‘Signal Rock’: First collab of master director Chito Roño, Best Supporting actor Christian Bables

A well-respected and a box-office hit director, a budding actor with a bright future in the industry, and a highly relatable story all brought together in “Signal Rock,” the highly-anticipated film offering by CSR Film PH Production.

Directed under the helm of versatile film director Chito S. Roño, and starring the award-winning actor Christian Bables, “Signal Rock” is such a tale that hits close to home.

It tells the story of a typical Filipino family aspiring for a better life. It’s about a family, albeit poor, lives in the beautiful island of Biri in Samar. Just like many Filipinos, one member of the family made the ultimate sacrifice of leaving her loved ones behind to work in a foreign land, in the hope to earn money and send it back home.

“Signal Rock” revolves around Intoy (Christian Bables), who lives in an impoverished fishing island, taking care of his parents, while waiting for his sister Vicky, an overseas Filipino worker, send them money.

Just like many women in the island, Vicky has flown to a foreign land, and married a foreigner, as a practical way to help their families back in the Philippines.

Since Intoy lives in a remote area, getting in touch with Vicky through a mobile phone is a constant struggle.

The only way to get through a call to Vicky is to get a good signal by scrambling on the strange rock formations on the island.

But the better life they hope for goes down the drain when Vicky, together with her daughter, flees her husband, who turns out to be abusive.

This leaves Intoy, poor but with a gift of gab, to be resourceful and come up with a master plan to help his sister and his niece from their adversity.

Intoy steps up to become the hope of the family to protect its members get them safely.

Intoy and the rest of the characters are all based on real people and the story is inspired by true events that took place in the 90s.

This is the second time that Direk Chito shot a film in Biri, Samar.

Known to be a maverick filmmaker, Direk Chito is tasked to breathe life to this story with his signature brand of directing.

For him, Signal Rock is a simple yet realistic drama.

The film is also produced by his production with his Director of Photography Neil Daza and written by the award-winning Rody Vera.

More than three decades in the industry, the candid director has produced some of the notable movies that stood out in different film genres: Bata, bata… Paano ka Ginawa? (1998), Feng Shui (2004 and 2014), Sukob (2006), Caregiver (2008), The Healing (2012), Etiquette for Mistresses (2015), and The Ghost Bride (2017), to name a few.

This year, he offers his passion project film to the moviegoers. “Ang totoong kwento ng Signal Rock ay tungkol sa mga ordinaryong tao sa probinsya na remote, mga taong lahat ng mga kasama nila nagsipag-abroad, ito ang place na iniiwan para makapagbigay ng suporta sa pamilya. Marami na tayong kwento tungkol sa mga OFW, pero ito ang kwento ng mga taong napagiwanan sa probinsya, na kung tawagin ay Bagtik.” explains Roño.

Christian has been acting and given bit roles since 2011, but was given his biggest break in the sleeper hit Die Beautiful, an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival entry. In the movie, Christian gave justice to Barbs Cordero, the best friend to Paolo Ballesteros’s Trisha Echevarria. Christian was so convincing as a cross-dresser in the movie, that different Best Supporting Actor trophies were awarded to him by a number of awards-giving bodies: Film Academy of the Philippines, Metro Manila Film Festival, and Gawad Urian.


For Signal Rock, Bables manages to be hand-picked personally by the master director Chito S. Roño. “Hindi ko binigay sa kanila ang script ng pelikula, pinapabasa ko lang ang mga linya nila kapag malapit na kaming mag-take ng eksena.” says Direk Chito.

Bables shared that he did his best for this film since his dream is to work with the veteran director. “Gusto ko ibigay lahat para sa passion project ni Direk Chito. May mga ginawa ako dito na first time ko, na proud ako dito ko ibinigay. Sana abangan po ninyo. Ang ganda ng location namin at talagang ma-aappreciate ninyo ang Pilipinas.” Select screeners of the film also shared that the movie is tear-jerking, creating awareness of small town stories.

