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Reef Hunters

Muro Ami is a film that depicts one of the worst forms of child labor in the illegal fishing system. Fredo is the ruthless captain of 150 Muro Ami divers. The illegal fishing is done by pounding and crushing corals underwater to scare the fishes and luring them towards the nets. With a high quota to meet, Fredo forces the divers mostly children, to accomplish at least eight dives a day to meet their goal before the millennium. Tired and harassed after the burdening task being given to them, the children have to make do in subhuman conditions in the Aurora, the Muro Ami boat. They sleep in rat-infested bunks and are fed only twice a day. Life above the boat is much worse than the suffering the children encounter beneath the sea. For every dive, a child's life is perilously in danger.

Awards and Citations:

  • Winner of thirteen awards at the 1999 Metro Manila Film Festival including Best Child Performer (Rebecca Lusterio), Best Story ( Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Ricardo Lee, Jun Lana), Best Screenplay (Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana), Best Director (Marilou Diaz-Abaya) and Best Picture
  • Direction: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
    Screenplay: Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana
    Cinematography: Rody Lacap
    Film Editing: Jesus Navarro
    Production Design: Leo Abaya
    Art Direction: Bonna Fajardo and Mannix Mateo
    Music: Nonong Buencamino
    Producers: Butch Jimenez, Jimmy Duavit, Marilou Diaz-Abaya


    Fredo - Cesar Montano
    Dado - Pen Medina
    Susan - Amy Austria
    Botong - Jhong Hilario
    Kalbo - Rebecca Lusterio

    1999 Color 117 minutes Production Company: GMA Network, Inc.

    Shown on February 5, and March 9, 2000.