Spring by the Sea is an OFW’s Personal Story Retold Through a Camera Lens
Written by Mia Abigan
Overseas Filipino Workers (or OFWs for short) are arguably some of the most selfless people. They would often leave for extended periods and work in a foreign land just so they can provide for their family back in the Philippines. Most of them spend such a significant chunk of time that they are unable to witness some of the most important milestones in their loved one’s lives. It’s extremely tiring and painful, to say the least, but these unsung heroes endure it all just so that their family can live a sound life.
If you’ve watched the box-office hit, Hello, Love, Goodbye then you’d probably already have a glimpse of the OFW life abroad. More often than not, they are alienated and treated as inferior. They work long hours and barely have anything left to themselves since they send a majority of their earnings back home. Similarly, the film by Aleia Garcia entitled “Spring by the Sea” is a testament to just how magnanimous a father’s love is for their family.
Spring by the Sea is actually the English translation of Yanbu-Al Bahr (Saudi Arabia), the place where the author grew up in. In this place, Garcia witnesses the sacrifices her father has been making since he started working there at the age of 21. Having to support all 12 children (3 of which stayed behind in the Philippines to complete their college degrees) is no easy feat, especially when placed in an unfamiliar location. However, her father was a fighter and that is exactly what this film captures. Juxtaposed with personal home videos shot by Garcia’s father while working in Saudi Arabia, Spring by the Sea is a time capsule that encapsulates their unguarded moments – breakfasts, birthdays, and travel.
By the time Garcia is 17, she moves back to the Philippines to pursue a degree in film. It was an extremely difficult decision to make because in doing so, she’d be separated from her family, but she persisted.
Originally, the film (then a collection of home videos) was submitted as her thesis film in college. But even after the years spent in university, she decided to keep working on it until eventually (with the help of the First Cut Lab and Film Development Council of the Philippines), she was able to let the story fully unfold.
( READ ALSO: New Local Film ‘Circa’ Rekindles the Art of Early Cinema Production )
“Making a film about your personal life can be challenging because there are a lot of voices you will hear. Your job is to hear your OWN voice and trust the vision that God gave you.” (Aleia Garcia)
WATCH: Spring by the Sea Official Trailer
You can also catch Spring by the Sea starting October 15 (Tuesday) in the selected list of cinemas below. For more info and screening details, visit https://qcinema.ph/
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