Kidlat Tahimik

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Kidlat Tahimik
Kidlat tahimik.jpg
Kidlat Tahimik (right) and his son Kidlat de Guia
Eric de Guia

(1942-10-03) October 3, 1942 (age 76)
Installation artist
AwardsNational Artist of the Philippines.svg
National Artist of the Philippines

Eric de Guia (born October 3, 1942 in Baguio City, Philippines), better known as Kidlat Tahimik (a Tagalog translation of "silent lightning"), is a film director, writer and actor whose films are commonly associated with the Third Cinema movement through their critiques of neocolonialism. For his contributions to the development of Philippine independent cinema, he was recognized in 2018 as a National Artist of the Philippines for Film - a conferment which represents the Philippine state's highest recognition for artists.[1]

One of the most prominent names in the Filipino film industry, he has garnered various accolades locally and internationally, including a Plaridel honorarium for Independent Cinema. He is dubbed by fellow filmmakers and critics as the "Father of Philippine Independent Cinema".

In recent years, Tahimik has become a noted installation artist with his works exhibited in various public spaces in the Philippines.[2]


Tahimik attended the University of the Philippines Diliman,[3] where he was a member of the Student Council, then known as the University Student Union, from 1962 to 1963. While attending the university he became a member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity.[4][5]

Kidlat Tahimik studied at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, earning a Master in Business Administration, and worked as a researcher for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 1968 to 1972.[6]


Tahimik grew up in Baguio City, Philippines, a summer resort community established in the presence of several U.S. Military bases. This experience was a weighty influence on the themes of his films, most notably the semi-autobiographical Perfumed Nightmare (1977) and Turumba (1981).

The latter of these two films provides some insight into the circumstances that brought him to Europe and into the presence of filmmaker Werner Herzog, who along with director Francis Ford Coppola and his American Zoetrope studio, was instrumental in helping to release Perfumed Nightmare.

Personal life[edit]

Kidlat lives in a 4-storey home in Benguet, Philippines with his wife, German artist and writer Katrin De Guia, and their children Kidlat Tahimik Jr., Kawayan Thor Kalayaan and Kabunyan De Guia.

In February 2004 a fire was reported to have spread in their home. The family was able to escape safely, but the director's film stock and collection of art and artifacts were destroyed.[7]



  • Mababangong bangungot ["Perfumed Nightmare"] (1977)
  • Turumba (1980)
  • Sinong lumikha ng yoyo? Sinong lumikha ng moon buggy? (1982)
  • Orbit 50: Letters to My 3 Sons (1992)
  • Why is Yellow Middle of Rainbow? (1994, also known as I am Furious Yellow)
  • Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi (1996)
  • Our Film – Grimage to Guimaras (2006)
  • BUBONG! (Roofs of the World! UNITE!) (2006)
  • Memories of Overdevelopment 1980–2010 (1980–2010)
  • Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (2015)


  • Mababangong bangungot ["Perfumed Nightmare"] (1977)
  • Turumba (1981)


  • Mababangong bangungot ["Perfumed Nightmare"] (1977)
  • Abong: Small Home (2003)


Awards and Honors[edit]


National honours[edit]


  1. ^ Zulueta, Lito B. (October 24, 2018). "7 new national artists to be proclaimed Wednesday". The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "The dream world of Kidlat Tahimik". CNN Philippines. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  3. ^ University of the Philippines alumni listings Archived July 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Guia, Katrin De (2005). Kapwa: The Self in the Other : Worldviews and Lifestyles of Filipino Culture-bearers. Anvil Pub. p. 93. ISBN 9789712714900.
  5. ^ Inquirer, Philippine Daily. "Upsilonians remember 'brod' Behn Cervantes". Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  6. ^ Manilla Bulletin article
  7. ^ article on the fire
  8. ^ Bureau, Jofelle P. Tesorio, ABS-CBN Europe News. "Kidlat Tahimik gets Prince Claus prize in The Netherlands". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved February 14, 2019.

External links[edit]