Check out these six proudly Pinoy films about food

Talk about theater of the stomach


Even if we constantly crave and adore food, it’s not everyday that we learn the stories that go behind each plate. For this pop-culture edition of Staff Picks, we’ve listed down six local movies that showcase the different lives, experiences, and facets of food in film. So go on and pop these films in as you chill on the sofa and take yourself on a food trip like no other.

My Big Love (2008)

You’ll barely recognize Sam Milby as he takes on the role of Macky, a pastry chef struggling with his weight. The young chef wants to win the affection of a young columnist, but somehow, he believes that he has to get back in shape in order for her to like him back. To meet his goal, the lovestruck Macky decides to hire a personal fitness instructor named Aira. On his journey to fitness, however, he and Aira couldn’t help but develop romantic feelings for each other. Macky then gets stuck in the dilemma of his life. Who deserves his big love: is it his long-time dream girl or is it the one who helped him get through his toughest times.

Kusina (2016)

For some, cooking is seen as a way to tell stories and connect with people. The same can be said with Juanita, a woman who considers the kitchen as her home, cooking as her escape, and the kitchen’s four walls as the telltale witness to her whole life. The film also tries to be socially relevant as it probes the patriarchal mindset of how people think that women are good only in the kitchen. Kusina makes us see how cooking can be an integral part of a person’s life, and eventually make a huge impact.

Ulam: Main Dish (2017)

Ulam: Main Dish is actually a film that chronicles true-to-life stories of chefs. This movie was part of the Los Angeles Times’ Food Bowl, a  food festival which aims to acknowledge LA’s dynamic and influential food scene. It tackles the struggles and triumphs of Fil-Am chefs about in opening their respective restaurants, and how they tweaked their recipes to better suit the Western palate. This movie goes to show that our gastronomy says so much about our culture and how each dish is reminiscent of home.

Kailangan Kita (2002)

Food brings people together, just like how it brought Carl, a celebrity chef based in New-York, and Lena, the sister of his fiancee. As the story goes, the handsome bachelor comes home to the Philippines to marry a fellow Filipino expatriate in her hometown in Bicol. Having been assigned to take care of the wedding banquet, Carl learns that his future sister-in-law shares the same passion for cooking as he does. This flick proves how, once and for all, food becomes the bridge to meaningful relationships.

Kusina Kings (2018)

Cheftrepreneurs about to have their start in the food industry will surely relate to Ronnie and Benjie’s struggles as they work hard to make it in the restaurant scene. Here, we take a look at the oft told tales of business partners trying to save their venture while also keeping their friendship intact. Although the film contains a series of unfortunate events, it lightens up the mood with its pile of jokes and punchlines. Kusina Kings is a great reminder that while starting a business has its share of challenges, it helps to have people who always have your back to keep you going.

Namets! (2008)

Rediscover the diversity of our very own cuisine in Namets!. This film follows the adventures and misadventures of Jacko as he witnesses his Italian restaurant turn into Negrense. The film introduces you to the beauty and uniqueness of Bacolod’s cuisine and allows you to marvel at it all the more. Guaranteed, your eyes will definitely feast on countless mouthwatering food on screen.

What local food film are you watching this weekend? Let us know in the comments below! While you’re at it, here are more shows you can binge on.