Made-in-Phl Hollywood films

Joy Jonette Chuyaco - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - You’ve had definitely seen a lot of nice places in movies. Often, such would make you ask, “Where is that?” or even comment something like, “Wow! Is there such a place?” It is an honor for any place to be chosen as location for a movie, especially if the movie would be released internationally. Unknown to many, our country has been chosen many times as a shooting location for movies. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a small part in the film, what’s important is that our very own, Philippines, is there! Here are some of the movies that were shot or partly shot in our country:

Brokedown Palace (1999). Where: Various locations in Luzon, mostly Metro Manila. The setting of the movie is in Thailand but filmmakers had to shoot it in the Philippines because of a problem with the Thai government. Unexpectedly, a controversy occurred when, after filming, the lead actress made a negative comment on the Philippines.

Platoon (1986). Where: Various locations in Luzon, including Laguna. This is one of the best war films ever. It’s about the Vietnam War but the film couldn’t be shot there so they filmed it in the Philippines. The cast went on an intensive military training so that they would have a feel of what it was really like to be in a war.

Thirteen Days (2000). Where: All over the Philippines. The film is about the cold war between the US and the Soviet Union together with Cuba in the year 1962. The movie was shot in the country, depicting it as Cuba. It was said that the film wasn’t that successful; however, it is still an honor for our country to be part of the film. 

Apocalypse Now (1979). Where: Luzon mostly in Quezon and Laguna. The Francis Ford Coppola film is set during the Vietnam War. It was said that the production faced a lot of problems during the making of the movie. They actually made a documentary about this, titled Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.

An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). Where: Subic Bay. The film is about a young man’s dream of becoming a navy pilot. He gets into trouble with his trainer and starts to have a love affair as well. The first part of the film showed Subic Bay.

Missing in Action (1984). Where: Luzon particularly Laguna, Quezon and Cavite. Again, another film about the Vietnam War. It starred Chuck Norris as Col. Broddock who, after escaping from the prison camp, returns to Vietnam to look for some missing soldiers.

Born on the 4th of July (1989). Where: Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. The film is about a Vietnam War veteran. Of course, the location was supposed to be in Vietnam but it was not possible at that time so they made it in the Philippines instead. Ilocos Norte as Vietnam; Vigan as Mexico.

Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990). Where: Luzon area (Metro Manila, Tagaytay, Clark Air Base). This sequel still has Chuck Norris as the lead actor. This time, the Delta Force is reunited for yet another action-packed mission. The bad guy’s mansion in the movie is “The Palace in the Sky” in Tagaytay City.

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982). Where: Luzon area. The movie is set in the time when the president of Indonesia was overthrown. Since the production didn’t get the permit to shoot it in Indonesia, they did it in our very own. The movie starred Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver.

Too Late the Hero (1970). Where: Visayas area, including Caticlan (Boracay). The war film is about an American officer, a language specialist, who is assigned to lead a team on a simple mission — or so they thought. Things start to get complicated and they have to deal with it in order to survive.  











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