Tag Archives: Random

Ali’s Beautiful, Selfless Love

First post of 2017 and it’s not a review, nor something news-like. Also, I’m about 102 episodes late in providing my reviews/reactions for Till I Met You, which bowed out from TV last January 20, 2017. While I may attempt to produce other blog posts related to the show in the future (throwback, maybe), I couldn’t resist this one. I needed to.

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What prompted this post is Basti’s voice over (seen above) towards the last 10 minutes of the finale. This was heard as Ali was leaving the country to pursue his dreams with Stephen. It was undeniably and achingly appropriate.

I have seen love portrayed in all art forms. In recent years, nothing has touched my heart more than the love Ali gave to every one he cared about. His love is so pure, beautiful and most of all, selfless. Ali’s depth and capacity to love surpasses his label in the show, especially with what he showed to Iris, Basti, Kelly, Agnes, Greggy and Stephen, which was reciprocated wonderfully.

  • Iris, despite getting her heart broken, accepted and continued to love Ali. Both bore witness to each other’s growth and happiness. They became each other’s rock when nobody else was there for them.
  • Basti accepted Ali unconditionally despite a shocking admission that could’ve destroyed a burgeoning friendship. Because of this, Ali became Basti’s moral compass. It helped Ali be brave enough to support Basti’s pursuit of Iris and point out his missteps too.
  • Kelly is Ali’s silent better half. Through her humor and wit, she helped Ali become truthful by taking him out of his comfort zone and by helping him to see things even he couldn’t believe or accept.
  • Agnes’ love for Ali is beyond limits, beyond words. She showed him the truest extent of a mother’s love; that she would go out on a limb for him. Her example became Ali’s touchstone.
  • Greggy’s reluctance nurtured Ali’s courage and resilience. A father’s love is often hard to articulate but when finally expressed, it flows rapidly and freely. Greggy’s expression of pride and love freed Ali from his self-imposed constraints.
  • Stephen is Ali’s gift from the universe. In his journey of “almosts” and “maybes”, Ali found his true purpose with Stephen. Stephen brought out the best in Ali and showed to him a world that defied the stereotypes and perceptions often perceived of the LGBT community. When they fell and expressed their love for each other, it was so organic. I didn’t see two gay men; I saw two people who were in love. Stephen is Ali’s “always” and with them, you truly believe: tayo, hanggang dulo.

As I use this post to say goodbye to Ali, I want to thank the following:

  • The creative team of Till I Met You for bringing Ali into mainstream media. His is a story that needed to be heard and it was brought to life successfully and sustained beautifully from start to finish.
  • JC Santos for his sensitive, top-notch portrayal of Ali. You are a gem of an actor, one that I look forward to seeing more in the future. I will pray for your continued success. You have my support as a fan.

Ali, you are forever scored in my heart. I will never forget you.

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Till I Met You Episode Reviews: A Prologue

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To say that I had a blogging slump is a huge understatement. I had many reasons but it’s largely because I needed to find myself again, my writing voice. Despite this long interlude, I didn’t stop trying things out; if you see my Twitter feed, you’ll see that I’m still that person. In those quiet adventures, I discovered something that is now leading me to embark on this frightening yet thrilling blogging challenge: That Thing Called Tadhana.

Most of my long-time friends know my bias with Philippine movies and TV series. It’s not because it’s not good but it has gotten too formulaic for my own liking. I grew up in a household where TV series like John and Marsha, Mara Clara, Valiente were viewing staples. Movies that starred Dolphy or FPJ as well as some memorable love teams like Guy and Pip, Vi and Bot, Sharon and Gabby dominated my Saturday and Sunday afternoons with my family. They were all good but the tropes were the same. It became too predictable, so much that I would find myself watching the first week and correctly guessing plot points that will sustain the series for years, if not months. Every ending was a happy one despite convoluted twists and turns. I lost hope as a result. I felt bad about it but I didn’t want to waste my time and effort to watch something I knew I wouldn’t like.

Then last year, a good friend of mine begged me to join her in watching That Thing Called Tadhana. Having sworn off anything Philippine made, it took that friend of mine a lot of convincing (well, bribing) to see it with her. She even chided my anti-mainstream/anti-hype attitude (in between begging and bribing) because I was well aware that everybody was talking about how great the movie was. She used the only recourse she knew I wouldn’t back out of: a bet and a dare — if I didn’t like the movie one bit, she was going to pay for the ticket and a post-movie meal. I went inside the cinema wary and scared; I left feeling light-hearted, refreshed and shocked. I was surprised that a Filipino movie can be simple yet sublime; I began to feel hope. I took note of the director’s name — Antoinette Jadaone — and swore to myself that I will watch everything she has made and will make. This lead me to many movie adventures and a teleserye, On The Wings of Love, which transformed me into a JaDine fan (another surprise) and a proud OTWOLista. I didn’t miss a single episode, even if meant watching it on IWantTV within hours after its live TV airing. There was something about Antoinette’s brand of storytelling that resonated in me; it was straightforward but hugely relatable and often tugs at your heartstrings.

Because of the success of On The Wings of Love, Antoinette Jadaone is working again with James Reid and Nadine Lustre (JaDine for the unaware) for Till I Met You. In the initial announcement, the series was being touted as JaDine’s most mature work to date, that it will explore certain themes that are considered ground-breaking for Philippine television. When the first teaser aired, I realized that the ground-breaking aspect of it was it will include a character representing the LGBT community, played by a relatively unknown actor named JC Santos, who doesn’t look like the typical token gay character often seen in most Philippine movies or TV series. Honestly, this plot point didn’t shake my world especially if I were to consider that this wasn’t the first Philippine teleserye to include a gay character in a love triangle (Hint: MHL). However, it didn’t reduce my interest at all; in fact, I was looking forward to seeing how JC Santos will bring that character to life. So like every other OTWOLista, I tuned in 8:00 p.m. on August 29 (Monday) and watched the pilot episode. Fifteen episodes in and I’m still hooked; I look forward to watching every episode every night.

I guess at this point you are wondering why I have decided to embark on this episode review for Till I Met You when it has aired fifteen episodes already (and yes, it will start from Episode 1). My reason is simple: I love the series and I want the episode reviews to become my thank-you notes to Antoinette, James, Nadine, JC, and rest of the cast and crew. Thank you for delivering another series that I will look forward to every night.

I’m well aware that I may not be the first person to do reviews of the series and it may seem like a crazy undertaking, given the effort. However, there is a saying, better late than never thus I’ll forge ahead. Wish me luck. 🙂

 

P.S.
Lest people may think I’m part of the community being highlighted in the series, I’m not. I’m straight but definitely not narrow-minded or homophobic (I hate this word actually). I’m a firm believer that everybody deserves to love and be loved in return, regardless of gender or sexual preference or social constraints. Also, I believe that love is not blind, it only refuses to see, thus my reviews will stay true to how I want it to be: objective and honest.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTE:

All images featured in this blog post can be seen on Till I Met You’s official and show websites, and Facebook page.