‘Tagpuan’ review: Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao find self-love, take second chances

Tagpuan successfully brings hope, love, humanity, and identity in a world of pain and suffering.

Official poster of the #MMFF2020 entry TAGPUAN.

Ever since the community quarantine was implemented in the country, movie theater operations become very limited, that is why the annual Metro Manila Film Festival has decided to go digital this year. MMFF makes use of the newest video-on-demand platform, Upstream.ph, where families can enjoy watching in the comfort of their own homes. Not to mention, the online edition of this film festival is not limited to Filipinos residing in the country but will allow Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)—and even foreigners—to enjoy the festival in a legitimate platform, wherever they are in the world.

One of the 10 film entries this year is Tagpuan, a story that talks about much more than love. It scales the spectrum of joy and pain, success and failure, acceptance and rejection.

Tagpuan takes us to the world of Allan, Agnes, and Tanya. Allan (played by Alfred Vargas) is a rich businessman who deems to find purpose again despite his broken past. Agnes (Iza Calzado), a simple ex-wife to Allan, wants to follow her dreams by studying arts and design in New York. Tanya (Shaina Magdayao), on another hand, is a go-with-the-flow girl, who is stuck as an immigrant in Hongkong but wants to go to New York for opportunities. All three of them are trying to find themselves and looking for second chances in life and love.

Tagpuan is the only romance-drama entry in this year’s lineup. The story and pacing is a bit slow at first but then you’ll realize that these characters are telling you their life stories in an intimate manner. They are simply people who have fallen in and out of love—fighting for love after the romance is gone. A simple story, yet a reflective one, it also manages to bring us a closer look at what life looks like as an immigrant and as an OFW in Hong Kong and New York City. The film simply puts the characters’ struggle and plight with the mix of social and economic forces that reflect and shape reactions to love and relationships.

Director McArthur C. Alejandre and writer Ricky Lee remarkably shaped a world that easily showcases love towards other people as well as self-love. It’s something that we often forget: finding ourselves amidst the noise and chaos—and losing ourselves in the middle of the silence. It is a process of reflecting in those experiences for the sake of our own second chances in life.

This romantic-drama showcases Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, and Shaina Magdayao as they put themselves in their roles with much grace. No doubt that these three equally give amazing performances in showing their emotions and fierceness throughout their respective acting careers.

Tagpuan wants us to find ourselves again this Christmas. It presents itself forward for viewers to have self-love and second chance in life. It is indeed a relatable film for Filipinos all over the world this holiday season. You want a film where you can have a contemplative takeaway? Then this is the MMFF entry film you don’t want to miss!

Tagpuan is an official entry to the 46th Metro Manila Film Festival. Starring Iza Calzado, Alfred Vargas, and Shaina Magdayao. Directed by McArthur C. Alejandre and written by Ricky Lee. Produced by Alternative Vision Cinema, Inc.
Streaming starts this Christmas on www.upstream.ph.