Alternative Framings: The Cinema of Joselito 'Jay' Altarejos

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Original Title: Kasal

with English subtitles


Kasal is a slice of life drama about a gay couple whose resolve to stay together is challenged as they attend a wedding. It is also an examination of how a gay couple navigates through the different institutions in Philippine society. 


Paolo is a filmmaker and Sherwin is a lawyer. They have been together for three years. The first year of their relationship has been bliss until Paolo commits infidelity on their second year. The affair almost ended their relationship. But, the couple has tried hard to patch things up and has decided to move on and be together. Six months after the incident, the couple is still recovering from the incident.

On this weekend, Paolo and Sherwin are attending the wedding of the latter’s only sister in Batangas. Wedding, as we all know, symbolizes love and commitment. But for the gay couple, this event will test their relationship once again.

On their journey to the province, Sherwin remembers the hurt that the infidelity has caused them. A violent fight ensues. Starting the tension once again. This tension is carried over to Sherwin’s house. Sherwin does not seem to know how to handle Paolo’s presence in their house while Paolo tries to be friendly with everyone. Sherwin sometimes ignores his partner’s presence and even fails to introduce him properly, thus, hurting Paolo’s feelings. Meanwhile, Paolo gets along well with Sherwin’s male cousin making Sherwin feel a pang of jealousy. During the reception, Celia, Sherwin’s mother, surprises her son by announcing that Sherwin has been awarded a scholarship abroad and is leaving soon. Sherwin has kept this matter hidden from Paolo. Feeling betrayed, Paolo erupts. A confrontation follows. Old wounds are revisited. Pain and feeling of betrayal resurface.

On a rainy Sunday morning, the couple drives back to Manila. They are pensive. Each is lost in his thoughts. Will the couple survive, yet, another test in their relationship?

Awards & Festivals:

Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Original Music, Best Production Design | Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, 2014

Jury Prize for Best Film | Gawad Tanglaw, 2015

Torino Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 2015

Bangkok Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 2015

Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, 2015

Q! Fest Indonesia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 2015

Director's Statement:

In a country that is still influenced by the Catholic Church, LGBT rights and issues have not been fully discussed and confronted in public. Kasal (The Commitment) is probably the first Filipino film that tackles the possibility, or impossibility, of same-sex marriage in the Philippines. It also shows how a gay couple navigates through the different institutions in Philippine society. And, how, their interaction affects them and effect changes in others. The film adds its voice to the growing discussion on equality.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    104 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Jay Altarejos
  • Screenwriter
    Jay Altarejos & Zig Dulay
  • Producer
    Jay Altarejos
  • Executive Producer
    Jay Altarejos
  • Co-Producer
    Zig Madamba Dulay
  • Filmmaker
    Jay Altarejos
  • Cast
    Arnold Reyes, Oliver Aquino, Rita Avila, Maureen Mauricio, Rener Concepcion, Ruby Ruiz, Ronwaldo Martin
  • Cinematographer
    Mycko David
  • Editor
    Jay Altarejos & Zig Dulay
  • Production Design
    Harley Alcasid
  • Music
    Richard Gonzales