Felix Manalo (film)

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Felix Manalo
Felix Manalo movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoel Lamangan
Written byBienvenido Santiago
Produced byVic del Rosario Jr.
StarringDennis Trillo
CinematographyRody Lacap
Edited byJohn Anthony L. Wong
Music byVon de Guzman
Distributed byViva Entertainment
Release dates
  • October 4, 2015 (2015-10-04) (Philippine Arena)
  • October 7, 2015 (2015-10-07) (Philippines; wider theatrical release)
Running time
175 minutes[1]
Budget₱150 million[2]
(US$3.3 million)
Box office₱226 million[3]
(US$4.8 million)

Felix Manalo is a 2015 Filipino biographical film about the life of Felix Ysagun Manalo, the first Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC; English: Church of Christ), and the church he preached. Manalo is regarded by the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo as the last messenger of God and the restorer of the true Church of Christ, whom the INC gives the title Sugò (Tagalog: "messenger" or "envoy").[4] The story and screenplay were written by INC evangelism head Bienvenido Santiago.[5] The film was directed by Joel Lamangan. All content of the film was screened and approved by the INC.[5]


Felix Manalo (portrayed by Trillo) studies, joins, doubts, and eventually leaves both Catholicism and Protestantism before starting a church he believes to be a restoration of the Biblical church founded by Jesus.


Main cast[edit]

Bela Padilla portrays Honorata "Ata" de Guzmán-Manalo

Supporting cast (in alphabetical order)[edit]



Joel Lamangan served as the overall director of the film with Armando Reyes as the assistant director, and Glicerio Santos III as the creative producer. The production design was done by Edgar Martin Littaua, Joel Marcelo Bilbao and Daniel Red. Other members of the production team were Bienvenido Santiago (story and screenplay), Rody Lacap (director of photography), Albert Michael Idioma (sound supervisor), Von de Guzman (musical director), John Wong (film editor), and Juvan Bermil (makeup and hair design).[7][8] The script was written by the head of evangelism of the INC, and the church approved of all content in the film.[5]

About one hundred actors were included in the cast, while 8,000 people were hired as extras. Scenes were shot in Metro Manila, Laguna, Subic, and Bataan. This includes the INC Chapel F. Manalo (formerly Riverside) in San Juan, and the chapel in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City, which was used in the funeral. The Laguna de Bay stood in for Pasig River in the baptism scenes. The whole film was about 6 hours or 360 minutes in length, but a shorter version was used for its theatrical release.[9]


Initially, Richard Gomez, Albert Martinez and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. were tapped to play Felix Manalo, Eraño Manalo and Eduardo Manalo, respectively.[10][11] However, Gomez and Revilla would later drop out of the project.[11] Bong Revilla, who is also a incumbent Senator at that time, withdrew after he got implicated in the PDAF scam reasoning that it would shameful to portray a religious leader when he is riddled with political controversy.[12]

Martinez would then be cast in the role of Felix Manalo, with Dennis Trillo playing a younger Felix Manalo. Martinez would also exit the project following the death of his wife, Liezl Martinez.[13][11] Trillo would go on to play the old and the young Felix Manalo.[11]


The theme song and music video of the film entitled "Ang Sugo ng Diyos sa mga Huling Araw" (English: The Messenger of God in the Last Days) was released on October 4, 2015 at the Philippine Arena. The song was performed by Sarah Geronimo, composed by Joan and Ryan Solitario, and arranged by Louie Ocampo.[14]


On October 4, 2015, its premiere broke three Guinness world records for the largest audience in a film premiere, the largest audience in a film screening[15][16] and the largest paying audience for a film premiere, with 43,624 attendees.[17] VIVA Films set up a five-story, 22 by 40 meters high definition screen for the premiere at the Philippine Arena.[9]

The film's cinematic release is 175 minutes in length while the 6-hour version will be included in the DVD release.[1][9]

Felix Manalo was released in Philippine cinemas on October 7, 2015.



The Cinema Evaluation Board of the Philippines, the governing council for Filipino films, gave the film an "A".[18] The film was graded based on its direction, screenplay, cinematography, editing, production design, music scoring, sound, and acting performances.[19]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewers have noted the makeup team's work on Trillo, which during the course of the film ages him from a young man through to age 76,[20][21] and the nearly three-hour running time.[21] The PhilStar commended the film's recreation of multiple historical time periods.[20] The Manila Bulletin states the film "makes no qualms in its aim to preach" and that a lot of money was spent on the film because it will be "screened in several INC gatherings for many years to come."[21]

Philbert Ortiz Dy of ClickTheCity was also critical, giving it 2 out of 5 stars and wrote, "It is slow, ponderous, and focuses on things that aren’t very interesting at all."[22] While Michael Alegre of the Philippine Online Chronicles did not give a rating, he said in his review that it suffers from "a lack of focus, excessive content, an uneven pace, some jerky editing, and a noticeable partiality towards Felix Manalo".[23]

Fred Hawson of ABS-CBN gave the film 7 out of 10 stars, praising the film's production, cinematography, and acting (particularly of Trillo), and noted the film's educational value "to know our INC brothers better."[24]


