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July 07, 2016

A Centenarian's Story of Curiosity, Love & Adventure! (A Review) @NanaFilm


July 07, 2016

A Centenarian's Story of Curiosity, Love & Adventure! (A Review) @NanaFilm

Nana

I'm fascinated by people who live for 100+ years and get to tell the story of their life.  

I've always wondered, "what is the secret to living a long awesome life?"

This is the story of Jessie Lichauco, lovingly called Nana by her family, immortalized in a documentary film by her granddaughter, Sunshine de Leon.

Here's what I think about the film, Curiosity, Love & Adventure... 

Curiosity, Love & Adventure
Produced and Directed by Sunshine Lichauco de Leon and Suzanne Richiardone
Website: http://www.curiosityadventureandlove.com/
Facebook: Curiosity, Adventure, and Love
Twitter: @nanafilm
Email: curiosityadventureandlove@gmail.com
Contact: Sunshine de Leon +63 917 621-9979

Related Article: ‘Tita Jessie’ at 104: A story of curiosity, adventure, love

SYNOPSIS: One woman’s journey through a century of love, war and discovery.

Curiosity, Adventure & Love is the story of a woman raised by fate to go boldly where few young women of her time and upbringing would go into the arms of chance and life. A young American woman leaves her country and all security behind, to begin an adventure in the Philippines that would witness the birth of a nation, Japanese Occupation, and reconstruction.

Jessie, is a striking personality, somewhere between Scarlett O’Hara and Amelia Earhart, who knew no boundaries and flew far ahead of her times, without regard to sex or society. 
Her story of a century well-lived is both rich and one that should restore our faith in our own humanity.

 

Untitled
(Young Jessie Lichauco)

I first heard about Jessie from the book Dear Mother Putnam written by her husband Marcial P. Lichauco, which is a diary of what happened during the Second World War in the Philippines from the eyes of the Lichauco family. 

She left the US to go to an unknown country--the Philippines--and immediately married her husband and started their life in our beloved nation. 

She's a pioneer of leaving everything behind to travel, which is currently the "millennial" thing to do.

 

Untitled
(Jessie Lichauco at age 102) 

"I can’t imagine living all over again, it would be impossible for anybody to live the kind of a life that I have lived. And I have come and believed and accepted by everybody. And I feel that I have no enemies, I have only love and respect and affection. And I feel the same way comes from my heart to all of you, blessed friends." - Jessie Lichauco

All our grandparents have already passed away so it's quite rare to get a clear picture of what it was like living during the war and realize how fortunate our lives are at this moment.

How I wish to be part of their family or have that rare chance to debate about life, love, and adventure. The film is my closest encounter to a living centenarian.

 

 

Untitled
(Burning Manila, February 27, 1945, courtesy of John Tewell)

I love how the film told the story of the Philippines during World War 2. How Manila was the center of culture in Asia before it was completely devasted during the Japanese occupation.

I hope Sunshine considers doing a film about Dear Mother Putnam, a more in-depth look into the World War 2 era in Manila. 

 

 

Untitled
(Republic Day 4, photo from the Presidential Library and Museum of the Philippines)

Jessie had a front row seat to the fight for Independence of the Philippines from the Americans and how we became a republic in 1946.

I love how the film portrays the love of the Filipinos for our country during and even after the war.

It somehow got destroyed during the Martial Law era, which the film unfortunately omitted (for the sake of brevity).  

 

Sunshine

The film jumped to the present time talking about the poetry of Nana, her 250-year old Spanish colonial home, the Pasig river, and the ancient Banyan Tree in her garden.

I love how Sunshine immortalized Nana in the film and how she continues her living legacy with the way she lives her life. It felt like a prequel to the story of Sunshine. 

"And I have to thank Sunshine for the patience and the research and the memory and above all, for the love and the interest that you’ve put into this presentation which still surprised me a great deal.

And I thank you all for your friendship, for your love, and for your concern and I hope that you will continue to do that to my children and to my grandchildren, and hold me in your memory. Once in a while, say a prayer for me. I’ll see Marcial eventually.

Thank you Sunshine for your perseverance--that is what has produced this. I don’t know where you got all this…I must say you are a good reporter and a good researcher so keep it up." - Jessie Lichauco

 

In the end, Nana revealed that the secret to a long awesome life is being more curious, going out of your comfort zone, and loving not only your immediate family but the community around you, especially the less fortunate.

It's a must-watch film for people on a soul-searching journey or looking for a feel good Centenarian story to spark your sense of Curiosity, Adventure, and Love.

 

Official Poster

Curiosity, Love & Adventure
Produced and Directed by Sunshine Lichauco de Leon and Suzanne Richiardone
Website: http://www.curiosityadventureandlove.com/
Facebook: Curiosity, Adventure and Love
Twitter: @nanafilm
Email: curiosityadventureandlove@gmail.com
Contact: Sunshine de Leon +63 917 621-9979

Related Article: ‘Tita Jessie’ at 104: A story of curiosity, adventure, love

 

Live an Awesome Life,

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Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com  

Disclosure: Sunshine is a friend and we watched the gala premiere of the film for the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights

P.S. Don't miss the last two shows this weekend in Manila before it goes on to international film festivals.  

Screening Schedule


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