This is how you lose her

This is how you lose her. 

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You lose her when you forget to remember the little things that mean the world to her: the sincerity in a stranger’s voice during a trip to the grocery, the delight of finding something lost or forgotten like a sticker from when she was five, the selflessness of a child giving a part of his meal to another, the scent of new books in the store, the surprise short but honest notes she tucks in her journal and others you could only see if you look closely.

You must remember when she forgets.

You lose her when you don’t notice that she notices everything about you: your use of the proper punctuation that tells her continuation rather than finality, your silence when you’re about to ask a question but you think anything you’re about to say to her would be silly, your mindless humming when it is too quiet, your handwriting when you sign your name in blank sheets of paper, your muted laughter when you are trying to be polite, and more and more of what you are, which you don’t even know about yourself, because she pays attention.

She remembers when you forget.

You lose her for every second you make her feel less and less of the  beauty that she is. When you make her feel that she is replaceable. She wants to feel cherished. When you make her feel that you are fleeting. She wants you to stay. When you make her feel inadequate. She wants to know that she is enough and she does not need to change for you, nor for anyone else because she is she and she is beautiful, kind and good.

You must learn her.

You must know the reason why she is silent. You must trace her weakest spots. You must write to her. You must remind her that you are there. You must know how long it takes for her to give up. You must be there to hold her when she is about to.

You must love her because many have tried and failed. And she wants to know that she is worthy to be loved, that she is worthy to be kept.

And, this is how you keep her.

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DISCLAIMER: Excerpt from Junot Diaz, This is How You Lose Her.

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Long Distance Love

Many people believe that long distance relationships are never going to work out. Nobody says it is going to be easy – that extra distance that makes many things unachievable. Things could get complicated, and you could get sad and lonely at times. I’m not going to lie to you; long distance relationships are probably the toughest kind of relationships, the ones that actually require you to give in every single thing you’ve got, the ones that can turn you into the one of the most frustrated people on the planet, and the ones that can actually make you start questioning and begin to understand why you ever agreed to put yourself through this. The endless struggle of not seeing each other, making late night phone calls and keeping the fire alive is all too real. But, there’s no denying that as challenging as it is or was, living apart from one another only brought you and your significant other closer together.

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I, like many other happy people on this earth, have found myself in a long distance relationship and while it might be difficult, it’s working out just fine for my boyfriend and I.  For the first six months of my current relationship, I had been living between eleven to fourteen hours away from my boyfriend. We had known of each other for several months until last September, both of us decided to level up our friendship and continues on a more serious relationship; however, I never experienced a serious long distance relationship beforehand.

It completely changed when my boyfriend made serious career changes and decided to work on a cruise ship line which means he’ll be thousand miles away from me travelling from one country to another. Because I don’t want to be a hindrance for his dream and I want him to be happy. I supported him in whatever dream/s he has. I also understand that if we both have our time apart to achieve some of our goals, then we can have a future where we achieve the rest together

Just like any other long distance relationship plays out, we struggled, grew and learned to love in our particular way. It was difficult but we were committed to make things work out. It’s very challenging and being in this kind of relationship has changed me a lot. You both need to adjust with each other time and schedule. It’s hard but I know it will be worth it. Being in a long distance relationship is never easy. You need to deal with the distance, time difference, the loneliness, and even jealousy of the people who get to see your significant other. Long distance relationship may be tough but it has its own surprises too.

My boyfriend and I are in such relationship and so far, we’re getting the hang of it. But sometimes, no, every single day I just can’t help to miss him. It’s hard being away from the one you love. Only people who spend their days missing another person like we do truly understand how hard it is to see someone so important to you on a screen and only on a screen. And even more annoying, every time your data is crappy or your wifi cuts out, your connection is lost or you’re left reconnecting for minutes on end. It’s absolutely infuriating.

When time difference is such real bitch, whether it’s an hour or 12, being on another time zone is a constant struggle. When you’re waking up, he’s half-finished with his day. He’s headed to bed long before you’re even thinking about clocking out for the night. I know it isn’t the end of the world and it can be managed with a little compromise between you two.

