I’m not a film student nor a film enthusiast but I do appreciate a good movie whenever I see one. Since its still love month, I decided to make an entry about romantic Pinoy films which I consider as the best. Among my favorites are directed by Carlos Siguion Reyna, Laurice Guillen, Olivia M. Lamasan etc. (Sorry, no romcom kilig films from Ms. Cathy Garcia-Molina reached my Top 5) Bi loves watching Pinoy films and he’s told me his top 5 romantic films already. Oh well, here are my picks.
5. Mangarap ka (1995)
This movie is not a just love story about two childhood friends. It entails also the hardships, failures, and success of a young man named Nonoy (Mark Anthony Fernandez) when he and his childhood friend Jenny (Claudine Baretto) moved to the city to pursue their college studies in UP. Being “promdi”, Nonoy finds it hard to resist the social life his new environment has to offer which put a setback on his running career and his relationship with Jenny. He got hooked on vices, neglected his studies, and even ditched athletics wherein his university scholarship is at stake. His college life seems chill until he flirted with a colleague which angered Kier Legaspi, the girl’s boyfriend. Unbeknownst to Nonoy, Jenny has always had feelings for him until she finally got fed up of his changes. When Jenny left Nonoy, it was when he finally realized he also loves her. Will Nonoy be able to make up for the lost time and opportunities he used to have or will he just throw away his last chance to keep his scholarship, and shot at Jenny’s heart?
Fun fact: Dito sa pelikulang ito unang nabuksan ang aking kamalayan tungkol sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa dakong Diliman.
4. Una Kang Naging Akin (1991)
I’m not a fan of Sharon-Gabby love team but this movie is just too compelling to be ignored. Sharon stars here as an artist living in the beautiful beach of Palawan while Gabby is a rich man from Manila who’s soon to be wed with Dawn Zulueta, a socialite with a penchant for arts. Diosa (Sharon) and Nick (Gabby) have different lives but their fates crossed when Gabby had survived a chopper accident in Palawan and suffered from amnesia. Nick was presumed dead by his family and by his fiancee because the authorities found only burnt bodies from the chopper’s crash site. While in the city of Pto. Princesa, Nick’s act of courage got himself introduced to Dr. Mallari, Diosa’s father when he had helped him recover his bag from a robber. Dr. Mallari then brought the amnesia-stricken Darwin to their home where he and Diosa finally met. The two started a romance which led to the couple getting married despite Darwin’s illness. However, their romance was cut short when Darwin encountered a bus accident on the night of Diosa’s delivery which made Darwin remember who he truly was. He returned to his old love and life back in Manila and had totally forgotten about Diosa. This is where the tougher conflicts and emotional scenes came out. How did Diosa win back Nick? Just watch the whole movie.
This one is pretty tragic yet moving. Gelli De Belen went to the island of Camiguin after an incident involving a huge sum of money in Manila threatened to end her life. To hide the money as well, she sought refuge in the paradise of Camiguin. There, she fell in love with its breathtaking picturesque of abundant beaches, nature, and its captivating native, Jomari Yllana. Gelli being a street smart Manilena go-getter is the aggressive type while Jomari, her exact opposite, is a coy farmer who has lived all his life in the island. Despite their differences, the two fell deeply in love with each other. Everything seemed perfect but there’s one problem, Jomari has a fatal illness. As Jomari’s illness started to manifest, the problem Gelli left in Manila started haunting her as well posing threats to their relationship. But true love conquered it all. Gelli finally convinced Jomari to let her use the money for his medication but death took quickly his life. He died one rainy night when his illness attacked him on their way to the barrio clinic. Gelli’s cry here sent shivers down my spine. It was indeed moving. I can never forget the part when she dived under Camiguin’s famous sunken cemetery and hugged a submerged crucifix to express her undying love for her man.
Emman is a balikbayan from Japan who decided to start his live all over again by rekindling his lost passion for dancing to which he was hired by a powerful family of politicians, the Evelinos. There he met the beautiful Cedes, Dylan Evelino’s fiancee and she became his student. The film consumed much of the scenes on flashbacks which are at first confusing to me. But as the film progressed, it was understood that Emman (Aga Mulach) and Cedes’ (Angel Locsin) lives aren’t just connected through dance. Both share a painful past meant to be hidden to protect their lives from the ruthless Evelinos. This film is a well-crafted movie that tackles not only romance, but also current issues like the dirty politics, political violence, prostitution, and corruption per se. This movie sets the trend on how modern romantic movies should be. Truly a must see for every one!
1. Ikaw pa lang ang minahal (1992)
This movie top-billed by Maricel Soriano, Richard Gomez, and Eddie Gutierrez has always been my favorite from the day I first watched it on Cinema One. Maricel Soriano, played the lead character Adela, a naive yet caring daughter of an affluent doctor who yearns for her father’s love. Dr. Sevilla, Adela’s father despises her for his wife (Dawn Zulueta) died after giving birth to her 27 years ago. In Adela’s 27 years of existence she never felt loved by anyone even by her own father until David (Richard Gomez) came to her life. David wooed Adela and they became a couple much to her father’s dismay. Dr. Sevilla is convinced that David only wanted his daughter for her wealth and is taking advantage of her naivete. Adela is deeply in love with her very first lover while David appears confused. Well there are lots of kissing/love scenes portrayed in this film; in the fields, by the river, yet each has decent shots. What I love about this film is that despite being an innocent, fragile, and emotionally battered country lass who wallowed all her life in self-pity and then fell in love with the wrong man, Maricel became a strong, smart, and independent woman who finally freed herself from emotional pain.
Unforgettable moment while watching this film: I cried buckets of tears when Adela’s father died in her arms and her tormented cry reverberated in his dark room.