Die Beautiful

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Die Beautiful
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Jun Robles Lana
  • Ferdinand Lapuz
  • Perci M. Intalan
Screenplay byRody Vera
Story byJun Robles Lana
Music byRichard Gonzales
CinematographyCarlo Mendoza
Edited byBenjamin Tolentino
  • Octobertrain Films
  • The IdeaFirst Company
Distributed byRegal Entertainment
Release date
  • October 27, 2016 (2016-10-27) (TIFF)
  • December 25, 2016 (2016-12-25) (MMFF)
Running time
120 minutes
Budget₱15 million
Box office₱98 million[1]
(Official 2016 MMFF run)
₱110 million
(Official Worldwide Run)

Die Beautiful is a Filipino film directed by Jun Robles Lana and produced by Jun Robles Lana and Ferdinand Lapuz starring Paolo Ballesteros.

The film had its premiere at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival on October 27, 2016[2] and is an official entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.[3]


Trisha Echevarria (Paolo Ballesteros), whose birth name is Patrick, is a transgender woman whose sexuality and dream to become a beauty queen were greatly opposed by her father (Joel Torre), causing her to leave their house and live on her own together with her best friend Barbs (Christian Bables).

At present, Trisha is already dead. She died after collapsing during her pictorials as the newly crowned Binibining Gay Pilipinas. Her wake is being held at Happy Endings Funeral Homes under the care of her gay friends. Everyday, Trisha undergoes makeup transformations into different female celebrities, which she owes to the makeup skills of her best friend Barbs. The best friends enjoyed doing make-up transformations together when Trisha was still alive.

Trisha's adopted daughter Shirley Mae (Inah de Belen) arrives with her boyfriend. She cries and apologizes to her adoptive mother for rebelling against her before when Trisha unceasingly pushed her to join beauty pageants even if Shirley Mae didn't want to do so anymore. She tells Barbs that she is pregnant, thus, making her unable to fulfill Trisha's dream for her to be a beauty queen.

Meanwhile, Iza Calzado who crowned Trisha in Binibining Gay Pilipinas also visits the wake at the time when Trisha's makeup transformation is Iza's face. In another makeup transformation, the gay funeral parlor owner, Flora (Lou Veloso), was amazed by Trisha's look and asks for a selfie with the corpse dressed as Miley Cyrus. Flora later uploads the picture on Facebook without Barbs' consent. The photo goes viral, making Trisha's wake an attraction even for people who did not know her in life, much to Barbs' disapproval.

Couturier Eugene Domingo also visits the wake after knowing about the viral photo. She was appalled by the gown Trisha was wearing as Julia Roberts from the Runaway Bride and bought a fabulous white gown for Trisha to wear. Flora points out that corpses can't be dressed normally so they would have to cut the back part of the gown so they can put it on Trisha. Despite being hesitant at first, the couturier cuts the gown.

During the seven days of Trisha's wake, flashbacks of the glamorous life Trisha had lived as a son/daughter, brother/sister, mother, girlfriend, wife, and a beauty queen were shown.

The flashbacks showed both teenage Trisha, who was still Patrick then, and Barbs studying in the same school—proud gays modeling as they walk in the hallways. Patrick had a crush on basketball player Migs (Albie Casiño). Eager for Migs and with Barbs' convincing, Patrick goes with Migs and his friends one night. The next morning, Patrick arrives in school in a state of disarray and reluctantly confides to Barbs that he was gang-raped by a drunk Migs and his friends. The rape has caused anal bleeding to Patrick. Patrick's father and his sister Beth (Gladys Reyes) visit him and later finds out about what happened. Patrick ends up being slapped by his own father. His father as well threatens Trisha's friends - Barbs, Paola, and Erica - not to go near Patrick anymore.

This incident further strains the relationship between Patrick and his father. Patrick continued to disobey his dad, secretly joining gay beauty contests. As a result, his dad disowns him and tells him to leave. As he exits their house, Patrick yells his new identity: Trisha Echeverria.

Barbs' and his mother willingly let Trisha stay with them. Not having jobs, Trisha and Barbs start joining gay pageants from town to town, with someone called 'Mother' (Mimi Juareza) who gives them tips on how to win. Mother is usually upset with Trisha especially when she could not answer in the Q&A portion. When Trisha transformed herself into a celebrity (Britney Spears) in a pageant, she again fails to win the crown as she was only able to memorize one answer from the given set of questions and unfortunately, another candidate has picked the question.

Trisha and Barbs continued joining beauty pageants and finally win titles. Trisha became more creative with her costumes and talent. However, Trisha always only won the First Runner Up title. She also adopts an orphaned child named Adora and renames her as Shirley Mae. As Shirley Mae grows up, she gets bullied by her classmates for having a gay mother. Trisha tells her to neglect them and that she is a mother even if she does not have a female body yet and she loves her as a mother would do,

Trisha meets a young gay club dancer named Miko who later becomes her boyfriend. Trisha even pays for Miko's rhinoplasty. However, their relationship is short-lived as Trisha finds out that a gay beauty parlor owner (Mel Martinez) stole her dancer boyfriend.

