Bwakaw (Movie)

Title — Bwakaw
Available on — Netflix
Production Country — Philippines, Canada, United Kingdom, United States
Release Date — 2012
Gruff and alone, retiree Rene rejects most human contact but begins to soften when he comes to terms with his homosexuality.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

In the heartwarming Filipino movie “Bwakaw” (2012), directed and written by Jun Lana, viewers are introduced to Rene, portrayed by the legendary Eddie Garcia, a gruff and misanthropic older gay man living in a semi-rural area near a bustling city. Rene’s closest companion is his beloved dog, Bwakaw, played by Princess.

Rene’s life takes a poignant turn as two compelling storylines unfold. Firstly, Bwakaw falls seriously ill, prompting Rene to confront the possibility of losing his faithful canine friend. Secondly, amidst his solitude, Rene unexpectedly forges a budding friendship with a younger man, leading to a transformation in his outlook on life.

Superstar Eddie Garcia delivers a career-defining performance as Rene, a character who spends his days drafting his will, navigating strained interactions with acquaintances at the post office where he unofficially works, and finding solace in the presence of Bwakaw, a scrappy yet endearing mutt.

One of the film’s most poignant moments unfolds when Rene visits a nursing home and reconnects with Alicia, portrayed by Armida Siguion Reyna, shedding light on lost years due to Rene’s journey towards self-discovery and acceptance of his sexuality.

Set against the backdrop of San Pablo Laguna, “Bwakaw” is a touching exploration of aging, loneliness, and the universal fear of growing old without companionship. The movie delicately navigates Rene’s late-life realization of his homosexuality and the emotional complexities that come with it.

As the narrative unfolds, viewers witness Rene’s emotional journey as he grapples with the inevitability of Bwakaw’s mortality and learns to embrace the fleeting moments of joy and connection that life offers, even in the face of loneliness and loss.

In a poignant climax, Bwakaw passes away, prompting Rene’s friends to support him in laying his faithful companion to rest. Through this loss, Rene experiences a profound shift in perspective, finding a renewed appreciation for life’s simple pleasures and the enduring power of love and companionship.

Additionally, the film sheds light on Rene’s evolving relationship with Sol, a rough tricycle driver portrayed by Rez Cortez, whose contrasting nature intrigues and attracts Rene, leading to a pivotal moment of self-discovery and acceptance.

With its heartfelt storytelling, nuanced performances, and evocative portrayal of human connection and resilience, “Bwakaw” stands as a testament to the enduring power of compassion, acceptance, and the transformative nature of love, even in the face of life’s inevitable challenges and uncertainties.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Eddie Garcia, Princess, Rez Cortez, Bibeth Orteza, Joey Paras, Allan Paule, Beverly Salviejo, Soxy Topacio, Armida Siguion-Reyna, Luz Valdez, Gardo Versoza

Actor Role
Eddie Garcia Rene
Princess Bwakaw
Rez Cortez Sol
Soliman Cruz Funeral Homes Manager
Bibeth Orteza Rose
Joey Paras Tracy
Allan Paule Berting
Beverly Salviejo Nitang
Soxie Topacio Zaldy
Luz Valdez Minda
Gardo Versoza Father Eddie
Armida Siguion-Reyna Alicia
Jonathan Neri Veterinarian 1
Roni Bertubin Ronaldo Bertubin (Minda’s Nephew)
May-i Fabros Cedes

💬 Reviews and feedback

Lights, camera, action! Welcome to the heartwarming world of “Bwakaw,” a movie that tugs at your heartstrings while tickling your funny bone. Picture this: a tale of growing old, fears of solitude, and the unconditional love between a man and his faithful dog. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you both teary-eyed and smiling. So grab your popcorn and let’s dive into this touching cinematic experience!

“Bwakaw” revolves around Rene, a 70-year-old gay man who decides to embrace his true self after years of living in the shadows. Set in a semi-rural area near a bustling city, Rene grapples with loneliness and the fear of growing old alone. His only companion is Bwakaw, his loyal dog who provides him with solace in his isolated existence.

The film beautifully captures the essence of companionship and acceptance as Rene navigates through his twilight years. The theme of growing old and the universal dread of facing it alone resonates deeply throughout the narrative. As Rene opens up to the world, he discovers that it’s never too late for love and human connection.

One of the standout aspects of “Bwakaw” is its portrayal of relationships. The bond between Rene and Bwakaw is heartwarming, showcasing the purest form of companionship between man and animal. Their interactions are filled with moments of joy, sorrow, and unwavering loyalty that will warm even the coldest hearts.

Director Jun Robles Lana masterfully weaves together humor and poignancy in this captivating film. The pacing keeps you engaged from start to finish, balancing light-hearted moments with profound emotional depth. Lana’s direction breathes life into the characters, making them relatable and endearing to the audience.

The performances in “Bwakaw” are nothing short of exceptional. Eddie Garcia delivers a nuanced portrayal of Rene, capturing his complexities with grace and authenticity. His chemistry with Bwakaw steals the show, eliciting both laughter and tears from viewers.

