Monday, March 09, 2009
The story started in a narrow, scorching, dark and bare room. In that room, Lino (Piolo Pascual) and Mary Grace (Iza Calzado) are a couple hugging each other while asleep. It is not enough for them to share the love they have for one another to lead serene lives and Mary Grace cannot seem to forget her longing to migrate to another country. Maybe because it is her irritation on lack of material possessions that made her have second thoughts regarding love as a substitute for stomach filling. This could be a reason why many Filipinos are going overseas just to be able to escape the hardships they are experiencing here in the Philippines.
One scene from the movie shows preparation for the fiesta, a grand Philippine celebration that involves throwing away lots of money. If the family of Mary Grace would think of the hard-up situation they are in right now due to a larger financial crisis lashing the country, they would do away with the fiesta. They favor so much having imported things coming from an overseas-contract working daughter; on the other hand, there is a man suffering because his loved one ran away and her family is also hiding her from him. But luckily, Lino intercepted Mary Grace’s letters for her own family.
The movie goes on to the fiesta and the happiness that the people share with one another. Through this, Lino feels sad because of his miserable long-distance relationship with his wife. The people celebrating the fiesta are all smiling; meanwhile, Lino’s tears are also showing.
The TNT experience reaches tension while the story gets deeper into the wilderness of life. The expatriate Filipinos could not see anymore the path that they are walking just to migrate to another country. Many animals in life’s thorny wilderness hinder them from the life they wanted to have—insatiate family needs, subjection to capitalistic tortures, etc. From the wanting life they have right now in the Philippines, they feel hope that out of this hardship springs prosperity while suffering away from the native land.
The migrants are working so hard just to earn money for their own family. Every possible thing that could make them wealthy, they are willing to try it. In Italy, pride is never in the vocabulary if one wants to live. A lawyer is an attorney in the Philippines, Vangie is a teacher, whereas Lino is a mechanical engineer but here in Milan, all of them are workers. They are just enduring what they suffer right now because when they return to the Philippines, they feel financially superior against everybody. In Milan, the TNT and the domestic helpers are all equal. OFWs do not have to classify themselves since all of them are workers, anyway. The people they work for give more importance to dogs than to them.
The miracle here is how the OFWs found themselves on their own, knowing that they live in a different country. They were able to see the beauty of living there despite the hardship they are encountering. They get to learn the life that they have, that they are living to serve the people in their lives. Jenny hates doves before because they only come to them when they need something and after they get tired of using them, they just leave them behind. Not anymore when she realized life is beautiful even to humans being treated like working machines. Despite everything, the characters still see the beauty of life because everything happens for a reason.