Private Project

Tabi Tabi Po

When a camper unknowingly disrespects the animistic world, she runs for her life to escape the vengeful grips of a menacing forest creature.

There’s a Philippine superstition that reminds everyone to say ‘Tabi tabi po’ (Excuse me, please) when in the forest. One says these words out loud to show respect to the spiritual beings around them, or these spirits can come for them, by ailment, injury, or curse. In this short, the protagonist Tala doesn’t speak Tagalog, and therefore doesn’t know to say ‘Tabi tabi po’. She is not spared by the mystical beast that goes after her.

“Tabi Tabi Po” is about having deep respect for one’s culture, even when it’s not fully understood. It’s about the loss a person can feel when they were never taught their native language, and the complications of their identity that come along with that.

  • Jenn Santos
  • Jenn Santos
  • Jenn Santos
    Key Cast
  • Maximino Fuentes
    Director of Photography
  • Thomas De la Rosa
  • Benjamin Garcia
  • Pauline Cuevas
    Movie Poster Artist
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Tabi Tabi Po
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 15, 2021
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Blackbird Film Festival
    May 19, 2022
  • Coven Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    December 14, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Shockfest Film Festival

    December 10, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival
    Savoy, Illinois
    United States
    December 5, 2021
    Official Selection
  • The Thing in The Basement Horror Fest
    Bermerton, WA
    United States
    November 10, 2021
    Washington Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Ethereal Horror Festival
    October 23, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Austin After Dark Film Festival
    October 26, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Oregon Scream Week Horror Film Festival
    October 14, 2021
    Official Selection
  • 13 Minutes of Horror Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    August 13, 2021
    Honorable Mention
Director Biography - Jenn Santos

Jenn Santos is a filmmaker and actor based in Los Angeles. She studied Fiction Filmmaking in both San Francisco and Paris and has produced, written, directed, and acted in multiple shorts and film projects. “Tabi Tabi Po”, Jenn’s horror micro-short which touches on the feeling of displacement one can have not knowing their native language, was selected at several film festivals those including Austin After Dark Film Festival, The Thing in The Basement Horror Fest, and Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival.  Jenn’s passionate about inclusivity, storytelling, and karaoke.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This micro short touches on my experience being Filipinx-American. Growing up, I never learned Tagalog (the main language of the Philippines). My parents refrained from teaching Tagalog to me and my siblings so that we could speak English and adapt to a westernized life in the US. Not knowing the language from my culture has definitely brought a feeling of disconnection when it comes to learning about my family and where we came from. With this short, I hope to shine a light on the importance of embodying one’s own identity and culture.