• Alexander Fernandez

Filipino-American Director to Launch New Film- Take Me To Banaue

Updated: Aug 19


WASHINGTON- A Filipino-American Director will soon release the film, “Take Me To Banaue,” in 2023.


Director Danny Aguilar, born and raised in the Philippines, started his career as a chemical engineer. He came to the United States 30 years ago, where he later obtained his Masters of Buisiness Administration, and founded his company Quality Eagle Consulting Services, in Dallas, Texas.

Aguilar found that he always enjoyed the film industry and its ability to portray various stories and present societal interactions. Aguilar decided to switch careers and studied filmmaking at the Hollywood Institute. He then got accepted to the Sundance Director’s mentorship program after graduating.


“I didn’t get into filmmaking until my 40s. I am not the traditional filmmaker, where I went to film school and graduated. I was in the corporate world for 25 years as a chemical engineer. But I initially wanted to study broadcast journalism.” Danny Aguilar said.

“I didn’t get into filmmaking until my 40s. I am not the traditional filmmaker, where I went to film school and graduated. I was in the corporate world for 25 years as a chemical engineer. But I initially wanted to study broadcast journalism.” Danny Aguilar said.


He felt Hollywood did not represent the Fillipino community well in films and saw other cultures become more prominent in television, film, and music.


“The goal was to make stories come to life that were inspirational and transformative,” Aguilar said. “I believe there is a lot of negativity in the world and wanted my films to spread positivity and resonate with my audience.”


He founded Carpe Diem Pictures, an Independent film company, to use his voice as a filmmaker to help, mentor, and inspire people.


“I would like to be the first Filipino-American to win the Academy Award and Golden Globe. Other cultures broke into a successful filmmaking status [in Hollywood], why shouldn’t the Filipino culture?” Aguilar said.


The inspiration for creating “Take Me To Banaue” came from the Cordillera Region, near where Aguilar studied for his Bachelor’s Degree.


The film is staged in the Philippines showcases the country’s beautiful landscapes and is a romantic comedic between, Grace, a Filipina and her love interest, Hank, an American entrepreneur. The pair make decisions based on their desires and aspirations while discovering cultural similarities. The film aims to break down pre-conceived cultural and social notions people from the Philippines might have toward Americans.

"I am tackling the social structures in [Take Me To Banaue] in a way that is not good or bad, but points out these social norms in a way that is comedic and relatable” Aguilar said.


Aguilar’s goal is to show relatability in the film and through the film “Take Me To Banaue,” he hopes to put the Philippines and Filipino filmmakers on Hollywood’s radar.


“I want everyone to see my homeland as more than a place with gorgeous beaches and delicious cuisine. I want them to go deeper and love it as I love it.”


By Alexander Fernandez

LNT Reporter

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