Ilo Ilo

26 Nov 2013 – Good Local Production 


SIN film Ilo Ilo was named the Best Feature Film at the Golden Horse Awards in Taipei on Saturday, the biggest award of the night. It won a total of four prizes, including Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay for director Anthony Chen and Best Supporting Actress for Yeo Yann Yann.


Ilo Ilo****/爸妈不在家: set in SIN about the relationship between a family of three and their newly arrived Filipino maid, Teresa. The family needs to adapt to the presence of this stranger, which further threatens their already strained relationship in their 3-room HDB flat, 700sq ft size as my apt!

Teresa and Jiale, the young and troublesome boy she cares for, soon form a bond. Their unique connection continues to develop and soon she becomes an unspoken part of the family. But this is 1997 and the Asian Financial Crisis is starting to be felt in all the region…

A must see movie for me not just because it won the awards but because the need to understand and relate to the local scene during my stay here. SIN-made movies do not usually make it to the overseas big screens and will try to catch them here if possible.


The local made movies reflect on the life in SIN. And no do not have a maid but know people who have at least one or two maids but would prefer calling them house-help. Grew up here in 1950s & early 60s with house-help. But they were there to clean and cook, not to look after the children! It was a different era then!!

Iloilo is the name of a province in Philippines where the real Teresita Sajonia is from. She was the nanny for the director’s family, the Chens from 1988-1997. Somehow the Chinese title Father Mother not at Home does not come across as exciting or interesting as Ilo Ilo!


Happy ending for former nanny Teresita Sajonia as she hugs Christopher Chen, the youngest of her three former wards in Singapore, at a  hotel in Iloilo City. Sajonia is the subject of a Cannes’ award-winning film  written/directed by Christopher’s eldest brother, Anthony. Photo courtesy of Selrahco.

All pix on this posting are downloaded from various media.

I’m very happy that they remembered the years we were together and that this was made into a movie. I’m happy that they grew up well – Teresita Sajonia

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