rom-comsIDILY doesn't rely on grand gestures or dramatic, everyday tropes to tug at your heartstrings. The raw and relatable film will speak to anyone who has had unrequited feelings (and spent drowning those feelings in all the booze they can handle). If you're interested in wallowing in your pain with music, the official soundtrack is available only at Cinema '76 Film Society.


"Where Do Broken Hearts Go"
Artist: Carlos Castaño
Indie movie: That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)

Still on a sawi listening spree? Revisit the immensely successful (and quotable) indie film that started the hugot trend: Antoinette Jadaone's breakup-themed That Thing Called Tadhana. Angelica Panganiban stars as a heartbroken woman who spontaneously goes on a road trip with a stranger (JM De Guzman) in the hopes of moving on.

Artist: Missing Filemon
Indie movie: Patay Na Si Hesus (2016)

Side-splitting Pinoy humor meets the charm and likeability of Little Miss Sunshine in this sleeper hit from QCinema and the recently concluded Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Helmed by Victor VillanuevaPatay Na Si Hesus has Jaclyn Jose playing a single mother who drags her dysfunctional family on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete. The film still has its emotional moments, especially with this track in the backdrop.

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"Two Less Lonely People in the World"
Artist: KZ Tandingan
Indie movie: Kita Kita (2017)

Premiering in July 2017, Kita Kita charmed audiences with its witty dialogue, picturesque Sapporo scenery, and chemistry between its two unlikely leads, so much so that the film surpassed Heneral Luna as the top-grossing local indie film of all time. Its heart-tugging theme song is a cover of the 1982 Air Supply track.

"We Were Never Really Just Friends"
Artist: Denise Santos
Indie movie: Baka Bukas (2016)

Baka Bukas centers on Alex (Jasmine Curtis-Smith), a lesbian who is out to everyone except her best friend (Louise delos Reyes) who also happens to be the girl she's secretly in love with. Best known for its " hipster" and dream-like aesthetic, the LGBT-themed movie also boasts an original score that is just as cool and striking as its visuals.

"St. Petersburg"
Artist: Reese Lansangan
Indie movie: Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B (2016)

Like its titular mythological creature, this film has two parts: A bloody and gory horror-drama; and a love story between a lonely manananggal named Jewel (Ryza Cenon) and a hapless human (Martin Del Rosario). To match its stunning visuals and color palette, the film's moody soundtrack is filled with fantastic music from artists like Reese Lansangan, Taken By Cars, and Arigato Hato.

"Saan Man"
Artist: Kai Honasan
Indie movie: Sakaling Hindi Makarating (2016)

Cinematographer Ice Idanan's directorial debut is a picturesque road trip around the Philippines, after a heartbroken woman starts to receive a mysterious series of hand-painted postcards in the mail. Its catchy theme song, performed by Kai Honasan, also has a cover by star Alessandra De Rossi.


"Araw't Gabi"
Artist: Clara Benin
Indie movie: Red (2014)

Directed by Jay Abello, this Cinema One Originals entry stars Jericho Rosales as Red, a shy orphan who grows up to be the best fixer in his local town. Things go awry when he gets embroiled in a drug bust gone wrong. Despite its dark and tension-filled story, Clara Benin's sweet vocals surprisingly still go well with the rest of the film.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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