Hotspot: Shaina Magdayao muses on the lessons of 2020, talks about “Tagpuan”

Silver linings do exist even amidst back-to-back challenges. Despite the world turned upside down, Shaina Magdayao looks at life’s bigger picture. She’s stepping out of this year full of realizations and thankful over the simple things we often take for granted.

We visualized the start of the decade as something grand, hectic, and just full of everything we desire. But it came as a total opposite – slow, minimal, and plainly about getting through the hard times. 

In Shaina’s words, it’s “a year of surviving and gratitude” and of rediscovering what really matters. She was reminded to find blessings in the mundane. She took the pandemic as a time to reassess her heart – its needs and desires. 

Her loved ones and parents are healthy at such a risky time like this, and that’s more than an answered prayer for her. This makes her Christmas celebration extra meaningful, sans the family’s Simbang Gabi tradition and big parties. The clan will catch up over Noche Buena while her USA-based sister will join them via Zoom. It also serves as the perfect culmination of her 5-week lock-in taping for FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Shaina always looks at life in an appreciative way. Things didn’t go as planned but she’s utterly thankful for the realizations of 2020. Like the previous ones, she claims that 2021 will be her best year. She wishes for an end to the pandemic and hopes the lessons learned continue to shape us for the better.

One of the blessings that magnified Shaina’s gratitude is her film “Tagpuan,” an entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. The movie’s unexpected showing, after a year of being shelved, heightened Shaina’s trust in life’s divine timing.

“Ganoon lang talaga, medyo ililihis ka, ico-confuse ka pero at the end, mabibigay rin sa’yo kung ano talaga ‘yung para sa’yo talaga,” she said. 

“Tagpuan” is likewise about serendipity, following the stories of three characters – portrayed by Shaina, Iza Calzado, and Alfred Vargas – and their awe-inspiring journey to crossing each other’s paths. Shot in Manila, Hong Kong, and New York, the Ricky Lee masterpiece mirrors the ordinary struggles of a flawed human being. The characters are far from perfect. They are lost and real, thus making “Tagpuan” a fitting offering during this season of uncertainties.

“Susundan mo kung paano sila nagkatagpo-tagpo. Gaya ng tunay na buhay, meron at merong mga darating sa buhay mo – others to stay and others to just pass and teach you a lesson. Akala mo matatagpuan mo ‘yung sarili mo kapag natagpuan mo na ‘yung partner mo in life o perfect job o career. Pero hindi, matagapuan mo lang ang sarili mo within yourself,” she said.

Shaina has successfully established her career as a versatile actress, earning her the right to sometimes be selective in her projects. So, what made her grab “Tagpuan” in a blink of an eye? She said working with award-winning scriptwriter Ricky Lee is a rare opportunity. 

Knowing that this could’ve been offered to another actress, Shaina gave her best in her portrayal. Box-office doesn’t affect her anymore. She’s more concerned over her performance and whether she managed to execute her director’s expectations. She also gives props to the team behind this year’s MMFF for keeping at the tradition despite the hurdles. 

Shaina thinks it’s difficult to classify “Tagpuan” under a specific genre but one thing is for certain, it’s a silent film that pierces through the soul.   

“Para siyang buhay. You get bits and pieces of everything. There are seasons na malungkot ka, seasons na masaya, seasons na nasa taas ka, seasons na nasa baba ka. So, parang hirap niyang i–classify pero definitely tungkol siya sa pagiging tao at sa buhay,” the lead actress explained
“Tagpuan” is an entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival made available for online viewing via UPSTREAM.