Kidlat Tahimik

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Kidlat Tahimik
Kidlat Tahimik in 2006
Eric Oteyza de Guia

(1942-10-03) October 3, 1942 (age 81)
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines Diliman (BA)
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Installation artist
Known forMababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare)
Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?
SpouseKatrin de Guia
Awards Order of National Artists of the Philippines

Eric Oteyza de Guia (born October 3, 1942), better known as Kidlat Tahimik ("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 elected President of the UP 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] Tahimik studied at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, earning a Master in Business Administration. Upon his return, he founded AIESEC in the Philippines.[6]

He worked as a researcher for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 1968 to 1972.[7]


Tahimik grew up in Baguio, Philippines, a summer resort community established in the presence of several U.S. military bases. This experience influenced the themes of his films, most notably the semi-autobiographical Perfumed Nightmare (1977) and Turumba (1983).

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 in the United States.

Personal life[edit]

Kidlat's wife is German artist and writer Katrin De Guia. They had three children: Kidlat de Guia (or Kidlat Gottlieb Kalayaan); Kawayan Thor Kalayaan; and Kabunian De Guia (or Kabunian Cedric Enrique).[8]

In February 2004, a fire was reported to have spread in their home 4-storey home in Benguet, the Philippines. The family was able to escape safely, but the director's film stock and collection of art and artifacts were destroyed.[9]

He owns the vegetarian cafe Oh My Gulay located at the top of the La Azotea building in Baguio, Philippines and he also owns and maintains the Ili-Likha Artist's Village which is also in Baguio.[10][11]



Feature films[edit]

  • Perfumed Nightmare (1977)
  • Who Invented the Yoyo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy? (1982)
  • Turumba (1983)
  • Takedera Mon Amour: Diary of a Bamboo Connection (1991)
  • Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow? (with Kidlat Gottlieb Kalayaan; also known as I Am Furious... Yellow, 1989 and 1994)
  • BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment (Redux III, 2015; Redux VI, 2017)
  • Lakbayan (segment: "Kabayan’s Journey to Liwanang", 2018)

Short films[edit]

The films listed here are less than 50 minutes in length:

  • Yan Ki Made in Hong Kong (1980)
  • Orbit 50: Letters to My 3 Sons (1992)
  • Celebrating the Year 2021, Today (1995)
  • Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi (1996)
  • Banal Kahoy (Holy Wood) (2000)
  • Aqua Planet (2003)
  • Some More Rice (2005)
  • Our Film – Grimage to Guimaras (2006)
  • BUBONG! Roofs of the World! Unite! (2006)
  • Ang Balikbayan: Memories of Overdevelopment 1980–2010 (2010)

Television film[edit]

  • Olympisches Gold (from Vater Unser, 1981)


  • Perfumed Nightmare (1977)
  • Turumba (1983)
  • Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow? (1994)
  • BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment (2015; 2017)


  • Perfumed Nightmare (1977)
  • Turumba (1983)
  • Abong: Small Home (2003)


  • The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
  • Perfumed Nightmare (1977)
  • Jag rodnar (I Am Blushing, 1981)
  • Smaragd (1987)
  • José Rizal (1998)
  • Abong: Small Home (2003)
  • BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment (2015; 2017)

Awards and honors[edit]


National honours[edit]

Honorary degree[edit]


  1. ^ Zulueta, Lito B. (October 24, 2018). "7 new national artists to be proclaimed Wednesday". 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 from the original on July 29, 2010.
  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. ^ "Upsilonians remember 'brod' Behn Cervantes". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  6. ^ Kalaw-Tirol, Lorna (November 22, 2017). Primed for Life: Writings on Midlife by 18 Men. Anvil Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-621-420-053-5.
  7. ^ "Manila Bulletin article". Manila Bulletin.
  8. ^ Caña, Paul John (November 27, 2020). "How a German Artist Fell in Love with the Philippines-and a National Artist". Archived from the original on December 5, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  9. ^ "WORLD-FAMOUS ARTIST LOSES ARTWORKS AS HIS HOUSE RAZED BY BENGUET BLAZE". Archived from the original on January 14, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  10. ^ Fermin, Margaret (August 27, 2019). "Best Cafes to Visit in Baguio Cuddle Weather". Philippines Lifestyle News. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  11. ^ Gomez, Jerome (January 12, 2021). "This Baguio architectural wonder was built by a National Artist—without a blueprint". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  12. ^ Jofelle P. Tesorio, ABS-CBN Europe News. "Kidlat Tahimik gets Prince Claus prize in The Netherlands". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Llanes, Jonathan (September 2, 2018). "BenCab, Kidlat conferred honorary degrees". Sunstar. Retrieved January 27, 2021.

External links[edit]