Kita Kita (I See You) (post-)#MondayReviews

***NOTE: Finally, a totally new review, woohoo!!! And of a really new movie, too 🙂 It’s a review, but I did add a few trivial bits.



The first time I saw its trailer, I decided that I wanted to watch Kita Kita. For one thing, it had been a while since I last watched an actual indie film and I am an indie supporter. I’m not really sure it should be called an independent, though, considering that it’s produced by a mainstream film outfit (that does seem past its heyday) and especially by one owned by a very famous, still very-”now” actor. But okay, they say it was made with a low budget, so why not?

Indie or not, the story had me curious so last Sunday, I brought the free ticket I’ve had for months and had a romantic date with myself. (There are perfectly good reasons why I was alone, but they’re not worth discussing, really.) My curiosity over the chosen stars did add much to that decision.

Alessandra de Rossi (a.k.a. Alex) has never headlined a mainstream movie or a regular TV series. However, when it comes to indies, she’s a legit superstar and has been legit since she was in her early teens. Just count the awards she has gotten over the years. I have seen enough of her movies (even wrote a review for one, and this reminds me to post it soon) to know how good she could be.

She has been one of a few stars I admire when it comes to serious acting that when I hear her being part of this or that, I often try to see her when I can. To see her take the lead in a romantic-comedy film kind of intrigued me.

Meanwhile, leading man Empoy Marquez, who usually goes with no last name, is the bigger surprise. He’s a comedian who has been active on both the small and big screens almost always as a supporting character. He probably has had lead roles before, but in single episodes of comedy or fantasy-comedy shows, nothing memorable.

Until this movie, he was never that comedian to watch out for. So imagine my (and other people’s) surprise to find out that of all the comedians to choose from, Empoy got the part. I wondered how he would pull it off given his brand of comedy. However, I think that was really it that made me think I wanted to see him in this movie.

The best reason that made me want to see Kita Kita was the premise of the love story. What is the premise of the story? Well, to start with, the title is short for “Nakikita kita”, in English, “I See You”. It is both a literal and figurative name to give the movie.

Lea is a Filipina working as a tourist guide in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. She experiences heartache while there. In a much bitter fate, she suffers a potentially permanent blindness and loses interest in life, living day-to-day like nothing matters anymore.

Then comes Tonyo, another Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). He begins invading her life by persistently attempting to converse with her daily and bringing her food he’s cooked everyday, even though she snubs him and ignores the food he brings.

They eventually become friends. He asks her to accompany him and be his tourist guide, telling her “I’ll be your eyes.” In the process, he brings back the colors into her life by making her laugh and see the world again through him. Lea starts to go back to being happy and becomes more accepting of her situation without losing hope of ever seeing again, a hope that Tonyo helps bring back. They become so close that it somehow becomes obvious he has feelings for her. On the other hand, she starts “seeing” him in that newer light as well. They become almost-lovers.

Unfortunately, before everything turns out well for them, something happens that neither of them expects.

That’s as far as I will go. I’m not telling anymore and giving the story away.

In some ways, you’d think, nah, it’s been done before: blind person meets the love of her life who turns out to be not what she expected. Or maybe she sees again, then in a twisted turn of fate, she dies from something else anyway…

Well, hold your horses. Something bad does happen (conflict is necessary for stories), and maybe a theory in your head does turn out to be correct (mine was), but it’s what you’ll get to find out next that’s going to make a lot more difference in how you see the story.

I love the story. It’s so simple that it’s so beautiful. It’s really got the magic of Filipino indies sans the poverty, sex and even violence common in a lot of them, sometimes exploited in a lot of them, too. It’s an indie that’s a sight for sore eyes–it’s actually aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. None of those slum shots that’s the staple of many Pinoy independent flicks. Not all realities need to be about those because that’s not the only reality we live in. I do feel like the setting could have been here, no need to go anywhere out of the country.

Anyway, another plus is the viewer gets to concentrate on them since save from a few bit players, Alex and Empoy are the only real cast of the film.

I admit, the first few minutes of the movie kind of bored me, but I knew they were necessary. It’s an SOP now in the screenwriting world, at least in the indie films, that I learned before. They had to show shots of how the protagonist functioned in her everyday life, her routines, what she did, etc. It established the scenario, the changes that were about to happen, the disruption in her life. Why only show Lea and not Tonyo was because Tonyo would appear later, just like how new people appear in our lives, no warning.

