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Indie Film Review in the Philippines featuring Kurap

Updated on January 6, 2012

Indie movies at the helm

Independent film makers abound in the entertainment industry. Small-budgeted movies that often have no stellar casting but with superb story line will always go to mainstream that will perk up the interest of the moviegoers.

The movie industry, both in Europe and North America (both USA and Canada) are the ones being looked up to by new blood in the cinematic world.

For instance, the Hollywood-ish type of movies will always be imitated by these young directors or even improve it via independent movies that will have a distinct theme, often touching the socio-political aspects of their countries.

Here in the Philippines, independent or indie movies are quite new. In the 80s, I can hardly read reviews regarding small-budgeted movies, since the censorship during that time was often associated with the political dynasty of Marcos regime that usurped the country's wealth and suppressed the freedom of film makers and artists as well.

With the changing of political atmosphere into the somewhat digestible governance, more and more fresh ideas are being incorporated with the making of such indie movies.

With just a digital camera, a new but driven film maker can make and finish his/her movie with just a few talents and crew. Budding artists may even render their acting services for free.

Special showing of such movies will need the help of schools and universities for its viewing.

As I observe, the more dominant topics being developed into movies here in the country is about the true situation in the locality, including sexual awakening of the youth, political atmosphere of the country, family life and religious beliefs.

I often miss special showing of such movies, so, I had to dig at the local/nearest video store.

It's cheap to view it at home. It's more convenient and I enjoy repeating important scenes for me to understand deeply what the film maker is trying to convey to the public.

Note: I was asked by the video attendant why I always choose documentary and indie movies this year. I replied that I am reviewing those VCD and DVD movies, so that, I can also recommend it to the readers out there who share my interest.

(Personal writings and opinion by travel_man1971 aka Ireno Alcala)

Filipino Indie Film - KURAP (Photo by Travel Man)
Filipino Indie Film - KURAP (Photo by Travel Man)

Filipino Indie Film called KURAP

Kurap is a Filipino or Tagalog word for blink.

Film director Ronaldo M. Bertubin was able to show the different facets of the film title in Philippine setting featuring the less-fortunate people of the society.

As the little girl, Luchie (Ashley Rhain Arca) , narrated at the beginning of the film, they belong to the 'walking dead people' of this country. Numbness of true feelings is often experienced by the poor in order to ignore hunger, apathy and disgust each day. She is suffering from the early stages of glaucoma, an eye disease that threatens her childhood into darkness as she slowly losses here eyesight.

Luchie, in the story, is the younger sister of Ambet (Sherwin Ordonez). In her young mind, she had already seen the harshness of living in the big city of Metro Manila, especially in the notorious locations in Quiapo, Recto and Divisoria.

The story line featured glimpses of such places. In Quiapo, you can easily browse on the knock-off or fake/cinema-copied/scandal DVD movies that you can buy for only P100.00 pesos per three or even four pieces. Recto is notorious for people who are faking documents, that's why it is dubbed as "Recto University." Divisoria is a flea market that is also a haven for petty thieves.

The videographer Marlon (Jojit Lorenzo) was able to lure Ambet to tip him regarding the illegal activities in the said places. Police authorities were able to capture and jail down the friends of Ambet that were conducting illegal activities.

His friends will suspect Ambet and vengeance will be the end of the two connivers in the story.

As for the casting, my attention is for Sherwin Ordonez and Jojit Lorenzo who are already making their names in the mainstream of the movie industry.

The destiny of Lucy revolves around Ambet and Marlon. If you're curious to know what happened to her, you can watch the movie at home by renting it at the nearest video rental store. I am doing it right now. With lots of promos and rebates, I can always have a movie marathon every weekend.

Now, that indie films are gaining attention, the show business and its personalities will always have a fall back plans, the main showbiz industry collapse.


Ambet is a small-time pickpocket lurking in the busy streets of Manila. Together with his gang of young criminals, he steals anything he can. Ambet’s only family is his sister Luchie. She is afflicted with glaucoma, a disease which causes slow blindness of the eye. Ambet’s illegal income is not enough to sustain the two of them let alone treat Luchie’s illness.

Then Marlon enters the picture. He is a cunning cameraman always chasing for video material on petty street crimes, prostitution, and prohibited drugs. His hidden camera is constantly on the hunt for juicy stories which he peddles to the television network. As Luchie’s eye condition aggravates, Ambet agrees to work for Marlon as an “undercover agent”.

The story is written by Romualdo Avellanosa. It is the first film produced by Silangan Pictures with Antonio de Guzman, Jr as producer.


Mr. Bertubin studied at the University of the East. He started his career with the short films "Hades" and "Lansa" which gained recognition and awards in the international scene.

His first feature film "Sikil" was shown in different film festivals and was acquired for distribution in North America, Germany and Spain. "Blink" is his second feature film.

KURAP (BLINK) Indie Film Official Full Trailer c/o ravellanosa


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Romano Arnesto: You're right! It's nice to appreciate the talents of our own film directors.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Arian Rey: You're right, Arian. The director was able to insert real scenes happening in the said places in Metro Manila.

    • Romano Arnesto profile image

      Romano Arnesto 6 years ago from Philippines

      A must-see indie movie,an awakening of souls, perhaps.

    • Arian Rey profile image

      Arian Rey 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

      With the blink of an eye, my fate will be changed once I see this movie.

      I'm intrigued with the trailer. I think, the film director inserted real scenes in the film, right?