This is not a movie review about It Takes a Man and a Woman. It is more of a life review. That’s exactly how I felt while viewing this gem of a movie. I can relate with it through and true. I am more of a Miggy than Laida Version 2.0. No, I am not a part of a large family conglomerate. No, I don’t run a publication (this one I really wish). No, I am not about to lose everything I possess and cherish. But yes, like Miggy, I have been to worst.
Like Miggy, I lost my parents. In my case, I lost mine even they were still alive. I love my Mom so much. She was, as the song went, the wind beneath my wings. All throughout, we lived in the same house. We ate breakfast together. We watched soap operas together. We also faced gargantuan financial problems together. But I drifted away. I rebelled not against her but to the huge responsibilities I had to carry. I just thought every time we spoke, she would ask me to pay for this and that. I was paying bills, I was giving money, but I was also running away from Mama. I regretted that. I hated myself for that. And yes, I carried for years that heavy burden of guilt.
Like Miggy, I looked up to my Papa. Yes, you read it right. I looked up to him. How many times I wished I could really reach out to a father figure, I mean, to him. I looked up to him and wished that he would really play father to me. I hated him for most of my life. My parents got separated and hated my father more because of that. I had to carry what he should be providing.
This is the reason why I cried during that scene when Laida’s mother (played by the underrated but always reliable Irma Adlawan) talked about forgiveness and love. It was like my mother talking. How she decided to let go of my father. How she decided to forgive my father after. How she asked me learn to forgive myself and to forgive others including my father. How she asked me to choose to love, whatever it takes, whatever happens.
This is the reason why I cried when Laida and her father (superbly played by Al Tantay) readily forgave each other. As they say, healing takes time. In my case, healing happened after death. I regretted that I was not able to take care of my father on his last days. I regretted that there was still resentment when he died. I was not even allowed to go to his funeral. I chose to stay away (my brothers went on). Call me a bad son; I felt I deserve that tag. But please forgive me too for being one. It took time. It took a long process. I won’t go through details here but I was in shambles. Like Miggy, I faced the worst. And it took a decision to set things right again: the decision to forgive, the decision to love myself.
You have probably noticed that the scenes I cited above involved Laida and not Miggy. Stiil, I am more of a Miggy. Over-achiever but more of a failure, go-getter but left empty handed most of the time, driven to be the best and came out worst. Like Miggy, I worked hard to prove myself to my family and to the whole universe. Like Miggy, I tried hard to be strong and unaffected and at some point, unattached. And like Miggy, all I wanted is to love and be loved. All I wanted is to forgive and be forgiven. And I realized, after watching this movie, all I want really is to be a good person.
This is the reason why I had to stand up in the middle of that killer-speech of Miggy’s Dad (the veteran and always perfect Dante Rivero). I remembered my own father. I mirrored my own life. I reflected on my own struggle. I cried in one dark corner of the cinema flashing back my life on my own big screen.
I am Tonichi Version 2.0, not a better one, no longer striving to be the best; all I want is to be a good person.
Note: Thank you JLC.