“Katips”: The Truth Revisited

“Sa Gitna Ng Gulo Umusbong Ang Pag-Ibig…Wag Kang Matakot Kung Kakampi Mo Ang Kasaysayan…”

Katips (New Katipuneros) The Movie is a 2021 Filipino musical drama film written and directed by Atty. Vincent M. Tañada who portrayed the character of Ka Panyong. It’s a 2016 stage musical film of the same name narrating a group of student activists from the Katipunan area of Quezon City who struggled to protest the imposition of nationwide martial law in the 1970s. The film stars Jerome Ponce, Atty. Vince Tañada, Mon Confiado, Sazchna Laparan and Nicole Laurel Asensio, alongside an ensemble cast that includes Dexter Doria, Lou Veloso, Johnrey Rivas, Adelle Ibarrientos and Joshua Bulot.

The film, set in the duration of martial law from 1972 to 1981, is about a group of student activists demonstrating against the darkest days of martial law in the Philippines under the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. which I can personally relate because my dad Teresito Sison was a human rights victim when the privilege of habeas corpus was suspended in 1971; illegally detained and tortured until his death on November 30, 1980 while incarcerated in Camp Crame.

The Amnesty International’s data showed that 70,000 people were detained, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed under Marcos’ term.

Separate stories of the activists were intermingled with their regular activities, love life, and the aftermath of the rallies.

It is Tañada’s first film he produced using the hard-earned money he saved as a lawyer. He is a member of the politically prominent Tañada clan. The late great Senator Lorenzo Tañada, who led demonstrations against the Marcos dictatorship, was a granduncle.

Tañada, who also won the Best Actor award for Katips, took up theater arts studies in New York and returned to the Philippines to finish his law studies.

He told his parents that he wants to follow his passion for theater arts. That’s why he founded the Philippine Stagers Foundation where he directed and wrote for three decades.

“I really need to do this film because it is only through films that I will be immortalized as an artist,” he said.

Katips was the big winner at the 70th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards awarding ceremony on July 30 at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila. It won seven awards of its 17 nominations including Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Picture.

Manalakaran KULASAS sponsored a block screening today August 6 at the SM City San Fernando Cinema 5. Congratulations! Thank you Ms. Pritszelle Olalia Faustino!