Hindi lang siya literal na place to meet,” seasoned director Mac Alejandre explained the theme of one of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival entries, Tagpuan. “It is finding yourself, finding others in yourself, finding yourself in others, and it’s about chance encounters. Crossroad siya ng buhay. Sometimes, gumagawa tayo ng mga desisyon sa buhay at ‘yung oras ng paggawa ng desisyon will lead to the proper tagpuan.” Starring Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao, and Alfred Vargas, the film was written by award-winning screenwriter, Ricky Lee.

The story revolves around the lives of Allan (Alfred Vargas), Agnes (Iza Calzado), and Tanya (Shaina Magdayao), three individuals who are in their mid-30s. The characters will find themselves entangled in a different kind of love triangle where love is not romanticized. The film promises something more relatable and realistic.

What they found in Tagpuan

Lead actor and Quezon City District 5 Rep. Alfred Vargas described what he personally discovered in Tagpuan. The actor-politician said, “Marami kasi sa panahon ngayon, nalilito. Maraming ginagawa. At the end of the day, wala ka namang natatapos, walang meaning. So, siguro pinakanatagpuan ko rito, meaning of life, meaning of relationships. Kung gaano kaimportante ‘yung tinatanim mo ring relationships, ‘yun din ang aanihin mo. Puwede mo sabihin, puwede ka mag-post kung gaano mo kakilala ang sarili mo pero pinakamahalaga sa lahat, totoong kilala mo ang sarili mo. We will go beyond conventions, beyond normal. Makikita natin later sa pelikula.

Rep. Alfred is portraying the role of Allan, a wealthy businessman who has been separated from his wife Agnes, a university professor in New York. In his journey to finding himself, he meets Agnes in Hong Kong.

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I enjoyed portraying her role and really understanding her journey,” this was what Shaina Magdayao said about her colorful yet still mysterious character. Tanya. Tanya is an overseas Filipino worker in Hong Kong, trying to make ends meet by taking on every job possible. Her life changes after a chance encounter with Allan.

Shaina is open about being so thrilled and grateful to be part of the film project. She said, “I’m very grateful kasi naging parte ako ng isang Ricky Lee script. Noong maibigay po sa ‘kin ang oportunidad, I had to say yes right away. And ‘yung magandang naibigay sa ‘kin ng movie na ‘to ay ‘yung similarity ng lahat ng tao, collectively. Humanity, kumbaga. Lahat tayo may void, may loneliness. Lahat tayo we’re just trying to survive. ‘Yun po ‘yung pinaka-ino-honor ng character ko. You can call her broken, you can call her lost. Pero ‘di ba lahat naman tayo may ganun?

What we’ll find in Tagpuan

Direk Mac reinforced the glimpse of the film Shaina gave us. He established the specific perspective it is coming from. “Tagpuan talks about love sa point of view ng nasa age bracket na mga 30s,” he said. “Hindi sila ‘yung mga bagong na-in love ako, nasaktan ako, anong gagawin ko? Ang mga tao dito, na-in love na, nasaktan na, sawa na sila. Approaching middle age na sila eh, puwede na silang walang love eh, puwede na silang walang commitment, casual relationships na lang. But what makes them decide to move on? I think that’s a very different thing from the perspective of the age bracket nina Alfred, Iza, and Shaina.”

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Hindi ito kuwento ng, ‘Ipaglalaban ko ang pag-ibig!,’ Direk Mac continued to emphasize how Tagpuan is different from all other love stories in the past. “Hindi siya romanticized love eh, mas naka-anchor siya sa kung ano ang realidad. Ang masakit, masakit. Ang masarap, masarap. Teka, handa na ba ako? Mas ganun siya. Mas realistic ang take niya.

Rep. Alfred, a co-producer of the film, expressed agreement and shifted the spotlight on their director. “Ibang Mac Alejandre ang mapapanood n’yo,” he assured. “Ang pagkakaiba talaga nito very gray, very gray yung style niya sa love. ‘Yun nga, very mature ang approach sa love and what happens in reality. I’m sure maraming makaka-relate dito. Marami ring napaka-juicy and magagandang linya

Find yourselves watching Tagpuan in the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival by booking tickets in advance. The online booking will be available tomorrow, December 7, via Upstream.ph.