Filipinos and the Game of Love Teams

by | Feb 17, 2024 | Thought Republic | 1 comment

Filipinos love romance. This is evident in how we support (and binge watch!) movies and teleseryes that showcase different love situations between people. As a matter of fact, this can also be seen in how actual books like Precious Hearts Romances became best-sellers! Basically, we enjoy being witnesses to the trials of two people in love who defy all odds to be together. We like it all – from the small innocent looks to the grand gestures of love! Why? ‘Cos we feel kilig when we see them! 

Kilig is King

Kilig is the emotion we feel when we hear stories or think about romantic and cheesy stuff – when we feel giddy and our hearts pound with excitement! Now, this affinity that we have for kilig became an opportunity for the entertainment industry to make money. They realized that our preference for romance can be profitable if the people “in love” could be controlled and asked to do different money-making gimmicks. And so, to facilitate this, love teams under different showbiz managements were formed. 

With the likes of Guy & Pip, Vilma Santos & Christopher de Leon, Sharon & Gabby (ShaGab), Richard Gomez & Dawn Zulueta (CharDawn), Wowie de Guzman & Judy Ann Santos, Marvin Agustin & Jolina Magdangal, Rico Yan & Claudine Barretto, Jericho Rosales & Kristine Hermosa, Kimerald, KathNiel, JaDine, LizQuen, and AlDub, one can say that love teams were a big success as it captured the hearts of Filipinos and became a part of their daily lives. Fans support these tandems by buying magazines where they are the topic, watching their TV shows, guestings, and movies, following them around in social media, and even go so far as defending them from their critics. But as time goes by, the love team phenomenon is seemingly losing its magic. It’s not as impactful as before, where support for these celebrities lasts for decades. Now, they’re only known for a few years – or even months – and after that *poof* they don’t seem to be that relevant anymore. And well, this downward spiral is the very reason why we wanted to quickly check on the love team scenario in the Philippines.

The Ugly Side of Love Teams

Complications. Love teams have a lot of them! Here in the Philippines, the media tends to heavily showcase how these on-screen partners seem to be real-life couples. They make headlines about them (even rumors!), feature them in talk shows, expose their off-screen “sweetness,” and make them trend in social media. All of these just to make them work. However, there are things that people don’t know about these love teams — or maybe things that they already know, but they just don’t accept. 

First, fans go loco over love teams without them realizing (or accepting) that not all they do is real — that most of it is only for show. For instance, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (AlDub). Their fans strongly believed that they got married and had kids of their own, when in reality, they were never together. And do you know why? Because everything was just work and a way for them to earn money! Also, there are times when these love teams already have companions in real life but they are still heavily advertised as being “in love” with their on-screen partners. These celebrities (and their management) do everything they can to make sure the public supports them even if it means creating a false reality. In the end, real-life partners experience challenges in their relationship, just like what happened to Dingdong Dantes and Karylle’s relationship when Dingdong & Marianne were being paired for Marimar.

Another thing, these on-screen partners probably want to work with other people aside from their love team partners since they don’t want to stay stagnant – they want to explore, grow, and build their own name. However, these stars are being shackled by their management to stay as they are until their light (and appeal to the masses) eventually runs out. A very good example of this is Liza Soberano. She shared in a vlog that since she was 16 years old, she felt like she was being told to just be a flower and follow what others want — that she had to star with the same person and work with the same people every time. Although she was crucified for saying this, we agree that her experience was too suffocating (something that we don’t want for ourselves)!   

The Then and Now

With all these similarities, there is a huge difference between the past and the new generation’s pairings. Basically, even with the rise of new love teams, we can’t deny that older on-screen partners are still famous as people from their generation continue to support them and still get kilig over their projects together. And we can see this in the fans of Vilma Santos & Christopher de Leon, ShaGab, and CharDawn. Today’s new generation love teams cannot keep up with these veterans, pretty much because the craze for new love teams seems to fade easily. To mention a few, these are MayWard, LoiNie, and MavLine — where their spotlight seemed to last briefly. This interesting scenario is possibly because of too many love teams in the country and standing out among renowned celebrities is very challenging. Another thing is that new generation pairings are sometimes put together too carelessly without checking their long term viability and mass appeal. Also, Filipinos are now more exposed to various international celebrities, especially Korean actors and actresses, that they support wholeheartedly and sometimes focus on entirely.

Looking at it now, we really can’t deny how love teams’ success greatly contributed in building the Philippine entertainment industry. But we can see that times are already changing. The staying power of these love teams are already fading, which is why these celebrities are deciding for themselves now. We observed this with several female leads. How Liza Soberano chose to leave the Philippines to build a career in the US. Like how Kathryn Bernardo accepted projects that do not involve Daniel Padilla (i.e. Hello, Love, Goodbye with Alden Richards). And, of course, how Julia Barretto and Andrea Brillantes are striving to build their name without a permanent on-screen partner.

Who Run the World? Girls?

Given these, what could be the future of Philippine entertainment? Are we going to end up like the Western industry? They basically started with love teams too (Julia Roberts and Richard Gere), but afterwards the celebrities continued their acting careers on their own. Personally, I think the Philippines is on that road given how big female stars are now exploring and growing on their own. However, one can not help but think, what about the male leads? Where are they in this picture? Are women really the only survivors of this industry? Well, that’s another topic for another time. 🙂

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Love Teams ❤️‍🩹


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