AFTER the box-office success of her film “Achy Breaky Hearts” last year, actress Jodi Sta. Maria headlines another Star Cinema movie, breathing life into another character that deals with issues everyone can relate to.
“Dear Other Self” directed by Veronica Velasco is about a woman named Becky (played by Jodi) who takes on a journey that will help her find herself, in the hopes of achieving genuine happiness.
“Becky is a girl who is at a crossroads of deciding whether to choose a life of responsibility or a life of adventure,” said Jodi, during last Friday’s press conference at Laguna Garden Cafe, shortly after a mall show with her co-star Xian Lim at Ayala Center Cebu.
The movie presents two narratives as Becky reacts differently to various situations presented to her. She will meet two men in the course of these experiences: Henry (Xian), who is the adventurous type and Chris (Joseph Marco), the dependable boy-next door.
“The movie is very relatable. Sino ba naman sa atin ang hindi pa dumadaan sa decision araw-araw? Every single waking hour is a decision, may it be
as simple as deciding what to eat for breakfast or if you go to work or not. Either big or small, nag de-decide tayo,” explained Jodi.
She said the movie aims to help viewers become more discerning of their choices in life.
Xian, for his part, said the film can act as a blueprint for people who are questioning whether they are making the right decisions.
“We want this as an inspiration not just to the younger crowd—since these questions often arrive at that point of a person’s life—but this is also for all ages. Kasi lahat naman tayo paulit-ulit na may katanungan sa buhay natin, may mga what ifs … What if andito ka na sa point na ito: Pwede pa ba? Kaya ba pa? We hope to inspire a lot of people in this film,” said Xian.
TAKING A BIG LEAP
Xian and Jodi also shared with the Cebu press their deepest “what ifs” in life. In making a major life decision, do they let their hearts rule over their minds? Or is it the other way around?
“You have to strike a perfect balance between the two. It cannot just be all head or logic. There’s also a need for the heart but di pwedeng led by emotions alone. There’s a danger to that as well. If you still don’t know maybe you should refrain from making a major life decision, you might end up regretting. Or kung hindi naman, charge to experience na lang. You don’t lose in life as long as you don’t lose the lessons,” said Jodi.
The Kapamilya actress openly admitted that taking that big leap by joining showbiz years ago, in exchange for finishing her studies and her dream to become a doctor, has been one of the major decisions she has done, next to motherhood.
However, Jodi is now able to juggle work and school and is currently taking up psychology, as a prerequisite for medical school.
Xian, on the other hand, admitted that his heart dominates when it comes to making major life-changing decisions.
“Kung sobrang laki ng decision that I have to make, I would rather na dadaan sa may puso kasi kung magkanda leche-leche, I know na ito talaga ang gusto ko deep inside. Kanina nagbabasa ako ng posts and read this quote that says, ‘If you enjoy wasting your time, then it’s not a waste of time.’
Pag minor decisions in life, medyo hanapin ang balance,”said Xian.
This as he recalled how he gave up basketball, which was supposed to be the career he wanted to pursue, in exchange for a career in the entertainment industry.
“Basketball has been my life. The reason why I went here is to pursue basketball. But kasi parang may kulang, artistically there’s hunger so I turned to
acting and music,” he said.
In keeping with their film’s title, the two were asked to complete the phrase, “Dear other self … ” and Jodi’s response was: “Dear other self, I just want to tell you that I’m so proud of you, you were able to do the things that you wanted. You are helping a lot of people in your chosen career. ‘Yun lang sasabihin ko. Because my other self would have been a doctor.”
Xian, for his part, said: “Dear other self, for all the roads na hindi ko pa napupuntahan, sana mahabol kita at sana di pa sarado,” said Xian, who admitted that he is still figuring out which path to follow.
“I just want to get lost. When you are lost you find yourself and you will find the way,” he added.
The movie, which was shot partly in picturesque Thailand, will open in cinemas nationwide on May 17.