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There are times you’ll worry for no reason about stupid things. That’s the thing about distance; it can make you a bit paranoid. I don’t even know where to start on this one. I’m sure other women out there understand what I’m trying to say. Let’s just say that when you’re thousand miles away, TRUST and UNDERSTANDING is a big deal. Without those two things, your relationship will fail. I promise you that. Now, I know you might be getting a bit worked up. But you don’t have to mistrust him while thinking of horrible scenarios in your head. For me anyway, I know that any awful thing that crawls into my mind isn’t true. It also helps when you know what they’re doing and who they’re with. It leaves less blanks for your mind to fill in. It requires a lot of understanding. Understanding that his day change and our schedules are different. And that’s okay. All you have to do is understand that things get busy, and that you talk when you can. However, if you believe in your heart that the person your with loves you as much as you love them, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you trust one another, you’ll come away from your time apart a stronger couple.

I learned to adjust with my boyfriend’s schedule. I’m getting the hang of talking to him more or less one hour everyday or I say whenever his schedule is not that hectic. Even though sometimes I feel bad I wasn’t able to talk to him or see him, I can’t complain about it. The most I can do is to wait for him to be online and sit from across a screen just to look at each other faces and talk to each other as much time as we possibly can. Just being in different time zones makes scheduling much harder than it needs to be. You have to sacrifice sleep and learn how to make time and prioritize your significant other.

Yes, the waiting can be painful. It sure as hell it isn’t a Hollywood romance. Sometimes you feel like giving up, but you chose to keep going. You need to remind yourself that the results at the end will be sweet as heaven. I see every second, every minutes of our conversation as a blessing. No matter how short the time we have talking to each other. I love him and I hope this waiting, this long distance relationship will be worth it. The little things he does for me are the big things. Getting an “I love you”, “I miss you” and such a simple “Good morning” and “Good night” text in the middle of the day or when you wake up feels like getting flowers from him. It’s pleasant to know that you’re the first and last thing on your boyfriends’ mind. You appreciate the littlest things so much that the bigger things feel even better.

But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, when all your heart and soul has been put into this one part of your life, you will know and be proud of the fact that your relationship has come out a lot stronger and has become more resilient than an average relationship could ever be. With God in the center of our relationship, I know everything will be fine in the end. I’m just excited to see my love, to kiss and to hug him tight.

Are you in the beginning, the middle or end of a long distance relationship? Be strong and take heart!! Here’s to us and a love that survives even the longest bouts of separation. If you’re in a committed relationship and serious about your significant other, the time spent apart will seem short in the long run. It takes time to grow together but you’ll find that distance, no matter how painful, truly makes the heart grow fonder.

Letters to X: You Weren’t Even Mine

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There are few things as hopeful as the feeling you get when you make a connection with someone. You try not to jump the gun. After all, you get weird when there’s too much warmth. You want a guy who’s rational and won’t let his feelings dictate his reactions, and it seems like this might be him.

You’re excited to see where this goes, and that feeling grows ever so slightly when he mentions how much he’s looking forward to taking you out again. But, suddenly, your prospect disappears, just like the men who came before him and those who have yet to surface.

How are you doing? You’re probably thinking the same thing you always said: Good, but busy. Work is crazy, and you’ve been hanging with friends. Crazy how time flies, right?! Let me tell you how I’ve been: I’ve been nostalgic. Maybe it’s due to all the Taylor Swift I’ve been listening to.

I’ve been lonely. I sit around and watch my best friends in loving relationships, so I know I’m not reaching for the stars when I say I eventually want something like that. Men are out there; I’m looking at them. I’m actually looking at guys who genuinely care for other people more than themselves. A guy who’s rational and won’t let his feelings dictate his reactions, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to locate a single guy like that for myself.

But today, I choose to be free. Walking alone in a vast forest, you take comfort in the solitude. When the sun shines through the trees, it’s warm and when the breeze picks up, the leaves rustle. Up ahead there seems to be a small, natural clearing where the grass is moving in waves.

I choose to free myself from everything that relates me to you and you to me. I don’t want to be chained by the memories — the ones that kept me from stepping that first step into moving on— any longer. Now, you’ve made it clear to me that I am just a sentence in your book. And I choose to close that chapter.

