Belongs to a lineage of the ancient Palawanon shamans. Kanakan-Balintagos is his tribal-spirit name. Spent five years living in Palawan (after completing his theatre and filmmaking studies in Manila) before making his first film. Made his debut with the movie Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (2005), which won 15 international awards and is also the first Filipino movie to be nominated for a Best Foreign Film Award at the Independent Spirit Awards in the United States. Is one of the 100 directors profiled in the book Take 100 published in 2010. All his works have been screened in major festivals around the world, which includes Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Montreal, Pusan, Toronto and Rotterdam.