The cinematography shines in its simplicity yet profoundness. Shot in San Pablo Laguna, the scenic backdrop adds depth to the narrative, enhancing the emotional impact of each scene. The visuals beautifully complement the thematic elements of aging, solitude, and self-discovery.

Now, let’s talk about music! The score in “Bwakaw” deserves a standing ovation for its ability to evoke a wide range of emotions. From melancholic melodies to uplifting tunes, the music enhances every scene, immersing you further into Rene’s journey.

As we delve deeper into this heartfelt story, we witness Rene’s transformation from a reclusive individual to someone who embraces life wholeheartedly. The film delicately addresses themes of self-acceptance, love, and overcoming fears – delivering an inspiring message that resonates long after the credits roll.

Binge-watching Tip: Keep some tissues handy while watching “Bwakaw.” You might need them for those touching moments that tug at your heart!

In conclusion,
“Bwakaw” is a gem of a film that captures the essence of humanity through its poignant storytelling and stellar performances. It reminds us that love knows no bounds – be it between friends or furry companions. So sit back, relax, and let this cinematic masterpiece take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Rating: 9/10

Remember folks: Growing old may be inevitable but growing old alone? That’s just not how we roll!

Pros Cons
Touching portrayal of growing old and fear of loneliness Sad and melancholic storyline
Original and heartfelt narrative Emotionally heavy themes
Strong character development Tragic ending
Beautiful performance by Eddie Garcia May be too slow-paced for some viewers
Humorous moments interspersed with poignant scenes Not a light-hearted film


  • Bwakaw - Wikipedia

    110 minutes Country Philippines Language Filipino

    Bwakawis a 2012 Philippine comedy drama film written and directed by Jun Lana. Eddie Garcia stars as a lonely gay man in his 70s who cares for a stray dog he namedbwakaw. The film was first screened as part of the 2012 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival where it formed part of the Director’s Showcase roster.

  • Bwakaw (2012) - IMDb

    Bwakaw (2012) is a movie from the Philippines, written and directed by Jun Lana. Rene, played by Eddie Garcia, is a misanthropic older gay man. Rene lives in a semi-rural area, not too far from a larger city. He has no real friends, because he repulses people who try to engage him in friendship. Eddie’s great love in life is his little dog, Bwakaw, played by Princess.There are two threads to the plot–a serious illness suffered by Bwakaw, and a developing friendship between Rene and a younger man. The movie is worth watching to see how these plot lines develop.We saw the film at the Little Theatre as part of Image Out–The Rochester LGBT Film Festival. It will work well on the small screen.

  • Bwakaw (FULL TRAILER) - YouTube

  • Review: Bwakaw - Slant Magazine

    On paper,Bwakawseems like a limp country-western song about a guy-and-his-dog movie. It’s anything but. Given Rene’s sad, unfulfilled love life, Bwakaw isn’t only his faithful companion, but an idealized object of all his pent-up romantic longing. Despite the dog’s affection, Rene’s love for the animal runs entirely one way: Bwakaw may not be able to provide Rene the love he desires from a human partner, but it can’t reject its master’s dotty affections. And unlike the girlfriends he treated unfairly and emotionally scammed through his own dishonesty regarding his sexuality, Rene doesn’t have to lie to love Bwakaw. So when the dog develops cancer, his owner is panicked in his desire to fix him up. It’s not only a confrontation with his own mortality, but with the sad reality of a lived half-lived.

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the heartwarming film “Bwakaw,” viewers are taken on a journey into the life of an elderly gay man named Rene, portrayed brilliantly by the late Eddie Garcia. Living alone in his mother’s ancestral home, Rene has come out in his seventies and believes that his age has deprived him of the chance for love and companionship. His main companion is a stray dog named Bwakaw, whom he cares for diligently.

The storyline takes an unexpected turn when Bwakaw is diagnosed with cancer, throwing Rene’s routine into disarray. This disruption prompts Rene to reevaluate his outlook on life, which he had resigned to be devoid of joy and connection. Through this unexpected chaos, Rene begins to see the beauty in life that he had previously deemed lost.

Despite its seemingly simple plot, “Bwakaw” offers a deeply rewarding experience for audiences. The film’s authenticity and approachability shine through its minimalist approach, eschewing the excesses often found in mainstream cinema. Eddie Garcia’s portrayal of Rene is a standout performance, showcasing the late actor’s immense talent and depth.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its character development, which is both substantial and nuanced. Rene’s evolution throughout the narrative is seamlessly integrated, allowing viewers to connect with his journey on a personal level. From his moments of vulnerability to his eventual growth, Rene’s character resonates with audiences from start to finish.

While “Bwakaw” may not adhere to the conventions of mainstream cinema, its ability to delve into the complexities of human emotions and relationships sets it apart. The film’s open-ended start and ending, while unconventional, add to its charm and authenticity, making it a standout piece of Filipino cinema.