I don’t want to fall harder for someone who I know will easily gives up on me and not take the same risk of falling for me. It hurts knowing they looked at you and saw nothing but another notch in their belt or a page in their diary. I put too much of my heart into this too soon. So maybe it’s my own fault. My expectations of what was happening between us were apparently out of reach. I thought we were on the same page, and you assured me many times that we were.

You’re great, but you’re not that great. You’re smart, but you’re not that smart. You’re attractive, but you’re no Hemsworth. If you miss me, tell me. If you want me, tell me and if you need me gone, out of your life, moved on, with someone else, anything… tell me. For whatever reason, you dropped the ball, and I know that. You talk the talk, but you don’t walk the walk, and I deserve someone who does.

But I shouldn’t feel this hollow. I have other things to focus on, other people to give love to, and other memories — not from you — to hold on to. You dropped the ball, and one day you’ll realize that. I know that, too. But, if you don’t mean the words you’re feeding me, then stop. Let me breathe. If chances are not made and it turns out that we are not meant to be, I hope there will be someone who prove themselves to be worthy of our love.

This will be the end of a story that had a fairy tale beginning and a tragic end — on my part.

But you get through it, because moving on is the only way to open your mind to the possibility of falling in love with someone new. This is the start of me taking over my life again; me getting back on my feet; me living MY life.

You’ve taken too much of my mind and occupied most of my heart but now I am taking it all back. Maybe these haunting thoughts will disappear along with some of the pain. As you put it, you have to let go of the memory of me and my memory of you.

Take care of yourself because you definitely are.

Wishing us both the best.

End.

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Flashback to previous entry –>Letters to X: You deserve A Woman

Letters to X: You deserve A Woman

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I feel like I do not deserve you.

You deserve a woman who is beautiful, whose face carries flawless, soft skin, and a smile that lights up the room. You deserve someone who walks with grace and speaks with the most decadent of voices. She should be gentle, caring, submissive, sweet…

She will lend you her body most nights, and you will enjoy her beauty. You will have adorable children.

I can see you walking down the mall with her perfection snug around your arm, with your eldest bundle of energy running down to catch up with his nanny, pushing the stroller holding your 5-month old baby.

Society has taught me to view her as the epitome of ideal,

And because I refuse to conform,

Society has warned me that

You will see me for who I truly am and……

You will let go.

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I feel like you deserve me.

You deserve a woman who fought for the respect of her appearance, whose face carries invisible battle scars and true emotions. You deserve someone who feels the music in her soul when she dances, and speaks with the purest sincerity.

I will not lend you anything, for those who lend expect back.

I will give you my love most nights.

I can see us going on adventures in Manila, exploring the little Chinatown and buying silly collectible items, eating spicy Asian foods and arguing over the taste of Cilantro, or going bargain hunting for things we like. We will be passionate, we will fight, and we will feel fantastic.

Because even though society insists that our chances are improbable, I refuse to conform.

Society will always try to warn me, but you will see me for who I truly am and we shall hold on.

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Flashback to previous entry –>Letters to X: First Kiss

Letters to X: First Kiss

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A kiss,

To me, was

The one I saw on Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, and the idea that my very first would be as magical as hers. It’s what I would watch my mother give my father in the living room when he would come home from the store with chocolates and flowers,  just for her.

It was what I wanted from my crush in third grade,

And it’s also what he didn’t want to give to me.

As I got older, life became a little more complicated, and so did my idea of a kiss;

It was something you gave someone you were in love with. It’s what Mike did to Rachel in the back of the gym, and the more complicated version of it is called “making out”. Why is it even called that? What do you make, and why does it go out?

Because based to the massive amounts of romance novels I had read, the first kiss was really important. Apparently you were supposed to feel all sorts of mystical fire-like sensations that left you dizzy and incoherent.

It was something I would daydream about,

And it was also something I began to think that I didn’t deserve.

