Local movie trivia collector Tante de Ramos came up with a list of 34 Filipino religious films which have Biblical stories and the bio-flicks of saints and martyrs as their main topic. Hereunder are the 34 films in alphabetical order:
Ama Namin – Christopher de Leon played the lead role in a story about faith and belief set in contemporary times in this film which was directed and produced by Ben Yalong for his own production outfit, Cine Suerte.
Ang Gangster at ang Birhen – Dante Rivero is the gangster and Hilda Koronel the pious maiden in this film story of a heist that targetted the gold crown of the Virgin Mary in an century-old church. The Virgin’s whose crown was eventually returned to its rightful place and the story that transpired in between robbery and return provided a story of sin and redemptions. Celso Ad Castillo directed the film for Lea Productions, Inc.
Ang Kaban ng Tipan – Pre-war actress Lucita Goyena played the role of a nobisyada who leaves the convent and undergoes several experiences that eventually makes her decide that the convent is the right place for her. Her co-stars included Ely Ramos, Reynaldo Dante, Luningning, Andres Centenera and Amading Montes. The film was Jose Nepomuceno for X’Otic Productions.
Ang Lihim ni Bathala – A film produced during peacetime, it was top-starred by Nena Linda.
Ang Pagsilang ng Mesiyas – Norma Blancaflor portrayed the Virgin Mary while Tirso Cruz III (still an infant) was cast as the new-born Jesus. This Nativity film was produced by Lebran Productions.
Ang Birhen sa Baklaran – Arsenia Francisco portrayed the lead role in a film about the loyal devotees of the miraculous Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran.
Birhen ng Manaoag – Another religious film directed by Ben Yalung for his own Cine Suerte outfit, this starred Eddie Garcia as a priest, Marco Alcaraz as a deacon, Mathew Hunt as Jesus Christ and Ina Feleo (the daughter of Johnny Delgado and Laurice Guillen) as the Virgin Mary. The top-heavy cast also included Joyce Jimenez, Alicia Alonzo, Albert Martinez, Jean Garcia and Cherry Pie Picache.
David at Goliath – Armando Goyena played the shepherd-turned-king and Tessie Quintana as the main lead actress in one of the most popular Old Testament tales of the Bible.stars. The highlight of the film was the battle between David and the man-giant Goliath. It was produced by LVN Pictures, Inc.
Divine Mercy sa Buhay ni Sister Faustina – Donita Rose played Sister Faustina who saw the apparition of Jesus Christ several times in a convent. Ben Yalong directeds for his own Cine Suerte.
Himala ng Birhen – Focusing on a miracle wrought by the Blessed Virgin of Good Voyage in the town of Antipolo, this film starred Rosa del Rosario, the original Darna.
I Believe – A movie based on a komiks serial by Mars Ravelo, this film introduced actress Mina Aragon who came from the showbiz family of the Salvadors. She portrayed the role of a young woman mistaken as the Virgin Mary. She bagged the role in a search for talents. Other aspirants included Lucita Soriano and Juliet Pardo. It was produced by Premiere Productions, Inc.
Kaibigan Ko ang Sto. Niño – This film about two children’s faith and reliance on the Sto. Niño was directed by Lino Brocka for LEA Productions. It starred child stars Roderick Paulate and Snooky Serna.
Kalbaryo ni Hesus – Depicting the passions of Christ up to the crucifixion on calvary, this film cast Norma Blancaflor in the role of the Virgin Mary. With an all-star cast, it was produced by Lebran Productions.
Kerubin– Child star wonder Tessie Agana portrayed the role of a cherubin who is allowed to go down to earth to bring blessings and funny moments to a beleaguered human family. It was produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Kristo – Another Ben Yalung film, this is another depiction on the Christ’s passion with matinee idol Mat Ranillo III in the title role. This was also produced Cine Suerte Production.
Lihim ng Kumpisalan – Pancho Magalona portrayed the role of a priest and Linda Estrella was the lead actress in this 1950s film which was produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Limang Misteryo ng Krus – With Gloria Romero tackling the lead, this film was produced in the 1960s by the Vera Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Lorenzo Ruiz – After playing the role of the Christ in Kristo, it was the turn of Mat Ranillo III to portray the role of the first Filipino martyr-saint, Lorenzo Ruiz. Produced in 1988, the film narrates the martyrdom of a Filipino missionary who went to Japan, was tortured and died for his evangelization work.
Makiusap sa Diyos – Ruffa Gutierrez portrayed the role of a nun opposite lead actor Gabby Concepcion in a film directed by Lino Brocka.
Mary, I Love You – Produced as early as the silent era of the mid 1920s, this film was about the miracles of the miraculous Virgin of Antipolo which starred Nena Warsaw.
Milagro ng Birhen ng mga Rosas – It was the turn of Tita Duran to portray the role of a nun opposite her reel-and-real-life loveteam partner Pancho Magalona. This film was produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Milagro ng Nazareno sa Quiapo – Made in the pre-War years of the mid 1930s, this film starred Yolanda Marquez. It was about the miracles attributed to the miraculous image of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.
Milagro sa Porta Vaga – This 1980s film cast Julie Vega in the lead role about the series of miracles that happen in the place called Porta Vaga.
Morena Martir – Loretta Marquez played the lead role in this film which was produced by Sampaguita Pictures. Inc.
Mother Ignacia: Ang Uliran – Sandy Andolong portrayed the role of Mother Ignacia who founded a convent and encouraged would-be novices into the cloistered and holy life.
Nakausap Ko ang Birhen – Snooky Serna portrayed the role of a young woman who sees an apparition of the Blessed Virgin and actually converses with Her.
Palaboy ng Diyos – Another pre-War film, this starred Lucita Gerena.
Sa Hardin ng Diyos – Made in the 1960s, this film starred by Susan Roces and was produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Sa Paanan ng Krus –Another Peacetime era film. this starred Rosario Moreno.
Santa Christina – This film depicted the life of a saint and the grueling hardships she suffered for her martyrdom. Arsenia Francisco played Santa Christina. It was produced by Premiere Productions, Inc.
Santa Lucia – Edna Luna portrayed the role of Santa Lucia in a film that also cast Marissa Ibañez and Max Alvarado. It was produced by Premiere Production Inc.
Santa Rita de Casia – This film cast Rosemarie Gil in her first starring role as a nun-turned-saint. Shew co-starred with Lauro Delgado and Carol Varga. It was directed by Ramon Estella for Premiere Productions, Inc.
Santa Teresa de Avila – Amalia Fuentes had her chance to portray a saint as Santa Teresa of Avila. Her co-stars included Eddie Gutierrez and Pepito Rodriguez. The film was produced by her own movie outfit AM Productions, Inc.
Tanikala ng Langit – Another pre-War era film, this was top-starred by Maria Clara Ruiz.