Hello, Love, Goodbye and Philautia

I finished watching the Filipino film “Hello, Love, Goodbye,” starring Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards, directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina and under Star Cinema, only today. To be honest, I was not interested in the movie because I’m not a fan of Kathryn although I liked Alden since Aldub days. Also, I don’t usually watch Filipino movies but I have given this movie a try because of curiosity to find out how the film has portrayed the life of OFWs in Hong Kong.

Being an OFW myself, I can fully understand the life of a Filipino working abroad, even though I’m based in the UAE. Hence, I want to see if the movie production outfit has given justice to the true life of Filipinos overseas and not just the cliché romantic love story of two expats falling for each other and living happily ever after, which in my opinion, it does not happen most of the time.

So I watched the film and was impressed on the narrative of Joy (Kathryn), explaining how it was like to work overseas and live far away from your family. After watching the movie, my rating is 5 out of 5 for the following reasons:

1. OFW life is not easy. Although some Filipinos are posting their activities and they may seem to be happy with their life working away from from their families and friends, this is not always the case. The number one problem that OFWs are facing abroad is homesickness and the second one is the fact that most of OFWs are alone and on their own. It is true that life in the Philippines is hard, but life abroad is harder specially if you are alone and no family or relatives to help you during the hard times.

Although in the film, Joy was lucky enough to have some friends to cheer her up, I felt her pain specially when she was in the brink of losing her job and her family in the Philippines was so insensitive to ask her to buy things for them without even asking how was her situation there. Apparently, this is the usual case of OFW breadwinners, they will give everything, even the last money they have to their family in the Philippines, knowing that their family is the very reason why they are making a sacrifice to work in another country so that they can provide more for their loved ones, and unfortunately, some families in the Philippines have the mentality that if their family member is working abroad, his or her life there is easy and fun, without knowing that every cent that they are receiving is the sweat and blood of their family member who is working tirelessly in another country.

2. Not all relationships last forever. Falling in love while working abroad is a common thing, but not all love stories have a happy ending and not all relationships are true and will last forever.

3. Open-ended conclusion. The thing I like about this kind of ending is that, there is an opportunity for the characters to grow and mature, hence there is a possibility of having a part two. Additionally, it denotes that the conclusion is neither sad nor happy and open to the viewers interpretation.

4. Superb acting. I must commend Cathy Garcia-Molina for bringing out the best in her actors and actresses. The film is a combination of drama, romance and comedy. I honestly got teary-eyed in the ending.

5. The lesson of the story. While the film depicts romantic and familial love and sacrifice, in my interpretation, the central theme is philautia. While the protagonist is the typical embodiment of an OFW, her discovery of self love is what the film is all about. She has dreams and her willingness to achieve them despite the fact that some people around her do not agree with her, give an impression that life is not all about making other people happy and comfortable, but it is also about your own happiness and reaching for your dreams.

To sum up, I want to leave my own quote based on what I have learned from the movie:

Love is enough, but love should never be a hindrance to stop reaching your dreams or to prevent your loved one from reaching his/her dreams.

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