Year Award-giving body Category Recipient Result
2016 32nd Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Movies[25][26] Movie of the Year Felix Manalo Won
Movie Director of the Year Joel Lamangan Won
Movie Actor of the Year Dennis Trillo Won
Movie Supporting Actress of the Year Bela Padilla Nominated
Movie Screenwriter of the Year Bienvenido Santiago Nominated
Movie Cinematographer of the Year Rody Lacap Nominated
Movie Production Designer of the Year Edgar Martin Littaua, Joel Bilbao, and Danny Red Won
Movie Editor of the Year John Anthony Wong Nominated
Movie Musical Scorer of the Year Von de Guzman Nominated
Movie Sound Engineer of the Year Albert Michael Idioma Nominated
Movie Original Theme Song of the Year “Ang Sugo Ng Diyos Sa Mga Huling Araw” – composed by Joan Solitario and Ryan Solitario; arranged by Louie Ocampo; interpreted by Sarah Geronimo Won
34th Luna Awards[27] Best Picture Felix Manalo Nominated
Best Director Joel Lamangan Nominated
Best Actor Dennis Trillo Nominated
Best Screenplay Bienvenido Santiago Nominated
Best Cinematography Rody Lacap Nominated
Best Production Design Edgar Martin Littaua Nominated
Best Musical Scoring Von de Guzman Nominated
Best Sound Albert Michael Idioma and Lamberto Casas Jr. Nominated
2016 FAMAS Awards[28][29] Best Picture Felix Manalo Won
Best Director Joel Lamangan Won
Best Actor Dennis Trillo Won
Best Actress Bela Padilla Nominated
Best Child Performer Carl Acosta Nominated
Best Story Bienvenido Santiago Nominated
Best Screenplay Bienvenido Santiago Won
Best Cinematography Rody Lacap Nominated
Best Editing John Anthony Wong Nominated
Best Sound Albert Michael Idioma Nominated
Best Musical Score Von de Guzman Nominated
Best Theme Song “Ang Sugo Ng Diyos Sa Mga Huling Araw” – composed by Joan Solitario and Ryan Solitario; arranged by Louie Ocampo; interpreted by Sarah Geronimo Won
Best Production Design Joel Bilbao, Edgar Martin Littaua and Daniel Red Nominated
Best Visual Effects Adrian Arcega Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Felix Manalo- AMC Theatres". AMC Theatres. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  2. ^ "'Felix Manalo' movie portrays Iglesia ni Cristo history". Rappler. August 20, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "Felix Manalo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "'Ang Sugo (The Last Messenger):' Movie Of The Century". Manila Bulletin. December 4, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Pablo A. Tariman. "The life and times of Ka Felix Manalo according to Direk Joel Lamangan". catanduanestribune.com news. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "About the Film". FelixManaloTheMovie.com. Viva Films. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Felix Manalo". Viva Films.
  8. ^ Lo, Ricky (August 17, 2015). "Manalo bioflick survives obstacles, set for showing". Philstar.
  9. ^ a b c Asis, Salve (September 15, 2015). "Mga taga-Guinness darating para sa premiere night ng Felix…" (in Filipino). Pilipino Star Ngayon. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  10. ^ Cruz, Marinel (December 12, 2012). "Stars of Manalo biopic said to be 'chosen ones'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d Lo, Ricky (August 16, 2015). "Manalo bioflick survives obstacles, set for showing". The Philippine Star. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Senator Bong Revilla backs out of Iglesia Ni Cristo Centennial movie -- PEP". GMA News. October 4, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  13. ^ "Albert out of Manalo biopic". Philippine Daily Inquirer. March 26, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  14. ^ "Sarah Geronimo sings "Felix Manalo" theme song". Eagle News. October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  15. ^ ""Felix Manalo" sets two world records". Eagle News. October 4, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  16. ^ Lara Tan (October 6, 2015). "'Felix Manalo' premiere bags 2 Guinness World Record titles". CNN Philippines. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  17. ^ Aquino, Leslie Ann (January 1, 2016). "Iglesia ni Cristo breaks 4 Guinness world records". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  18. ^ Red, Isah (October 4, 2015). "CEB rates 'Felix Manalo' with A". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  19. ^ "Republic Act No. 9167". The Lawphil Project. Arellano Law Foundation. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Cito Beltran (October 9, 2015). "Now showing : Felix Manalo Review". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  21. ^ a b c Jojo Panaligan (October 9, 2015). "'Felix Manalo' notches another feat". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  22. ^ "'Felix Manalo' Doesn't Care About Being a Good Movie". Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  23. ^ Alegre, Michael (October 12, 2015). "[Review] 'Felix Manalo' and the negative ripple effect". The Philippine Online Chronicles. Archived from the original on February 26, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  24. ^ Hawson, Fred (October 9, 2015). "Review: 'Felix Manalo' as idealized icon". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  25. ^ Samodio, Anica (March 7, 2016). "Dennis Trillo is 32nd PMPC Star Awards best actor for 'Felix Manalo'". GMA News. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  26. ^ "FULL LIST: Winners, PMPC Star Awards for Movies 2016". Rappler. March 7, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  27. ^ Tuazon, Nikko (September 9, 2016). "John Lloyd Cruz, John Arcilla, Dennis Trillo among Best Actor nominees at 34th Luna Awards". PEP. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  28. ^ "FULL LIST: Winners, FAMAS Awards 2016". Rappler. December 4, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  29. ^ Cruz, Marinel R. (December 5, 2016). "'Felix Manalo' named best picture at 64th Famas Awards". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 5, 2016.

External links[edit]