A handful of years later, a kiss became

Something that I believed I’d never have. People around me would give them at parties like handing out spare pieces of candy, conveniently pointing at drunken stupor as an excuse. It was something that everyone did, except for me. I thought that no one wanted to ever one give to me, so in self-loving denial and bitterness, I thought; why should I be so eager to give it away?

It was locked up in a box that I’d open only for someone I loved,

And I also decided to throw away the key.

Given that time had taken us to present bliss, let me tell you what a kiss to me now is,

It’s a peek into my secret garden, a river of love and loss I try to not let overflow.

It is aged wine I kept for too long in my cabinet; past refined. It’s a moment of intertwined vulnerability; exciting, imperfect, human. It is still something I’ve never done, but it is definitely something I will do.

It is the prize to the key you found (and I threw)

It’s also what I’m going to give

To you.

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Flashback to previous entry –> Letters to X: The Small Moments that Save Us

Letters to X: The Small Moments That Save Us

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After months of not talking you texted me again. I’m surprised. We talked and I forgave you. There was nothing wrong with you having feelings for me. It was highly likely you confused your friendly affections for me as something else. If not, I believed your loyalty to our friendship will make you move on. It was obvious from the beginning that I’m not that in a romantic light and I was confident that you would respect my feelings the way I was trying to respect yours. After all, I appreciate you, for all the efforts. I just want time to build a strong foundation for us which is to have a close friendship.

There’s beauty in us. The way we can say a lot by not saying anything, how we can never deliver what we truly feel nor imply the complications of what must come. I can feel your chest when I lay close to it, but never the words lurking around and in it.

You established a foundation for a relationship on our first friendly hangout. I’m not sure if it’s a date. We eat lunch and then went to coffee shop, and you told me everything from your family. I know all about your brothers, sister and nephew/niece. I know enough about your family to easily swoop right in and be a part of it, but now it’s clear that I’ll never even meet your precious nephew/niece you spoke so lovingly about.

We’d have a great time; with drinks in our hand and with good heartfelt conversations. You’d be the perfect gentleman and walk me home. You told me it was the least you could do, and I’d think you were too perfect to be true. You’re good at making me feel special. You’re amazing at drawing me in. But this is what he does. His passions are tidal waves that take him over. He won’t think about anything else other than what he’s focused on at that moment in time. And right now I’m on it. He doesn’t think about anything that isn’t you and you feel chosen, you feel special, you feel unique, and you feel loved in a way you didn’t know was possible.

You can look too long through my eyes, but not too long enough to see the soul within. If we stare, touch and feel a little more, would we be able to? At times it is baffling and a blur and yet I continue to see the different versions of ‘what if’s’ for the both of us awaiting to be discovered and lived. It doesn’t last. The negativity surrounding itself is, however, overriding the possibilities of happy ending. He can’t focus his attention on you forever. He’ll move on to something new, but you’ll start to wonder what you did wrong. You’ll wonder if it’s just your relationship calming down, or if he’s starting to forget how brilliantly he used to believe you shined.

I was comfortable with the somewhat slow pace with which we were getting to know one another, and, frankly, I didn’t want to be tied down yet, either.

However, you would come to disappoint me and the precious bond we shared. It started with unnecessary favors and escalated to grand gestures. You were laying the groundwork for your desired outcome – to make me yours. You were deliberately throwing the ball into my court and it was clear I had only two options: Lovers or nothing.

I could not see you yet in a romantic light but I also could not bring myself to hurt you. I’ve been pissed off. I know I’m not clingy, I don’t expect gifts and I love girls nights probably more than you love boys nights. I did my best to delay the inevitable but, one day I would have to face you. And when I did, I knew neither of us was coming out in one piece. So, I hope you understand me more. I hope you give me more time to tell myself that you are The One, that you’re worth of my heart because I knew the moment I said no, it was over for us. You would never understand how much I dreaded this ending. You would never know that I had tried to make myself fall for you endless times. I never tried to be your girlfriend. I never gave you the third-degree about your whereabouts if I wasn’t with you because it was none of my business. I care for you and I felt ashamed that the happiness you sought from me was beyond my ability. I know that you give me more, more time to get to know you, maybe I’m at fault too for you feeling I’m pushing you away. But, I don’t! I’m sorry! You would never understand how much guilt and doubt I felt over this outcome. Yes, this time I’m not yet ready for the relationship you want. I’ve told you that so I think you are aware or maybe not. I never wished for anything but friendship at this time.

