11 Films That Inspired My Life Goals

FYI, you can watch all of these films online!

  • By Alyssa Kristine Bernardo, Writer


There are tons of movies that shaped me as a person and influenced my life. I remember watching Disney films as a kid and wondering how they were made. I used to draw princesses, and write short stories in my diary. Movies are like windows to new dimensions and realities I never knew existed. They made me hopeful and excited about the future.

The films I’m about to share inspired me to become a screenwriter someday—and that dream has fueled my desire to take up HUMSS as my strand for senior high. Check out my list below and find out where to watch them for free!

PS. Some fair warning, some of these films contain themes that may not be suitable for minors.

  1. Heneral Luna

    This full length historical biopic is a retelling of the life of General Antonio Luna. Directed by one of my all time faves, Jerrold Tarog, this film has an all-star cast of veteran actors including John Arcilla, Mon Confiado, Epi Quizon, Paulo Avelino, and Mylene Dizon. Filipino historian Ambeth Ocampo praised the film for its cinematography and narrative grounded on historical research.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "Hinahangad ng Pilipinas ang kasarinlan, at pananatilihin kong buhay ang adhikain ng aking bayan hanggang sa katapusan."

    Where To Watch: YouTube, Netflix

  2. I'm Drunk, I Love You

    I'm a sucker for films with a friends-to-lovers trope! JP Habac's 2017 film, which stars Maja Salvador and Paulo Avelino, wrecked me in the best way possible. I personally related to Maja's BFF Jason because of his funny and kaladkarin personality. The film taught me to seek friendships that last, despite all odds.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "Pahingi naman ng kape, kailangan kong kabahan."

    Where To Watch: YouTube

  3. Emergency Call

    This short film produced by YouTube creator Ana Akana gave me the chills. There's not much I can say without spoiling the story, but if you're into true crime, thrillers, and horror stories, this is something you should definitely watch. In just under four minutes, it made me reevaluate my relationships and think about how much it takes to build and break one.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "I sure do love a good surprise."

    Where To Watch: YouTube

  4. How It Feels

    I've been a fan of Bertie Gilbert for a very long time and when he began making short films on his channel, I got even more amazed. The cinematic short film is like an open letter about his struggles on mental health. It was shot by Ciaran O'Brien and uploaded on Youtube in 2016. This film inspired me to write more. It reminded me that on dark days, pouring your heart into creative endeavors might just be the best therapy you can get.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "Anxiety and depression are like strangers that walk into that house uninvited."

    Where To Watch: YouTube

  5. The Perils Of Growing Up Flat-Chested

    Another budding director on YouTube that I truly admire is Yulin Kuang. I loved the rawness of this particular coming-of-age film and the adorable chemistry between the lead stars Irene Choi and James Wolpert. The short film highlighted the super relatable insecurities we get growing up and the awkwardness of teenage relationships.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "There's no scientific method to growing up and becoming who you wanna be."

    Where To Watch: YouTube

  6. Kita Kita

    This unconventional love story between a blind girl and a lonely man brought me so much laughter and tears, I can't even begin to tell you what my favorite part is. I was amazed by the film's cinematography which captured the beauty of Japan. I also enjoyed the unlikely chemistry between Alessandra De Rossi and Empoy Marquez. I learned that the most important things in life are those that are felt and not necessarily seen.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "Noong nakakita ka, hindi mo ko makita."

    Where To Watch: iFlix, Netflix

  7. BuyBust

    This is one of the most chilling action movies I've ever seen. It bothered me in a good way because in between the gritty fighting scenes, the film is filled with lines and plot twists that would make you question your moral and political beliefs. The ending motivated me to keep myself woke in a society filled with violence and hate.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "Hindi ka batas."

    Where To Watch: Netflix

  8. Kim Ji Young, Born 1982

    Based on a best-selling book by Korean author Cho Namjoo, this full length film stars my all-time favorite oppa, Gong Yoo and his Train To Busan comrade, Jung Yumi. The book became controversial in South Korea for its feminist undertones, and the movie captured those and more through an almost slice-of-life approach. It begins with a raw look into the life of a seemingly ordinary wife and mother who gets diagnosed with a psychiatric condition.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "I wanted to do a lot of things."

    Where To Watch: Viu

  9. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella

    This 2017 full length film by Jason Paul Laxamana inspired me to write poetry again, and to do it so unabashedly because it's the truest expression of the heart. The movie revolves around a young man played by JC Santos who falls in love with a girl named Stella, played by Bela Padilla. He starts writing poems for her through the years and learns to love her in silence until he finishes his 100th poem.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "Handa na ang sundalong ito na sumabak sa giyera."

    Where To Watch: iFlix, Netflix

  10. That Thing Called Tadhana

    Yes, I know, this list has way too many rom coms, but hear me out. I think That Thing Called Tadhana is more of a hugot comedy film than a real love story. Plus, the movie was set in Baguio and Sagada, which were such poignant backdrops for the film. More than half of the film was spent pondering on heartbreak through various visual metaphors, like the excess baggage and the arrow pierced through the heart. Direk Antoinette Jadaone's breakout indie film reminded me that we can make an impact in someone's life without fully understanding why or how, which is why it's so important to be compassionate and kind.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "May mababalik sa’yong pagmamahal. Not necessarily sa taong pinagbigyan mo, pero sigurado ako, mababalik ‘yan sa’yo."

    Where To Watch: Netflix

  11. John Denver Trending

    Be forewarned, this is not for the faint of heart. I saw this during last year's Cinemalaya and it affected me deeply. This full length indie film by Arden Rod Condez is filled with life lessons and realizations which would truly hit home for people in our generation. John Denver Trending highlights the painful truths about virality, cyberbullying, and mob mentality in the age of the internet.

    The Line That Struck Me The Most: "Sino naman kasing gustong makilala sa ganitong paraan?"

    Where To Watch: iWant

The end goal for me is to produce films like these, with stories that will make people think, cry, or laugh. It may take awhile because I’m just a freshie in college now, but I’ve been writing stories and teleplays here and there for fun. Hopefully, I can turn these scripts into visual stories someday. Until then, I’ll be on the lookout for new inspiration. I hope you will enjoy these films as much as I did!

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