- A big chunk of Filipino films released last year were romance flicks.
- Aside from the popular loveteams of KathNiel, JaDine, LizQuen, AshLlyod and JoshLia, there were some unexpected pairings that became a hit among fans.
2017 is a year full of love indeed as there were more than 30 romantic themed Filipino films released last year in cinemas. Four out of the top 5 highest grossing non-MMFF Pinoy films of the year were all romantic-comedies, led by My Ex and Whys (₱ 400 million, estimated), followed by Kita Kita (₱ 300 million, estimated), Can’t Help Falling in Love (₱240 million, estimated) and Finally Found Someone (₱200 million, estimated).
Most of these films feature the country’s favorite loveteams, but there are some that introduced some fresh pairings. This list compiles some of the newest, unexpected movie couples we shipped in 2017. This list is composed of movie characters that may or may not end up together by the end of their respective films.
This may include loveteams that were never seen on the big screen before but may have been paired in television. It may also include characters that are just oozing with chemistry. So for obvious reasons, this list will not include popular loveteams that we’ve seen in movies before, like KathNiel, JaDine, LizQuen, AshLlyod or Joshlia.
10. Nico and Jewel, Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23-B
First on our list is Martin del Rosario and Ryza Cenon’s star-crossed lovers in Prime Cruz’ dark romance film Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B. Jewel (Ryza Cenon) is a lonely woman who’s hiding a dark secret: she’s a manananggal who feeds on men whenever she feels the hunger for human flesh. She falls in love Nico (Martin del Rosario), the new tenant in their apartment. As she becomes closer to him, she is torn between her feelings for him, and she is puzzled whether she will allow herself to love Nico or save him from herself.
9. Alex and Jess, Baka Bukas
Directed by Samantha Lee in her directorial debut, Baka Bukas stars Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Louise Delos Reyes and tells the story of Alex (Curtis-Smith), a lesbian who started falling for her best friend Jess (Delos Reyes). A romance flick for the Instagram generation, this Cinema One Original entry features the first lesbian couple that we can’t help but adore.
8. Andre and Mich, Haunted Forest
Maris Racal plays Mich while Jon Lucas portrays Andre in this supernatural horror film from director Ian Loreños, produced by Regal Films. Although this is not the first time that they were in the same movie (Jon was one of the supporting cast in the 2015 LizQuen romcom Just The Way You Are, where Maris had a cameo), this is the first time that they are paired in the big screen.
7. Erik and Atty. Victor Cruz, Bar Boys
Bar Boys, directed by Kip Oebanda, is a coming-of-age barkada film about a group of friends, Christian (Enzo Pineda), Erik (Carlo Aquino), Joshua (Kean Cipriano) and Toran (Rocco Nacino) who enters law school together. Their friendship is tested as they face the challenges of law school and prepares themselves for the bar examinations. In the film, Erik is flunking Atty. Victor Cruz’ class. Erik’s friends encouraged him to approach the professor (who is openly gay). And so, in one of the film’s most hilarious moments, he tried his best to convince the latter into giving him some extra credit in exchange for his body. We can’t help but laugh and love these two as Erik tries his best flirting with his professor.
6. Shine and Luke, Loving In Tandem
Maymay Entrata stars as Sunshine “Shine” Camantigue, a jolly and happy-go-lucky girl who falls in love with Prince Lucas “Luke” Oliver, played by Edward Barber, a rebellious and grumpy Filipino-American boy who was sent to the Philippines by his father from the United States. Loving In Tandem, directed by Giselle Andres, marks the first big-screen appearance of the MayWard loveteam after their stint in Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7.
5. Nica and RJ, Haunted Forest
Horror teen princess Jane Oineza stars in her second horror movie this year, paired with Hashtags member Jameson Blake in Regal Film’s MMFF 2017 entry, Haunted Forest. The film, despite being a horror movie, combines coming-of-age drama and romance in it. Despite being paired for the first time, Jane and Jameson (now known as JaneSon) have already gained a small fanbase online.
4. Carson and Dio, I’m Drunk I Love You
Maja Salvador and Paulo Avelino play best friends Carson and Dio in JP Habac’s indie romance flick I’m Drunk I Love You. Even though Maja and Paulo have already worked together before in the 2015 television series Bridges of Love, this will be the first time they will be paired in a movie. The film tells the story of two best friends, Carson (Salvador) and Dio (Avelino), and the former’s seven-year-long unrequited love for the latter.
3. Felix and Magnus, 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten
Petersen Vargas’ critically acclaimed and award-winning feature film debut set in Pampanga during the late 1990’s, follows Felix, a friendless achiever in high school whose life changes after the arrival of the half-American Snyder brothers. In 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten, Felix (played by Khalil Ramos) slowly discovers his true sexuality as he falls for his best friend Magnus (Ethan Salvador). The film focused heavily on the relationship between Felix and Magnus, utilizing the oozing chemistry between the two leads to its advantage.
2. Fidel and Stella, 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
Jason Paul Laxamana’s tearjerker 100 Tula Para Kay Stella follows Fidel, a stuttering student, throughout his four years in college as tries to finish 100 poems dedicated to Stella, an aspiring but frustrated rock star, to win her heart. In their first on-screen project together, JC Santos and Bela Padilla have already shown great chemistry. No wonder that their first movie together became the runaway box-office winner of last year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
1. Lea and Tonyo, Kita Kita
Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo’s indie rom-com stars Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez as Lea and Tonyo, two unlikely people whose paths crossed by fate. Set in Sapporo, Japan, Kita Kita it follows Lea (De Rossi), a Filipino tourist guide living in Japan who goes blind after finding out that her Japanese fiancè is cheating on her. Afterwhile, the new neighbor and fellow Filipino Tonyo (Marquez) tries to befriend the visually impaired Lea in best possible ways. As the two spend more time together, they eventually fall for one another.
The film was the biggest box-office surprise of 2017, grossing more than ₱ 300 million at the box-office, making it the highest-grossing independent Filipino film of all time. It also popularized the loveteam AlEmpoy, making Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez one of the country’s latest box-office stars. They are currently shooting their first teleserye as a loveteam. The series, which also stars Piolo Pascual, Arci Munoz and JC Santos, is set to air in ABS-CBN later this year.