How Facebook helped 'That Thing Called Tadhana'

By Nicole Abigail Cham,

Posted at Jun 29 2015 06:20 PM | Updated as of Jun 30 2015 02:20 AM

Direk Tonet at the 2015 Social Media Day. Photo by Patrick Quintos,

MANILA – "That Thing Called Tadhana'' would have had lost one of the most essential part of the blockbuster film if it were not for social media.

Writer-director Antoinette Jadaone recalled that just days before the film's showing, Universal Records and Sony charged the "Tadhana" team over P200,000 for the use of Whitney Houston's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?".

"Gusto ko talaga 'yung 'Where Do Broken Hearts Go'. Isa pa hindi namin pwede i-shoot yung videoke scene... Sabi ko, gagawan natin ng paraan para makuha 'yung P225,000," she said during last Saturday's Social Media Day celebration at the Museong Pambata. 

Where do broken hearts go nga ba talaga, Tita Whitney?Bakit ba gwapung-gwapo kayong mga babae kay John Lloyd? At bakit ang hilig-hilig n'yong hinahanap ang sarili sa Baguio?At saka, paturo naman...paano ba makalimot?"THAT THING CALLED TADHANA"Starring ANGELICA PANGANIBAN and JM DE GUZMANIn theaters FEBRUARY 4, 2015!!!Written and Directed by Antoinette JadaoneProduced by Cinema One OriginalsDistributed by Star Cinema"Paano ba makalimot? Gaano katagal?" -Mace"Matagal." -Anthony"Gaano nga katagal? One year? Two years? 3? 4? 5?""Importante pa ba 'yun? Ang mahalaga, nakalimutan."Winner of the following at the 2014 Cinema One Originals:BEST ACTRESS (Angelica Panganiban)AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDChampion Bughaw Award for BEST FILMLet's watch this Hugot Movie of 2015 and find out why it sold out all screenings during its limited release last November!PLEASE SHARE TO YOUR TATANGA-TANGA SA PAG-IBIG FRIENDS! Dahil masarap magpakatanga sa FEBRUARY 4 kung may kasama kang kapwa tanga, 'di ba?Youtube link:

Posted by That Thing Called Tadhana on Friday, December 26, 2014

Jadaone said they have already exhausted all their funds and P225,000 was already beyond their budget. Facing a roadblock, Direk Tonet turned to social media – particularly Facebook – for crowdfunding.

In a Facebook post dated November 4, 2014, Jadaone, explained the situation for the "Tadhana" team and kindly asked for help.

Direk Tonet showing a portion of the Facebook post that helped 'Tadhana' push through. Photo by Patrick Quintos,

Four days after she posted her appeal on Facebook, the team was able to raise P185,000 -- just P40,000 shy of the amount Universal Records and Sony was charging them.

"Sobrang laki ng naitulong ng social media kasi wala naman kami masyadong pera for commercials. 'Yung mga sponsored post 'yung parang naging mga TV spots namin," Jadaone said.

This strategy worked as "That Thing Called Tadhana" earned at least P130 million in the box office and is now considered the "highest grossing Filipino indie film of all time."

Direk Tonet showing how her Facebook post performed. Photo by Patrick Quintos,

For young filmmakers, here are some tips from Direk Tonet on how to use social media, not only to raise funds, but also awareness about your film.

1. Facebook Page

The" Tadhana" team created a Facebook Page before the release of the movie. This became a venue for them to promote their film in their own creative ways, without the constraints of TV ads.

"Naging word-of-mouth siya," Jadaone said of the film's Facebook page that has 91,000 followers – and still growing.

2. Create a persona

Direk Tonet suggests that a film's Facebook page should take the voice of the film itself.

"Kung ano 'yung persona ng pelikula mo, kung ano 'yung produkto mo ganoon dapat 'yung pino-post mo," she said.

Aside from posting behind-the-scene photos, the"Tadhana" team also posted "hugot" lines from the movie.

#DoTheTadhanaPose sa FEBRUARY 4, 2015! Kitakits sa mga sinehan! #ThatThingCalledTadhana

Posted by That Thing Called Tadhana on Wednesday, December 31, 2014

3. Audience participation

Make your posts engaging, Jadaone said, stressing the importance of interaction with the Facebook community. "'Yung mga post na ipo-post natin, dapat engaging. Hindi lang dapat tayo 'yung bigay nang bigay. Dapat nag-i-interact din 'yung followers mo sa 'yo," she said.

In the case of Jadaone's film, the team was able to harvest a lot of user-generated "Tadhana" posters that increased the buzz about the film online.

4. "Huwag puro plugging!"

Lastly, Jadaone stressed the importance of the "human" element in social media.

"Post with sincerity," said Direk Tonet. "Nakaka-turn-off 'yung manood kayo ng ganyan-ganyan, paulit-ulit."

She stressed that while social media is a filmmaker's best ally, it can also be one's enemy.

"Ang magandang naitututlong ng social media sa mga pelikula, kasi it's free advertisement," she said. "Pero sa kabilang banda kapag pangit ang pelkula mo, madali lang nilang sabihing 'yuck!' o 'sauli-bayad! Ano ba 'yan ang pangit!'"

Jadaone said that a filmmaker should always ensure on the quality of the film first before going to social media.