Alessandra de Rossi as seen in BUSONG, a film by Auraeus Solito. Picture courtesy Solito Arts Productions. All rights reserved.


Executive Producer:
Photography Director:
Production Designer:
Music and Sound:
Script Consultant:
Production Company:

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

Home/Social Media Links
Other Links

Busong (2012)

Also Known As: Palawan Fate

Opened: 06/29/2012 Quad Cinema

Quad Cinema06/29/2012 - 07/05/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Filipino Drama

Rated: Unrated

The Beautiful Truths That Make Us Human


The Quad Cinema is proud to present BUSONG (95 minutes), Part 1 of a trilogy of feature films written and directed by acclaimed Filipino filmmaker, Auraeus Solito, well known for his award-winning films including THE BLOSSOMING OF MAXIMO OLIVEROS (15 intl. awards) and TULI (CIRCUMCISION).

Official selection of the 2011 Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival; winner of Best Director, Best Sound Design, Best Original Music Score at 2011 Cinemalaya; winner 2011 FIPRESCI Prize Eurasia International Film Festival and invited to over 25 film festivals around the world, the soulful BUSONG ("fate") goes to the beating heart of the Palawan, the indigenous people of the paradisiacal island province west of the Philippines. Like the Navi in AVATAR's Pandora the Palawanons live in close harmony with the natural world. But, it is a world threatened by encroaching modernity, the careless exploitation of natural resources and disrespect for and erosion of indigenous traditions. This lyrical film gracefully weaves together three tales of rescue, healing and reunion with one's native wisdom--tales told to the director by his mother when he was a child.

PUNAY (Alessandra de Rossi) was born with wounds in her feet so severe that she cannot step on the earth and thus her brother, ANGKADANG (Rodrigo Santikan) must carry her in a hammock where ever they go. Searching Palawan to find Punay a healer, they meet men and women who help carry her along the way: a woman searching for her missing husband; a fisherman (Dax Alejandro) and his son whose boat has been confiscated by a sinister authority who forbids his fishing in his tribal waters; and a young man, ARIS (Clifford Banagle) who returns home from the city and receives confirmation that he carries his ancestral gift of shamanism--each one meets his or her fate or "Busong".

"BUSONG is about the indigenous Palawan's concept of fate. It's like instant karma, when you do something bad to nature and your fellow man it comes back to you right away", explains Solito. "The inspiration is my mother who is from the Palawan tribe. When I was a kid she told me stories that nobody else knew. They were about her hometown of Puring at the end of Southern Palawan. It was a world that was magical and pure."

As for casting Alessandra de Rossi as PUNAY, Solito reveals, "I have watched Alex's performances since her debut in AZUCENA by Director, Carlitos Siguion Reyna. She has always been brilliant. At first, it was purely physical. I needed an actress who embodied the Morena Filipina. As Punay, she mirrored Palawan itself. Working with her was fascinating! It was simply uncanny -- how precise her acting was and how she somehow captured the essence of Punay, exactly the way I imagined it."

The soft-spoken director cast Filipino-American actor, Clifford Banagle who played Diesel, the boy toy of Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie, BRUNO. Here Clifford portrays ARIS, a half-indigenous Palawanon who was a failed Shaman's apprentice and who returns to Palawan to look for his soul. "Clifford's need to know his Filipino roots was similar to my need to know my Palawan roots," Solito points out. "His return to the Philippines after 23 years is a mirror of my return to my tribal land after 20 years. His acting is authentic and embodies the Palawan concept of the 'manunga banar' -- the beautiful truths that make us human."

One of the first born outside of his tribal land known by his spirit name dreamt by a shaman as Kanakan-Balintagos ("Hunter of Truths") Solito comes from a long line of Palawan Shaman-Kings. "I grew up imagining this world of shamans and magic; of spells and golden sea turtles, of shape-shifters and stick-like demons. I am now happy that I have finally realized some of my Mother's images for BUSONG."