• Creatively Asian

The Hows of Us

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

Is love worth it?

Is it worth sleepless nights with books splayed across the kitchen table as the same broken chords and grunts of frustration drift from the living room? Is it worth dark circles under eyes that should be full of love but instead have grown sorrowful and tired? Is it worth having only a candle to illuminate the kitchen and bedroom because passion can’t pay the bills? Is it worth sacrificing your dreams because you know how much they love theirs? Is it worth watching everything you loved about them break down into everything you hate?

But what about the small hugs from behind as you do the dishes? How about strolling down the produce aisle at the grocery store with their hand intertwined with yours? Or the soft words of comfort when your nerves are acting up? What about all the lovely things about love?

Is it worth it to love again?

Even if your heart isn’t catching up to your head and you’re afraid of having to piece together the pieces of your shattered heart again? Is it worth it, even if you’ve built a life after their absence? What if their smile still makes your heart flutter and you still wished you could bottle up their laughter for rainy days? What are you supposed to do if they always make you into a fool always intoxicated on the memory of their love?

Each of these questions is examined in Cathy Garcia-Molina’s 2018 film, The Hows of Us. The movie walks the viewers through a 7-year relationship between Kathryn Bernardo’s George and Daniel Padilla’s Primo, their time apart, and their reunion. Opening in on an empty home and the initially sweet interactions of the couple searching for a couch and a future with one another. As the camera pans across the room, their once heartfelt back and forth slowly shifts into bickering and finally, into a screaming match.

The movie skips back and forth between flashbacks of George and Primo’s relationship and present day with Primo attempting to woo George back into his arms and her rolling her eyes at each advance. During flashbacks, viewers watch Primo’s small gestures dusted with love and George melt for him but they also witness his passion turn into petulance and promises with no follow through. In the present, George is trying to sell their old home in order to make enough money to travel to Amsterdam with her younger brother. Interested only in getting Primo to sign off to leave their home for sale, George separates the space with lines of tape so he doesn’t get in her way. Despite all of this, Primo persists. Well, you know how this one goes...

The Hows of Us beautifully captures the frustration of a yearning heart, the importance of growing on your own, and getting timing just right. The movie leaves the viewers to answer the question: Is this love worth a second chance because no matter how much time has passed, your heart never stops asking for more of them?

Written by Mariel Bumanglag.