To my dismay, this made you resent me. I became the bitch who broke your heart. In your eyes, I morphed into an emotionally unavailable woman who could not appreciate what was right in front of her. But you know what? I did. Honestly, I did! It was you who could not appreciate me. You belittled the friendship we shared. To you, none of that mattered if I couldn’t be yours. And perhaps the greatest pain is that you might never realize that it wasn’t love you felt for me. It was something else, something selfish and shady. For if it indeed was love, you would have been able to see the beauty in what we had and cherished it the way I did. You would have seen that it was just as important, if not more, than romance.

And whether that is grounding, terrifying or momentary, I don’t know.

All I know is there is beauty in our nothing.

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Flashback to previous entry –> Letters to X: Summer Romance In a Fiction

Letters to X: Summer Romance In a Fiction

Hi readers! This is my first sloppy entry for “Letters to X”. So sorry it takes too long to post my first entry. Enjoy the amateur writing by me!

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When I met you, there were no fireworks. No sparks. Nothing. I can’t remember if there’s a chance that we did talk. All I know is that we just keep bumping each other in the school corridor like strangers. It started with the casual, occasional texting and soon morphed into incessant texting. We practically knew each other’s every move.

He had messy waves, black, short hair when I met him. He wore a black pants that sagged just right. I had my favorite flannel shirt and jeans on. He was a full-on sport guy. I was 17 and naive. I had too much of my life going on. There were parties and night outs and boys.

He was young and just as complicated. He had all his life figured out. He played ball and went to church on Sundays. I lay on my bed hung-over on Sundays. He loves his family and his friends. He has goals, but he has some wanderlust, too. He texted me when he was free and he let me know when he was busy. I did not see myself as the princess you came to rescue. Instead, as we chatted and enthused over our similarities, I saw something else. I saw a friend. I felt a warmth and security that is unlike romantic love but just as special, if not more. I believed we were companions on the same boat. Well, at least we were at the beginning.

Seeing a small box up on top of my shelf filled with handwritten letters, scraps of paper, mostly white. Some are in envelopes, some are loose. But they’re all there. Every single one.

When I’m curled up in my bed because Dad yelled at me again and I haven’t started my errands, and I feel so alone that I am paralyzed, there is only one thing that can propel me to stand. I walk to the box and pull one out. Sometimes, I just need a little one; a couple of words will do it, as long as they’re yours. But when it’s one of those nights and the world feels too big, too far away, and I dig my fingernails into my thighs just to feel something other than Too Much, I need more. I need a long one. Maybe the one that spans both sides of the legal-sized paper because that’s all you could find and you know how much I hate emptiness. Or maybe the one that starts “I’m writing because I don’t know what to say when I’m with you.” That’s one of my favorites.

But in the absolute worst of times, I always go for the second letter you ever wrote me.

You told me you liked me for the very first time. He liked me, he said. A lot, I asked. And laughed and laughed and laughed at the thought of someone liking me so much. He didn’t say anything. I kept on laughing. He stared at me until I finally stopped. Why, I asked again. His eye glimmered and faded into nothing. He looked down on his knees and pressed his fingernails into them. I looked away. I asked you twice to make sure I’m hearing the words right. I’m confused. I didn’t believe it. I could no longer bear seeing him worship me so much. I knew we weren’t in love, because we didn’t know each other well enough or long enough to even entertain the idea of love. You professed your drawn out infatuation during Christmas together with the gift you’ve given me. I didn’t deserve the way you treated me. And you did, for an interesting turn of events, treat me good. But I was scared of how good you treated me that long after all these will last, I will crave more and more until you no longer can give. We were young and things were new but probably not as exciting as they should have been. But just as quickly as you made me believe we were something, we became nothing — and I’m not sure how or why.

For me, that was okay because I’m not sure if you REALLY fallen in love with me.

