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Theatrical movie poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jun Lana
Produced by Tonee Acejo
Written by Jun Lana
Starring Eddie Garcia
Princess the dog
Music by Jema Pamintuan
Jeff Hernandez
Cinematography Carlo Mendoza
Edited by Lawrence S. Ang
Distributed by Star Cinema (Philippines)
Fortissimo Films (Worldwide)
Release date
  • July 21, 2012 (2012-07-21) (Philippine Independent Film Festival)
  • September 5, 2012 (2012-09-05) (Philippines)
Running time
110 minutes
Country Philippines
Language Tagalog, Filipino

Bwakaw is a 2012 Philippine comedy-drama film written and directed by Jun Lana. Eddie Garcia stars as a lonely gay man in his 70s who cares for a stray dog he named bwakaw. The film was first screened as part of the 2012 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival where it formed part of the Director's Showcase roster.[1]


Rene is a gay man who came out of the closet at age 60. Ailing in his twilight years, he thinks it is now too late for love, even companionship, and that all there is to look forward to is Death. He has made a will, bequeathing his few possessions to his even fewer friends. Everything is packed and labeled, ready for distribution. He has even paid for a coffin, taking advantage of a funeral home's Summer Sale. Nowadays the only companion Rene has is Bwakaw, a stray dog that hangs around his house and follows him wherever he goes. As Rene waits for the day of his death, he gets the surprise of his life when it is Bwakaw who suddenly falls ill and is diagnosed with cancer. Rene is surprisingly affected, and he realizes that he values Bwakaw more than he thinks. In his struggle to get Bwakaw cured, Rene finds comfort in the most unlikely person: Sol, a tricycle driver who helps him bring Bwakaw to the vet and befriends him. Buoyed by Sol's friendship, Rene starts living. Little by little he discovers simple joys. To the surprise of his friends, he even has his hair dyed to look younger. One day, he finally decides to make a move on Sol. The revelation that Rene is gay and has feelings for him surprises and disgusts Sol. He rejects Rene and leaves in anger. In the meantime, Bwakaw's condition gets worse. Not even Rene's ancient Santo Entierro (a supposedly miraculous statue of Jesus Christ) can save Bwakaw. Bwakaw dies, and Rene's neighbors help him bury the faithful dog. But Bwakaw's death, even while it was still only imminent, has made a difference. Rene has found a new appreciation for life and what is most important. He decides to unpack the things that he has already willed to other people and make his house more habitable. He is, after all, still alive.[2]


  • Eddie Garcia as Rene
  • Princess as Bwakaw
  • Rez Cortez as Sol
  • Soliman Cruz as Funeral Homes Manager
  • Bibeth Orteza as Rose
  • Joey Paras as Tracy
  • Allan Paule as Berting
  • Beverly Salviejo as Nitang
  • Soxy Topacio as Zaldy
  • Luz Valdez as Minda
  • Gardo Versoza as Father Eddie
  • Armida Siguion-Reyna as Alicia
  • Jonathan Neri as Veterinarian 1
  • Roni Bertubin as Ronaldo Bertubin (Minda's Nephew)
  • May-i Fabros as Cedes


Bwakaw won the Netpac Awards and the Audience Choice during the Cinemalaya competition, while Garcia was awarded Best Actor.[3] The film was selected as the Filipino entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.[4]


Event Award Category/Recipient(s) Result Reference
Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival Audience Award Directors Showcase (Jun Lana) Won [5]
Balanghai Trophy Best Actor - Directors Showcase (Eddie Garcia) Won
NETPAC Award Directors Showcase (Jun Lana) Won
Balanghai Trophy Best Film - Directors Showcase (Jun Lana) Nominated
Hawaii International Film Festival Halekulani Golden Orchid Award Narrative Feature (Jun Lana) Nominated
Tokyo International Film Festival Asian Film Award - Special Mention Jun Lana Won
85th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Philippine Entry Not Nominated [6]
55th Asia Pacific Film Festival Best Actor Eddie Garcia Won
7th Asian Film Awards Best Actor Eddie Garcia Won
People's Choice Award for Best Actor Won


  1. ^ "Cinemalaya: Bwakaw". Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Cinemalaya: Bwakaw". Synopsis. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "'Bwakaw' to hit cinemas nationwide on Sept 5". The Philippine Star. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "'Bwakaw' to compete at the Oscars". Philippine Star. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Bwakaw Awards". IMDb. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ "'Bwakaw' to compete at the Oscars". The Philippine Star. PhilSTAR Daily. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 

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