February 19, 2015, is a Special Non-Working Holiday in the Philippines because of Chinese New Year, so let me greet you “Kung Hei Fat Choi”. In this day I allowed my feet to bring me to a movie theater and watch the popular and trending indie film, That Thing Called Tadhana (just Me, Myself, and I). Actually, it’s usual for me to do a things unexpectedly (I mean without planning, it’s just kapag pumasok na sa isip kong gawin, gagawin ko talaga). But my intuition tells me, that you will relate in this film, that this film has a sense and every movie goers will learn something and their money and time is not a waste.
That Thing Called Tadhana (TTCT), is an indie film directed by Antoinette Jadaone (Relaks’ it’s just Pag-ibig/Beauty in a Bottle/English Only Please). The movie’s initial release was November 2014 for the Cinema One Film Festival and since the film received such positive reviews from the critics and gotten some movie awards, the Star Cinema decided to released in Nationwide last February 4, 2015 (and they did the right decision), because the movie grosses P100 million in the box office as of February 16, 2015, and is still showing in over a hundred theaters nationwide.. That Thing Called Tadhana or the netizens tagged it as the “Ultimate Hugot Film”, opens with this
“Para sa mga umibig,
pero umibig pa rin.
You know, tatanga-tanga”
Followed by an open-ended short story’s epilogue narrated by Mace, entitled ” The Arrow with a Heart Pierced Through Him”. TTCT, follows the story of Mace Castillo (Angelica Panganiban) and Anthony Lagdameo (JM De Guzman), strangers who met at an airport in Italy because of Mace excess baggage. And Anthony with a helpful-heart offered some space in his baggage to put other Mace’s things, that’s where the friendship begins and other truths unfolds and eventually the film allowed me to travel up north to Baguio and Sagada (where I find myself witness the amazing clouds-sun-mountain view) in search for the answer to the question: Where do broken hearts go?” (And I find myself loving the song and wanting to sing this in a videoke!). TTCT made me laugh, and giggle with different scenes. The conversation between Mace and Anthony feels sincere, so natural, so simple, so wasak and napaka burgis! And there are so many kilig moments that the viewers never realized that Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman will have a great chemistry on screen. Here are Their Hugot lines na talagang may sense at tumatagos sa puso ng mga manunuod, simple but very relatable, at talagang hindi makakalimutan ng mga viewers:
- “Bakit ba kayong mga mapeperang mga babae, ang hilig n’yong hinahanap ang sarili n’yo sa Baguio? Ba’t ba Baguio? Hindi ba pwedeng sa inuman na lang?” – Anthony
- “Alam mo ‘yung love na 8 years na kayo? Sa ganong love ka pa ba magdududa? Pero wala pala sa tagal ng relasyon yun. Ke eight months kayo o eight years, kung gusto ka niyang lokohin, lolokohin ka niya. Pag hindi ka na niya mahal, hindi ka na niya mahal.”- Mace
- “Hindi. Na. Kita. Mahal. Makakaalis. Ka. Na. Seven words. ‘Yung 8 years namin, kinaya niyang tapusin in 7 words.”- Mace
- “Hindi ka na niya mahal. Yun na yon. Ano di malinaw dun?” – Anthony
“Tang*** naman, sabihin naman niya kung bakit-” – Mace
“Bakit, kapag sinabi ba niya kung bakit, may magbabago? Ang bottomline, hindi ka niya mahal.”- Anthony
- “Kung mahal mo, habulin mo, ipaglaban mo. Wag mong hintaying may magtulak sa kanya pabalik sa’yo. Hilahin mo, hanggang kaya mo, wag kang bibitaw. Sorry, mahal ko eh.” – Mace
- “Alam mo yung sinabi ni F. Scott Fitzgerald?, There are all linds aof love in this world, but never the same love twice.” – Anthony
- “Wow. Love is blind. Naniniwala na ako, love is blind.” – Anthony
- “Gaano katagal bago mo siya nakalimutan?” – Mace
“Matagal.” – Anthony
“Gaano nga katagal? One year? Two? 3? 4? 5?” – Mace
“Importante pa ba ‘yun? Ang mahalaga, nakalimutan.” – Anthony
- “Kapag may dumaang shooting star, ano’ng iwi-wish mo?” – Anthony
“Na sana…sana hindi ko na siya mahalin.” – Mace
The actors deliver the script perfectly and very true. And now I shared the lines that really got to me and to other viewers. So allow me to share the an open-ended short story by Mace and will carried on by Anthony at the end of the film.
“The Arrow with a Heart Pierced Through Him”
There was an Arrow who was getting tired of his pointy life, until one day he woke up feeling heavier than usual. He woke up with a heart pierced through him.
“Whose heart are you? and how did you get here?” he asked.
But there was no reply.
As time passed, he felt the weight decrease. He was either getting used to the weight he was carrying or the heart was carrying itself. One day, the Heart just slowly moved back from the Arrow. Slowly.., very slowly.. until the Heart is no longer pierced through the Arrow. And so the Heart move on. The Arrow who used to have a Heart pierced through him tried to move on… but he was too heavy and he was dragging himself down. The Arrow could not understand why he felt heavier when he actually no longer had the load of carrying somebody’s Heart. So the Arrow go back to his olf, pointy life and every day, he would wake up feeling heavier than usual. But there was no Heart pierced through him each time. So the Arrow decided to be patient and just try to be the old Arrow that he was before he bacame the Arrow with a Heart pirced through him. So he can live normally again, And He did.
One day, he just woke up feeling a little stranger than usual. The Arrow woke up being tired of his pointy life again. Until he heard a question too familiar that it was not stranger at all. ” Excuse me, but have you lost your heart?”..
The Arrow was surprised. It was the Heart who used to be pierced through Him. And there was no reply. The Arrow and the Heart didn’t need any.
Sometimes we meet people not knowing if they’ll stay or leave. If they stay, then it’s probably meant to be.
That Thing Called Tadhana, has a very minimal characters, the two leading roles and others are extra such as the passengers at the bus, people at the airport, customers the the restaurants. The performance of the leads are very realistics, Angelica Panganiban’s performance made us laugh and cry at the same time, she was able to manipulate her emotions without going over the top, and aside from that, her narration alone has its honest and compassionate way of saying it, it felt like she was talking to the viewers. And JM De Guzman, the very handsome man (I have a confession to make, I have a huge crush on him! OMG!) brings the best on subtlety and charm as Anthony, he comes off as this shy, soft-spoken person and one thing, he does a great job on conveying Anthony’s expressions (his smile, oh-my-God! it melts me, hahaha) through his eyes and not to mention, he carries his character’s sorrow and honesty, little by little. They are so effective in their roles and chemistry is that their body of work, these actors were able to connect themselves and played them like human beings, one of us.
And of course a big round of applause to Direk Antoinette Jadaone, for making this “Ultimate Hugot Film” so natural to the viewers. You truly deserve the Palanca Award. Antoinette Jadaone, is really a genius for adding excess baggage as metaphor for the weight that Mace carrying from her past (as what she said, her baggage contains her whole life), And here comes Anthony, willingly offers to carry some of the weight for her, even if he has his own baggage too. And at the end both of them learned to let go of these burden (and none of them already carrying their own “baggage”).
That Thing Called Tadhana, is a perfect movie for everyone who falls in love, who have experienced heartbreaks, and wanted to fall in love again. It will remind us of our forgotten memories and thank every lessons we learned from it and leading us to where we are today.