Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Art imitates life: Dito at Doon (here and there)

At a time when movements are limited, opportunities to meet up with friends are like chances of rain in the desert. Even the mere interaction with parents and other family members is sparse. Do relationships survive despite the grueling pandemic?

“Dito at Doon” is a film that showcases love, relationships and life during the community lockdown in the Philippines.

Produced by TBA Studios, in association with WASD Films, “Dito at Doon” stars Janine Gutierrez, JC Santos, Victor Anastacio and Yesh Burce.

“‘Dito at Doon’ is a love lockdown story. It’s set during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Manila and Cebu last year, and it’s about two people who meet online. So it’s kind of like a ‘quaran-fling,’” Gutierrez teases.

The film revolves around Len (Gutierrez), who is a Political Science graduate, and Caloy (Santos), a frontliner. Len works from home, and is someone who fights for things she loves and believes in. Caloy, on the other hand, is a frontliner who does not share the same perspective with Len.

Incorporating lockdown realities such as “e-numan,” video calls, DIY learnings, as well as being a “plauntie” or “plant-tita,” the cast also shared their coping mechanism during the live interview with SunStar Cebu.

“What helped me during the time that we had to stay at home, until now, is cleaning the house. It makes me feel better. It makes me feel productive. When your surroundings are clean or tidy, it also makes you feel like you’re in a good headspace,” Gutierrez shared.

She added that it was her first time making Dalgona coffee in the movie.

“To everyone who can make it, wow! It’s hard!” Gutierrez said while clapping her hands for those who reigned supreme over Dalgona coffee.

While Burce and Anastacio agreed with Gutierrez about cleaning and organizing, Burce added that she sold whatever she could sell in order to earn income.

“During the first year, I sold samgyupsal— just anything I could sell really!” the theatre actress exclaimed.

Anastacio, on the other hand, said sticking to whatever that had a routine kept him sane. He took up fitness challenges like 30-day push-ups.

“I turned to exercise so that I could feel I had progress every day. And it was my first time learning how to cook sinigang!”

The film was shot in December 2020 in Batangas and Tagaytay, all while maintaining health protocols. Anastacio shared that TBA Studios made the filming secure and easy. Temperatures were checked even in the middle of the rehearsal, and everyone was made to undergo disinfection after every shoot.

Upon reading the script, the cast said they were excited to do the film as it was art imitating life.

“It was about that longing to connect with friends and with people, also that fear of having to protect your family,” Anastacio said.

For Anastacio, a stand-up comedian, this is his second major project. Burce, on the other hand, was all sorts of nervous for her first major project on film.

“There’s a big difference between theatre and film. In theatre, we have to act larger than life. In film, the acting should be just right,” Burce said.

During a recent bloggers’ conference, lead actor Santos said he was grateful to TBA Studios for providing income opportunities for those who work in the entertainment industry especially in these uncertain times. “We never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so this project is near and dear to me,” expressed Santos, who sees ‘Dito at Doon’ as one of his most personal projects.

Film fans and enthusiasts can catch the much-anticipated movie at the following major online streaming platforms:, Cinema ‘76 @ Home, iWant TFC, Upstream and Ticket2Me.


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