The Eruption
of the Aetas

A film by Mario Villamiel

Aries is a member of the Aeta, the first inhabitants of the Philippines. Since the devastating volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, Aries and his people have had to alter their traditional way of life in order to survive the changes brought to the landscape.

Compounded by the pressures of industrialization and colonization, the eruption has threatened their ability to live off the land. Aries and his community are turning to farming as the bridge towards healing themselves, their traditions and their past.

App preview

Meet the protagonists


Aries is always looking for different ways to help his people. He is the voice of the Aetas in the film. He loves Basketball and play the guitar.


Madding is an expert in medicinal plants and her concerns about health and food are expressed in the documentary.


Orlino is working and living close to the Mount Pinatubo. He is a sort of security guard of this beautiful place.


Rolando is a farmer who lives surrounded by banana trees and fields.


Rolando’s wife who enjoys playing with her grandchildren.


Jimmy is a pastor and he is involved in different areas of the Aetas community. He has a great sense of humour.


Ruben is a policeman in Nabuclod. He believes education is key to get freedom.


Effren lives in the middle of nowhere. He wants to farm in some fields close to his house but he needs tools.


Dexter has been working in the fields for long time. He has a long experience but he is frustrated because of the lack of control in what they produce.


I asked his name 4 times! He lives in a beautiful place and he is farmer.


Gary is not Aeta but he shared his experience about the ethnic group during the filming. He is a pastor.


Apang is a friendly man who looks for exchanging and discussing. He showed me the way the houses of the Aetas are built and contributed to the film.


Anita is the chief of Nabuclod. She points out the importance of fighting for education and their lands.


Clarita is a special woman. She describes the mysterious “Anitos” or “Encantos” in the film and she plays a key role in the Nabuclod community.


Evelyn is semi-nomad with her husband and children. She knows how to hunt and she wants to come back to farming. She needs tools.


Mary is the person who one day dreamt about making a film about the Aetas. She is the producer of the film together with Mario and she did a outstanding job organising and getting in contact with all the people who appear in the documentary.


My name is Mario and I led a what many would call “ordinary” life in the last years. Nevertheless, while I was in the rat wheel I started meeting people, reading books and living experiences that made me see that “ordinary” life from a different perspective.

Watch the trailer