Family Values in Philippine Holiday Films

Liezel Porras
December 23, 2022

The holidays are a time for celebration and coming together with loved ones, and this is especially true in Philippine holiday films. Many of these films are typically family-oriented, with plots revolving around family themes and the importance of maintaining strong relationships with loved ones. They represent how family-oriented Filipinos are.

Celebrating Family Values 

Filipinos always add a touch of uniqueness to the holiday celebrations. The streets are ablaze with colorful lanterns and heartwarming carols seen as early as September. With the holidays approaching, more people gather, eat, and visit each other's homes to celebrate with their loved ones. The holiday season is something we look forward to all year because we get to reunite with family and friends from abroad.

Among the activities we do on holiday occasions is to watch movies together. 

Typical Filipino films usually center around family with a plot driven by family love and support to face challenges or obstacles.


Getting in the Holiday Spirit 

An annual film festival showcases local romantic comedies, horror films, and  crime dramas. The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) focuses on Filipino films and runs from December 25 into the first weekend of January the following year. However, Christmas films are rarely released during the holiday season. 

Here are some of the family-themed Philippine Holiday classics that have taken us on a roller coaster of emotions: 

One film that embodies this theme is Seven Sundays. Estranged siblings reunite to fulfill their dying father's wishes. They resolve old issues through spending time together. Siblings rediscover the importance of family and forgiveness. Families are the driving forces behind everything we have accomplished thus far. This film reminds us that no matter what our future holds, we must never forget our families.

Another film that showcases the value of family is Tanging Yaman (Only Wealth) , which tells the story of three estranged siblings who return to their family home after their father's death to settle a property dispute. After time apart without speaking to each other, old arguments and resentments resurface between the siblings. Despite having Alzheimer's disease, their mother is still trying to bring her family together. Confrontation occurs eventually, problems are revealed, and they pave the way for understanding, harmony, and reconciliation.

In both of these films, as well as in many others, the holidays serve as a backdrop for the celebration of family bonds and the resilience of those bonds despite challenges and conflicts.

Overall, Philippine holiday films remind us of the enduring power of family and the importance of cherishing the relationships we have with our loved ones. Whether through heartwarming comedies or romantic dramas, these films capture the joy and warmth of the holiday season and the enduring strength of family bonds.


Liezel is a senior writer at Xillium, holding a degree in literature. Prior to joining the company, she spent six years mentoring foreign Asian students to improve their English communication skills in a web-based education. Her academic involvement included developing and revising instructional materials and content. Liezel's career in distance learning has honed her skills in communication, management, research, and technology.

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