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Saturday, April 08, 2006

I Will Always Love You (2006)

Justin (RICHARD GUTIERREZ) & Cecille (ANGEL LOCSIN) play students from different social backgrounds and different high schools. He’s a rich, smart, confident mestizo from a private school in Manila, while she’s a lovely but simple scholar from a rural public school.

Against the wishes of his wealthy parents, Justin pursues Cecille, who also falls hard for the handsome rich boy. Justin, however, is being forced to marry Donna (BIANCA KING), the daughter of his parents’ business partner. Knowing how much Justin loves Cecille, his parents order him to study in the United States in a bid to separate him from the lower-class girl.

Unable to accept the prospect of life without Cecille, Justin is somehow able to take her with him to the US without his parents knowing.

All is great between Cecille & Justin in America. Their love for one another is fuelled further by the captivating, dream-like allure of San Francisco. He proves how much he loves her by not only getting her a student visa, but also by taking a lowly job in a Filipino supermarket in the Bay Area so he can pay for her studies. Cecille has no idea that Justin is working, let alone that he is paying for her studies out of his own pocket.

One day, however, the bubble bursts. Justin’s mother (JEAN GARCIA) drops by to visit, bringing Donna (the young lady who is supposed to marry Justin) with them. Cecille is hidden away again in a relative’s apartment, and is upset that she is being treated like a dirty secret. Things worsen when Cecille catches Justin & Donna in a tight embrace one afternoon, with Donna professing her love for Justin. Cecille is devastated.

Cecille takes the first plane back to Manila, ignoring Justin’s attempts to explain why he was kissing Donna. He remains in San Francisco.

With Justin out of the picture, Cecille’s childhood friend Dennis (JAMES BLANCO) courts her relentlessly. What Cecille really loves about Dennis is that he doesn’t treat her like a dirty secret. Dennis proudly introduces Cecille to his parents, who tell him that Cecille is everything they hoped she would be.

In a few weeks, Dennis and Cecille are engaged to be married. And it is at this point when Justin tries to win Cecille back. Will he succeed? Is there a chance that Justin and Cecille can rekindle the perfect love they had for each other in dreamy San Francisco?

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't Give Up On Us

Don't Give Up On Us (2006)

Starring : Hilda Koronel , Judy Ann Santos , Piolo Pascual , Rio Locsin
Director : Joyce Bernal
Genre : Romance

The ever-control-freak Abby (Judy Ann Santos) believes she is on top of things as she heads the preparation for the wedding of her younger brother Samuel to her bestfriend Sabina. But when Sabina suddenly walks out of her own despedida-de-soltera headed to God-knows-where, the wedding frenzy takes a sour turn.

Abby's search takes her to Baguio, a beautiful mountainous province in the northern Philippines. There she meets Vince (Piolo Pascual), a folk singer in a local pub whose voice Abby heard in Sabina's tape. Vince admits it's his voice but claims not to know Sabina. He remembers the cassette tape, though - he recorded the song for his good friend Matt who was supposed to give it to his loved one. Abby persuades Vince to bring her to his friend Matt in the hope of finding Sabina.

As Abby and Vince travel through the mountains of La Trinidad, Banaue, and Sagada, they inevitably get to know each other better. Abby, being the cosmopolitan Manileña, assesses Vince as not really having any big aspirations in life but, nonetheless, tries to convince him to try his luck in the city as a singer. Vince, used to the laid-back pace of provincial life, advises Abby she could use some time to "stop and smell the flowers" so as to relieve herself of pent-up stress brought about by city lifestyle. By the time they find Matt and Sabina, Abby and Vince have come to affect each other both mentally and emotionally.

As they return to their respective lives, Abby and Vince are both convinced to give the other person's "advice" a try, albeit separately: Vince returns to the city and makes a successful career as a singer, while Abby quits her high-paying job in urbane Manila to try out farming life in Benguet province.

By some coincidence, their paths cross for the second time in their lives. This time, they are ready to answer the very question they posed to each other the first time they met: When you meet that one person you are meant to be with, would you be willing to give up everything you have just to be with him/her?

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