[Editor’s note: This article may contain spoilers.]
Whenever we encounter the words “Valentine’s Day,” we would probably think next of love, romance, gifts, surprises, and many other things people associate with the day. Of course, it’s the time of year when people express themselves to those they cherish the most, grabbing the chance to let their feelings be known to the other person — they can be a parent, a colleague, a best friend, or anyone fancied.
When it comes to films to watch on Valentine’s Day, we often expect these to be the typical romance types where characters meet, get to know each other, struggle together, then still find their way back to each other’s arms in the end. But in the 2018 Philippine romantic film “The Day After Valentine’s,” written and directed by Jason Paul Laxamana, we encounter something that veers away from the usual storyline and instead depicts the striking realities in two people’s destiny.
In the film, Lani Murphy (Bela Padilla) and Kai Ramos (JC Santos) are two random strangers who bump into each other one night in a clothing shop. Lani is a store assistant who also works on lazy students’ assignments and earns from that. One night, Lani turns suspicious of Kai’s strange behavior in the store. Lani soon finds out that Kai is a lovesick man who has the tendency to inflict harm upon himself as a coping mechanism. From here, they start to get to know each other better. They became comfortable sharing each other’s thoughts and experiences and even went out to a coffee shop the day after Valentine’s.
They became inseparable. Upon sharing his heartbreak story with Lani, Kai becomes drawn to her because he wants to be fixed from his brokenness. More complications arise, until one day, Kai has to go to Hawaii to see his family, and he invites Lani to come with him.
More adventures come along their way together. When Kai was finally healed of his emotional scars, and Lani started having deeper feelings for him, he realizes he cannot reciprocate. Lani apparently has also been hiding her own wounds from the past, and she has a more tormenting story she just keeps within her and never tells anyone.
“The Day After Valentine’s” conveys a message of love marked by hopes of healing and belongingness. Scenes will leave you wondering what will happen next and how everything will conclude. Now that Valentine’s Day is once again over, at least for this year, we can look back on some realizations from the movie, all timely for hearts’ day:
#1 – Not all people you meet along the way are meant to stay in your life.
Some of them will make you, yet most of them will break you. You just have to be brave enough to let them go and to be strong for yourself.
#2 – Some people cannot admit that they are “not OK.”
It can be because some people are just good at pretending they are OK and cannot afford to be vulnerable.
#3 – Some people can be good at teaching others how to move on.
But these same persons cannot actually face the fact that they themselves have not yet moved on.
#4 – You are not responsible for healing the wounds of someone you just met.
For you too may have wounds and may even have deeper scars. Fixing others does not guarantee that they will do the same for you or that they will choose you. Sometimes, fixing them may leave you more damaged.
#5 – Your wounds may heal, but the scars will remind you of what you have gone through.
You will need to look at the real value of these scars or look at them as proof of your progress in life’s journey.
#6 – The scars you cannot see are the toughest to heal.
The misery behind these may be unbearable, but the ones who have these are the ones who all the more need to be stronger.
#7 – People easily fall in love when they are vulnerable.
It’s because they long for the love that was lost. They long for someone’s care and comfort.
#8 – Do not fix yourself for someone to accept you and to love you.
Let them embrace you for who and what you really are.
#9 – Watch out if you are already justifying the mistakes of those you love.
Sometimes, you choose to defend other people even if in reality, they are the ones who have caused you much pain.
#10 – You don’t need to be ready to move on.
You have to be willing to do so.
#11 – For you to carry on, think less of the things you like about the person you used to love.
Remember the imperfections too, and the things you dislike about him/her, especially those that caused you harm in one way or another. Also, stop romanticizing the things you used to do for or with each other.
#12 – Forgiveness shouldn’t have to be begged by someone before you forgive them.
Forgiving someone is meant to free the forgiver, not really the person being forgiven.
#13 – Never assume, nor act upon your mere assumptions.
Instead, be clear with your intentions, because what you want now may not actually be what you need later on.
#14 – There is beauty in brokenness.
And it takes courage for someone to accept one’s brokenness. Also, unless we accept our brokenness, healing is impossible. Acceptance is the first step.
Some may not have been able to enjoy Valentine’s Day with a special someone this year, or some probably are among those who “cringe” over the romantic moments they see from friends on social media. Whatever it may be, just remember we do not have to be sad or lonely. We may still spend time with our families and friends, and express our unconditional love for them. Or we might as well get ourselves some treats, to keep loving ourselves more. JB