By Maryo B. Labad

When the world is crumbling, just look around. And if you did your share along the way, nature will be there to embrace and protect you.

21 20In the local filmmaking, seldom do we see a movie that has given emphasis on protecting the environment and preserving Mother Nature. In Erasto Films latest offering, Lakbay2Love (L2L), a film by Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil, it used the importance of biking, falling in love with nature and finding the right person along the way. It is a romantic movie dwelling on how to fall in love again, and making the right decisions in certain points in your life.

An award-winning director, this is Ongkeko-Marfil’s third film after Boses (2008) and Pusang Gala (Stray Cats). Both films got awards in various international film fests.  And this is the first time that she tackled a light-romantic movie to express her advocacies and environmental concerns. It is also her way of narrating the true meaning of “coming of age,” literally and figuratively, as one needed to trek the scenic spots of La Mesa Dam, Timberland Heights and  the mountainous slopes of Benguet for hours, just to bring to life the  film’s true message.

To unleash the characters and keep the passion burning, Lakbay2 Love features two of the country’s competent movie stars, the handsome and award-winning actor, Dennis Trillo, and the alluring and sultry actress, Solenn Heusaff. This is the third time that the duo have done projects together,

“One thing I love about this film, aside from being sporty, is that, it gave me the chance to rediscover the importance of biking in my life and finding new beautiful places,” said soon-to-be bride. “I stopped biking when I was still small. And it is only here that I got to do it again. This movie talks about fitness, love, and finding yourself all together.” Because of this movie, Solenn fell in love with biking again and put up a business, a bike studio.

Dennis, on the other hand, is a known biker in real life. It is his way of exercising and relaxing during his free time. “As a biker, it was fun to work with Solenn because I got the chance to teach her. She’s willing to learn especially iba yung terrain ng biking,” explained the actor. “Madali lang naman s’ya turuan. Very basic lang, just manage to handle the gear and the breaks. Puede ka kasing madisgrasya if you don’t handle them properly.”

“Nakakatakot lang minsan if you are on the road, lalo na if there are some irresponsible drivers who don’t give importance to bikers,” she added. “And besides, you will learn a lot in this movie, not only falling in love, but an opening of the spirit. It talks about climate change and global warming. It is an eye-opener for everyone that we need to protect our environment, not only for us but for the future generation.”

1The last time the two have worked together was a couple of years ago (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), when Solenn was just new in the business. “She has improved a lot. Definitely she has matured as an actress and she’s always willing to learn. Enjoy kami while doing the movie. She’s so active,” stressed the rumored boyfriend (again) of Jennylyn Mercado. In fact, he was excited to admit that while doing the film, he kept sending pictures to her (Jen) of the places they have been visitng.  Although he denied that they have reconciled.
Since the movie is about he environment, we asked the stars, in their own little way, how do they try to help preserve Mother Earth.

“My being a biker is my own little contribution kasi nababawasan ko kahit papaano ang air pollution natin.  At siguro yung hindi pagkakalat at pagtatapon ng waste sa maling lugar,” he replied.
“Ako I make sure mga little na bagay, like I always turn off the lights when I’m out of the house or the aircon. I also throw my  trash properly. It can help clog the drainage if you don’t throw your waste properly. People just need to be aware of the environmental problem we are experiencing right now. We need to educate our people regarding waste management,” she answered.

Completing the love triangle of Lakbay2Love is Pinoy Big Brother alumnus Kit Thomson, who is now in New York studying film for one year. And to accompany your viewing pleasure, ten songs are included in the soundtrack of the film. The movie will be commercially released on February 3.

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