‘The Arrow With a Heart Pierced Through Him’ from ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ is a real book

Vernise Tantuco
‘The Arrow With a Heart Pierced Through Him’ from ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ is a real book
Antoinette Jadaone writes and publishes the the book from the movie, with illustrations by 'Tadhana' animator Onin Pilotin

MANILA, Philippines – Before the parody Twitter account Titas of Manila, there was  Tita Witty, giving funny and relatable quotes and advice about braving the world of love. Behind Tita Witty were Antoinette Jadaone and Chinggay Nuque, the owners of Witty Will Save the World Co, a small company that sold planners and slumbooks filled with Tita Witty’s words of wisdom.

Today, Tonette and Chinggay are releasing the first book under Witty, titled The Arrow With A Heart Pierced Through Him, the same book that was featured in director Tonette’s That Thing Called Tadhana. (READ:Antoinette Jadaone and the romantic road to ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’)


In the movie, it was written by characters Mace Castillo (Angelica Panganiban) and illustrated by Anthony Lagdameo (JM de Guzman), and Tonette’s book says so too, underneath the book jacket. In real life though, The Arrow With a Heart Pierced Through Him was written by Tonette and illustrated by Onin Pilotin. (READ: Director Antoinette Jadaone weighs in on ‘Tadhana’ ending: What happened to Mace and Anthony?)

TWO COVERS. The jacket of 'The Arrow With a Heart Pierced Through Him' has Antoinette Jadaone and Onin Filotin's names, but the cover says it was written by 'That Thing Called Tadhana' characters Mace Castillo and Anthony Lagdameo. Photo courtesy of Witty Will Save the World, Co

Unlike Mace and Anthony, Tonette and Onin aren’t in a romantic relationship (Tonette is currently dating director Dan Villegas), but they do have history working together – Onin is Tonette’s go-to animator for her films.

Actually siya yung… animator ko from my first film pa, 2011, ta’s every time na kailangan ko ng animator, ayun. Kasi mabilis siya gumawa, ta’s maganda,” Tonette said of Onin, laughing. “Mabihira yung mabilis na maganda. Tapos sobra siya magcollaborate, yung detalyado talaga.”

(Actually he was… the animator for my first film, in 2011, and every time I need an animator, there. Because he works fast and with great quality. It’s rare to have fast work and good quality. And he’s good at collaborating, he has great attention to detail.)

Watch Dan’s message for Tonette at the book launch below: 

Photo courtesy of Witty Will Save the World, Co

Tonette collaborated with Onin again for the book, because she wanted it to feel like it was part of the Tadhana movie. “Tapos very emotions-filled yung movie so dapat yung book, since hindi siya nakakapagsalita, wala siyang music, dapat yung aside from the story, the writing, yung illustrations din will do the emotions.

(The movie was filled with emotions, so the book, since it can’t speak, it doesn’t have music, aside from the story, the writing, the illustrations should convey emotions, too.)

Photo courtesy of Witty Will Save the World, Co

Onin joined Tonette and the press before the public book launch, and told us that a lot of his own experiences with heartache reflected in his work for the book. “Personally, may hugot talaga yung mga drawings. Parang ito, parang naging outlet ko din sa pagmove on eh, so from a broken hearted person – this book came out.”

(Personally, the drawings really come from a special place. This sort of became my outlet for moving on, so from a broken-hearted person – this book came out.)

Tonette is no stranger to heartache herself – she’s known as the “hugot director” and screenwriter behind several hit romcoms, plus the TV show On the Wings of Love – but uses her run-ins with love for her work too. “Yung heartbreak, it’s something very painful, pero (but) if you know how to use it to your advantage it can do beautiful things.”

Photo courtesy of Witty Will Save the World, Co

At the book launch proper, with Tonette’s fans present, Chinggay shared that she read The Arrow With a Heart Pierced Through Him years ago – way before That Thing Called Tadhana, and before Tonette’s first film.

Sana mahanap mo na. See you later at Fully Booked BGC at 6pm!

A photo posted by Witty Will Save the World, Co. (@titawitty) on


It’s taken years to release the book, but it couldn’t have happened without the success of her films, especially Tadhana.

“Wala naman kaming money before to publish a book, so after nung That Thing Called Tadhana, since it’s a dream film come true, why not have another dream of mine, and of Chinggay, and of our illustrator, come true also?”

FICTION TO REALITY. Director Antoinette Jadaone turned 'The Arrow With A Heart Pierced Through Him' from her movie 'That Thing Called Tadhana' into an actual book. Photo courtesy of Witty Will Save the World, Co

The Arrow With a Heart Pierced Through Him is available at Fully Booked and Quirks branches at P850.

Will you be grabbing a copy of Tonette’s The Arrow With a Heart Pierced Through Him? Tell us in the comments below! – Rappler.com

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Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.