When I first saw this film, I went like "We can rank it up there with the foreign films." (Foreign meaning 'not Filipino'.) I love Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Star Wars, like any normal person, and those are among the best all-time films, not just fantasy films. This movie was like a change from all those superheroes and heroines, all those lonely champions fighting a single-handed war, all those supernatural horror films that end with the monster being vanquished. It was refreshing. I'm not knocking "Panday" and "Darna" and "Aswang"… like any warmblooded Pinoy worth the name, I love them as they are part of national heritage. But the Philippines has a rich tradition in literature, particularly when it comes to mythology and the supernatural, and we have a pantheon of characters from the over fifty tribes that populate these 7, 100+ islands that could give the creatures and heroes from other places a run for their money. It feels great to be able to see at least a few of those creatures make an appearance in the film, especially the immortal Telang Bayawak (Bayawak means monitor lizard). The ubiquitous Filipino brand of humor also makes itself felt in this movie; (you'll have to watch it to know what I mean) and I especially loved the song "Kalansay Rap".
Three boys (Jubal, as played by Jason Salcedo; Sambag (Tamarind) as played by Junell Hernando; and Omar, as played by Marc Solis) set out on a quest to help save their world and learn some valuable lessons along the way. As a non sequitur, I've noticed that the name Jubal seems to be Igorot, which is a tribe from Luzon, the largest island group; Sambag is a Visayan word, from the Visayan islands, and Omar is a name found among the Moslem tribes of the Mindanao island group, which accounts for the three major island groups that make up the Philippine archipelago.
Anyway, watch it and love it (with English subtitles, of course, since it's in Tagalog). You won't be disappointed.
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