The path of the broken-hearted is a road of endless possibilities

I peered through the capacity crowd at the Gaisano Mall Cinema. Seconds later I would be mouthing my short speech. I am the festival director of a film festival which I joined 10 years ago because of a broken-heart.

Yes, I was in a relationship a decade ago, but it wasn't a regular relationship. it was what I call a guerrilla romance. I was the third wheel, the girl had a boyfriend but perhaps blinded by "love" I gave in to our secret arrangement.  Until the time came when I wanted a definite status, asked the girl to choose me or him... she chose him.

In the process of broken-heartedness I wandered the streets of this peaceful city, in my mind the only thought was to forget the girl in any way possible. A friend advised to take up a meaningful activity, a new hobby perhaps.

Then I saw the poster posted along the electric post which advertised the Guerrilla Filmmaking workshops... a crash course on Guerrilla filmmaking, I was intrigued. I was wanting to join video and film production courses, only Davao City had no activities such as this.

The day after I went to the Alchemy of Vision and Light office at Anda Street and signed up for the workshop, paying immediately the P5,000 registration fee. This would be the first step in forgetting her.

We had weekend workshops and by the end of it, we had to produce a 30-minute movie. The production of the movie entitled ironically "Happy Ending" was mostly a nightmare, killer schedules shoots which lasted till dawn, bickering teammates, lack of resources characterized our shoot.

Fortunately we were able to finish the film, screened it in cinemas and won awards (Best Film) and the best of it all, I was able to forget the girl. Perhaps the problems of the production hastened the moving on process or perhaps obliterated the emotions and feelings bottled up inside.

I came to be impressed by the vision of the organizers Dax and Drei and by the next year, I hopped on board the organizing team, the Guerrilla Film Festival was renamed into the Mindanao Film Festival.

By 2012 I came in as Festival Director, there was unprecedented growth more films, more audience, by 2014 we established international linkages with Malaysia and Brunei for the East Asean Film Festival, I also was appointed as curator of the NCCA's Cinemarehiyon.

Funny how things turned  out, How after every rejection comes a new opportunity. What if she chose me, perhaps I would be trapped in the bliss of love, which is not bad per se but I would have ignored the compelling need to take a new endeavor. Perhaps it was God's way of leading me to a calling to serve in the field of  culture and the arts (but I wish it would be less painful to the heart Lol)

The experience gave me an important lesson that failures are actually doors which opens to another opportunity. Yes there will be heartbreaks and failures but there will always be another door.


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