The cast and crew stayed in Samar for 15 days, “To be more realistic, tumira talaga kami sa Samar. Hanggang ngayon remote pa talaga ito. Nakikitira kami sa mga tao roon, walang special treatment. Nasanay na sila na naglalakad papunta sa shooting location. Nakikihalubilo sa mga tao doon, naging familiar na kami doon. Dito namin lalong nakilala ang mga totoong tao, totoong buhay, parang naging bahay na namin doon at wala talagang signal!” shared Roño.

Signal Rock is an official entry to the upcoming Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Film Festival 2018.

The film also stars, Elora Españo, Mara Lopez, Francis Magundayao, and the veterans actors Daria Ramirez, Arnold Reyes, Nandiing Josef, Archie Adamos, Sue Prado, JayR Versales, Keana Reeves, Julia Chua, Kokoy De Santos, Jomari Angeles, Rubu Ruiz, Mon Confiado, Ces Quesada, Lee O’Brian, Dido Dela Paz and many more.

Signal Rock is brought to us by CSR Production and distributed by Regal Entertainment, Inc.

Like the Facebook Page @SignalRockMovie https://www.facebook.com/signalrockmovie

GUIDE: Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2018

Now on its 14th year, Cinemalaya: The Philippine Independent Film Festival will run from August 3-12 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)  and select Ayala Malls cinemas (Trinoma, Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 1, U.P. Town Center, and Ayala Mall Legazpi in Bicol).

For the list of full-length films and short films in competition, please see below.

Also, audiences will continue to enjoy the festival’s mainstays: Dokyu, the documentary section; Best of the Festivals, which showcases the best films from local festivals; Indie Nation, a special section featuring independent films; Visions of Asia, featuring award-winning Asian and Netpac films. There will also be a showcase of the final projects of the Directing and Production Management workshops under the 4th Cinemalaya Institute.

Cinemalaya will pay tribute to Maryo J. Delos Reyes through a special screening of his best films “Bagets” and “Magnifico”; and to Bernardo Bernardo by showing “Manila by Night” by Ishmael Bernal. Retrospective section will feature the 2017 Cinemalaya Best Film “Respeto” by Treb Monteras, and “Baconaua” by Joseph Israel Laban who won Best Director.

On its 30th edition, the Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, considered the longest-running independent film competition of its kind in the ASEAN region, will once again harvest the best of the best, with films competing in various categories such as Short Feature/Narrative, Experimental, Documentary and Animation. Pre-selected entries will be screened on August 4-6 at the CCP Tanghalang Manuel Conde (Dream Theater).

The Cinemalaya Campus, a major component of Cinemalaya, is slated on August 7 & 8 at the Silangan Hall. The Cinemalaya Awards Night will be held on August 12, 2018 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater).

Since 2005, Cinemalaya has continued to discover, encourage and support the cinematic works of upcoming and veteran Filipino filmmakers who boldly articulate and freely interpret the Philippine experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.

To date, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of Filipino full feature independent films and short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals.

Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films.


Here is the complete screening schedules of CINEMALAYA 2018, which you can download and print for your own plotting (2nd version as of Aug 1).



BUY BUST by Erik Matti. The opening ceremonies and the opening film will both be held at the CCP Main Theater from 6:00 PM onwards.


  • DISTANCE by Perci Intalan
  • KUYA WES by Jay Mayo
  • LIWAY by Kip Oebanda
  • MAMANG by Denise O’Hara
  • MUSMOS NA SUMIBOL SA GUBAT NG DIGMA by Iar Lionel Benjamin Arondaing
  • PAN DE SALAWAL by Che Espiritu
  • SCHOOL SERVICE by Louie Ignacio
  • THE LOOKOUT by Afi Africa



  • ASTRI AND TAMBULAH by Xeph Suarez
  • LOGRO by Kani Villaflor
  • NANGUNGUPAHAN by Glenn Barit
  • SA SAÍYANG ISLÁ (In His Island) by Christian Candelaria


