Finding The Deeper Meaning Of Life In Kung Paano Hinintay Ang Dapithapon
It's been a while since I cried so much because of a movie, so much that my nose hurt from tissue burn! I left the theater feeling very concerned about my après-weep face, too. Well, okay, maybe I did cry watching A Second Chance a few years ago, but that was mainly a cry that resulted from an expertly-orchestrated story, courtesy of the scriptwriters and whoever else were behind the film.
But a true, real cry comes from deep emotions. And the last time this happened, movie-wise, was when I watched Dagitab, which was part of Cinemalaya X in 2014.
This year, I watched Carlo Enciso Catu's Kung Paano Hinintay Ang Dapithapon with the expectation to be coddled by the warm and fuzziness of its elderly characters. After all, aren't grandparents warm and fuzzy by default? I myself have always had fantasies about my senior citizen self, bony as ever, my hair all white, spewing kwento and wisdom to the younger generation every chance I could get.
"I wish for a healthy life or a peaceful death," I often told my jowa. This was a new life realization I had after I lost my father due to an illness, earlier this year. Of course, I desire and would appreciate many other things, too, but put simply, and if I look within myself to the very, very core, a healthy life or a peaceful death is all I really want. Isn't that what life is about, anyway?
No truer is the phrase health is wealth when one reaches old age, and the repercussions of bad lifestyle habits start to slowly manifest. I personally think it's sometimes even more difficult to maintain one's health than earn money, as it takes a lot of self-discipline. I remember all the times I fell ill, particularly the times when I was sick in the gut, and I couldn't eat. Or I was a restricted to a diet that involved rice and other tasteless things. It made reflect on my life choices (a.k.a. how much I may have been abusing my body) and left me disappointed at myself. Imagine not being able to do one of human's basic functions!
This particular image of Bene in Kung Paano Hinintay Ang Dapithapon, sitting alone on his rocking chair, in a middle of an empty house speaks so much to me. It makes you realize that at the end of it all, all that you possess don't matter—it's who you've kept and have chosen to keep you in their lives.
Heck, even the emotions you've held onto for so long, won't matter as much anymore. Holding onto anger and dwelling on past hurts and mistakes—what are all these for, anyway? Bene's son, Chito, had a lot of pent-up anger toward his father, kept hidden for years and years. And yet he came to visit.
Failed and broken relationships are difficult to mend and pains you forever, but there is hope (and, probably even magic) that can work in love and family. Teresa, who is Bene's ex-lover, showing up with her current partner, Celso, both openly and willingly helping Bene get by on the daily.
Love is forgiveness, after all. And I don't only mean that in terms of romantic love. As they say in that famous passage: love is patient, love is kind, love is not rude. But more so, I think love is also courage, love is fighting, and love is honesty. Celso who loves Teresa, chooses to understand and accept the situation, and does his best to see it through. And Teresa and Bene who used to be lovers, are open and honest and nurturing and caring and... well, loving.
So maybe I'm right, after all. Despite crying my way quietly as the movie progressed (thankfully, after I've already finished my doughnut and coffee), and chafing the skin on my nose in the process, perhaps Kung Paano Hinintay Ang Dapithapon turned out to be warm and fuzzy, after all. To me, it's a film about love and life that doesn't even try... which all the more makes it feel true.
And, well, that's what matters.
COVER PHOTO AND VIDEO IS FROM THE CINEMALAYA WEBSITE.