The film also introduces Joy’s mother, brilliantly played by Maricel Laxa. Her mother married her former Chinese boss to become a legal resident, and chose to stay with her partner despite being battered, leaving Joy’s blind father in the Philippines.
Ethan’s family is also introduced. His bedridden dad and resentful sibling both give a memorable performance.
Aside from the lead actors, the film was lit up by Joross Gamboa, Kakai Bautista, Lovely Abella, and Maymay Entrata who, despite playing only “sidekick” roles, perfectly captured the welcoming and warm spirit of the OFW community abroad.
Towards the end, the film showcased Hong Kong in a captivating way which might not be possible if the film was shot later, considering the riots and protests happening there now.
Even though Hong Kong wasn’t initially a part of your travel bucket list, you’ll be inspired to add it immediately after seeing the movie.
Painting a Real Picture
On one of the scenes of Hello, Love, Goodbye, the Overseas Filipino Workers are seen watching Anak from a phone. Anak is a classic Filipino film which follows the story of a mother who takes care of a family in Hong Kong to provide for her own children back in the Philippines.
Films like these become widely successful not because of coincidence. Although it would be unfair to set aside the main actor’s draw, the major reason why it became a hit was that it resonated with Filipinos.
In Hong Kong alone, there are over 200,000 Filipinos working. In fact, People’s Park is filled with Filipino domestic helpers every Sunday (their rest day). While it may be tempting to only see this number as a statistic, it is a very real fact that many children, husbands, and wives are yearning for the presence of their family who sought for greener pastures abroad.
Was it a Happy Ending?
If you watched the film, you may complain that it left you hanging. However, it’s open-ended narrative is its best part – Did Joy find happiness in Canada? What happened to their families? Did Ethan build his bar?
If you want to know the next chapter of Joy and Ethan’s lives, luck is on your side because the movie has been turned into a novel written by Charmaine Lasar.