  • BABYLON by Keith Deligero
  • KIKO by Jojo Driz
  • SIYUDAD SA BULAWAN (CITY OF GOLD) by Jarell Serencio
  • YAKAP by Mika Fabella and Rafael Froilan, Jr.
  • YOU, ME, AND MR. WIGGLES by Jay Velasco


  • CITIZEN JAKE by Mike De Leon
  • DELIA AND SAMMY by Therese Cayaba
  • MEET ME IN ST. GALLEN by Irene Villamor 
  • MGA MISTER NI ROSARIO by Allan Habon 
  • SI CHEDENG AT SI APPLE by Rae Red and Fatrick Tabada


  • BETI by P. Sheshadri
  • BAD GENIUS by Nattawut Poonpiriya
  • THE CHANTERS by James Mayo
  • GOODBYE, GRANDPA! by Yukihiro Morogaki
  • NEAREST & DEAREST by Kseniya Zueva
  • OF LOVE & LAW by Hikaru Toda


  • TALE OF THE LOST BOYS (Sinag Maynila 2018 Best Film) by Joselito Altarejos
  • THE ETERNITY BETWEEN SECONDS (Cine Filipino 2018 Best Film) by Alec Figuracion
  • PAKI (Cinema One Originals 2017 Best Film) by Giancarlo Abrahan
  • ANG LARAWAN (MMFF 2017 Best Film) by Loy Arcenas

Exhibition Films: Dokyu

  • YIELD by Toshihiko Uriu and Victor Delotavo Tagaro
  • CALL HER GANDA by PJ Raval
  • 50 YEARS OF FABULOUS by Jethro Cuenca Patalinghug
  • A. LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT by Jhett Tolentino
    B. A PIECE OF PARADISE by Patrick Alcedo, Ph.D.






Regular Price: P150 per screening
Student Price: P100 per screening
Discounts: 20% for Senior Citizens, PWD, Government and Military Personnel

Revenue Passes (with Cards):

• P3,500
• Admission to all festival screenings at CCP venues only (not valid in Ayala Cinemas)
• Free seating on a first-come first-served basis (subject to availability once screening starts).
• Priority lane entry to the theater.
• Priority to tickets to all free admission screenings (Pass holder needs to get a ticket 2 hours before screening time).
• Non-transferable

b. FIC PASS (Films-in-Competition)
• P2,000
• Admission to 12 Main Films-in-Competition (10 full-length competition screenings and 2 sets of short films) plus 3 additional films of choice at CCP venues only (not valid in Ayala Cinemas).
• Free seating on a first-come first-served basis (subject to availability once screening starts).
• Priority lane entry.
• Priority to tickets to all free admission screenings (Pass holder needs to get a ticket 2 hours before screening time).
• Non-transferable

Revenue Passes (Ticketed):

• P500 – admission to 4 screenings for the day (validity date is indicated on the ticket)
• P700 – admission to 5 screenings for the day (validity date is indicated on the ticket)
• Admission to CCP venues only (not valid in Ayala Cinemas).

b. VIP BOX (1 Screening)
• P1,200
• One (1) dedicated box with 6 seats at the Main Theater for one (1) screening (validity date is indicated on the ticket).
• Priority to tickets to all free admission screenings (Pass holder needs to get a ticket 2 hours before screening time).
• Non-transferable

c. VIP BOX (1 Day)
• P4,500
One (1) dedicated box with 6 seats at the Main Theater good for 4 screenings for one (1) day (validity date is indicated on the ticket)

• P5,500
One (1) dedicated box with 6 seats at the Main Theater good for 5 screenings for one (1) day (validity date is indicated on the ticket).

• Priority to tickets to all free admission screenings (Pass holder needs to get a ticket 2 hours before screening time).
• Non-transferable.


1. All-Access Pass (P3,500) and FIC (Films In Competition) Pass (P2,000) – both cards — are NOW available fur purchase in CCP Box Office (Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with no lunch break), Individual tickets of the films to follow.

