Panaghoy sa Suba

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Panaghoy sa Suba
The Call of the River
Ang Panaghoy ng Suba
Panaghoy sa Suba poster
Directed by Cesar Montano
Produced by Cesar Montano
Written by Cris Vertido

Cesar Montano
Juliana Palermo
Jackie Woo
Joel Torre
Ronnie Lazaro
Rebecca Lusterio
Daria Ramirez
Caridad Sanchez
Suzette Ranillo
Disi Alba
Philip Anthony
Reiven Bulado
Dr. Warfe Engracia
Chelo Espina
Flora Gasser
Rommel Montano

Rowald Montano
Ramon Villanueva
Music by Nonong Buencamino
Cinematography Ely Cruz]
Edited by Renato de Leon
Distributed by CM Films Inc.
Release date
Running time
2 hours
Country Philippines
Language Boholano with English captions; Tagalog; Japanese; English
Budget 25,000,000.00
Box office P 15,844,266.01

Panaghoy sa Suba (in English, The Call of the River or The Cry of the River; in Tagalog, Ang Panaghoy ng Suba), is a 2004 Visayan language film produced and directed by Cesar Montano, who also played the lead role.[1][2] Panaghoy sa Suba is an historical romance drama about a love triangle which takes place during the Second World War. Its themes concern Filipino nationalism and the legacies of colonialism.


Panaghoy sa Suba was actor Cesar Montano's directorial debut. The filming was done in Bohol, the Philippines with a mostly Visayan cast.[3][4] One of the producers, R.D. Alba had attended the Los Angeles Film School.

Screening and reception[edit]

Panaghoy sa Suba was given an "A" rating by the Cinema Evaluation Board (C.E.B.) of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. The CEB described Cesar Montano's direction as "meticulous but light-handed." It turned "a somewhat rambling and slow screenplay into a poetic, sometimes even magical, current of silent struggle and survival."[5] UNESCO also endorsed the film.[4]

Panaghoy sa Suba was included as an exhibition in the Tous les Cinemas du Monde at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005.[6][7] It has also been screened at film festivals in Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Korea and in the Czech Republic at the "Karlo Vary Film Festival".[7] In 2005, it was also shown at the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Festival of Asian Cinema in New Delhi.[8]


Loboc, River

The story is set in Bohol, Central Visayas during World War II before and during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines.

Duroy (Cesar Montano) is a banca operator who falls in love with Iset (Juliana Palermo), the most bewitching girl in her village. Iset is an obedient child whose father and materialistic aunt hope that she will marry the American businessman who employs her and thereby achieve wealth and status. The resident American businessman, John Smith (played by Philip Anthony), is an abusive, rude and stingy landowner. He notices Iset's beauty but she may be only a mistress to him. However, Islet loves Duroy.

Ibô (Reiven Bulado), Duroy's brother, is also smitten with Iset. As Duroy adores his family and does not want to get in his brother's way, he stops courting Iset. Duroy is devoted to his family, his mother (Daria Ramirez), Ibô and his sister, Bikay (multi-awarded former child star Rebecca Lusterio). Heartbroken after her husband leaves for an American woman and ill, Duroy's mother dies when they run out of money to purchase her medicine. John Smith sees Ibo talking with Iset at the warehouse and shoots him on the spot. Duroy vows revenge.

When the Japanese invasion begins, many men of the village flee into the mountains. The women and children stay, along with an American priest. John Smith is drafted into the American army and leaves. The Japanese commander who arrives notices Iset. Iset's aunt wants her to marry the officer.

Several years pass before Duroy and his men launch an attack against the Japanese garrison. The Japanese responded by killing the priest and taking hostages. In 1945, a group of Filipino and American troops arrive to help the Boholano guerrilla force defeat the Japanese troops. Duroy kills the Japanese commander.

John Smith (mockingly dubbed "White Balls" by Duroy and his friends) returns after the war expecting life to continue as it was before the Japanese invasion. Duroy attacks him but stops short before killing him. Iset refuses John Smith's clumsy offer to renew their relationship and chooses Duroy.