Of course I didn’t mind it, I think that maybe your words are not serious at all I don’t want to assume it means romantically. And I can’t be too selfish to ask that much from you, when I only laugh in the middle of your sentences. So months passed by you stop talking to me. And I don’t want to bother you, to disrupt your life in any way. That time I’m sure you’re not serious and tried to play it cool.

My dad words keeps replaying in my mind, and I know that every father wants his daughter to be with a good man. My dad told me, “Wait for the right time and for the right man. If the man is ready to wait for you and never gives up on you it is worth the risk to give him chance.”

It shouldn’t hurt this bad. I wasn’t even allowed to call you mine. You weren’t my boyfriend but the expectations were there. You made me trust that it would happen, that I wouldn’t have to feel alone. That you were going to be here, at least for a while. You listened to me. Wanted to know everything about me, even the darkest parts of my soul. I’ve had walls up for quite some time but I’m trying to put down those walls to let you in my life. I let you in and you ended up giving up on me.

But, the next day, it was as if last night’s episode never aired.

And now I look back, reading all the messages we exchanged. I just was never sure of him. Until today.

And I guess summer, like the feelings that come with it, lasts only for a short while but stays in our memories forever.

Letters to X: It’s Not You, It’s The Idea Of You

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We weren’t together for very long. Okay, maybe we weren’t actually together at all. I never jumped the gun about what we were, but it was hard not to see. You loved the world as much as your friends and family. But you had me believe that we were some form of a partnership, and that’s really what that matters.

Because it happens again the talking stopped. You always does it keeps me hanging. We went from friends with a possible future to nothing. That’s clear to me, if anything. I have my suspicions of why you walked away, why you chose to hurt me. And it almost aches more this way. Knowing that we could be together right now but something stopped you. All I can think of is you get tired because you tried your best to always ask me out unfortunately I can’t make time for you because of my priorities and schedule. I’m sorry! I can’t blame you for stop talking to me because people don’t like waiting for nothing. Maybe you thought you were no good for me, that I couldn’t or shouldn’t deal with your problems. Maybe I’m just afraid of letting anyone love me or get too close. But that’s okay, I didn’t really have my hopes up. Because of this you made me see that you’re not different from the boys I’ve met. Boys who easily give up because things get harder. Okay, yes, I sound like a bitter bitch here! I think its fine that this happened before anything get serious, before the love, the feelings fully bloom.

It’s always been like a rocket launch gone wrong – all the hype and anticipation building up to one incredible moment when you lift off and think that this time it will work, this time we’ll be clear, this time we’ll shoot straight past the stars. But something always goes wrong, and as we watch the explosion, fire reflected in our eyes, I wonder if you are also silently questioning what we could have done better. I didn’t want exciting. I wanted steady, and strong, and protective. I wanted to wake up knowing that you were still there, that you were still mine. I was done with games. You’re gone now though, so perhaps I’ll never know for sure.

Yes, in spite of all this and the time that’s passed, I still thinking of you.  I hate that I do because I know you do not. You are busy getting on with your life, and I don’t matter anymore. So, am I. I’m taking forward with my life too. At the risk of sounding desperate, I’ll admit that I miss your messages. I miss you texting me knowing how my day was. The thing is, I’m not sure if it’s really you I miss, or the idea of you. It’s likely a little of both, but I don’t know how to separate the two, and the image in my head is so lovely that I’m not sure I want to.

No, I wasn’t quite in love with you. I was in love with all of the things I hoped our relationship could be, all the things I wanted to know about you. I was in love with the possibility of falling in love with you, and it’s the idea I haven’t been able to shake out of my head in the months since we stop talking.

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To be continued –> Letters to X: Summer Romance in a Fiction

Movie Blog: That Thing Called Tadhana

Where do broken hearts go? And can they find their way home? “That Thing Called Tadhana” tries to answer those questions and more.

Tadhana. Fate. Destiny. Do you guys believe in it?  How about soulmate?thatthingcalledtadhanadsweetbox

Let me tell you upfront that this is the HUGOT film of the year. Most chick-flicks revolve around the blossoming of love. Others focus in the moving on process. This film tried to cross those boundaries and let everyone know that both of them can’t just happen on the same day.

