'Coming Home' pays tribute to triumphs of Filipino family

Former senator Jinggoy Estrada makes his much-awaited movie comeback via “Coming Home,” a heartwarming story about family, reconciliation and redemption.

Initially earmarked for the 1st Summer Metro Manila Film Festival, it recently made the cut as one of the 10 official entries in this year’s online edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

“Coming Home,” touted as the perfect Christmas Day offering due to its focus on core Pinoy family values, pairs Jinggoy with award-winning dramatic actress Sylvia Sanchez, a familiar face among televiewers because of her top-rating ABS-CBN teleserye, “Pamilya Ko.”

Jinggoy and Sylvia play husband and wife -- the pivotal characters in the inspiring family drama.

Making her silver screen debut is Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up Ariella “Ara” Arida, who plays the reluctant mistress whose own family issues put her relationship to the test when faced with a moral dilemma.

“Coming Home” also features a formidable ensemble led by award-winning actors Martin del Rosario and Edgar Allan Guzman, Jake Ejercito, Shaira Diaz, Vin Abrenica, Janna Agoncillo and Julian Estrada, together with Smokey Manaloto, Samantha Lopez, Almira Muhlach, Luis Hontiveros, Alvin Anson, Chanel Morales, and Orlan Wamar, with the special participation of Geneva Cruz.

Line produced by ALV Films and produced by Maverick Films, “Coming Home” is directed by Adolfo Alix Jr., with screenplay by Gina Marissa Tagasa.

The award-winning director also penned the story’s initial concept.

“Coming Home” tackles the complex dynamics of a Filipino family dealing with issues and challenges that threaten to tear it apart, but eventually brought together in the end thanks to the prevailing power of love, forgiveness and redemption.

The story revolves around the triumphs and travails of Benedicto “Benny” Librada (Jinggoy) who rises from his humble beginnings to further his studies and eventually provide for his family’s brighter future as he works as an OFW in Qatar.

But even the toughest and most loyal patriarchs can stumble and succumb to temptation.

Away from family and caught at his most vulnerable moment, Benny soon finds himself smitten by the charm of Mercy Dungca (Ara), a registered nurse working in a Qatar hospital, who eventually ends up as Benny’s “reluctant mistress.”

Through all her family’s turbulent storms, Salve Librada (Sylvia) threshes out her role as martyr wife to the hilt -- maxing her strength and sacrificing her own interests just to keep her family together, and even doing her best to conceal her terminal illness until it’s too late.

Adding more color to the compelling family drama are the equally intricate relationships the Librada siblings Ned (EA), Yuri (Martin), Enji (Jake) and Sally (Shaira) get embroiled in.

Inspired in part by true-to-life events, “Coming Home” climaxes with a heartwrenching twist that will surely leave viewers in tears, as it brings to fore the indomitable Filipino family spirit, tempered by faith and forgiveness.

It’s a timely silver screen comeback for the former senator who bagged the FAMAS Best Actor award for his role in “Katas ng Saudi” (2007), which also won Best Picture that same year.

Estrada expressed his excitement about working with a dynamic cast and crew.

“I’m very excited about working alongside all these very good actors and actresses, and above all, of course, I feel inspired by this heartwarming story about the triumphs of the typical Filipino family. That’s something that always reflects our core values,” he said.

“Coming Home” is showing via Upstream.ph starting Christmas Day, December 25.