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Elsa saw the blessed Virgin Mary who had changed her life and caused a hysteria in a poor isolated village.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Veronica Palileo ...
Mrs. Alba
Gigi Dueñas ...
Aling Saling
Laura Centeno ...
Ben Almeda ...
Cris Daluz ...
Aura Mijares ...
Mrs. Gonzales
Ray Ventura ...
Pilo (as Crispin Medina)
Tony Angeles ...
Chief of Police


Elsa saw the blessed Virgin Mary who had changed her life and caused a hysteria in a poor isolated village.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

25 December 1982 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

Miracle  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first film produced by the Philippine government film body Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP). This won nine of 11 awards given at the 1982 Metro Manila Filmfest. See more »


Beggar: [to Elsa] You Killed my child! You Killed my Child! You will go to hell! You will go to hell!
See more »


Referenced in Pinoy movie: buhay ka pa... ba? (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

One of Philippine Cinema's greatest
22 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

Frame for frame, Himala (1982) may be the most beautifully shot Philippine film I've ever seen. With a photographer's eye, director Ishmael Bernal (City After Dark, Relasyon) turns an arid, non-descript countryside Philippine town into a mystical place with real people. The Superstar of Philippine Cinema, Nora Aunor, playing the lead role, works with the visual setting as much as it works with her. She's the ever-sad Elsa, an illegitimate child who one day claims, like many of us Filipinos like to do, to have seen the Virgin Mary, who has endowed her with super healing powers. A battle between her and a doubtful, sometimes vengeful, Catholic church ensues, and she starts winning. Throngs of peasant folk travel from afar to get their miracle on, and the once-filled church dwindles to a measly ten people. Is she real, or is it a hoax? For a suffering people short on hope in the faith they were given, and seeking it elsewhere, anywhere - does it even matter? Acting with just her eyes for most of the film, Aunor is mesmerizing. She saves all that pent-up melodrama for the film's final scene, where she reveals herself as a dialectical materialist: "Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao…ang himala ay nasa puso nating lahat!" (There is no miracle! The miracle is in the heart of a person… the miracle is in all our hearts!). Himala makes a potent, poignant statement on Filipinos' faith, making a subtle connection between the colonial legacy of the church and the suffering that drives us toward and away from it.

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