Ever since I missed the initial screening of this movie, I’ve waited for it to be released. Due to positive reviews from fans and critics, the indie film has been picked up by Star Cinema for nationwide release on February 4. So when I finally got to watch it, I was so- so about it.

Before you continue I should warn you that this may contain SPOILERS!!! A lot of emotions and a whole lot more of feelings. So if you think that you will not be able to handle them, you can always press X and come back after you see the movie.

One more thing, PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE ME.

Part of this year’s Cinema One Originals Film Festival is Antoinette Jadaone’s  ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’. A Rom-Com that tells the story of Mace (Angelica Panganiban) and Anthony (JM De Guzman) met, by fate and chance, at the airport in Rome on their way back to Manila. Mace recently got out of a terrible breakup from an eight-year relationship. With nothing better to do, Anthony decides to accompany the damsel in distress from crying in a street corner to heaving large luggage along Session Road. Through a series of embarrassing but endearing events they eventually learn more about each other spurring them to go on an instant trip to Baguio and Sagada to find escape, release and consolation for their romantic miseries. In the process, they found hope for a new love and a new beginning with each other.

The movie started really strong. With the way Angelica’s character, Mace, was throwing away clothes (and even thongs) to fit the baggage allowance on her way back to Manila from Italy, you’d expect more funny scenes and kilig moments just like how JM’s character, Anthony, saved her in that dilemma. The palpable chemistry between the two makes for an engaging and pleasant watch. The two characters were well defined at the beginning– their language, their decisions, etc.

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Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana has a small scope, having only two characters and a story that relates to something deeper and more poignant, resisting the kilig factor common to romance films. What’s remarkable about this movie is its simplicity. The movie was mostly just about the two of them – talking, walking, eating, singing, etc. But the lack of actors does not equate to lack of depth. Since it is just the two of them in 95% of the scenes,  you’ll expect that the story will find a way to add some twist. The story also inserted the narrative of the Arrow Pierced with a Heart, which somewhat gave a break on listening to the two characters talk about their past and hopes for the future.

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It is a movie uses the first encounter concept, similar to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, which made the film a thoroughly pleasant experience. It is the best Filipino version of Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy with a little inspiration from E. E. Cummings’ poem, “I Carry Your Heart With Me”. It was effortlessly romantic despite the absence of any kissing scene; funny without trying to be. Through excellent scriptwriting and realistic portrayals they were able to illustrate the painful, torturous and excruciating walk one goes through after a betrayal and  they were able to capture it down to the last detail. The past is the villain so conversations were prevalent, but it was never a bore especially because they convey the ones that always hits home.

The movie provided a stirring start and with an even more provoking ending. It tells a story that even how dark, cold and tedious your night was, the sun always rises again — beautiful as the glorious Sagada Sunrise—to usher in a new day for your renewed heart ready to make and fight for your destiny.

It’s rare for a movie to simultaneously make you laugh and cry at the same time. That Thing Called Tadhana does it effortlessly, that I walked out of the cinema with a ridiculous grin on my face and overflowing emotion in my heart. In under two hours, Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman had me enthralled.

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The movie appealed to the emotions of the viewers as the characterization of our leads seem to be based on real life events, too real that 4 out 5 of those who’ve watched can claim that it’s their story they were watching. It takes ordinary life situations and turns them into a little gem of a movie. It shows that a character-driven plot and well-written dialogue are enough to make for a great story. The compelling storytelling makes the hour and a half movie feels longer, but in a good way. There’s no unnecessary side characters, no filler scenes, no nuances often common in romantic comedies.

Tadhana avoids being predictable. Just when you think they’re about to kiss, the movie takes on a different route. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen next (because it’s what happens in every freakin’ Filipino RomCom!), they turn the other way. They take every Filipino RomCom tropes, then dissect and disassemble them into something fresh, yet familiar.

I found myself squirming with glee in my seat in almost every scene. It may not be a love story in the strictest sense of the concept, but there’s no point in denying that JM and Angelica look great together. Be it in the petty bickering or the intense gaze between the two, it’s easy to like the two, together or as individuals. While Angelica ravishes in her hysterical crying and witty line delivery, JM charms with his controlled tears and quiet gazes.

