Bagong Buwan

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Bagong Buwan
Directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Produced by Bahaghai Productions/Star Cinema/Charo Santos-Concio; Margie Moran-Floirendo
Written by Jun Lana & Ricardo Lee
Starring Cesar Montano
Amy Austria
Jericho Rosales
Caridad Sanchez
Carlo Aquino
Noni Buencamino
Jiro Manio
Ronnie Lazaro
Jhong Hilario
Jodi Santamaria
Music by Noni Buencamino
Distributed by Star Cinema
Release date
Running time
110 mins
Country Philippines
Language Filipino;Tagalog

Bagong Buwan (lit. "New Moon") is about the Muslim rebellion in Mindanao, Philippines and its effect on civilians.[1] The film is set to be restored by ABS-CBN Film Archive.


Ahmad (Cesar Montano) belongs to the Moro people . While many of his kind are bent on fighting, thinking that Mindanao is only for the Muslims, Ahmad prefers to live a simple and peaceful life. He works as a doctor in Manila while his wife, Fatima (Amy Austria), and his only son, Ibrahim, stay in Mindanao with his mother, Farida (Caridad Sanchez). Ahmad is shocked and devastated when Fatima breaks the confounding news. Ibrahim was killed by a stray bullet when vigilantes indiscriminately fire at their village. Ahmad goes back to where he came from --- Mindanao.

Ibrahim’s death did not cause Ahmad to stop striving to live a peaceful life, much to the consternation of his brother, Musa (Noni Buencamino). His brother takes an exactly opposite stand. Musa believes in waging a war against all the Kaafir (unbelievers) who may impede the Moro’s goal of independence. He even trains his young son, Rashid (Carlo Aquino) to a Muslim warrior’s life.

Ahmad wishes to bring his family to Manila in order to escape the conflict in Mindanao but convinces no one, even his mother. Farida is apparently used to a life of constantly running away from crossfire. His wife, Fatima, wishes to stay where the memory of his son remains. Ahmad is now challenged to continue his life’s vocation as a healer in his war-torn homeland.

One day, the MILF headed by Musa, together with Rashid, bombed a police station near a public marketplace. Francis (Jiro Manio), a young Catholic boy, is separated from his parents during the confusion and follows Rashid. Rashid grudgingly takes Francis with him and introduces him to his co-villagers. Francis goes wherever Ahmad and his people go. Francis and Rashid, at their very young age, are the personification of the rival Christian and Muslim who find themselves prejudiced against each other because of ignorance.The tribe leader was later slain in a crossfire between MILF and a battalion of soldiers sent to search the missing boy.

Ahmad’s group flees the war by evacuating their village and looking from one place or another for a safe haven in the hope of avoiding crossfire and finding a safe place to live in. Ahmad, in his new role as the leader, discovers the pain and suffering that innocent people have gone, and still, go through just because they find themselves in the middle of a war… a war which they did not instigate.

Ahmad learns more about his own people. He learns about how the government takes them for granted. He learns about how the Moro, as a people, strive to fight for their rights and liberty. Ahmad also learns that in his veins still runs the blood of a Muslim and offers the ultimate sacrifice. He died in battle when Lt. Ricarte's men fired at Ahmad, killing him and crippling Ricarte. The latter shouted the famous line in this film, "Cease fire! Cease fire!" while wounded.

Near the end, Musa and Rashid joins the rebels, Francis returned to his parents, and Fatima and Farida descended from the mountains to teach the kids what they learned. The two met in Ahmad's grave for a last time before departing, for good.

In the end, one realizes that nobody really wins in a war. A just peace is better than a just war.



Year Award-Giving Body Category Recipient Result
2003 Gawad Urian Awards[2] Best Actor Cesar Montano Nominated
2001 Metro Manila Film Festival [3][4][4] Second Best Picture Bagong Buwan Won
Best Actor Cesar Montano Won
Best Supporting Actor Ronnie Lazaro Won
Best Child Performer Jiro Manio Won
Best Original Theme Song Joey Ayala ("Walang Hanggang Paalam") Won
Best Musical Score Nonong Buencamino Won
Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Awards Bagong Buwan Won


  • The movie is known for Lt. Ricarte's last war cry, "ceasefire!"


  1. ^ "Bagong Buwan]". Archived from the original on 13 October 2006. 
  2. ^ Awards for Bagong Buwan Internet Movie Database Retrieved 2 December 2006.
  3. ^ "Metro Manila Film Festival:2001". IMDB. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  4. ^ a b Award Winning Movies Regal Films Retrieved January 30, 2007.

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