Dekada '70 (film)

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Dekada '70
Dekada '70 movie poster.jpg
Philippine theatrical poster
Directed by Chito S. Roño
Produced by Tess V. Fuentes
Written by Lualhati Bautista
Starring Vilma Santos
Christopher de Leon
Piolo Pascual
Marvin Agustin
Kris Aquino
Ana Capri
Dimples Romana
Jhong Hilario
Carlos Agassi
Danilo Barrios
Carlo Muñoz
Tirso Cruz III
Orestes Ojeda
John Wayne Sace
Marianne de la Riva
Manjo del Mundo
Cacai Bautista
Music by Nonong Buencamino
Cinematography Neil Daza
Edited by Jess Navarro
Distributed by Star Cinema
Release date
  • 25 December 2002 (2002-12-25)
Running time
131 minutes
Country Philippines
Language Filipino and English
Budget P 40 Million
Box office ₱65,096,639[1]

Dekada '70 (lit. "The ’70s") is a 2002 Filipino drama film released based on the acclaimed novel by Filipino author, Lualhati Bautista. The film was restored by the ABS-CBN Film Archive.


A middle-class Manila neighborhood is home to the Bartolome family. Couple Amanda Bartolome (Vilma Santos) and Julián Bartolome Sr. (Christopher de Leon) are parents to sons Julian "Jules" Bartolome Jr. (Piolo Pascual) , Isagani "Gani" Bartolome (Carlos Agassi)), Emmanuel "Em" Bartolome (Marvin Agustin) , Jason Bartolome (Danilo Barrios) and Benjamin "Bingo" Bartolome (John Wayne Sace). The story tells about their life during the martial law in the Philippines during the 1970s.

In 1965, as a young Gani was fighting with his friend while they were playing a game in the street, their mothers came by to stop the fighting and made them stay away from each other. In the streets of Manila, protests take place when the Philippines enters the Vietnam War.

In 1970, Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos wins his re-election bid as president. At dinner time, Jules and Gani speak about the upcoming Junior-Senior Promenade. Amanda was looking for a job but her husband Julián stopped her from pursuing it. At the prom, Gani tries to grope his partner but she accidentally kicks him instead. The Bartolomes get stuck in traffic in the streets on the way home from the event. A protest happened near the Legislative Building and large protests was the major cause when Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, there were effigies burned by activists during the recent protest.

In 1971 another protest took place in the University of the Philippines and Jules with his best friend Willy (Jhong Hilario) became activists that same year. Emmanuel begins to write illegal exposure and other kinds of banned literature. Jules and Wily joined a resistance movement and both of them made pledges. A large number of protesters started to demonstrate outside and they began to sing the Philippine National Anthem, "Lupang Hinirang", with raised clenched fists. The soldiers were outnumbered and the protesters were trying to push them away but they couldn't so they retreated back to their places. Just then a furious Julián explain to Jules and Willy and also learns that the writ of habeas corpus was suspended by Marcos himself including the enforced disappearance of the student leader Charlie del Rosario. Gani explains to his father his plans to apply for a job in the US Navy only to be overheard by Jules, who admonishes his actions as lack of patriotism for the Philippines. Gani angrily explains to him that working for the US government entitles one to a high salary with numerous benefits. Julián accepts the plan, thus making Gani the family's newest breadwinner. Another protest depicts President Ferdinand Marcos acting as a lackey to Uncle Sam, and crucifying a Filipino. Bingo pulls down a flying kite and Amanda discovers that the kite is made out of an activist newspaper. Julián also discovers that Jules is an activist and he sneaks up to his room to check his rebellious pamphlets. He convinces that when Marcos was not yet a president in the past, the government signed a treaty between the United States, and the Philippines has no other choice but to recognize that treaty.

In 1972, Marcos declared martial law on nationwide television. He also included curfew at night to round up people from going outside to be imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured to death. Gani accidentally impregnates his girlfriend Evelyn (Dimples Romana) and her sleeping in Gani's room was discovered by Amanda. Two police cars escort the Bartolomes to Evelyn's house. At the house, Evelyn's father speaks to the Bartolome couple before blackmailing Gani into marrying her. They are married but days after the wedding, they have an argument for being the Bartolome's figure of shame. Jason shows his mother the report card but his grades just went down. But despite that, he convinces that during the first period, there was a high value of time. Jules came home late and confessed to his family that Willy had been tortured to death for staying past curfew. Jules wanted to go to Bicol to join the communist group the NPA for his exposure trip despite his mother's opposition.