Trisha continues to save money to have top surgery with Barbs while thinking that it will be the key for them to win beauty pageants. When they finally got the surgery, Trisha reminisces the only beauty pageant answer that she was able to memorize but she never got to pick the question.

Back to present, an unknown woman (Jade Lopez) visits Trisha's wake and tells the corpse "kayo rin pala ang nagkatuluyan sa huli" ("In the end, it's still the two of you together"). It was revealed that the woman is Diana, the wife of Jesse, (Luis Alandy) Trisha's lover.

Trisha met Jesse in a bar. In another flashback, Jesse, although married, dates Trisha. Trisha loved the idea that someone sincerely finds her beautiful and treats her like a lady. On their sixth monthsary, Trisha prepares a dinner for them at her home, but Jesse does not arrive. A month comes by and Jesse still has never called nor showed up. Diana later comes to their house and tells Trisha to go with her.

Trisha and Diana arrive in the hospital where Jesse was confined due to leukemia. Jesse tells Trisha his condition then confesses that their meeting at the bar was not accidental. It turns out that Jesse was only urged by his conscience as he was one of Migs' friends who gang-raped her. He tells Trisha that he grew to love her but Trisha ignores him and leaves.

Trisha goes on with her life with Barbs and Shirley Mae. Fate had Trisha to pick the question in the biggest gay pageant he has ever joined: the Binibining Gay Pilipinas. He delivers her memorized answer well "...if I'll die and be blessed to live again, I would choose to be nobody, nobody but me." At the backstage, Trisha jokingly tells Barbs that if she wins this major pageant, she will be ready to die. She further elaborates the details of her funeral: to have a makeover as a different celebrity everyday in her week-long wake. Trisha eventually wins the pageant but she collapses on stage and later dies of cerebral aneurysm.

In the morgue, Trisha's father and sister arrive. Her father remains cold, and with disgust, orders to have Trisha's breast implants removed. Beth convinces him to respect Trisha's decision so instead, they ended up dressing Trisha in a Barong Tagalog - contrary to Trisha's burial wish.

Barbs, Paola, and Erica get deeply disappointed at the sight of their friend and asks Beth to give in to Trisha's final request. Knowing her father will never agree, Beth helps Barbs and other friends sneak out Trisha's corpse to give her the burial she wished for.

In the last day of her wake, Barbs announces to everyone that her final makeover of Trisha is what she really is - the Trisha they knew who lived a glamorous life despite many obstacles and rejections. The movie ends with Trisha's final walk message, showing a younger version of herself, confident and glamorous.

Other celebrity transformations of Trisha during her wake are Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce.



Die Beautiful is a film funded by Hong Kong – Asia Financing Forum and produced by Regal Entertainment, The IdeaFirst Company, and Octobertrain Films.[5] The film was directed by Jun Robles Lana and produced by Lily Monteverde, Roselle Monteverde and Perci Intalan.[3][6][7]


Die Beautiful was selected in the Main Competition of the Tokyo International Film Festival, which ran from October 25, 2016 to November 3, 2016.[8][9]

The film is an official entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, and was screened at the 2017 Luang Prabang Film Festival.


At the awarding ceremony at the Tokyo International Film Festival which was held on November 3, 2016 at the Toho Cinemas in Roppongi Hills in Japan, Paolo Ballesteros was named the festival's Best Actor. The film also won the Audience Choice Award.[10][11]

The jury was headed by French director Jean-Jacques Beineix, and included Hong Kong director Mabel Cheung, U.S. producer Nicole Rocklin, Italian actor Valerio Mastandrea and Japanese director Hideyuki Hirayama.

A total of 16 films, with Die Beautiful being the only one from the Philippines, were in competition.


It was announced that a sequel was in production to be a 12-part spin-off television series to be aired on CignalTV entitled Born Beautiful with Paolo Ballesteros reprising his role and Martin del Rosario picking up the role of Barbs which was originally portrayed by Christian Bables.[12][13] Instead, the producers decided to make it into a full-length film with majority of the story focusing on Barbs.[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2016 29th Tokyo International Film Festival[15] Audience Choice Award Die Beautiful Won
Best Actor Paolo Ballesteros Won
21st International Film Festival of Kerala[16] Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance Won
42nd Metro Manila Film Festival[17] Best Picture Die Beautiful Nominated
Best Director Jun Lana Nominated
Best Actor Paolo Ballesteros Won
Best Supporting Actor Christian Bables Won
Best Supporting Actress Gladys Reyes Nominated
Best Ensemble Cast Die Beautiful Nominated
Best Screenplay Rody Vera Nominated
Best Production Design Angel Diesta Nominated
Best Float Die Beautiful Won
MMFF My Most Favorite Film (Audience Choice Award) Won
2017 Film Development Council of the Philippines[18] Film Ambassadors Awardee Paolo Ballesteros & Jun Lana Won
15th Gawad Tanglaw Awards[19] Best Actor Paolo Ballesteros Won
Guild of Educators, Mentors and Students[20] Won
Gawad Bedista Awards 2017[21] Actor of the Year (Film) Won
48th GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards[22] Global Achievement by a Filipino Artist (Tokyo Best Actor) Won
1st Eddys Awards (Entertainment Editors' Choice Awards for Movies)[23] Best Actor Won
Best Editing Die Beautiful Won
Best Production Design Won
40th Gawad Urian Awards


