Filipino filmmaker Gil M. Portes directs the drama Mga Munting Tinig (Small Voices), based on the teaching experience of his niece during the 1980s. Alessandra de Rossi plays Melinda Santiago, an idealistic young woman who takes a teaching position at a small rural school in the Philippine province of Malawig.
With a corrupt government and scarce economic opportunities, the townsfolk struggle to survive. While many of the adults choose to join the guerilla military force, the children are made to work on family farms rather than receive an education. Against many of the parents' wishes, Melinda enters her class in a singing competition.
Small Voices premiered at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival.