Samantha (Rhian Ramos) is a graduate student living and studying in London. But when a fatal traffic accident claims the life of her parents, she returns to the Philippines from the British capital. But she soon discovers that she has spent so long away from the country that she feels disconnected from the lives of her family and childhood friends. Meanwhile, Eric (Osric Chau) was also born in the Philippines, but has lived in the United States since he was a young child and his parents divorced. He has built a career as a stunt performer and has come to the Philippines alongside Jun Jie (Chris Pang), a movie star, to work on a new movie set in the Philippine capital Manila. Eric also senses that although he is in his native country, he does not really feel at ease with the local culture. When Eric and Samantha meet, they realize that they used to go to the same school as young children. But they also learn that they have become kindred souls – at once belonging and not belonging in the nation of their birth. Instead, they become drawn to one another… “Empty by Design” is a 2019 Filipino movie that was directed by Andrea A. Walter.