'Never Not Love You' is an ode to Antoinette Jadaone's days as an intern

If scenes of Joanne (Nadine Lustre) running around like a stressed and panicked advertising employee in Never Not Love You feels real and relatable, it’s likely because they're rooted in film director Antoinette Jadaone’s own experience as a fresh graduate working in the country’s central business district, Makati City.

Siguro nga ang NNLY (Never Not Love You) ay maliit kong oda para sa aking Makati nung trainee PA days ko pa lang – oha, PA na nga, trainee pa!” wrote Jadaone in an Instagram post which showed a still from a scene that didn’t make it to the final cut.

(I guess Never Not Love You is my ode to my days as a trainee and Personal Assistant in Makati.)

May isang deleted scene sa #NeverNotLoveYou - nung inutusan si Joanne/@nadine bumili ng sandamukal na kape para sa meeting - na tingin ko'y pinagdaanan ng maraming mga fresh grad sa Makati bilang aliping saguiguilid. Siguro nga ang NNLY ay maliit kong oda para sa aking Makati nung trainee PA days ko pa lang - oha, PA na nga, trainee pa! Hindi ko malilimutan nung isang beses na pinasama ako sa isang meeting - ang get-up ko nun, may remnants pa ng pagka-UP ko, 'yung tipong gulung-gulo ako kung paano nga ba ang tamang smart casual na office attire, 'yung hindi naman sobrang nakapostura, pero hindi rin namang mukhang nakipagsapalaran sa MRT ng rush hour. Pagpasok ng clients, galit na galit, lalo nung makita ako. Sabay sabi sa'kin, IKAW, AYAW KITANG MAKITA DITO!!! Sabehhh!!! Gusto kong sabihin, AKO?!? E AKO NGA BUMILI NG DELIFRANCE N'YONG MERIENDA PATI MGA OVERPRICED STARBUCKS N'YO TAPOS AYAW MO 'KONG MAKITA?!? HOW DARE YOU, WOMAN!!! Pero syempre, wala akong nasabi, kaya lumabas agad ako ng kwarto sa kahihiyan. Hindi lang labas ng kwarto, lumabas ako ng office, lumabas ako ng building at naglakad palayo! O 'di ba, ang arte!!! Pinipigil ko luha ko, hindi nila ako pwedeng makitang umiyak 'no! I am a strong, independent woman! Napagod din ako kakalakad so bumalik ako sa van nung tapos na ang meeting - mahirap pala mag-walk out kapag wala ka pang sweldo. Sabi sa'kin ng senior PA ko, "Ganyan talaga. Pasok sa isang tenga, labas sa kabila." HUH? PAANO YUN?! Niyurakan pagkatao ko, labas lang sa kabilang tenga?!? Hindi pwede. Tatandaan ko ang pangalan niya at pagkatapos ng ilang taon, babalikan ko siya!!! Mahigit 10 taon na ang nakalipas, tinatawanan ko na lang ito - at hindi ko na rin maalala ang pangalan niya. . Mabuhay ang mga fresh grad, mga aliping saguiguilid, mga nasa ilalim ng food chain - sa Makati man o hindi! Darating ang araw, magiging iyo ang huling halakhak...pero mapapangiti ka na lang.# Never Not Love You is now showing in over 200 cinemas nationwide. A post shared by Antoinette Jadaone (@tonet_jadaone) on Apr 8, 2018 at 6:43am PDT

 

The still showed Joanne on the phone, with cups of coffee and a paper bag, presumably with food (that wasn’t hers) in tow. “May isang deleted scene sa Never Not Love You – nung inutusan si Joanne bumili ng sandamukal na kape para sa miting – na tining ko’y pinagdaanan ng maraming mga fresh grad sa Makati bilang aliping saguiguilid,” said Jadaone.

(There’s a deleted scene wherein Joanne is told to buy tons of coffee for a meeting. I think it’s something many fresh graduates working in Makati as ‘aliping saguiguilid’ experienced.)

If you recall your Araling Panlipunan lessons from way back, “aliping saguiguilid” or “aliping sagigilid” refers to slaves who lived in the houses of their masters. They were among the lowest social classes in the Philippines.

In the contemporary world, the term is often used to describe young professionals at the bottom of the office totem pole – precisely the space Joanne occupied at the beginning of Jadaone’s movie.

Jadaone recalled that back in the day, she was told to join a client meeting only to be told that the client did not want to see her there. The director went on to say that she promised to herself that she would forever remember the name of the client and get back at him or her one day.

But… “Mahigit 10 taon na ang nakalipas, tinatawanan ko na lang ito - at hindi ko na rin maalala ang pangalan niya,” she concluded. (It’s been over 10 years and I just laugh about it now. I also don’t remember his or her name.)

Mabuhay ang mga fresh grad, mga aliping saguiguilid, mga nasa ilalim ng food chain - sa Makati man o hindi! Darating ang araw, magiging iyo ang huling halakhak...pero mapapangiti ka na lang,” she concluded.

(Long live all fresh grads, aliping saguiguilid, those at the bottom of the food chain – in Makati or elsewhere. One day, the last laugh will be yours. But you’ll end up just laughing about it after.)

Reviews for the movie have been generally positive. In its first 5 days, it earned over P33 million, according to ABS-CBN. – Rappler.com