A good script from Sigrid Bernardo, funny ad-libs (usually care of Empoy, you can just tell), a nice twist that you don’t completely see coming, and a great way to emphasize that love can both be blind and enlightening at the same time.

Despite Tonyo being stalker-ish and you getting the feeling he knew her long before he approached her, you’d actually root for the guy to get his girl and not feel scared for her. He saw her at her lowest and brought her back. Somehow, she saw him at his lowest, too, and brought him back without knowing it. They saw the real them. Did I just give you a riddle? You’ll find out once you see it.

The acting was so natural and that’s what made viewers love the two actors. It’s underacting, so to speak. It seemed like there was 20% acting and 80% just being Alex and Empoy. So, no disrespect to directors Sigfrid Bernardo and Bb. Joyce Bernal, but I feel the most credit for the acting should go to the film’s stars.

Well, in a way, Alex was acting because she was much tamer here than in real life where she is funnier and rowdier, you’d wonder why drama is her forte. She is no stranger to comedy, but drama brings out the best actress in her. Empoy, on the other hand, was just being Empoy and it worked for him. He’s like the normal guys in our lives who could be funny, caring and lovable regardless of looks and background. His character might not have worked if they had chosen a more handsome (less realistic) and/or non-comedic (awkward) actor. Empoy is definitely the better option.

Alex gives a lot of credit to Empoy. She says her character could have been played by anyone and it would still be the same, unlike Empoy’s. I disagree. Yes, it could have been acted out by anyone well enough, but the chemistry between Lea and Tonyo would probably not have been the same. I’m saying that the Alex-Empoy tandem (now tagged as AlEmpoy, though I’d rather “ship” them as EmLex) fortunately had that obviously perfect on-screen chemistry that made the story work.

I am not entirely sure if it’s suitable to call this love story a romantic comedy. What confuses me more is how Empoy actually succeeded in making women feel those kilig moments. Everyone’s surprised! Now single girls and gays want their Banana, too, ha! #HowtoBeEmpoy . (As for the banana reference, find out for yourself.)

If you haven’t seen Kita Kita yet, catch it now before they stop showing it. I did not waste much time because of that as I did not assume that many would actually go and see it. If you’re living abroad, they will bring this to you (in the US, that I’m sure, at least), so watch out. Don’t speak Filipino? No sweat. They have subtitles. You won’t be disappointed, definitely.

However you will see the ending, I guarantee that you will not leave feeling like you’ve just wasted time and money. In fact, you just might want to see it again. I know I do.

(fr. left) Director Bb. Joyce Bernal, Writer-Director Sigfrid Bernardo, Producer Piolo Pascual (Spring Films), Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy



Have you seen it? What can you say? Share your comments below. You know we love comments 😉

“DANA AND ADAM” #atozchallenge2014

NOTE: Just a little warning. This FICTION has a bit of adult content, but nothing R-rated. Just FYI.




It started out as one of those friendly dates they always had. A date between friends, with friendly conversations, in a restaurant with a friendly atmosphere. Dana had called Adam herself and asked him out to dinner. To celebrate, she said, because she finally kicked Sid out of her life. So of course, Adam obliged.

Everything went well. They talked and joked and laughed and simply enjoyed the night like old friends. And then he asked her to dance. So of course, Dana obliged.

It was a slow dance and somehow, neither of them felt like talking. Adam couldn’t speak even if he wanted to. He was very much aware of Dana, of her dancing close to him, her hand on his shoulder, her other hand in his, his other hand holding the small of her back. Involuntarily, he drew her even closer.

Dana looked up to him, questioning. Adam never held her this close before. “Adam?”

God, she fitted him perfectly, Adam realized, looking down at her in awe. And then he kissed her. Bent down his head and just kissed her. It was all so sudden that Dana froze. Still, he held her and kissed her tenderly, until Adam felt her move and return his kiss.


It was deep, slow and sensual. Adam could hardly believe he was kissing her. It was all he could think off – holding her so close, her soft lips touching his. No one, nothing mattered but the moment.

In an instant, Dana pulled away from him. “No, Adam, I…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…Look, I’m sorry if you think I seduced you,…or something.”