In 1973, Evelyn gave birth to a baby girl and the same day, Gani went to the United States after he was enlisted at the US Navy while Evelyn went back to her mother. Emmanuel is going to Bataan for his interview about the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant but Julián becomes furious as Em might get caught due to martial law as well as the presence of soldiers in the area. The next day, Emmanuel left for Bataan for his interview and then two days later the Bartolome family went to the beach in the afternoon. It is then revealed that Evelyn and Gani had already separated the day Gani left for the United States.

In 1974, Jules brought a wounded friend home to have a bullet extracted from his leg, as bringing him to a hospital would arouse too much suspicion. A few days later, he began to hangout with Emmanuel and at the following day, Jules left the house again realizing that he cannot stay there for long.

In 1975, Bingo celebrates his birthday and they throw a birthday party in his family house until night. And after a couple of months without returning to his house, Jules was revealed to have been married to Mara (Ana Capri) and they both have a baby boy. At night, they burn Jules' anti-government pamphlets for fear of being arrested by who they think are the military but are actually a group of harmless carolers.

In 1976, a group of soldiers arrive at their house for the search and arrest order led by Jules, who had just become a political officer. The next day, Amanda and Bingo release two of their own pet birds to fly away for their freedom, but they know that those birds will come back to them. At night there is a phone call, and Emmanuel is shocked because Jules is subsequently sent to prison after his friend betrays them by revealing himself to be an undercover government operative. He also survived from torture but instead he was electrified and made to sleep on and ice box while in front of an electric fan while naked. At Christmas Day, Jason went home late from caroling and he learns that there was no curfew, but he wants to have a date with his girlfriend, Bernadette tomorrow but his mother told to him that he can have a date with her anytime but not during Christmas Day.

In 1977, Amanda learns that Jason was missing, she and her husband went to many police stations to look for their missing son all night long. And they learned that Jason was imprisoned for possession of marijuana but he was released for a few moments later and he was still missing. Emmanuel went to his friend and he said that there were three policemen who stabbed a young man to death, tying up his hands and salvage him to the dump. When he came home silently, he engaged in a private talk with his father while a saddened Amanda sat down on the chair. While hearing loud cries, the young man was revealed to be Jason who was stabbed to death and Amanda faints. At his funeral, Gani recently came back from the United States to attend his wake, the three brothers went to his body crying. Bingo was still sad because he thought that he was still mad at him, he said that Bernadette wanted to introduce Jason to her parents during Christmas Day but he died. Julián explains to Amanda that there were thousands of people killed during the martial law. Amanda and her friends went to Jason's grave and she convinces that it is best for her to live without her own children because she thought that her children can die early, she began to cry and she said that Jason wasn't a bad person. Even at that moment, she can go and face the Lord and even the demon just to prove that he is not a bad person. Amanda plans that she and Julián to be separated, she wanted to live alone and also she had a feeling from Jules when he is in prison but she wanted to be proud of herself. Amanda went to Emmanuel and there was a stage rehearsal for activists. A few moments later, Bingo informs to his mother that they will not be separated because Jules was released from prison. At the prison cell, the Bartolomes visited Jules for his release from prison while he was saying goodbye to his fellow inmates.

In 1978 during the Batasang Pambansa Elections a group of people are parading on the city street in Manila causing a moderate traffic on the road. The Bartolome family started to join the activist group called the Kilusad group to overthrow the Marcos regime. Emmanuel went on stage to lead his fellow activists to sing the Lupang Hinirang.

Later in 1983, the Bartolome family attend the wake of Ninoy Aquino at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City after his assassination. Amanda begins to join a large group of activists at the Post Office Building to overthrow the Marcos regime once and for all. The Marcos regime was peacefully overthrown in 1986 when Corazon Aquino was sworn into office as president until 1992.

After nine years, the shouts of "Erap resign!" followed by the singing of "Bayan Ko," prompting the crowd to call for the resignation of then President Joseph Estrada in time for the EDSA Dos and led to the installation of Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as President at the EDSA Shrine on January 20, 2001.


