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On Love and Education

Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil play characters who fall in love with each other while belonging to rival schools

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The release of “Alone/Together” trailer has got moviegoers going gaga over a movie expected by many to be an emotional, if not “painful,” ride.

In this latest offering from director Antoinette Jadaone, actors Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil play ex-sweethearts Christine and Raf. The two cross paths again eight years after they first met.

ENRIQUE GIL and Liza Soberano

ENRIQUE GIL and Liza Soberano

The film also touches on a familiar phase to many people: College life.

Their characters are seen in the Diliman campus of University of the Philippines (UP), where a significant part of the story takes place. “What if a UP student falls in love with a UST student?” a logline read. In the movie, Liza’s Christine is BA Art Studies student from UP, while Enrique as Raf is a BS Biology student from University of Santo Tomas (UST).

At a recent press conference, Enrique and Liza, who both started working at a relatively young age, shared their thoughts on having missed out on fully experiencing college due to their hectic schedules as celebrities.

“I actually have some regrets,” said Liza, who dreams to become a lawyer or psychologist.

“I’ve seen my best friends and they all graduated. When I think about it, it’s like ‘Sayang, dapat ako din!’ I never got to experience all the hardships they go through in college. I want to experience that satisfaction when they graduate, and how they surpass all of their problems in school and at home.”

Liza believes diploma is the best gift she could give her parents. Given the chance, she would pursue her studies in able to fulfill a promise to her lola.

“She made me promise na despite me being a celebrity, I still need to graduate from college. I want to do that and I don’t wanna break my promise.”

Enrique, on the other hand, admitted he never saw himself become a celebrity. All he wanted was to become a basketball player and graduate with a degree in Marine Biology.

“Now, I really love this industry,” he shot back. “But I also want to go back to college. Maybe in the next few years, I can do that.”

Full effort

Liza and Enrique did some immersions for their respective roles.

The actress interviewed four Arts Studies students and one teacher. She rode the famous “Ikot” jeepney route of UP Diliman and tried some of the best “tusok-tusok foods” inside the campus.

“It was fun. I felt like a ‘normal’ person, meaning I’m not celebrity and it feels good,” she said of the experience.

 SCENE FROM 'Alone/Together'

SCENE FROM ‘Alone/Together’

Enrique interviewed several doctors. He actually found that interesting because his grandfather was said to be a head doctor at Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital.

Director Antoinette described the two as “smart actors.” According to her, it’s a dream come true.

“Liza and Enrique are very humble. They don’t know that they are really good. And it’s actually a good thing. We have good dynamics on set. They don’t bring that pride na ‘Hey, we’re Liza Soberano and Enrique Gi!’” she said.

Liza and Enrique said “yes” to the project immediately upon learning Antoinette was on board.

“Magaling kasi siya!” Liza enthused.

Direk’s perspective

Many think “Alone/Together” could be an autobiographical film since Antoinette was also a UP student.
She is Magna Cum Laude graduate with a degree in film.

The director dismissed the notion, though, saying she merely used her college experience as inspiration.

“That’s the time that as a student, you are so idealistic that you can change the world. You think you’re invincible, but you are eventually disillusioned when you face the real world,” was how she put it.

LIZQUEN WITH Director Antoinette Jadaone

LIZQUEN WITH Director Antoinette Jadaone

“Alone/Together” is a love letter to Antoinette’s college years. The film, which first carried the title “Spoliarium,” is more than just a boy-meets-girl kind of story.

“It tackles different kinds of love,” she pointed out.

Why did she change the title, we asked.

“I want to convey the story of these two people and if you titled it ‘Spoliarium,’ it’s like you have this big social responsibility to use that,” she said.

Antoinette is known for doing heartbreaking films. Do we expect the same here?

“I like writing sad stories because I’m very ma-drama as a person. Well, let’s see,” she hinted.

Produced by Black Sheep and Project 8 corner San Joaquin Projects, “Alone/Together” opens in cinemas nationwide on Feb. 13.

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