Seduced him? Suddenly, Adam came to his senses. What was he doing? “No, Dana, I know, I know that. I’m sorry, too. I…I shouldn’t have done that. We didn’t talk for almost a year, and I guess,…I guess, I just missed you a lot…” Dana stood still, watching him. Oh, why the heck did she have to look at him like that? He wished she would stop or he just might kiss her again.

But we’re still friends, aren’t we?…Despite this?” she asked.

Sure. I mean, yeah. It’s just a kiss, which won’t happen again, I promise.” Adam would have liked to kick himself for promising. However, it would have been impossible, not to mention ridiculous.

It was all tension after that. Adam could feel it during the small talk that followed. Even he could not speak much anymore. Heck, that was embarrassing.

Had he successfully kicked himself, he would have liked to do it some more when he went back with Dana to her apartment. Granted that it was already very late and he did live quite far, couldn’t he simply find a hotel to spend the night in? It was courting danger. However, Dana would not hear any of it when he suggested sleeping somewhere else. It was raining in Seattle, as always, as she would not let her best friend get all wet looking for a hotel when she had a nice, warm place to share.

So the matter was settled. Adam silently vowed to keep himself in check. No more touching, no more holding, no more kissing Dana. It was not easy to keep his hands off her, though. Not when he was in love. Not when he wanted her more than he wanted anyone in his life. Keeping away from Dana all those months was depressing. Keeping away from her now was complete torture. Dana was so near, yet so far. Whoever invented love anyway?

Are you sure you’ll be comfortable in that sofa?” she had asked, handling him a pillow and a blanket.

Not when you’re just a room away, Dear. “Yup. Don’t mind me. You know me, I’m a real trooper.” She had also lent him a shirt and a pair of shorts that were a bit small for him. He wondered if she found him sexy wearing her clothes the way guys found girls sexy in theirs. He wondered how she would look in his. Oh, stop it. With much difficulty, Adam pushed the thought away.

Okay.” Dana cast a nervous glance. “You sleep now and rest…Let’s just do some more catching up tomorrow, alright?”

“Sure. G’night.” Adam expected her to leave but Dana stood staring now. Man, if she wouldn’t stop looking at him like that…

All of a sudden, Dana closed the distance between them and kissed him. It was a sweet kiss, but it was over even before he could close his eyes. Seemingly surprised herself, Dana awkwardly moved away and shyly said goodnight, half-running to her room.

unrequited-loveNow, he was confused. What was he doing there? What was she doing to him? His mind was all the more messed up, thanks to her. Why did she have to look at him like that? He did not want to read more than what was there, but man, he knew what that look meant. Could it be that Dana was in love with him, too?

In love with him. That was an idea. In fact, it would be a really great idea if indeed, he knew she was. He had to know. Right away. But how? Should he follow her or not? If he did and asked her, would she tell him the truth? Would she accept him? Would she hate him? Would he be willing to risk the wonderful friendship they had? Perhaps he should forget everything? Forget that he held and kissed her? Forget that for some reason, she let him? Forget that she kissed him tonight?

Dana was not drunk, they both knew that it was not a valid excuse. So, was there something there? Did her kiss mean anything? Dana was not the type to play around with men. Save from Sid, she had only been in another relationship once. Adam was sure Dana would never ever play that kind of game with him. Tease, because she could be such a tease sometimes without her realizing it, but not play with his emotions, not intentionally.

AAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!! So many questions! Adam wanted to scream. What was he to do? He was all full with his love for her and he wanted to let her know that. Should he deprive himself of the feeling he nurtured for her all those years? All those years, he secretly wanted her to love him while she pined for another who would not love her in return.

Adam straightened up. He would tell her, let her know, show her how much she meant to him. If Dana would reject him, then that would be that. But as long as he was not making any move, he would probably never know the answers to all his questions. With full determination, Adam knocked on the door. No answer. Maybe she was already sleeping. But he would wake her. He was not going to wait till morning.

Adam found the door ajar. He somehow wondered if Dana intentionally left it open. Of course not, stupid, he reprimanded himself. She must have forgotten to lock it in her haste. Adam decided to enter the room, calling out her name. She did hear him, it seemed, as he saw Dana going out of the bathroom. Both of them froze for a moment. Dana stood there, naked, and Adam,  forgetting his manners, was transfixed, staring at her.

