MANILA, Philippines — For Filipinos who always dream of a better life for family, Hong Kong will always serve as a charming backdrop for romantic movies and family relations because it sparks hope and happiness and the promise of a better life in us.
No wonder it has served as the setting for many Filipino love stories, such as the recently premiered short film titled “Toss Coin” directed by award-winning film director, Cathy Garcia-Sampana. It features breakout stars KD Estrada and Alexa Ilacad, and takes viewers on a wild goose chase around the vibrant streets of Hong Kong.
“Toss Coin” follows the story of Kiko (KD) and Pia (Alexa) and an unexpected encounter that all begins with a simple toss of a coin. The two embark on a journey around Hong Kong that later unravels into a sweet and touching romance, exploring themes of destiny, belief, and the courage to embrace opportunities. While the two lead characters are shown busy playing hide and seek with fate, the film showcases a variety of fun and fresh attractions every traveler should experience when visiting "Asia’s World City."
Check out some of the locations featured in “Toss Coin” and what is great to do in each place:
Stroll along and marvel at the vibrant murals in Sai Kung
In almost every frame of the short film, viewers will find scenic backdrops highlighting Hong Kong’s rich natural landscapes, remarkable architecture, and colorful murals. These elements inspired Garcia-Sampana so much so that several key scenes in the movie (including the opening) were shot in the beautiful district of Sai Kung.
“When I first came over here, I fell in love with the place. Their artworks are so beautiful, and we’re going to feature all of them,” Garcia-Sampana shared.
Also featured in the film is the Sai Kung branch of popular Hong Kong-based coffee chain The Coffee Academics. The building is covered in murals and is a visual treat for visitors as they sip their coffee. The IG-worthy cafe is definitely a go-to for coffee lovers looking to take aesthetic photos.
Just a 30-minute drive from the bustling city center, Sai Kung offers travelers a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. With beautiful murals everywhere you look and a picturesque view of Hong Kong’s landscape, you can just sit back with a cup of hot coffee on hand and lose yourself in the beautiful district where nature and art intersect.
Explore the modern and the traditional at the HKMoA and the Opera Gallery
Established in 1962, the Hong Kong Museum of Art (HKMoA) is the first public art museum in the city. With over 18,800 curated pieces from all over the world, it brings together traditional and contemporary pieces that highlight the unique culture and thriving arts scene in the city.
As seen in the “Toss Coin,” the museum is also beautifully located along the famous Victoria Harbour and showcases the ever-iconic Hong Kong skyline. This breathtaking view was intentionally shown in the movie, a decision made by the “Toss Coin” team.
“Every place that we’ve been to has been really beautiful, so we want to showcase the beautiful places to the audience,” Alexa shared.
After a day of touring the diverse exhibits at the museum, check out Hollywood Road at Central for more galleries like the Opera Gallery featured in the film. This place is home to works by both emerging and internationally renowned artists and sculptors and is sure to be a treat for art lovers.
Spend a day at M+ and the West Kowloon Cultural District
M+, located in the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world. A work of art in itself, the museum stands among other iconic landmarks overlooking Victoria Harbour, with an LED display integrated into the building’s facade to display works of art.
M+ has turned out to be KD’s favorite out of all the filming locations visited.
According to him: “Hong Kong is super fun, going around the different locations has been so much fun. I love M+. It’s so nice there. It’s a place full of inspiration, and it’s really encouraging for us.”
While the film features only a glimpse of the museum, it's important to note that M+ houses thousands of works on display, as 777 artists from over 35 countries are represented there. A trip to M+ and the newly developed WKCD would require almost a whole day dedicated to exploring their various exhibits and attractions, so make sure to set aside some time in your next visit to fully immerse yourself in Hong Kong’s engaging culture.
Unleash your creativity with the local artisans in PMQ
PMQ, formerly known as the Hollywood Road Police Married Quarters, is a revitalized historical site that houses a variety of design and creative enterprises right at the heart of Hong Kong. This unique space is a go-to for art aficionados and artists alike and also serves as a hub for design and creative innovation.
As shown in the film, PMQ is often the location for interactive events and installations, enjoyed by visitors of all ages. On top of these events, visitors can also sign up and attend workshops by local artisans, covering a range of mediums from crocheting to jewelry-making. A handmade souvenir will definitely make your trip to Hong Kong a memorable one.
Shop till you drop in Causeway Bay
What initially looks like any other street crossing in the final “Toss Coin” scene is actually the ever-iconic Causeway Bay. A popular spot among locals and tourists, Causeway Bay is the place to check out if you’re looking to shop till you drop.
From street markets and food stalls on one end, to luxury boutiques and upscale restaurants on the other, this bustling neighborhood will get you up on your very happy feet once you see all that it has to offer.
Like KD and Alexa, fall in love with the vibrant and dynamic streets of Hong Kong through a tour of these iconic attractions. Let “Toss Coin” orient you with these places, with the two young stars as your virtual guides.
With Hong Kong’s Arts Month and Art Basel coming up, knowledge of these locations will surely come in handy. So add them to your itinerary for your next visit and experience first-hand the charm and diverse wonders Hong Kong has to offer. Go on that journey that you have been dreaming about and see where destiny takes you. Get inspired by “Toss Coin.” Rewatch it on Viu or on ABS-CBN Star Cinema’s official Youtube channel and get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. You may also visit discoverhongkong.com for updates.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com