Just for July 15 (Sunday), since there’s the ongoing Virgin Labfest at the CCP, the CCP Box Office will be opened and Cinemalaya festival passes may be purchased. And then it will open again from Tuesdays to Saturdays only (the rest of July), until the start of the Cinemalaya week in August.

2. Available also in TICKET WORLD (aside from CCP Box Office) is the ticketed One Day Pass (non-card). These are 4 or 5 single tickets with screenings,shown on the same date of your choice. As we post this on July 7, 2018, tickets via Ticket World are NOT YET available for purchase (to be announced).

3. TICKET WORLD Outlets will be announced on a separate post on this page.

4. Ayala screening tickets will be available for sale in Ayala Cinema Ticket Booths and via www.sureseats.com (date of start of purchase will be announced)

5. The One-Day Pass is already discounted (as a package cost), and so, if a STUDENT would like to avail it, he/she will pay the SAME amount (no student discount).

Directed by Carlo Enciso Catu

Logline: “An old unmarried couple breaks the monotony of their daily lives when the woman’s estranged husband reaches out to them, seeking reconciliation and forgiveness.”

Synopsis: “Unmarried couple Teresa and Celso try survive their mundane elderly life. On the night of their anniversary, they receive a phone call from Benedicto, Teresa’s estranged husband who is quite ill and needs someone to look after him. Going out of their way to take care of Benedicto, they encourage him to seek treatment and live the remaining days of his life. However, their son Chito can’t forgive. On the twilight of their days, how do they wait for the sun to set?”

Cast: Dante Rivero, Menggie Cobarrubias, and Perla Bautista, with Romnick Sarmenta, Che Ramos

Genre: Drama

Directed by Che Espiritu

Logline: “A wandering girl who violently hurts the sick to heal them brings miracles to an ill-striken neighborhood.”

Synopsis: “Aguy, a 10-year old palaboy, arrives in an ill-stricken neighborhood beside the Manila Railroad, where she meets a lonely panadero suffering from chronic kidney stones and wants nothing but to die, a barber with severe pasma, a Carinosa folk-dancer paralyzed by stroke, and a macho meat vendor with tumor in his breast. With her gift of healing, the the whole neighborhood begins to experience life again. While Aguy is able to heal the sick neighbors, for some reason, she cannot heal Sal. To heal him, she must inflict the most agoizing pain.”

Cast: Bodjie Pascua, Miel Espinosa, Madeleine Nicolas, Anna Luna, Felix Roco, Soliman Cruz, Ian Lomongo, Ruby Ruiz, JM Salvado, Lorenzo Aguila

Genre: Drama


Logline: “Three teenagers get more than what they bargained for when they learn about the dark days of Martial Law straight from an old retired soldier.”

Synopsis: “Confronted by a frustrated History professor, Carlo sets out to prove that Martial Law wasn’t all that bad and looks for someone who lived through that period to tell the tale. He meets Colonel, an old recluse living alone in a ramshackle house in Carlo’s neighborhood. With his best friend Jaze and girlfriend Pats, Carlo visits the old man to interview him about what truly happened during the Marcos regime – a visit that may put the lives of the three teenagers in danger. To truly learn about the horrors of Martial Law, do teenagers today have to pay the ultimate price?”

Cast: Eddie Garcia, Tony Labrusca, Liane Valentino, Henz Villaraiz, Jojit Lorenzo, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Chanel Latorre, Chrome Cosio, Richard Manabat, Maritess Joaquin, Kino Rementilla, Jindric Macapagal, Rein Adriano, Khalifa Floresta, Mila Talagtag

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Directed by Afi Africa

Logline: “A gay hired killer has a score to settle from his past.”

Synopsis: “Lester Quiambao is a gay hired killer, whose abusive relationships in childhood propels him into a life of crime and depravity, and compels him to betray Travis Concepcion, the man he loves, in order to exact his revenge.”