Best Actor Paolo Ballesteros Won
Best Supporting Actor Christian Bables Won
Best Production Design Angel Diesta Nominated
Best Editing Benjamin Gonzales Tolentino Nominated
33rd PMPC Star Awards for Movies Movie of the Year Die Beautiful Won
Movie Director of the Year Jun Lana Won
Movie Actor of the Year Paolo Ballesteros Nominated
Movie Supporting Actor of the Year Christian Bables Nominated
New Movie Actor of the Year Nominated
Movie Screenwriter of the Year Rody Vera Won
Movie Cinematographer of the Year Carlo Mendoza Won
Movie Production Designer of the Year Angel Diesta Nominated
Movie Editor of the Year Benjamin Tolentino Won
Movie Musical Scorer of the Year Richard Gonzales Nominated
Movie Sound Engineer of the Year Armand De Guzman and Lamberto Casas, Jr. Nominated
2018 5th Paragala Central Luzon Media Awards[25] Best Film Die Beautiful Won
Best Actor Paolo Ballesteros Won


  1. ^ "MMFF 2016 Total Gross: 'Vince & Kath & James at PHP 105 million; 'Die Beautiful' at PHP 98 million". Movie Journals Ph. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Paolo Ballesteros' Angelina Jolie Transformation In Tokyo Filmfest Red Carpet". International Business Times PH. 2016-10-27. Archived from the original on 2017-01-15. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  3. ^ a b Calderon, Ricky (8 August 2016). "Paolo Ballesteros stars in 2 upcoming films". philstar.com. The Philippine Star. The Freeman. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  4. ^ Acar, Aedrianne (12 July 2016). "IN PHOTOS: Paolo Ballesteros as a transwoman in 'Die Beautiful'". GMA Network Portal. GMA Network. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  5. ^ Dabu, Bianca Rose (2 March 2015). "Paolo Ballesteros to star as transgender woman in indie film". GMA News Online. GMA Network, Inc. GMA News. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  6. ^ "LOOK: Paolo Ballesteros bares 'boobs' for upcoming film". inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  7. ^ Gabinete, Jojo. "Paolo Ballesteros bares prosthetic boobs for Die Beautiful". pep.ph. Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  8. ^ "PH film 'Die Beautiful' to compete in Tokyo Film Festival". Rappler. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  9. ^ Sallan, Edwin P. "Jun Lana's 'Die Beautiful' premieres at Tokyo International Film Festival". InterAksyon.com. Archived from the original on 2017-01-15. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  10. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "Paolo Ballesteros wins Best Actor at Tokyo film fest". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  11. ^ "Paolo Ballesteros wins Best Actor at Tokyo film fest, accepts award as 'Julia Roberts'". Rappler. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  12. ^ "'Born Beautiful' on CignalTV". Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  13. ^ "Martin del Rosario tells Christian Bables: "Itutuloy ko lang ang laban mo."". Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  14. ^ Aldana, Ida (27 September 2018). "The Sequel to Die Beautiful Is Almost Here". spot.ph. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Paolo Ballesteros wins Best Actor in Tokyo International Film Festival". gmanetwork.com. GMA News Online. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Paolo Ballesteros wins another int'l award for 'Die Beautiful'". inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  17. ^ "MMFF 2016 winners revealed: Paolo Ballesteros, Irma Adlawan named Best Actor and Best Actress". pep.ph. Philippine Entertainment Portal. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  18. ^ "FDCP honors film ambassadors". bworldonline.com. BusinessWorld. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Charo Santos, Jaclyn Jose,Paolo Ballesteros at Allen Dizon, big winners at the 15thGawad Tanglaw". push.abs-cbn.com. ABS-CBN. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Paolo nakatanggap ng 4 bagong award para sa 'Die Beautiful'". bandera.inquirer.net. Bandera. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Paolo recently won the Actor of the Year award in the Gawad Bedista". gmanetwork.com. GMA Network. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  22. ^ Aquino, Anne Charmaine (23 April 2017). "Kapuso program and stars, wagi sa 48th Box Office Entertainment Awards". GMA Network, Inc. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  23. ^ Policarpio, Allan (12 July 2017). "Vilma, Paolo top entertainment editors' choices". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  24. ^ Rappler (20 July 2017). "FULL LIST: Winners, Gawad Urian Awards 2017". Rappler. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  25. ^ GMA News Online (12 March 2018). "Mga Kapuso, wagi sa 5th Holy Angel University Paragala Central Luzon Media Awards". GMA News. Retrieved 13 March 2018.

External links[edit]