In conclusion, “Bwakaw” is a cinematic gem that offers a poignant exploration of love, companionship, and the resilience of the human spirit. With exceptional acting, rich character development, and a heartfelt narrative, this film is a must-watch for those seeking a meaningful and touching cinematic experience.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

“Bwakaw” is rated TV-PG, which means Parental Guidance is suggested. This movie may contain material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “Bwakaw” is a Philippine comedy drama film that explores themes of loneliness, aging, and relationships. Here is a detailed parental guide to help you decide if this movie is suitable for your child:

  • Sex & Nudity: The movie contains mild references to romantic relationships and the main character’s sexuality. There are no explicit scenes of sex or nudity.
  • Violence & Gore: The film does not include intense violence or graphic gore. However, there are some emotional moments and themes related to aging and loneliness.
  • Profanity: There is minimal profanity in the movie, with occasional mild language used in dialogue.
  • Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking: There are no scenes depicting alcohol, drugs, or smoking in the movie.
  • Frightening & Intense Scenes: The film primarily focuses on the emotional journey of the main character and his relationship with his dog. While there are some poignant moments, there are no intense or frightening scenes that would be unsuitable for children.

Overall, “Bwakaw” is a heartfelt and touching film that delves into themes of companionship and self-discovery. It is recommended for mature children who can appreciate the emotional depth of the story and the complexities of the characters. Parental guidance is advised due to some thematic elements that may require explanation or discussion with younger viewers.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix Available to rent, purchase, or stream via subscription on Netflix, and Netflix basic with Ads

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • The emotions running through the film are surprisingly and refreshingly rich, especially given the thicker attempts at comedy Lana indulges.
    Slant Magazine
  • Bwakaw is about growing old and everyone's fear of growing old alone.
  • Rene is a gay man who comes out of the closet at age 70.
  • Bwakaw isn’t only his faithful companion, but an idealized object of all his pent-up romantic longing.
  • Rene has found a new appreciation for life and what is most important.

🤖Bwakaw Reddit Talks

Bwakaw: Exploring Aging, Love, and Identity

Bwakaw, a poignant Filipino film, has sparked discussions on Reddit about the complexities of aging, the search for companionship, and the challenges of coming out later in life.

Aging and the Fear of Loneliness

The film’s protagonist, Rene, is a gay man who comes to terms with his sexuality in his twilight years. His story resonates with viewers who fear growing old alone, highlighting the isolation and loneliness that can accompany aging.

The Search for Companionship

Despite his advanced age, Rene yearns for love and companionship. His journey highlights the universal human need for connection, regardless of age or circumstance. Bwakaw explores the challenges and rewards of finding companionship later in life.

Coming Out Later in Life

Rene’s decision to come out at age 70 challenges societal norms and stereotypes. Redditors discuss the courage and vulnerability required to embrace one’s true identity, even in the face of potential judgment or rejection.

Other Points of Discussion

In addition to these central themes, Redditors have also shared their thoughts on other aspects of the film:

  • Cinematography and Acting: Bwakaw’s stunning visuals and powerful performances have been praised by viewers. Eddie Garcia’s portrayal of Rene has been particularly lauded.
  • LGBTQ+ Representation: Bwakaw has been recognized for its positive and nuanced portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters, contributing to increased visibility and understanding.
  • Cultural Significance: The film’s exploration of Filipino culture and traditions has resonated with viewers, providing insights into the country’s social and cultural landscape.
  • Comparisons to Other Films: Redditors have drawn comparisons between Bwakaw and other films that explore similar themes, such as “No Country for Old Men” and “Rainbow’s Sunset.”

Overall, Bwakaw has generated thoughtful and insightful discussions on Reddit, touching upon themes of aging, love, identity, and the human experience.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the message of the film Bwakaw?

The film Bwakaw conveys a poignant message about growing old and the universal fear of growing old alone. It follows the story of Rene, a gay man who faces his coming out journey at age 70, grappling with the belief that it is too late for love and companionship, ultimately reflecting on the inevitability of aging and mortality.

What is the ending of Bwakaw?

In the movie Bwakaw, the faithful dog Bwakaw passes away, leading Rene to a newfound appreciation for life and what truly matters. Despite the loss, Bwakaw’s death brings about a significant change in Rene’s perspective, highlighting the importance of companionship and connection.

Who is Sol in Bwakaw?

Sol is a character in Bwakaw who symbolizes the opposite of Rene’s personality. Sol, portrayed by Rez Cortez, is a rough and basic tricycle driver who establishes an intriguing and ambiguous relationship with Rene, revealing contrasting but attracting qualities that unfold throughout the narrative.

Where was Bwakaw shot?

The movie Bwakaw was filmed in San Pablo Laguna, a location that adds a unique backdrop to the heartfelt storytelling of the film. Additionally, the production is dedicated to the esteemed playwright Rene O. Villanueva, contributing to the originality and cultural richness of the Philippine cinema.

What happened to Bwakaw?

In Bwakaw, despite Rene’s efforts to save him with an ancient miraculous statue of Jesus Christ, Bwakaw passes away. The faithful dog’s death marks a significant moment in Rene’s journey, where his friends come together to help him bury Bwakaw, leading to a deeper reflection on life, love, and loss.

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