  • Cesar Montano – Duroy
  • Juliana Palermo – Iset
  • Reiven Bulado – Ibô (Duroy's brother)
  • Daria Ramirez – Duroy's mother
  • Rebecca Lusterio – Bikay (Duroy's sister)
  • Jackie Woo – Fumio Okohara (Japanese Army officer)
  • Philip Anthony (as Phil Anthony) – John Smith
  • Caridad Sanchez – Aunt Lahi
  • Joel Torre – Damian
  • Ronnie Lazaro –
  • Suzette Ranillo –
  • Rommel Montano –
  • Dr. Warfe Engracia –
  • Ramon Villanueva –
  • Chelo Espina –
  • Disi Alba –


Panaghoy sa Suba won 16 awards and 11 nominations. It was entered in the 2004 Metro Manila Film Festival where it won the Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award and others including Second Best Picture (to Mano Po III: My Love), Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Musical Score.[5][9] In 2005, at the Gawad Suri Awards in Manila, it won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards.[10]

The film was named Best Picture at the "International Festival of Independent Films" held in Brussels, Belgium. There, Montano was also chosen as Best Director.[11]

At the Golden Screen Awards, Montano won Best Actor for his performance.[12]

The awards for the film include:

  • 2004
  • Film Academy of the Philippine Awards 2005
    • Best Cinematography – Ely Cruz
    • Best Musical Scoring – Nonog Buencamino
    • Best Screenplay – Cris Vertido
    • Best Director – Cesar Montano (nominated)
    • Best Picture (nominated)
    • Best Sound (nominated)
    • Best Supporting Actor – Ronnie Lazaro (nominated)
    • Best Supporting Actress – Daria Ramirez (nominated)
  • Gawad Urian Awards, 2005
    • Best Actor – Cesar Montano
    • Best Cinematography – Ely Cruz
    • Best Direction – Cesar Montano
    • Best Music – Nonog Buencamino
    • Best Picture
    • Best Sound
    • Best Editing – Renato de Leon (nominated)
    • Best Production Design (Pinakamahusay na Disenyong Pamproduksiyon) – Allan Leyres and Ron Heri Tan (nominated)
    • Best Screenplay (Pinakamahusay na Dulang Pampelikula) – Cris Vertido (nominated)
    • Best Supporting Actor (Pinakamahusay na Pangalawang Aktor) – Jacky Woo (nominated)
    • Best Supporting Actress (Pinakamahusay na Pangalawang Aktres) – Rebecca Lusterio (nominated)
    • Best Supporting Actress (Pinakamahusay na Pangalawang Aktres) – Juliana Palermo(nominated)


  1. ^ Cry me a river no more for Pinoy film industry Nordis news website 9 January 2005. Retrieved 4 December 2006.
  2. ^ Panaghoy sa Suba (The Call of the River) 2004 Retrieved 29 November 2006.
  3. ^ Cesar Montano's not-so-impossible dream Newsflash website 2004 [1] Archived 8 January 2005.
  4. ^ a b Panaghoy sa Suba Retrieved 30 November 2006. Archived November 30, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b "A-rating for 'Panaghoy sa Suba'". Archived from the original on 7 February 2005. 
  6. ^ Panagahoy sa Suba (Call of the river) to Cannes Filmfest Retrieved 30 November 2006.
  7. ^ a b Cesar Montano’s Panaghoy... to screen in Cannes filmfest Retrieved 30 November 2006.
  8. ^ More Pinoy Films To Int’l Filmfests Retrieved 4 December 2006.
  9. ^ And the winners are... Retrieved 30 November 2006.
  10. ^ The Call of the River Retrieved 30 November 2006.
  11. ^ Two Pinoy films triumph at international film fests Retrieved 30 November 2006.
  12. ^ Congrats sa mga Winners ng Golden Screen Awards Retrieved 30 November 2006.
  13. ^ a b c Award Winning Movies MMFF Regal Films Retrieved January 30, 2007.

External links[edit]