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Continuing the wave of independent cinema that the recently concluded MMFF has set is Ice Idanan’s Sakaling Hindi Makarating, showing on February 1. The movie, topbilled by Alessandra de Rossi, Pepe Herrera and JC Santos, is about a woman named Cielo (Alessandra de Rossi) whose 11-year relationship with her fiancé, Mark, crumbled unexpectedly. She then starts receiving postcards from “M” with letters and handpainted images of different Philippine sceneries.

Eager to get over her heartbreak, Cielo begins a journey across the Philippines, in search of “M.” But instead she finds solitude, realizing that not everything we are looking for are meant to be found.

The movie is something of a love letter to the Philippines, too, showcasing the different attractions in our country: there’s the Vinta Regatta festival in Zamboanga, the winding roads of Siquijor, the Moriones festival in Marinduque, the beaches of Ilocos Norte, and the beautiful paradise of Batanes.

At the press conference of Sakaling Hindi Makarating on Jan 17, we got the chance to speak with Alessandra de Rossi, who told us about her experiences in filming the movie, how she deals with heartbreak and her advice to those sawi this coming love month.

SHM_Cielo1

What’s your favorite part in filming the movie?
Para sa’kin, ‘yung travel talaga. Mahirap siya pero sobrang saya at fulfilling. Mahirap kasi may time na bumabagyo nung papunta kaming Marinduque, walang tubig pagdating sa location. But masaya kami kasi isang buo kaming pamilya at sama-sama.

My favorite was when we were in Batanes. There was a time na nakatitig lang ako sa kawalan. Parang nakita ko bigla si Adam and Eve na naghahabulan sa paraiso. Sobrang ganda talaga niya.

All in all, this movie is one of my favorites kasi ito yung pinaka-iba. Makulay siya, hindi siya dark unlike the other movies na nagawa ko na. Kumbaga, madali niyang mahuli yung pulso ng mga tao.

Would you do the same thing if you were in Cielo’s place?
Well, since kuripot ako, hindi talaga. Practical kasi ako. Ang sa’kin lang, bakit kailangan ko pa gumastos ng ganung kalaki for plane ticket, food and lodging, kung kaya ko namang gamutin yung mga sugat ng puso ko in the comfort of my own home ‘di ba?

So what would you do to mend a broken heart instead?
Magkukulong ako at iiyak ng isang buong araw. Walang tigil yun. Pero guaranteed naman na paggising ko, okay na ko. Kasi ang heartbreak naman madaling kalimutan. You really don’t need to travel. Spend time with your friends, gumawa ka nang bago. Ako, ganun eh. Kailangan ma-in love ako sa isang bagay.

Marami kasing girls na kapag nasawi, magtatravel na. Para sa kanila, siguro malaking bagay [yung] ibang environment; sunrise, sand and beach. Mawawala yung pain kahit saglit. I think ganun yung kay Cielo. She enjoyed the [new places and] yung letters. Pero hindi talaga point na hanapin [si M], ang mahalaga ay mahanap niya yung sarili niya.

Like Cielo, would you still want to receive love letters or postcards from your suitors at this millennial age?
Nakaka-touch makatanggap ng love letters, pero kasi kagaya nga ng sinabi ko kanina, madaling mag-confess ng love or feelings through letters, pero mas gusto ko talaga yung pinapatunayan through actions. Mas importante kasi sa’kin yung gawa. Aanhin ko naman yung mga ‘yun kung hindi niya naman mapapatunayan.

What aspect of the indie film did you like the most?
Freedom na maging tao. Kasi alam mo yun, kung ano yung reaksyon o emosyon ng isang normal na tao, sa indie mo lang magagawa yun. Sa TV kasi hindi masyado lalo na’t may ‘hold’. Tantyado namin yung galaw, dito  [sa indie] normal lang.

Kaya minsan nahihirapan talaga ko sa TV. May instance na sasabihin sa’yo ng director, “Lex, lakihan mo pa yung reaksyon mo,” sa isip-isip ko na lang, “Bakit? Bakit ba natin tinuturuan yung mga tao na maging dramatic? Hindi naman talaga ganyan yan sa totoong buhay.”

Ms. Ice Idanan mentioned that the film is based on some of her real-life experiences, how’s your experience working with her?
Sobrang saya kasi kaibigan ko siya. Director at producer ko siya pero mas nangingibabaw talaga yung fact na magkaibigan kami. Sa lahat naman ng mga nakakatrabaho ko ganun. Mas may respeto ako kapag mahal na mahal kita at kung kaibigan kita. Kumbaga, mas ginagalingan ko kasi mas nagtitiwala ka sa kaya kong gawin kaya binigay mo rin sa’kin yung role.

Nabanggit niya pa na at some point, story niya yung mga nangyari sa film. Kaya ‘di rin talaga ko nahirapan kasi alam ko yung mga pinagdaanan niya. For me, madali na siyang i-translate sa film.

SHM_Alex

What’s your dream role?
Sirena talaga, kasi ayoko na yung kontrabida tapos bruha. O kaya, yung character na may multi-personality. Feeling ko kasi mapapanindigan ko yung dalawang roles na yun.

Since the movie is showing this February, what’s the difference of ‘Sakaling Hindi Makarating’ to the other movies showing this love month?
Isa lang ang masasabi ko diyan, napakaraming taken pero tandaan mo, mas maraming single.

To be honest, every Valentine’s Day, single ako eh. Yung araw na ‘yun, ginagawa ko lahat para maging masaya on my own or with my friends. Kumbaga this movie, para siya sa mga single at sa mga recently heartbroken. Sila talaga yung market namin. Napakarami ng pelikula na about couples, ito naman yung para sa mga kagaya ko.

Advice to all heartbroken and single this Valentine’s Day.
Kasi yung pelikula, ang mensahe niya talaga is “Life goes on.” May part nga dun na may conversation kami ni Pepe ‘di ba ng sabi ko, “Paano mo itatapon yung 11 years?” tapos ang sagot ni Pepe, “That’s nothing compared to the rest of your life.”

Well, that’s true. Kasi kung ano man yung chapter na yun, preparation na yun sa susunod na chapter na pagdadaanan mo naman ngayon. Kung wala ‘tong heartache, hindi mo magagawa ‘to, hindi mo maiisip na gawing kaibigan yung mga nakasalamuha mo, hindi mo magagawa lahat ng sinubukan mong gawin.

Lahat yan may connections, sabi nga sa film, constellations lahat ng pinagdadaanan natin. Magkakakonekta. Wala naman kasing tao na hindi dumadaan sa heartbreak. Saka ang iniisip ko na lang lagi, kung kinaya nga ng iba, definitely kaya ko rin lahat.

Photo by: Sakaling Hindi Makarating and Monica Pantaleon

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