With blockbuster projects like That Thing Called Tadhana, You’re My Boss, All You Need is Pag-ibig, English Only, Please, and On the Wings of Love to name a few, Antoinette Jadaone rose to fame as the ultimate “hugot” director. In an interview with ABS-CBN Lifestyle at the Globe Youth Summit in UP Diliman where she talked about the importance of social media to the youth, she shares a glimpse of her own musings when not directing and weighs in on reaching for your dreams, falling in love, and handling her own feels.
Raw yet cinematic
One can only wonder: With highly relatable stories and themes incorporated into her movie and teleserye projects, where does she get her inspiration? Is it purely creative imagination, an effective fiction or perhaps, something that really transpired? She admits, “Situations are always inspired by real life—I have to make them cinematic though. But the emotions and feelings should always come from how it really feels like in real life.”
For her, the real formula when she works in a project lies behind her deep desire to do it. “Dapat gusto kong gawin, 'yun lang,” she says.
Sincerity over ‘hugot’
When asked about how she feels being called as the Blockbuster “hugot” Director, she says she’s flattered but that she’s not worthy of it. “Seriously, I think we should put the word hugot to rest. We're calling all emotional lines, emotional books, emotional films, emotional poetry hugot na feeling ko, na-a-undermine na niya 'yung totoong intention nung gumawa. Hindi porke tungkol sa pag-ibig ay hugot,” she clears.
The real feels, according to Tonet, is when it’s done from the bottom of your heart. She adds, “Sincerity must always be there. When we're sincere, we create beautiful work, and whether someone brands it as hugot or not, it doesn't and shouldn't matter.”
In real life, she also claims to be rather opinionated more than anything else and would rather go for drinks and in her very own words, “Videoke. Videoke is always a good idea.”
On pursuing your dreams
Tonet and her works have been continuously celebrated here and abroad. But it’s not an overnight success. She shares these three things if like her, you have a dream and want to turn it into reality:
Start from wherever you are. “Don't be afraid to start from the bottom. Be an assistant, be an apprentice, take on the seemingly thankless jobs. Hindi lahat nakukuha ang pangarap sa isang pitik lang. Lahat ng bagay pinaghihirapan.”
Suffer for it. "My passion is photography. My passion is films. My passion is traveling—that sounds all rainbows and butterflies, but really, passion means to suffer. So don't bother calling your dream your passion if you're not willing to suffer for it. Dapat willing kang mag-puyat, work overtime, work on holidays, and lose precious sleep and money for your passion.”
Focus on your own work. "Don't compare your success with the successes on your social media feed. Ay, si Friend X earns this much na. Ay, si Friend Y was featured in 20 Successful Teens Under 20. So what? This is not a race to the finish line. Wag kang inggitera, teh.”
Love has always been a common theme for Tonet’s projects. She has explored different dynamics of relationships making her stories blockbuster hits in the hearts of the viewers. But if there’s one thing she’d want to tell you straight up, it’s this: "Magmahal lang nang magmahal. Dahil darating ang araw, magiging iyo rin ang huling halakhak."
And true enough, we all look forward to that day, don’t we?
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Photograph from Instagram.com/tonet_jadaone, by Rxandy Capinpin for Metro Magazine's "Women of Now" feature, November 2015