Sagada in That Thing Called Tadhana

It’s holiday season again! You’re probably thinking about where to go for a vacation with your family and have a really good time. But admit it or not, not all of us is feeling up and lively this season. There will always be people with broken hearts who would want to go away for a while and have a little time alone. Are you one of these people? That’s okay darling. We’ve got some pretty good ideas about where you can mend that achy breaky heart and we’ve got some Filipino independent films to thank for it. We round up five of these places for your upcoming soul-searching adventure.

Sagada in That Thing Called Tadhana
Screengrab from YouTube/ABS-CBN Star Cinema

1. Sagada

Antionette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana can be considered as the most famous indie “hugot” film about soul-searching and moving on since its release in 2014. It tells the story of Mace as she tries to get over an eight-year relationship that was ended in just seven words. She met Anthony on this journey and then all of a sudden he goes on this detour to accompany her into recovery. The film features a number of places such as Rome, Manila and Baguio but the most notable of them all is the beautiful Sagada. The mountain surrounded by a sea of clouds in Sadaga, Mt. Kiltepan, instantly became famous for its Viewpoint where Mace shouted her heart out and released all her pain inside. It shows how nature can be a listener, a pain absorber and a friend who won’t judge your frustrations. So if you’re looking for a beautiful reliable friend like Sagada’s Kiltepan Viewpoint, book your trip now!

La Union in I'm Drunk, I Love You
Screengrab from YouTube/TBA Studios

2. La Union

I’m Drunk, I Love You by JP Habac successfully sets La Union as the perfect place for Carson, the main lead, to grow up and grow out of a one-sided love. La Union is the surf capital of the North and it served as a perfect backdrop as these best friends, Carson and Dio, go on a quick getaway and figure out their feelings for each other. This laid back coastal town is famous among barkadas on trip, but it’s also very much recommended for solo flight visitors as it is a place where you can meet diverse people who could bring fun to your trip as you drink beers on the seaside and listen to musical gigs. It’s also very accessible from Manila so you really shouldn’t worry about having a hard time getting there by yourself. Just like Carson, this could be the perfect place for you to let go.

Siargao in Siargao Film
Screengrab from Facebook/TEN17P

3. Siargao

Siargao by director Paul Soriano follows Laura, a vivacious Youtube vlogger travelling to Siargao alone after a public break-up with her boyfriend. On the plane to the island, she meets Diego, a Siargao local flying back to his hometown. They eventually became friends while they go from one resort and party to another. Earlier reviews of the film called it a tourism video for the surfing paradise and if it’s really the goal of the film, then it definitely succeeded in doing that. The stunning cinematography showed how dreamy and alive Siargao is like it’s a character in itself in the film. It tells you that just like surfing through the waves, we should ride, crash and get back up when life hits us.

Sapporo in Kita-Kita
Screengrab from Facebook/Viva Films

4. Sapporo

Kita-Kita by indie filmmaker Sigrid Andrea Bernardo is the highest grossing Filipino independent film of 2017 and tells the story of two OFWs (Overseas Filipino Worker) who are nursing their broken hearts but eventually fell in love as they accompany each other and fight loneliness in a foreign land. No one really expected the film to be a huge hit especially when its actors are considered not that popular or good-looking—-not in the traditional sense—but this uniqueness is Kita-Kita’s charm to the public. The best part of it is the unfolding of this unconventional love story in the picturesque Sapporo, Japan. Kita-Kita indeed shows us that after a failed relationship, we can definitely fall in love again especially if we’re walking along Zerubu Hill, cruising Otaru Canal, biking in Moerenuma Park, ringing the bell at Mt. Moiwa, praying at Fushimi Inari Shrine, and or just spending some quality time together with a special someone.

Mt. Pinatubo in Requited
Screengrab from YouTube/Nerissa Picadizo

5. Mt. Pinatubo

A hiking or a biking trip can provide some time reflecting on love and life and Requited shows just how this works. Nerissa Pecadizo’s Requited tells the story of Matt who goes on an adventure biking from Manila to the majestic Mt. Pinatubo while battling a serious illness and a longing for a love he’ll never have. Sandy, the woman he loves but is committed to another guy, catches up to him and together they face challenges on the road. The film features a contrast between the bustling city scene and the post-eruption state of Mt. Pinatubo. Mt. Pinatubo is a volcano that last erupted in 1991 and it left a change in its landscape that people now consider as a real beauty. This could also happen to you as well. If you’ll just release that anger or hate inside, you can turn into something more beautiful than you expected. Just push through, you’ll get to your destination. But endings are different for each one of us and just like Matt’s, your ending is your own choice and it depends on you if it’ll be a happy or a sad one.

Just a quick reminder that these places are sacred and important for its locals so let’s always remember how to be respectful and caring for nature. Avoid producing more trashes and or displacing anything from its original place. I know every one of us knows the feeling of getting hurt and so as much as possible let’s be mindful of each other so we avoid hurting anyone or anything especially mother nature. Be kind to mother nature and I assure you she’ll be kinder ten times more.

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