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Honestly,  this is my first time to watched an indie film so I’m not sure if I’m writing this review right. Anyway, I have watched only this film from the line-up of Cinema One Originals this year. I am glad That Thing Called Tadhana is one of them. The movie isn’t perfect, and there are lapses I am willing to overlook. The gentle moments and silent understanding between Mace and Anthony more than make up for it. They didn’t answer all the hanging questions on love, but they didn’t really need to. Also, what is admirable about the film is how it showcased Baguio and Sagada, you’ll actually invite your company, or probably your partner who is best watching this with you, to go to Baguio. The sea of clouds was fantastic and it would be great if the cinematography managed to capture the clouds while Mace releases her anguish over them. The movie shows what traveling can do to broken hearted folks and how it can develop two people together.

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That Thing Called Tadhana is a meet-cute type of movie, but with more realistic insights on how love affects us mere mortals. In its raw and unpolished takes it succeeds in making us not just see a character but rather a part of ourselves in the film.No heart is hard enough not be swayed or melted with a love so true that it consumes you whole. Mace and Anthony aren’t just movie characters—they’re your friend, officemate, classmate, sister, brother, neighbor, and heck, even you.

Unlike most indies, this one had wide mainstream audience appeal; which definitely a good step forward for Philippine Cinema. The story is completely relatable and brought to life with pithy witty words and delightful disarming performances. I think I want a sequel

Here are some #HUGOT lines from the movie that most, if not all, can relate to.

  1. “Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, ngunit umibig pa rin. You know, tatanga-tanga.” At the beginning of the film, this lines appeared, which brings some truth in them. This suggests that the film is dedicated and made for those loved and lost, but chose to love again.
  1. 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.” If you love someone, set them free, right? And if they come back, their yours? No, no. Mace believes that if you love someone, you run after them and fight for them. You don’t wait for destiny to push them back towards you. You pull them hard as long as you can.
  1. “Alam mo ‘yung sinabi ni F. Scott Fitzgerald? There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” You will surely see this quote in a different light after watching this film.
  1. “Kasi ‘yung ganyang kalaking pagmamahal, ganyang overwhelming love, imposibleng walang pupuntahan eh. May mababalik sayong pagmamahal. Not necessarily sa taong pinagbigyan mo, pero sigurado ako, mababalik ‘yan sa’yo.” No matter how hard or how long it takes, chances are, you can always recover from a heartbreak. As Anthony said, it’s impossible for an overwhelming love to go to nowhere. That love will always come back to you. It may not necessarily come from the person whom you gave love to, but love will definitely be reciprocated.
  1. “Pano ba makalimot?”“Pwede kang uminom gabi gabi, pwede kang umiyak gabi gabi, pwede kang makipagdate kung kani-kanino, o pwede ka ring makahanap ng new love.” There are many ways to mend a broken heart. You can drown yourself with beer, you can cry every night, you can go out and meet other people, or you can find a new love.

For you guys, who haven’t see the film..here’s the trailer and the OST the film.

 Enjoy, and feel free to let me know if you enjoyed the movie! Happy love month!

 Disclaimer: All photos were from That Thing Called Tadhana’s Facebook Page.

Poetry #7: Love letter

dddI hope you fall in love

With someone who always texts back

and never lets

You fall asleep thinking you’re

Unwanted.

I hope you fall in love with someone

Who holds your hand during the scary

parts of Horror movies and burns

Cookies with you when you’re too

Busy dancing around the

Kitchen.

I hope you fall in love with

Someone who sees galaxies in your eyes

And hears music in your

Heartbeats.

I hope you fall in love with

Someone who tickles you and

Makes you smiles

On hard days and on easy

Ones.

But beyond all that I hope

You fall in love with someone

Who will never leave you behind

And who will never take you

For granted, someone who

Will stand  by you when you’re

Right and stand by you

When you’re wrong,

Someone who has seen you at your worst

And has loved you

Still.

I hope you fall in love

With someone who

Kisses you in the rain

And hugs you in the cold and

Wouldn’t have you any other

Way.