This Upcoming Documentary on the Life of Pilita Corrales Will Take Viewers From Shipwreck to Stardom

Photo by BJ Pascual

The docu will be produced by Pilita Corrales’ granddaughter Janine Gutierrez.

Pilita Corrales’ career is nothing short of extraordinary. From her beginnings as a shipwrecked magician’s assistant in her teenage years to her rise as a major television and recording star in Australia in the 1950s, Corrales’ life is marked by feats that paved the way for Filipino musical artists.

In the 1960s, she opened for the Beatles and performed alongside Sammy Davis Jr. in Las Vegas during the 1970s. One of her crowning achievements also came in 1972, when she won the Tokyo Music Festival, earning her the title “Asia’s Queen of Songs.”

All this and more will be told on the big screen with a documentary to be directed by award-winning director Baby Ruth Villarma. Aptly entitled “Pilita,” the documentary will map out the life and legacy of Corrales, providing an intimate view into the singer’s impressive seven-decade career and her personal life.

Photo courtesy of Voyage Studios

“Pilita is more than just a documentary about a singer,” says Villarama, the director of the award-winning 2016 documentary Sunday Beauty Queen. “It’s a story of resilience, reinvention, and the enduring power of Filipino music. Piliata’s story is an inspiration, not just for aspiring artists, but for anyone who has ever dared to dream big.”

The documentary will also have a familial touch, with Corrales’ granddaughter, Janine Gutierrez, producing it. “We’re thrilled to have Direk Baby Ruth Villarama on board,” says Gutierrez. “With her passion for telling women’s stories, I think she’s the best person to help tell the story of my lola’s remarkable life and career.”

Photo by BJ Pascual

Aside from Gutierrez, Raymond Ang and Chuck Gutierrez will also produce the film. Currently, the documentary is in the early stages of development with Voyage Studios, a company co-founded by Villarama that aims to create impactful stories addressing pressing social issues around the world. 

By producing the film, Gutierrez seeks to honor her grandmother’s legacy and inspire future generations. “I feel a deep responsibility to preserve her legacy,” says Gutierrez. “This film is a way to ensure her story inspires generations to come—not just as a performer, but as a woman who defied expectations and truly paved the way.”

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