Sakaling Hindi Makarating: A Love Letter to the Philippines

We The Pvblic

A tantalizing view with a bright blue and green inn along the hill. That sight will be my favorite in the film as it is embedded in the corners of my memory and I hope to keep it with me throughout my life.

Indie films are becoming more and more known for its bold statements, unsung heroes, breathtaking cinematography, and for being more than the usual rom-com in the theaters. Sakaling Hindi Makarating has become another piece in the tapestry that continues to form the beauty and uniqueness of Filipino cinema and it is a pleasure to write about it today.

I have to note I watched director Ice Idanan’s award-winning film on its opening day, with cinemas barraged by blockbuster films opening on the same day (which I look forward to seeing also), and then there’s SHM and you get a tinge feeling of being proud to have such a wonderful picture alongside others.

The story follows Cielo played by Alessandra de Rossi, a scorned artist who falls into a deep, sorrowful trance after being left by her fiancé and boyfriend of 11 years. She goes on a journey to search for answers across the Philippines after she receives postcard paintings with heartwrenching poetry from an anonymous sender initialed ‘M’.

“When I was writing this, I also wanted it to be a love letter to the Philippines, that this is our home. And despite everything bad that’s happening, there are so much to look forward to, and one of them is really the sunset,” cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Ice told Inquirer.

Cielo journeyed to Zamboanga to see the vinta regatta, Siquijor, Marinduque, Ilocos Norte in Pagudpud, and last but not least, the breathtaking view of Batanes.

“Wherever you go, it’s always the same feeling when you look at the sky, when you look at the sun. You are always home. That is how I felt about sunsets,” Ice said.

During one of Cielo’s travels, she meets a girl and one thing the girl said stuck with me, although this is purely just from memory so forgive me if it isn’t word for word:

Natututo kami lumangoy bago matakot malunod.”

The film will leave you with unanswered questions, but ultimately, it will answer the right ones, no doubt. It’s a refreshing view on coping with heartbreak, on learning to pick up the pieces and fall in love again with another, or better yet, with our beloved abode of 7,107 islands.

That’s the beauty of exploring. Life doesn’t end when a relationship does. The beauty in traveling shows you there are much more things you can do, and still have to learn, whether it be learning to ride a motorcycle, or learning to swim in the ocean.

There’ll be questions along the way, but you’ll see the answers to the vital ones in life, and that’s what’s important.
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