Jose Nepomuceno

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José Nepomuceno (15 May 1893 – 1 December 1959) was a Filipino movie producer and director acknowledged as the “Father of Philippine Movies.”

He married Isabel Acuña. They had eight children, among whom are child actors Lubin and Angelito Nepomuceno, and Luis Nepomuceno, who became a film director.


Early life and education

He was born on 15 May 1893 to Jose Nepomuceno and Teofila Zialcita. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from San Beda College. He took up electrical engineering at the Ateneo de Manila and finished a course in fine arts at the University of the Philippines.


He became an accredited correspondent for Pathe News and Paramount News of Hollywood. He acquired experience in his career by making documentaries and newsreels on various local topics. He also made English and Spanish subtitles for films which were then imported from Europe.

He was a photographer and proprietor of his photo studio Electro-Photo-Studio Parhelio which became the biggest and most expensive in the country. He later sold it and founded Malayan Movies in 1917. After two years of experimentation and training, he made Dalagang Bukid (Country Maiden), 1919. It was the first Filipino-produced feature film.

He also made

  • La venganza de Don Silvestre (The Vengeance of Don Silvestre), 1919
  • Un cupullo marchito (A Withered Bud), 1920
  • Hoy o nunca besame (Kiss Me Now or Never), 1923
  • La mariposa negra (Black Beauty), 1923
  • Tatlong Hambog (Three Bragarts), 1926; starred Luis Tuason and Elizabeth Cooper who did the fist kissing scene in the local movie industry.
  • Punyal na Ginto (Golden Dagger), 1933

The following films dominated the first years of the talkies

  • Doktor Kuba (Doctor Hunchback), 1933
  • Sawing Palad (The Loser), 1934
  • Santong Diablo (Sainted Devil), 1936

As he was constantly plagued by lack of capital, Nepomuceno was producer, storyteller, scriptwriter, cameraman, labman, art director, film editor, distributor, and exhibitor of his films.

His home and studios burned down in 1921 and 1923 but he never gave up. He formed

  • Malayan Pictures, 1923
  • Nepomuceno Productions, 1932
  • Nepomuceno-Harris-Tait partnership, 1933
  • Parlatone Hispano-Filipino Inc, 1935
  • X'Otic Films, 1938
  • Polychrome Motion Pictures, 1946

He shared his skills with other pioneering producers like Vicente Salumbides and Julian Manansala.

Among the talents whom he discovered and developed were



  • Dalagang Bukid ("Country Maiden") (1919)
  • La Venganza de Don Silvestre (1920)
  • Un Capullo Marchito (1920)
  • The Three Humbugs (1926)
  • Ang Manananggal (1927)
  • Hot Kisses (1927)
  • The Filipino Woman (1927)
  • Ang Lumang Simbahan ("The Old Church") (1928)
  • The Pearl of the Markets (1929)
  • Sa Landas ng Pag-ibig ("The Path of Love") (1929)
  • Child Out of Wedlock (1930)
  • Noli Me Tángere (1930)
  • The Young Nun (1931)
  • The Secret Pagan God (1931)
  • Moro Pirates (1931)
  • At Heaven's Gate (1932)
  • Stray Flowers (1932)
  • Punyal na Ginto ("Golden Dagger") (1933)


  • The Three Humbugs (1926)
  • La mujer Filipina (1927)


  • Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak (1967)


  • Tiongson, Nicanor ed., "CCP Encyclopedia of the Film" Vol. 8, Manila:CCP 1998



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