  • Vilma Santos as Amanda Bartolome - a mother of the Bartolomes with five young sons. After discovering copies of rebellious pamphlets lying around the house, she accepts Jules' inclination to become an anti-Government winger.
  • Christopher de Leon as Julián Bartolome, Sr. - the head of the Bartolome family who wants all his children to become successful in life. Being suspicious of Jules' inclination to become an anti-Government winger, he also became convinced when they find copies of rebellious pamphlets lying around the house and supports Jules to rally against corruption in the government.
  • Piolo Pascual as Julian "Jules" Bartolome, Jr. - the first son of the Bartolomes. After Amanda and Julian discover his inclination to the resistance movement, they confronted their son about them, and he had to admit his decision. At first, conflict ensues in the family. Eventually, the parents learned to accept their son's decision, and eventually became proud of him. Since then, their home became a constant place of recreation for Jules who often brought a friend along with him. Jules was subsequently sent to prison after the said friend betrayed the family by revealing himself to be an undercover government operative.
  • Carlos Agassi as Isagani "Gani" Bartolome - the second child of the Bartolomes. After planning to work for the United States Navy despite Jules' objections due to the latter's lack of patriotism, Gani becomes the family's second breadwinner and their hope to raise their social status. He, however, quickly became the Bartolomes' goat (figure of shame) after the accidental pregnancy of his girlfriend Evelyn, whom he is forced to marry. He later fathers the family's first grandchild, Annaliza while working with the U.S. Navy.
  • Marvin Agustin as Emmanuel "Em" Bartolome - the third child of the Bartolomes who writes banned literature whilst maintaining a mischievous, carefree outward personality. He also heard the news of Jason's death in 1977.
  • Danilo Barrios as Jason Bartolome - the fourth child of the Bartolomes who was dating with his girlfriend Bernadette. He was killed and stabbed multiple times by corrupt policemen in 1977, his death was finally heard by his elder brother Emmanuel.
  • John Wayne Sace as Benjamin "Bingo" Bartolome - the youngest of the children. He remains calm during the 70s.
  • Kris Aquino – student leader
  • Ana Capri as Mara - the wife of Jules Bartolome
  • Dimples Romana as Evelyn - the girlfriend and later wife of Isagani Bartolome
  • Jhong Hilario as Willy - Jules' best friend and activist. He was killed by torturers in 1972.
  • Carlo Muñoz as René
  • Tirso Cruz III as Evelyn's Father - an unnamed character who is shown to be strict and only appears in two scenes; the Evelyn's household scene and the wedding scene. After Evelyn is returned to her family's household by the Bartolome couple with Isagani late one night, he pressures Isagani into a shotgun wedding after hearing of his daughter's stay with the latter.
  • Orestes Ojeda as Dr. Rodrigo
  • Asley Fontanoza – Carlos Bartolome, Jr./Caloy/Cocoy
  • Marianne de la Riva as Evelyn's Mother -an unnamed character who is shown sobbing after Evelyn's return to the household and is a witness to the shotgun wedding by the unnamed father of Evelyn.
  • Manjo del Mundo as policeman
  • Cacai Bautista as rallyist


Year Award-Giving Body Category Recipient Result
2002 Metro Manila Film Festival [2] Second Best Picture Dekada '70 Won
Best Supporting Actor Piolo Pascual Won
Best Child Performer John Wayne Sace Won
  • Best Picture
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Actress – Vilma Santos
  • Best Supporting Actor – Piolo Pascual
  • Best Actress – Vilma Santos
  • Best Supporting Actor – Piolo Pascual
  • Best Screenplay – Lualhati Bautista
FAP/Luna Awards
  • Best Actress – Vilma Santos
  • Best Supporting Actor – Piolo Pascual
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Film
  • Best Director – Chito Roño
  • Best Actress – Vilma Santos
  • Best Actor – Christopher de Leon
  • Best Supporting Actor – Piolo Pascual
Young Critics Circle
  • Best Film
  • Best Director – Chito Roño
  • Best Screenplay – Lualhati Bautista
  • Best Performers – Vilma Santos and Piolo Pascual
  • Best Sound
25th Catholic Mass Media Awards
  • Best Film
Cinema One's RAVE Awards
  • Best Film
  • Best Performance – Vilma Santos
Gawad Pasado
  • Best Film
  • Best Director – Chito Roño
  • Best Screenplay – Lualhati Bautista
  • Best Actress – Vilma Santos
  • Best Actor – Christopher de Leon
  • Best Supporting Actor – Piolo Pascual
CineManila International Film Festival
  • Best Actress – Vilma Santos
  • Netpack Film Awardee – Dekada '70


  1. ^ YES! Magazine's 20 Stars Who Ruled the Decade, May 2010
  2. ^ "Metro Manila Film Festival:2002". IMDB. Retrieved 2014-04-09.

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