Almost six years after That Thing Called Tadhana was first released, a live script-reading was staged in Makati with John Lloyd Cruz reading as Anthony, Bea as Mace, and me — my first time to perform in front of a public audience since grade school — as the Narrator. I wrote Tadhana when I was 28 in two months, if I remember correctly, and if you know me and how I take so much time writing, two months is fast. Really fast. Maybe because it was my story, my love story, my heartbreak, and the love stories and heartbreaks of my closest friends. I have been writing about love since college, and even then, I didn’t know that it was all in preparation for the Tadhana that I would write in the future. It’s like the pre-writing was eight years, so the writing was so easy.
I’m sure you’ve already heard of the story of Tadhana and how it was really just a small film that became a sleeper hit. Maybe because I thought I was only writing about my and my friends’s love stories and heartbreaks when it was actually also the same love story and heartbreak of the rest of us.
Since then, I’ve made around eight romcom and romance films and series. I’d always question the significant role that love stories play in society-building. What is the point, right? But then that stage-reading of That Thing Called Tadhana happened. The clips went viral. People reminisced about Popoy and Basha, about One More Chance, about Mace and Anthony, about That Thing Called Tadhana. I don’t know how it happened, but it made me believe again.
(Photos by Dan Villegas)