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Find time for passion, MMFF’s Tagpuan star Congressman Alfred Vargas says

December 30, 2020 - Wednesday 8:12 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image MEETING PLACE. In a true-to-life film starred by Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, and Shaina Magdayao, the struggles of immigrants and Overseas Filipino Workers are told under the direction of Mac Alejandre. The film Tagpuan was shot in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and in New York. (Screengrab from the movie teaser)

MANILA – Actor-turned-politician Alfred Vargas urged the public to continue doing their passion despite the busy schedule with their chosen vocation.

“It is a different kind of thrill, of happiness that you feel when you do your passion. Kaya kapag may panahon na medyo bakante na pwedeng isingit ang pag-arte, ginagawa ko (Whenever I have a free time, I try to go back to acting),” he said in an interview with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

He added that others should also find the time to do the thing that gives them joy.

The 41-year-old congressman of the fifth district of Quezon City shared during the interview that he quit acting in 2009 to pour all his attention to public service.

He ran for Quezon City councilor in 2010 and officially became an elected public official in the same year.

After one term, he sought for a higher position and won a congressional seat.

“I sacrificed my showbiz dreams, I quit at what I consider the peak of my showbiz career to really get my hands on serving the people. I ran shortly after that, right now this is my third and last term. It is really my vocation,” he said.

Though he felt satisfied doing public service, he always missed acting.

His film Tagpuan is a masterpiece of award-winning screenwriter Ricky Lee.

Vargas said it tackles the “kind of love that really happens in a relationship”.

Papano na yung pagmamahalan (How will love run its course) without romance, where do I draw the line between love and giving freedom, requirement ba ang magpatawad (is forgiving a requirement),” he said.

He plays the role of a businessman who is seeking for the meaning of life and happiness after his failed marriage with Agnes, the character of Iza Calzado.

In his visit to Hong Kong, he meets a young-spirited overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Tanya played by Shaina Magdayao.

It took about three years for the team to complete the production.

During their filming in Hong Kong at the heights of protests there, Vargas cited the professionalism of his co-workers by showing up on time despite the roadblocks put up by protesters.

They also shot Vargas and Calzado’s scenes in New York pre-pandemic.

He said apart from the true to life challenges of keeping a relationship, the movie also aims to explore the struggles of OFWs and immigrants.

In the recent awarding, the film garnered third place for the Best Picture award while Magdayao snatched the Best Supporting Actress title.

Online streaming

Vargas, meanwhile, said while they first attempted to qualify for the MMFF 2019 screening, the film failed to pass as a finalist.

He said they tried again for the summer edition of MMFF in 2020 which was also postponed due to the pandemic.

"Nalungkot din kami kasi yun yung end goal ang mapakita sa publiko ang ginawa namin kaya I really appreciate what the administration did for their efforts to push through with the celebration of the MMFF via online streaming kasi part na yun ng tradition ng mga Filipino. Kulang ang pasko pag walang MMFF (We were saddened because we were not able to share it to the public. That's why I appreciate the efforts of the administration pushing through the celebration of the MMFF via online streaming because it's already a part of the Filipino tradition. Christmas celebration is not complete without the MMFF)," he added.

The MMFF this year, like all the other events of 2020, is screened online.

It will be accessible to Filipinos here in the country and abroad in the comfort and safety of their homes via upstream.ph.

It has officially aired on Dec. 25 worth PHP250 in the Philippines and USD10 abroad. Christine Cudis