What is expected to be a happy family vacation turned into a tragedy when Jessica Santiago lost her kid sister at the sea 12 years ago. Unable to cope with guilt and unable to get her mother’s affection, Jessie grew up as a competitive person. Deep inside, she longed for her kid sister but would she be able to accept her once she comes back in their life?
Joana Santiago was only four years old when she was unintentionally separated from her elder sister, Jessica. Jessie was busy watching the baby turles when Joana slipped away from her sight. Now Joana as Anna Bartolome, adopted daughter of a poor family in a fishing village in Zambales, would she be able to adjust to her original family’s lifestyle and leave behind the family that showered her with love all these years?
“Way Back Home” is not just a movie about a missing young child with a grieving mother and a guilt-stricken sister. It is also a metaphor about how Mr. and Mrs. Santiago actually lost their elder daughter along the way. While Joana assumed the identity of Anna and had vague memories of her origins, Jessie had it all in her mind: Joana’s memories, the guilt, the pain and the search for her mother’s affection.
Finding Joana after 12 years could have been the start of a happy family life again for the Santiagos but Jessie made life difficult for her sister. Threatened by her sister’s presence, her life dramatically went down and was nearing to go to a downward spiral. Joana, naive of her sister’s behavior just enjoyed life with her original family while having her adopted family’s love, too. Worse, she became friends with AJ, Jessie’s ex-boyfriend with whom she had a not-so-good break up. This friendship somehow threatened Michael, her childhood friend and a secret admirer but it was clear with Joana that AJ would never be her boyfriend because she felt that AJ was still in love with her sister.
The confrontation scene at the beach is the highlight of this movie. Here, the sisters opened up and spilled out their hidden feelings. Years of anger, guilt and attention-seeking consumed Jessie’s life while feelings of being unaccepted (by Jessie) haunted Joana. Jessie dared Joana to a swimming race at the sea with the condition that if she (Jessie) wins, Joana would leave and if she (Jessie) loses, Joana could stay. Apprehensive at first, Joana obliged just to put an end to their issue. Since Jessie had no formal training at the sea, she drowned. Joana rescued her sister. She won. But would she stay?
Joana thought that it would be best to just go back to her adoptive family and continue life in Zambales. Mrs. Santiago gave her attention to Jessie; mother and daughter reconciled. Jessie thought life without Joana would never be complete. She decided to go to Zambales with her family to apologize to Joana and to convince her to come back home. The sisters reconciled. It was a happy ending for the Santiagos.
Julia Montes is gonna be the next important star of ABS-CBN. Aside from her pretty face, the girl can act. She looks familiar because she used to appear in Going Bulilit as Mara Montes.
Kathryn Bernardo is said to be the next Judy Ann Santos. Her sweetness is infectious and she can also act. She used to appear in Going Bulilit, too.