This Pride, we have a lot to celebrate! We celebrate not only pure love but also the validity, identity, and lives despite the struggles that those who are LGBTQIA have dealt with over decades. Although the SOGIE bill has yet to be passed, the Philippines has made great strides in how people perceive the community and their representation in media, especially by queer creators. 

    In celebration of Pride Month, we’ve compiled a list of Filipino films authentic to queer experiences and also spanning from the 80s to 2010s! 

    2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten 

    This movie, ultimately about colonial mentality, was polarizing with the MTRCB during its release. At its heart, 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten is a movie about colonial mentality – and queer awakenings. The film is set in the 1990s, after the Mount Pinatubo eruption, embossed with lush and sentimental images of Pampanga, hypnotic music, and a strong script, anchored even more by compelling performances from Khalil Ramos, Magnus Petersen, Ana Capri, and Jameson Blake. The obsession, innocence, and confusion drive the experience of 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten and go all in towards the darkness of its themes and subject matter, like Jili games. 

    The movie follows the coming of age of Felix Salonga, a brilliant sophomore, and his relationship with the half-American Snyder brothers. What starts as a transactional tutoring relationship evolves into a genuine friendship. 

    Markova: Comfort Gay

    Markova: Comfort Gay chronicles the colorful life of Walter Dempster Jr., who was a sex slave during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. Dolphy plays her older version, while Eric and Epy Quizon portray Markova in various stages of her life. Despite the tragedy of Markova’s life, the resiliency of the human spirit remains indomitable – and perhaps the most significant moral lesson that this film imparts. 

    Aishite Imasu: Mahal Kita 1941

    Aishite Imasu: Mahal Kita 1941 takes place during World War II. The main character is a transfem spy, Igna. The story’s premise derives from the idea that transgender women are seen as “traitors” to their biological sex and delves into the “betrayal” aspect. A complex le triangle features in the movie – a transgender woman, her best friend, a Japanese soldier, and the left-leaning rebel who Igna once had feelings for. The result is a poignant and complex exploration of love, identity, duty, and sacrifice, especially during wartime, with a star-studded cast featuring Dennis Trillo, Judy Ann Santos, and Raymart Santiago.


    Award-winning writer Jerry Gracio penned this tender and prolific movie directed by Adolf Alix. The story follows two men—an ex-seminarian turned communist who runs a hotel and a neophyte lawyer. The two men met during the Martial Law era and have kept meeting over the years. 

    Miss Bulalacao

    Miss Bulalacao is about a transwoman who becomes pregnant after an alien abduction and focuses on its repercussions. Dodong is the story’s main character, who wants her father’s love and acceptance. Instead, she finds it in her newly-wedded young stepmother (Chai Fonacier).

    It apukpukaw

    Iti Mapukpukaw is an animated feature and was the Philippines’ entry to the Oscars in 2023. It follows a mouthless young animator, Eric (Carlo Aquino), who has a crush on his co-worker (Gio Gahol). He investigates the disappearance of his old friend and faces his identity and past traumas. The excellence of the film is not just the fact it was done in rotoscope animation but also the interplay of queer, mental health, and self-acceptance themes. 

    T-Bird At Ako

    Released in the 80s, T-Bird At Ako stars Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, considered rivals in the acting field. Nora Aunor plays a successful and masculine lesbian lawyer who helps dancer Sabel. Sylvia and Sabel form a relationship that challenges many boundaries, especially during this period. Its original ending had to be changed, as lesbian activist Portia Ilagan had penned the screenplay and considered more radical for the period; the studio made her rewrite the ending. 

    Wrapping Up

    There is only real celebration of Pride by remembering how struggle, self-determination, joy, and identity are all intertwined. We hope you enjoy this list we’ve compiled! Happy Pride!