Pauwi Na (Pedicab): A Heart-Wrenching Homecoming Tale

Written by Angela Cortero and Camille Dominique Javier

Praised for “the humanism and universality of the story, for the simplicity of the style and realization, [and] for the non-conformism with which it represented our desire to believe that there is a sense in this Universe,” Pauwi Na (‘Pedicab’) narrates the heart-wrenching tale of a family’s journey out of their poverty-stricken life in Manila, to a hopefully better life in the province. The film won the Best Feature Film at Shanghai Filmfest back in June 25, 2017 and was one of the 12 participating films for Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, that ran last August.

RELATED: PH Film “Pedicab” Wins Best Film at Shanghai International Film Fest

The film is inspired by a true story which the director, Paolo Villanueva, read in an issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The film’s plot tugs on the heartstrings of Filipino viewers because it tells the story that is very familiar to us—the struggle of a poverty-stricken family to keep their faith amidst adversity and seemingly endless suffering.

Despite the somewhat somber overall plot line, the Pauwi Na is studded with relatable Filipino humor derived from familiar mannerisms we encounter from time to time.

It also features an unlikely cast of characters, including a pet dog named Kikay, who some dog-loving viewers would perhaps be amused with, and a figure of a modernized Jesus Christ that appears to ironically only be visible to Isabel, a blind and pregnant woman and who shares some invaluable wisdom about miracles and suffering. The exceptional portrayal of Bembol Roco as Pepe the pedicab driver, Cherry Pie Picache as Rem (Pepe’s wife), Meryll Soriano as Isabel, Jerald Napoles as JP, Chai Fonacier as JP’s sister, and Jess Mendoza as Jesus.

From QC to Bicol, on a pedicab! Byahe na with #PauwiNa – now showing at #SMCinema. #PPP2017atSMCinema

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Overall, the film left us many #feels and some food for thought about how to go about the suffering we face from time to time. We needn’t spoil the details for those who haven’t seen it, but the film really highlights the Filipino’s value for family life—how much one would willingly give up just to give the ones we love a better life and a better future. In other words, #walangiwanan as Pepe and Rem said in the film.

Pauwi Na (“Pedicab”) is a 10/10 movie, as long as you don’t mind possibly tearing up.

Did you see the movie? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.