UNIV 2011 Movies

UNIV 2011  Philippines – through the lens of multi-awarded screenwriter Vanessa Valdez

“Mabuti’t pinili mo ang tama, sapagka’t yun ang makakapagpasaya sa atin… hindi yung nakakasaya, pero mali naman…” [I’m glad you chose that which is good/correct, coz that is what will make us happy; not all that makes us happy is the good/correct thing to do.]  Those are screenwriter Vanessa Valdez’ movie lines: the line of Maricel Soriano (Filipina movie actress) to Aga Muhlach (Filipino movie actor) in the movie “A Love Story”.

She delivered the message so clearly, using the lines she would always try to incorporate into her movies (scripts she writes), that some of the meanings of FREE that the dictionary would give you are:

= beloved

= love

= commitment


= Noble

= Joyful

She wished us to note that the person who is truly free is one who loves, is one who is noble and joyful, presumably because of having chosen what is GOOD. [See below for notions of freedom.]


And for the “Decisively” part of the UNIV 2011 Theme “Living Freedom Decisively“, this is what she told us: if you look up the etymology of the word, you’d find “to cut off“.  But what do you cut off, or cut yourself off from? …from bondage, from that which ties us down… That is, what is freedom for?  Taking off from Victor Frankl’s “Man in Search of Meaning”, she indicated that this man who was imprisoned for so long, thinking of the beloved wife made him withstand all that cruelty…and realized that, if you have the good in your mind & heart, you can be free even if you are in prison.

The exciting part was when she showed us clips of the movies she’s written the script for.  [The clip above is from the film “One More Chance”…] Through this movie (starring Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz), she wanted to emphasize that Bea struggled to cut herself free… in order to, first, commit to herself, so that, afterward, she can commit herself to another.  (Full freedom, thus, consists in “freeing oneself from oneself” in order to arrive ultimately at gift of self.)

In the movie “A Love Story”, she indicated that she managed to portray the real notion of freedom, through the lines of Maricel Soriano (quoted above).  She showed us the epilogue of the movie, showing Aga Muhlach receiving consoling words from his Dad (with Alzheimer’s) “I am proud of my son…”.


For the plot of the movie ‘A Love Story’, see:


Moral of the story:

What if you met the woman you wanted to make your wife after you married someone else? … In the end, Ian, Joanna and Karyn learn – though in the most painful ways – the true meaning of unconditional love and forgiveness.


For UNIV 2011 and its theme, see:



For notions of FREEDOM and Responsibility, see:



“Freedom is that characteristic of our will by which we can choose what is good, and which is fully acquired in self-surrender and love.” [Taken from Fr. M. Guzman, “Question and Answer CATHOLIC CATECHISM”, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 1995]


Learn more about BARBARA NICOLOSI, who founded ActOne Program, and whose blog is called ‘ChurchOfTheMasses‘:

“Theaters are the new Church of the masses – where people sit huddled in the dark listening to people in the light tell them what it is to be human.” – 1930s Theater critic.