Dana abruptly grabbed a towel and covered herself, panicking. A sudden attack of panic also hit Adam. What was he doing there risking everything? He wanted to back out and hide in shame, crawl into a shell if there was one big enough to accommodate him. But Adam did not make a move. No use running away now. Dana had seen him already and without saying a word, he knew she knew how much he wanted her. Damn those tight shorts!

Dana walked out of the bathroom and walked awkwardly towards him. “I, uh, was just going to take a quick shower when I heard you knock. I was coming out…c-clothed, of course, and…Y-you wanted something?” Dana asked, nervously holding the towel around herself, explaining like she felt she had to.

Adam cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah. I wanted to, uh,…”


Adam cleared his throat again. Sorry for barging in, but…I wanted to tell you that…”


This is it. “…that…Dana…” he cleared his throat the third time, “I think I’m in love with you…I know I’m in love with you.” There, it’s out in the open.

Adam waited for her to say something, perhaps to order him out. He would probably deserve it. But no words came. Only the pitter-patter of the rain on her windowsill could be heard.

Dana, did you hear what I said?”

Yes, Adam,” she replied, saying his name in a husky voice, making him more excited than he already was. Her voice had magic of its own and Adam found it affected him tremendously. It seemed Dana understood this because she avoided his eyes and turned around.

She did not speak anymore, not even when Adam went closer to her, close enough that he was sure she could hear, feel him breathing into her ear. Who was it that said, “Silence speaks a thousand words”? He wondered if it was true because if it were, then Dana’s silence would mean that she was not going to stop him at all. Or was he reading it wrong? Maybe he was dyslexic.

Adam’s heart was pounding. He was almost beside himself. He delighted in the thought that if she was not going to stop him now, surely it would mean something, wouldn’t it? He turned Dana around to face him.

Adam lifted her chin and met her eyes. One look, and he felt his knees weaken again. There was the pleasant tug at his heart. Such lovely eyes. It was the same feeling he had the first time he looked at her eyes many years ago. Amazing that after all the time that passed, he still found it difficult not to experience the same kind of wonder.

Dana, you can say no. That’s all you have to do. Just say it and I will leave right away…Besides, I know you can very well throw me out of here literally,” Adam kidded if only to ease the tension between them.

I…Adam…Would it be alright if I told you that…I-I don’t think I want to say…no…?”

That was it. It was more than alright. It was what he wanted to hear. His heart felt like bursting. Adam bent his head and kissed her tenderly yet a bit more passionately. Dana didn’t need any coaxing as she matched the intensity of his kiss, finally exposing herself as her arms circled her neck, letting the towel fall off her. Adam’s head reeled, intoxicated by her taste. God. The mere smell of her, the mere taste, were enough to make him feel like the luckiest man alive.

Adam eventually stopped kissing her. “I do remember you saying you needed a shower…Allow me?”

Dana gave a nervous giggle. “I’m all yours.” How could she giggle and look so provocative at the same time?

She only made him want her more, he realized, as he took her hand and guided her to the shower. Dana turned the shower on and Adam watched the water running over her body that he wished he were water himself, flowing down on her.

He loved the way her curls fell just below her shoulders. He loved her neck which he so often wanted to kiss but couldn’t. He loved her color, light-chocolate brown, what people called mocha. He especially loved, he must admit to himself, the other physical things that made women, women. Maybe she really was far from being the most beautiful woman in the world, but flaws and all, Dana was the most beautiful to him.

The running water was now getting him wet, too. He was lucky that the water was set to warm, though, for he had no need for a cold shower. Not at that particular moment when he got the soap and Dana mutely allowed him to rub it on her shoulders, down on her back, even down her thighs that he caressed oh, so gently, as she began to lean back on him. After a while, Adam stood naked as well as Dana bathed him with her gentle touch.

Soon enough, things got more intense as their hands and lips delighted in their new discoveries. Adam found places that he never thought he would find even in his dreams. Having her there, holding here, feeling her was more than he could ever ask for.

That night, Adam finally claimed Dana. And as the last of his energy slowly ebbed away, Dana told him what he wanted to hear. “I love you, Adam…”


Adam woke up with nagging thoughts as he held her sleeping in his arms.