Cast: Andres Vasquez, Jay Garcia, Elle Ramirez, with Yayo Aguilar, Rez Cortez, Efren Reyes, Alvin Fortuna, Jeffrey Santos, Benedict Campos, Aries Go, Lharby Policarpio, Jemina Sy, Nourish Icon Lapuz, Xenia Barrameda, Dennis Coronel Macalintal, Ahwel Paz, Mon Gualvez

Genre: Psycho-Drama

Directed by Iar Lionel Benjamin Arondaing

Logline: “With the political unrest in Mindanao and the Maranao culture of rido, children live through the dangers and consequences of war.”

Synopsis: “Amid the conflict between their families and the chaos in Mindanao, two young Muslims cross paths and find love, happiness and friendship when they spend seven days in the middle of the forest.”

Cast: Junyka Sigrid Santarin, JM Salvado, Star Orjaliza, Jun Salvado Jr., Romerico Jangad, Darril Ampongan, Haide Movero

Genre: Social Drama

Directed by Denise O’Hara

Logline: “An old woman struggles against senility to be with her son.”

Synopsis: “Already in the twilight of her life, Mamang struggles to fight senility and dementia so she can live with her only living son Ferdie. But the more she struggles, the more her condition worsens until she is literally haunted by the ghosts of her past. She battles to drive them away from her house, and in her mind, and starts re-living her past – her marriage, her childhood, and everything else in between. In the end, she is forced to make a decision between staying sane or letting her mind go.”

Cast: Celeste Legaspi, Ketchup Eusebio, Peewee O’Hara, Alex Medina, Gio Gahol, Elora Españo, Paolo O’Hara

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Directed by Jay Mayo

Logline: “A timid and earnest remittance clerk falls in love with his regular customer.”

Synopsis: “Kuya Wes, a timid remittance clerk, feels like he does not exist, except when he is working at the remittance center. He is mostly ignored by his younger brother Raf and his family. His days are only brightened when his customer Erika comes in every month. One day, his life changes as Erika’s overseas husband leaves her. Wes decides to help her from his own pocket. His “relationship” with Erika and his friction with Raf starts to change him.”

Cast: Ogie Alcasid, Ina Raymundo, Moi Bien, Alex Medina, Karen Gaerlan

Genre: Comedy

Directed by Louie Ignacio

Logline: “A young girl is taken against her will from the province by a small-time syndicate and becomes a beggar in Manila.”

Synopsis: “Maya, an eight-year old student from a remote province, is walking home from school when the school service stops to her to ask for directions. In return for Maya’s help, the woman in the school service offers to take her home, and Maya agrees. To Maya’s horror, the service doesn’t stop at her place. Maya finds herself hours and hours away from home. She becomes the latest victim of the “school service.”

Cast: Aiai delas Alas, Joel Lamangan, Celine Juan, Therese Malvar, Felixia Dizon, Joe Gruta, Kenken Nuyad, Kevin Sagra, Santino Oquendo, Ace Café

Genre: Social Drama

Directed by Kip Oebanda

Logline: “A young mother uses storytelling to protect her child from the reality of growing up inside the prison and the difficult life she has endured.”

Synopsis: “Dakip lives with his parents Day and Ric inside Camp Delgado, a makeshift prison inside a military camp for both rebels and criminals. Given their circumstances, Day does her best to shelter the child from the harsh realities of their life. She uses storytelling about an enchantress named Liway, as well as songs and imagination, to help ensure that her boy is free from trauma. At the tail end of the Martial Law, Day’s own dark past catches up on her and the lives of the detainees become increasingly difficult. She is confronted with the cruel possibility that the best interest of her child means never seeing her again. This is based on a true story.”

