Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti

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Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti
Ang Kwento ni Mabuti poster.jpg
Official Poster
Directed by Mes De Guzman
Written by Mes De Guzman
Starring Nora Aunor
Sue Prado
Mara Lopez
Arnold Reyes
Cinematography Albert Banzon
Cinelarga Productions
Distributed by Cinelarga Productions
Release date(s)
  • September 18, 2013 (2013-09-18) (CineFilipino Film Festival)
  • September 25, 2013 (2013-09-25) (Wide release)
Country Philippines
Language Ilocano, English (subtitle)

Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti is a 2013 Filipino drama film and the official entry to the first CineFilipino Film Festival. Not to be confused with the Filipino literary classic by Genoveva Edroza-Matute, De Guzman’s film is actually a morality tale about Mabuti, a faith healer who maintains a positive outlook in life despite her poverty. But that was until she found herself in a moral dilemma after accidentally finding a bag containing P5 million in cash that could bring an end to her family’s problems.[1]

The film was the first collaboration of the award winning actress Nora Aunor and the award winning director Mes de Guzman. The film was shot entirely in Aritao, Nueva Viscaya. The dialogue of the film is entirely in Ilocano, to give the film its authenticity with English subtitles.[2]

The film was also top-grosser of the first CineFilipino Film Festival.[3]


Mabuti de la Cruz, is a 58 year old healer who lives in poverty-stricken Sitio Kasinggan in Nueva Vizcaya with her surly mother, Guyang (Josephina Estabillo), luckless son Ompong (Arnold Reyes), loveless daughter Angge (Mara Lopez), and her four fatherless granddaughters.[4] Although she came from the impoverished family, Mabuti still look up life in a positive way. Life is hard, but that doesn’t stop the cash-strapped but cheerful grandmother from basking in the simple pleasures of barrio life. Life was always simple for Mabuti until an unexpected twist changed her perception and found herself in a moral dilemma.

One day, Mabuti received a letter demanding payment for an overdue loan compels her to take the five-hour trip to the big city to ask for financial reprieve. Mabuti needed to mortgage their land when Ompong was going abroad to work. On her way back home, she met a friendly stranger named Nelia on the bus who entrusts a bag to her and runs off, only to be killed by the military.[5] Mabuti was so confused of what happened but kept the bag that was entrusted to her. On the way home, she decided to take a peek on what was inside of the bag and to her surprised she saw bundles of money, that she has never seen before. Mabuti suffers a crisis of conscience after she comes upon a bag of money—millions of pesos, at that. She is torn between surrendering it to the authorities and using it to solve the problems that her family faces.[6]


  • Nora Aunor as Mabuti de la Cruz
  • Sue Prado as Nelia
  • Mara Lopez as Lucia de la Cruz
  • Arnold Reyes as Ompong de la Cruz.
  • Ama Quiambao
  • Josephina Estabillo as Guyang


  • in Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti that the actress redeems her stature and the command of her vast talent. The performance is shorn of affectation and is nearly flawless, from the subtle movement of neck and eye to wailing by her mother's death bed. At this point, melodrama flirts with melancholy, tragedy with the realism of soap opera, an uncanny liaison that takes us to the most fraught of ties, the most alienating of emotions, and an emergent tone and terrain of affection. Mabuti succeeds at opening up spaces to ponder the fraught issues of faith and responsibility well-served by the restrained performances of its supporting cast.

- Jojo Devera, Film Critic[7]

  • You don’t want to miss the CineFilipino entry, “Ang Kwento ni Mabuti,” if only for Nora Aunor, whose peerless, award-worthy portrayal and magnetic presence give director Mes de Guzman’s visually and thematically compelling drama a spare but forceful elegance—and its reason for being! - Rito P. Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept 21, 2013
  • Director Mes de Guzman has succeeded to create a charming fairy tale with modern-day characters and situations. There is a whimsical element about the interplay of harsh realities of live with fate and destiny that will make the audience smile. - Fred Hawson, Film blogger'

List of Festival Competed or Exhibited[edit]

  • 1st CineFilipino film Festival, Manila, Philippines[8]
  • The 20th Festival International des Cinémas d'Asie | Festival du Film Asiatique de Vesoul "Cinemas d'Asie" (11-18 Feb 2014), France[9]
  • 6Th Cinema Rehiyon, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (February 18–22, 2014)s[10]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

1st Cine-Filipino Film Festival
Year Category Nominee Result
2013 Best Picture Won
Best Director Mes de Guzman Won
Best Screenplay Won
Young Critics Circle
Year Category Nominee Result
2013 Best film Mes de Guzman Nominated
Best Performer Nora Aunor Nominated
Best Screenplay Mes de Guzman Nominated
Best in Cinematography and Visual Design Albert Banzon (cinematography), Cesar Hernando and Mes de Guzman (production design) Nominated
15th Gawad Pasado
Year Category Nominee Result
2014[11] Pinakapasadong Pelikula Won
Pinakapasadong Aktres Nora Aunor Won
Pinakapasadong Istorya Mes de Guzman Won
Pinakapasadong Sinematograpiya Albert Banson Won
37th Gawad Urian
Year Category Nominee Result
2014[12] Best Picture Nominated
Best Director Mes de Guzman Nominated
Best Actress Nora Aunor Nominated
Best Sound Nominated