Was it true that Dana loved him? What if she was only carried away by the heat of the moment? A more pressing thought: What if she was only feeling the loss of Sid and Adam was just conveniently there to fill the void? Questions playing with his mind again.

Adam turned his head to find her awake, studying him, her lips curled up in a smile. “Hi there, angel, “ he said.

“Hi there yourself…What were you thinking about?”

Should he ask her? “Nothing.”

“That didn’t seem like nothing to me.”

“Okay, okay, just something.”

“What about?”

“If I told you, you might get mad at me.”

“Try me.”

“For the third time? Sure!” he said with a naughty grin.

Dana gave him a small poke on the ribs. “You know what I mean.”

Adam laughed, and then he sighed. “Okay. I was thinking about…The thing is, Dana, I was wondering if you meant what you said last night.”

Dana crinkled her nose. “About…? Which part?”

“That ‘I love you’ part.” She raised a brow at him. “I mean, you know, maybe you were just carried away,…or, well, you know, Sid has been gone for days, and you were feeling, hmm, kinda lonely…”


“Hey, hey! You promised you wouldn’t get mad.”

“I said ‘try me’…” she retorted then sighed. “Hmnn…Wanna know a secret?”

Adam smirked. “Try me.” It earned him another poke on the ribs.

Dana was serious this time, getting his complete attention. “Last year, you got mad at me because of Sid, because you could see what a jerk the guy was, and you thought I was being a jerk for being stubborn. Then you left. And I thought that was that, the end of the friendship. I didn’t need you to destroy my happiness. And you know what? You did destroy my happiness…Adam. When you left,…it was then that I realized it was you who always made me happy, not Sid, not anybody else…So a week later, I kicked Sid out of my life.”

“But I thought you kicked him out only recently?” he asked, genuinely surprised by all the information she was giving him.

“You didn’t ask when.”

Adam couldn’t believe his ears. She loved him! Dana loved Adam! Him! “And you waited all this time to tell me you love me?”

“Well, you waited all this time to tell me you love me!” She crinkled her nose once more. She always did look so cute whenever she did that. “Besides, until last night, you never gave me any inkling about what you felt. Thanks a lot.”

“Then I guess we both should be punished, don’t you think so?”

Dana narrowed her eyes at him. “Heeey…you’re up to something kinky, aren’t ya?”

“Nope, but that would be a good idea.” Adam shifted on his side to meet Dana eye to eye. Time to get serious. “Since we waited for so long already, I think it is high time to end this waiting game, Dana.”


“This maybe cheesy but I don’t care. Dana,..will you marry me?”

Dana got misty-eyed and finally smiled at him. “What do you think, Adam?”

A tear fell down from Adam’s eye. It was the answer he had wanted for all his life. “I was fishing for a ‘yes,’ but that will do.” Just as he thought he could not possibly get tired of holding her, Dana wiped his tear away and kissed his smile. “So, do you think I’m a chauvinist pig for seducing you into sleeping with me?”

“You didn’t seduce me. For the record, I seduced you.”

“Excuse me. I do the seducing around here since I’m so darn irresistible.” Dana kissed his ear and slid her hand on his thigh. “Okay, now, that’s not fair.”

“Still think you can resist me?”

“You’ve proven me wrong for a long time, angel…You had me heart and soul, Dana, heart and soul…”

And as he took her in his arms again, Adam showed her exactly what he meant. Indeed, he was the luckiest man alive.


Story Copyright © J.Gi Federizo


Hope you liked the story and that I didn’t offend anyone’s sensibilities. Written years ago, this was a break away from my usual style of writing. I was in a writing group and there was a challenge, which was to write something in a way that we didn’t usually do. I was already writing poems and essays that I thought, no, I couldn’t do those. Then I actually had an idea. That was to write in a genre that I wouldn’t be caught writing — romantic erotica. A few days prior, I learned about erotica and how it’s not really about writing porn, as many often assume, rather, writing something sensual. There’s a big difference.

It was a big gamble for me but the challenge excited me, so I came up with this one. I think that considering my lack of ability, I pulled it off somehow (but you’re welcome to tell me no). Now somebody commented that the ending seemed to be too abrupt, meaning why propose that early? The answer is, well, why should they wait when they were obviously been waiting for each other for the longest time all along?

Positive or negative comments are welcome. Just be nice 🙂

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