Cast: Glaiza de Castro, Dominic Roco, Kenken Nuyad, Sue Prado, Soliman Cruz, Joel Saracho, Paolo O’Hara, Ebong Joson, Nico Antonio, Gerry Cornejo, Diana Alferez, Julie Bautista, Pau Benitez, Liway Gabo, She Maala, Renante Bustamante

Genre: Drama

Directed by Perci Intalan

Logline: “When a woman returns to the family that she abandoned five years ago, everyone struggles to stay civil, not to reopen old wounds, and stay together even though a secret from the past threatens to always keep them apart.”

Synopsis: “Liza is still drowning in grief from losing the love of her life when she receives a visit from the most unlikely person — her husband who she left five years ago. With no questions asked and no conditions, Anton invites her back to his and their two children’s lives.”

Cast: Iza Calzado, Nonie Buencamino, Therese Malvar, Alessandra Malonzo, Adrianna So, Max Eigenmann, Lhian Khey Gimeno, Elia Maria Norelle Ilano, Erlinda Villalobos, Billy Seño, Tanya Gomez, Cherry Malvar, Myla Monido, Mailes Kanapi, Matt Daclan, Timothy Castillo

Genre: Drama


Directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad

Logline: “A gas station attendant is on her last day of duty.”

Synopsis: “Jodilerks has been quietly and diligently working as a gas station attendant for a very long time. Tonight is her final shift, and she has decided to sign off in, quite frankly, outrageous fashion.”

Directed by Glenn Barit

Logline: “The interwoven lives of people meet when they occupy a single room of an apartment through different points in time.”

Synopsis: “‘Nangungupahan’ follows the different lives of people who occupy a room of an apartment through different points in time. The room may mean differently to each occupant; and by overlapping these timelines, we gain insight about our shared space and history, as well as the bigger structures outside that affect us.”

Directed by Christian Candelaria

Logline: “A young boy struggling with his identity finds solace in his dream of becoming a mermaid.”

Synopsis: “Set in a small fishing community that struggles amidst an oil spill, a pre-pubescent and cheerful young boy named Dinggoy struggles with his identity and finds comfort in his dreams of becoming a mermaid. The film tackles childhood identity struggles and parental challenges that come with caring for a gender non-conforming child.”

Directed by Xeph Suarez

Logline: “A Badjao transwoman is forced to abandon her lover to marry a woman betrothed to her from birth.”

Synopsis: “Astri is a 16-year-old transwoman who is in a relationship with 17-year-old Tambulah. Although it is an unusual sight in the community where they live, nobody bothers them. Subsisting on the coins people throw at them when they perform their traditional dance at the sea, everything seems perfect except that Astri has to marry a woman she hardly known as part of the Badjao traditions and a pach made long ago.”

Directed by Kani Villaflor

Logline: “Living in a society where people limit his world, Bruno decides to take the risk and go for what he wants instead of settling for what people allow him to be.”

Synopsis: “Bruno, a little person, earns a living by working in a dingy restaurant. Dissatisfied with his work, salary and work treatment, he joins an underground fight club to earn his way to the prize money, in the hopes of reaching his aspirations.”

WATCH: Witness the meteoric rise of a legend in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ full trailer

Brace for a rocking good time and sing your hearts out for the full trailer of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is the story of how Freddie Mercury and his fellow band members Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon formed Queen – one of the most iconic rock groups of all time. The film follows Queen as they produce hit after hit, topping the charts while constantly evolving their sound. Through disparate songs like Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are the Champions, We Will Rock You and countless others, the band reaches unparalleled success and Freddie becomes one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet.

Behind that veil of success, however, Freddie struggles to reconcile his duality. Forever trying to determine where he fits in the world as a Parsi immigrant from Zanzibar coming to terms with a sexuality even he can’t define in a culture bound by stereotypes and expectations. Freddie dares to defy them all but also pays a price. Lured into excess and surrounded by darker influences, Freddie shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. What becomes an attempt to redefine himself as a solo artist, ends in disappointment and further isolation.

Pulling himself up from personal strife one more time to overcome the odds, the band puts on one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” opens in Philippine cinemas nationwide on November 7 from 20th Century Fox.