Chicken Adobo For The Soul

Saturday Stories
July 22. 2017

It is beautiful how some people stay in our lives even while we go our own individual journeys.

There will always be those who will leave, but as sure as God made apples, new people will come – and new chapters will begin.

I've been thinking these thoughts when,  by coincidence,  the same themes began to appear as we watched Laurice Guillen’s American Adobo,  a bittersweet story about Filipinos in the United States.

I like American Adobo as much as I love chicken and pork adobo, and that's saying a lot.

We watched it primarily because of Christopher De Leon, one of my favorite Philippine actors, right up there with Aga Muhlach, Eddie Garcia and Rogelio De La Rosa.

I happily saw that the film is more than I expected. It's not because of all-star cast – Christopher De Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache, Sandy Andolong, Paolo Montalban and Gloria Romero, with American actors Randy Becker, Keesha Sharp and Wayne Maugans  – but because of the characters they gave life to.

I've known how some of them have felt at various times in my life, like being alone in a new place, being lied to by someone you trust, not wanting other people to know that a relationship has ended.

In my youth, 95 percent of my body weight was pure hormones, and I was a bit like one of the characters who just want to have sex all the time. (Now it's only about 85 but that's a different story).

I am deliberately not saying their names because the revelations are part of the arcs and the narrative.

The Christmas of their most eventful year would be the most unforgettable for all them.

One is going back to the Philippines after telling them that the marriage which they thought was pefect is actually on the rocks.

Another one has finally found the courage to open a secret that has been hidden for a lifetime.

But, one of them has found a revelation that was devastating to tell anyone.

I'm reminded so much of Rent, one of my favorite Hollywood movies. Both films depict HIV-AIDS without sanctimony and condemnation.

At the end of the day, somebody with HIV-AIDS, regardless of how he or she got it, is still a human being who deserves a chance to live.

American Adobo

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