‘CAMP SAWI’

A dramedy to empower heartbroken women

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Love sells and so does heartbreak—at least in Philippine movies, which is currently hot on hugot or deeply sentimental offerings on the big screen in in the past year.

The latest from this “hugot genre” is Viva Films’ co-production with director Joyce Bernal’s N2 Productions, Camp Sawi, which from its tagline alone (“Move in to move on”) has already earned potential audience.

Directed by Bernal’s protégé Irene Villamor, Camp Sawi boasts not only of characters and situations that every kind of brokenhearted viewer can relate to, but also a stunning view of Bantayan Island where they shot a huge chunk of the movie.

But perhaps the most awaited element of the film is the cast ensemble led by five of today’s most attractive and arguably strongest female characters in showbiz: Andi Eigenmann, Bela Padilla, Yassi Pressman, Kim Molina, and Arci Muñoz.

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The femme fatale of ‘Camp Sawi:’ (from left) Yassi Pressman, Arci Muñoz, Bela Padilla, Andi Eigenmann and Kim Molina

The femme fatale of ‘Camp Sawi:’ (from left) Yassi Pressman, Arci Muñoz, Bela Padilla, Andi Eigenmann and Kim Molina

In the story, these five ladies enter Camp Sawi—a fictional boot camp—each carrying their baggage of heart breaks.

ABS-CBN talent Eigenmann is Clarisse, a former actress who suffers the consequences of being the other girl in her last relationship

Former FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano leading lady Padilla, meanwhile, plays Bridgette, a bank teller dumped by her long-time Chinese boyfriend for another girl.

Fresh out of her stint in Pinoy Big Brother, Pressman gives life to Jessica, a young sprightly cheerleader, who suddenly discovers that her boyfriend is already love with someone else.

Molina, who came into public consciousness for her excellent performance in the longest-running Filipino musical Rak of Aegis, is Joan, a young fiancée left lonesome when her other half dies after the proposal.

Finally, Muñoz—hailed by social media users as one of the fiercest celebrities today—is Gwen, a rock band chick whose band mate and boyfriend eventually breaks up with her.

Love, life lessons
More than a deeply sentimental movie, Camp Sawi aims to empower Filipinas who may be or might have experienced difficult break ups.

For Padilla, this is exactly what separates their new offering from the blockbuster movies that have tackled the same sentiment.

“Our movie’s focus is on women—how they deal with heartbreak and the idea of moving on. The audience will have a bigger understanding on how our minds work during this difficult time and how we help each other to move on,” the actress said.

Her co-stars, meanwhile, indulged The Manila Times with love and life lessons they have learned during their own, real-life breakups.

“Some people say that when you are in love, you should give your all—your 100 percent—to make the relationship work. But I say, you should leave something for yourself. Don’t give everything to your partner because you don’t know, you might one day break up. It’s sad to say but even married couples separate nowadays. When that happens, what will be left of you?” Molina pointed out.

“And when you have regretfully broken up, always keep in mind that he is not the only person in your world; you have your friends and your family who have been there even before you met him. There are tons of other people in your world who love you as much, if not even more,” the actress added.

As for Pressman, her piece of advice revolves around realizing your other half’s misdeeds.

“You should wake up! Sometimes it is hard to admit that your partner is doing things couples must not do to their partners but that’s because you are blinded by love,” Pressman shared.

More often than not, she further noted, that you either won’t believe their misdeeds because they are “your world,” and you’d like to believe that they won’t anything wrong to you.

“That was so me when I was in a relationship. I have a lot of friends who would shake me up to reality but I would always say that it was OK and my then boyfriend and I could work it out. Eventually we broke up and I had to thank my friends for seeing what I couldn’t at that time,” the actress and stage performer added.

For the feisty Eigenmann, meanwhile, she could relate to the depth of her character who exudes women empowerment the most.

“I feel like among all of the characters, the character of Clarisse really stands for feminism and women empowerment in the sense that being a woman and being put into that kind of relationship [being the mistress]doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take everything your partner says,” Eigenmann related.

Additionally, her character is in a relationship with an older man, from which she learned, “Also even if he is much older, women should not just blindly follow their partners. You should know that, as a woman or a human being in general, you deserve better than that kind of treatment.”

Eigenmman made it crystal clear, however, that she has never been a kept woman but she admires her character’s strong belief. “Not that I want to be in that position but it is reassuring to know that the way that I think is OK–that there’s no crime in thinking that I should put myself first, and not to allow people to step on me or to make me feel that I am only second best. After the movie, I realized that I don’t have to settle for that.”

On a lighter note, The Manila Times asked the ladies for their coping mechanisms when it comes to breakups.

“During my first breakup, I developed my love for boxing. Back then it was just a stress reliever but now it’s a sport for me. So to all ladies out there, find ways to be happy—it could be your family or, in my case, in exercising. It might actually be better for you,” Pressman first offered.

Molina, on the other hand, revealed, “Work. It is the best diversion.”

Finally, Eigenmann generously shared, “When I had my heartbroken, I travelled a lot. I’m a naturist; I meditate, explore, and even do treks. Being able to immerse myself in these things that I’ve been so keen on doing even when I was in a relationship helped me get out of that hell hole, that ordeal of thinking that life has no meaning without that person.”

Camp Sawi opens today in cinemas nationwide.

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