“Signal Rock” Review: Superb Story, Impeccable Ensemble

SIGNAL ROCK (2018) Review
Directed by Chito S. Roño

Director Chito Roño proves that story is still king and shows how a master storyteller unfolds his or her piece.

It has been more than a year since we’ve been hearing director Chito Roño working with 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Supporting Actor Christian Bables. The film was initially titled Bagtik but then was renamed Signal Rock. Unfortunately it did not make the cut as an official entry to the 2017 MMFF (which is weird), but thankfully it is now released.

The film tells the story of Intoy (Bables), a trustworthy and hardworking neighbor, friend, son, brother and lover. Intoy may not come from a rich family, or may not have a college degree, but the love and care he gets from everyone around him is more than enough to get him through every day. But the trust he got from the people around him was earned for being always there for favors, errands and sometimes secrets. His stature in his community is demonstrated when his sister from Finland needed help to come back home.

The film brings me back to why I love watching movies. Discovering stories through visual and emotional insights – and it’s not just the story of Intoy, it’s the story of the whole community. The story unfolds naturally like you’re journeying with these characters, with these people and that gets you the authentic feel of the movie.

It’s just one of those films with the best ensemble, from the family of Intoy (Daria Ramirez, Nanding Josef, Arnold Cruz Reyes) to his friends (Jomari Angeles, Francis Magundayao, Kokoy de Santos), his girlfriend (Elora Espano), to his neighbors or members of the community (Mon Confiado, Sue Prado, Mara Lopez, Dido dela Paz, Archie Adamos, Keana Reeves, etc.), they’re all there for a reason.

Chito Rono has once again proved how capable he is in weaving a story. It may not be the most complicated or a story that has the deepest meaning, but it was beautifully told, the sincerest way possible. Signal Rock is easily one of 2018’s best film and it’s not screaming to be one. It’s just a story worth seeing, a story that would take you and experience the life of Intoy and his community.

15 Signal Rock


4.5 stars

“Signal Rock” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from CSR Films PH and distributed by Regal Entertainment, Inc. Rated R-13 and R-18 by the MTRCB. An official entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018.

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