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Everyone knows that Josephine Eusebio Constantino Asuncion—you probably know here as Yeng Constantino—is a gifted singer and songwriter. Twelve years since her Pinoy Dream Academy win, she still dominates local music charts and airwaves. Her songs “Hawak Kamay,” “Chinito,” and “Jeepney Love Story” are all big hits.

What’s less known is her interest acting, a talent which she debuted in Shift alongside Felix Roco. There, she played a tomboyish call center agent in love with her gay colleague. This year, she returns to the big screen in The Eternity Between Seconds opposite TJ Trinidad. She plays a Korean-Filipino about to meet her father for the first time, and ends up bonding with a stranger at the terminal. Directed by Alex Figuracion, it is the first Filipino feature film set entirely in an airport.

We grabbed more than a few seconds of Yeng’s time to talk about her latest project.

What is the movie about?

Sa pagkakaintindi ko—siyempre iba naman ‘yung perspective ng director namin—the movie is about two strangers na nagkakilala sa airport. One is afraid na lumabas sa airport sa Korea and the other one naman is takot lumipad pabalik ng Pilipinas so stuck sila sa isang place. It’s interesting ‘yung mga bagay na na-discover nila sa isa’t-isa. Parehas silang may struggle, magkaiba lang. They are just lucky na nakilala nila ‘yung isa’t-isa and they found comfort in each other.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the character you play?

Sa movie na ito, ako si Sam. Sobrang close ako sa lola ko and sa mom ko, pero hindi ko kilala ’yung dad ko. Si Sam, hindi pa niya alam ’yung gusto niyang gawin in life. Para siyang nasa crossroad. Punta ba ko sa kanan? Punta ba ko sa kaliwa? I don’t know where to go so I just want to stay here. May ganun siyang mindset.

Do you think you’re similar to Sam?

Hindi kasi talagang alam ko ‘yung gusto ko. When I want something, talagang gumagawa ako ng mga steps to achieve what I want. Also, isa pang pagkakaiba namin is baby ako ng tatay ko. Best friend ko ’yung tatay ko. ‘Di ko ma-imagine kung ano ’yung feeling na ’di mo kilala ’yung tatay mo.

You said before that this movie is full of symbolism. Why is that?

Katulad ng dalawang taong stuck sa airport, simbolo din siya ng state ng puso o mind. Confused ka. It’s just there sa malaking-malaking airport na ’yun. Feeling ko kasi, nasa ibang bansa kami pero parang never mong makikita ’yung Korea. ’Yung airport lang talaga. It might be because of fear so may hindi na-explore. May ganoong feeling.

How was the filming?

Dun sa film, ’yung characters ’di sila lumabas ng airport. In real life, kaming crew, nakita naman namin ‘yung Korea kasi ‘yung hotel namin nasa Myeongdong. It’s just that sobrang tired na kami at the end of the day na bumabalik na lang ako sa hotel tapos natutulog. The next day, we have to wake up at 5 or 6 am to prepare. Uuwi na naman kami ng mga late ng gabi. Pero enjoy ’yung crew.

What made you decide to do this?

Una, alam kong may mae-experience akong iba’t-ibang emosyon. Naga-add siya ng kulay sa pagkanta at songwriting ko. May makakatrabaho rin ako na ibang tao. May maririnig akong ibang istorya. It’s another way for me to inspire myself. Pangalawa, sa Korea siya ishu-shoot, so na-excite ako sa thought na pwede akong maggala. Pangatlo, si Melai (Entuna), ’yung producer ng film na ’to, nakatrabaho ko na siya sa Shift. Nung in-approach niya ko, naisip ko na siguro ang ganda ng film na ’to kaya kinuha niya ulit. Pang-apat ay nung finally nakita ko na ’yung script. Ang unique talaga ng story. Ang daming taong makaka-relate at merong mga tanong sa isip ng mga kabataan na masasagot through this film.

We’re curious, too, since you’re a songwriter. Did you create a track for this film or would it be an inspiration for future songs?

I think more of an inspiration. Wala akong sinulat na song para sa movie namin. ’Yung na-experience ko sa film na ’to, mayroon na kong mga na-feel na melodies na lumalabas sa heart ko. Siguro magiging kanta siya one day.

What would be the takeaway of moviegoers?

Gaya ng nasabi ko, may mga kabataan ngayon na hindi pa alam ‘yung gusto nilang gawin and hindi nila alam kung paano mag-move forward. Ayokong maging spoiler pero I think kung sila ’yung mga tipo ng tao na ganun, kailangan nilang panoorin ‘yung movie na ’to.

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