Kristo (1996 film)

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Directed byBen "M7" Yalung
Written by
Produced byBenjamin G. Yalung "M7"
StarringMat Ranillo III
CinematographyLarry Manda
Edited byGeorge Jarlego
Music byLutgardo Labad
Cine Suerte Productions
Distributed byCine Suerte Productions
Release date
  • March 27, 1996 (1996-03-27)

Kristo is a 1996 Filipino biblical drama film depicting the life of Jesus Christ.[1] Produced by Cine Suerte Productions and Oasis of Love Movement (by Fr. Sonny Ramirez, OP, host of the telemagazine Sharing in the City), Kristo stars Mat Ranillo III in the title role,[2] together with Rez Cortez (Judas Iscariot), Ruel Vernal (Peter), Michael Locsin (John), freelance model and then college student Charmaine Rivera (in her first and only film appearance as the Virgin Mary), and Amy Austria (Mary Magdalene).

The film also includes an all-star cast in their cameo appearances playing various characters. Among them are Gabby Concepción (John the Baptist), husband-and-wife pair Rudy Fernandez and Lorna Tolentino (as Simon of Cyrene and Veronica respectively), Aga Muhlach (the demon-possessed man), Rachel Lobangco (the Temptress, in which Satan is in a female form in the temptation of the desert scene), Sylvia Sanchez (the adulteress), Ang TV star and singer Lindsay Custodio (Salome), and Christopher de Leon (as Dimas as credited in the film).[3]


The film started on a prologue, "if the story of the New Testament replaced the setting from the Middle East to the Philippine Islands, what would the image and culture of the New Testament look like?"

The narrative of Kristo is based on the combined Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but imagined as occurring in Classical Filipino society with ethnic elements and some aspects of Ancient Rome and first-century Judaea. Kristo was shot in various locations such as Intramuros, Lawton and Luneta in Manila, as well as in Laguna and Pampanga.

The film starts with an open book presenting the Nativity of Jesus in the form of illustrations. Live action scenes or the flow of the story follows the next page 30 years after, beginning with the preaching of John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Kristo cycles through the various episodes in Christ's ministry, his death, and resurrection, ending with his ascension and its illustrated version on the last page with a Biblical message.


Major roles[edit]

Cameo roles (in order of appearance)[edit]

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • Before being adapted into a film, Kristo was a Senákulo (traditional Filipino Passion Play) in dance-drama played at the Folk Arts Theater (now Day By Day Christian Fellowship) in April 1977. Both Ranillo and Cortez reprised their respective roles as Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot from the 1977 production.
  • Ranillo was also nominated as "Best Actor" by the Film Academy of the Philippines in 1997 for his performance.
  • This was director Ben Yalung's second religious film after Divine Mercy: Sa Buhay ni Sister Faustina (Divine Mercy: In the Life of Sister Faustina) starring former matinee idol and MTV VJ Donita Rose in March 1993.[4] Yalung also produced and directed his 3rd religious film, Ama Namin (Our Father) under Premiere Productions and DWXI Prayer Partners Foundation and Birhen ng Manaoag (Virgin of Manaoag) was released in 2005.
  • Ranillo eldest child, Krista, was nicknamed after the film.[5]
  • Prior to playing Jesus Christ, Ranillo also portrayed the role of Lorenzo Ruiz in the 1988 film Lorenzo Ruiz: The Saint... A Filipino.[6]
  • Majority of the actors who played the Twelve Apostles are actors who normally play as antagonists in Philippine action movies. Ranillo himself plays as a villain in most movie appearances he made in the 1990s.


  1. ^ Escuadro, Kiko (March 29, 2018). "Lenten Playlist: Here are some movies that are perfect for Holy Week". ABS-CBN Entertainment. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  2. ^ "LOOK: 15 actors who played Jesus Christ". ABS-CBN News. April 3, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  3. ^ "Mga pelikulang tumalakay sa sakripisyo, milagro ni Hesus". Abante. April 13, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "Grand Opening Today!". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corp. March 31, 1993. p. 18. Retrieved August 2, 2020. A door prize will be raffled during the premiere night
  5. ^ "Choose Your Own Jesus: 10 Actors Who Played the Son of God". April 5, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  6. ^ "Mat Ranillo III, the Pork Barrel Scam and His Religious Movies". Pinoy Pop Culture Blog. February 15, 2014. Retrieved November 22, 2019.

External links[edit]