Where Was Netflix’s The Portrait Filmed?

Helmed by Loy Arcenas, Netflix’s ‘The Portrait,’ released in 2017 under the title ‘Ang Larawan,’ is a Philippine musical movie that revolves around sisters Candida and Paula Marasigan. They find themselves in a predicament when faced with financial instability and familial pressure to make ends meet in Manila in the pre-World War II era. When their father, a renowned but reclusive artist, falls ill, the sisters must decide whether they wish to sell off his final artistic piece to survive in a world on fire or fight the materialism and societal perils to save it.

The historical drama movie is based on the celebrated playwright and thespian National Artist Rolando S. Tinio’s 1997 musical ‘Larawan,’ which in itself is an adaptation of the 1950 play ‘A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino’ by National Artist Nick Joaquin. Given the gripping narrative, stunning production design, exemplary music, and first-rate performances, it has bagged many awards and nominations. Naturally, the stunning visuals against the backdrop of a walled city in Old Manila must make many curious about where the movie was shot. If you’re in the same boat, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know!

The Portrait Filming Locations

‘ The Portrait’ is set in the Spanish-colonial era during the dawn of World War II, specifically in the walled city of Intramuros in Old Manila. But is it also where the shooting took place? Well, yes, the movie was filmed in the aforementioned city, along with the province of Batangas in the Philippines in Southeast Asia. The principal photography commenced in June 2015 with Boy Yñiguez working his magic as the cinematographer and ended in 15 days or so. Now, let’s move on to the specific locations where the award-winning movie was taped!

Metro Manila, The Philippines

The historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, was the primary filming location of ‘The Portrait.’ Situated within Metropolitan Manila, the fortified city is embellished with cobblestone streets and remnants of the Spanish colonial era, such as the San Agustin Church, the oldest in the archipelagic country. Therefore, it is not surprising that the team chose Intramuros to lens most of the exterior scenes in the movie.

Located at General Luna Corner on Real Street in Metro Manila, the Plaza San Luis Complex served as another production spot for the movie. The visually aesthetic La Naval procession scene was shot at the exquisite establishment as it represents Spanish colonial architecture. As per reports, the production team employed over 550 to 600 extras who donned era-appropriate costumes to tape the particular sequence.

Batangas, The Philippines

While most of the shooting of ‘The Portrait’ happened in Metro Manila, the cast and crew visited Taal, a heritage town in Batangas province in the Calabarzon region, southern Luzon. Since the production team encountered several challenges while finding a house rich with historical features of pre-war Manila in Intramuros, they set up camp in the coastal municipality of Taal for nearly two weeks. Specifically, the prominent Villavicencio ancestral home doubled up as the house that belongs to the family of Candida and Paula Marasigan in the movie.

Read More: Is Netflix’s The Portrait Based on a True Story?