Did You Know?
5 Filipino Movies That Prove That Love Trumps Social Class
From 90s classics to modern-day hits.
Sometimes, the best way to celebrate love is to see it on the big screen. From same-sex to age-gap couples, seeing this representation can help people in these relationships navigate their own experiences, as well as serve as means for their friends and family to understand their love.
In the Philippines, where income inequality is wide, relationships between people of different socioeconomic statuses are often still discouraged. Those who date people who make more money than they do can be called gold diggers, while those who date people who make less can be accused of having low standards.
Despite this, there are more than a handful of local films that tell the love stories of people from different social classes. The movies are both old and new, showing that love in this kind of relationship has always existed and will likely always exist.
Below, we list five Filipino films that celebrate inter-class relationships and highlight that love really is for all.
Basta’t Kasama Kita (1995)
Basta’t Kasama Kita (As Long As We’re Together) is a rom-com with a plot similar to Roman Holiday (1953). The film tells the story of Marinella (Dayanara Torres), a member of a European royal family, and Alex (Aga Muhlach), a Filipino jeepney driver.
In the film, Marinella longs to escape her lavish life and live more independently. She escapes her security and fakes her identity in order to work in Alex’s home as a housemaid. Despite the immense differences in their upbringings and lifestyles, the two fall in love. The film is a humorous but heartfelt portrayal of how love is found outside of someone’s comfort zone, how love thrives where it might be unimaginable, and how love persists when lovers fight for it.
Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo (2006)
An entry to the 2006 Metro Manila Film Festival, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo features real-life couple Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo. It’s a witty portrayal of an interclass couple working through the joys and challenges of their love amidst their family and friends.
The story shows that, at the end of the day, the love between couples in inter-class relationships is no different from the love between couples in other, more normalized relationships. They experience the same joy and the same commitment. Their relationships become more challenging often because of how other people perceive and undervalue it. Of course, it’s ultimately up to the couples themselves to prove their love—to each other, first and foremost, but to others in the process.
The plot of Forever is a common one, but it’s executed so well that it has become the kind of film people watch again and again over the years. In the romantic drama, Isabel (Mikee Cojuangco) is daughter to a rich family who forces her into a loveless marriage. Chito (Aga Muhlach) is a renegade biker. The two fall in love, but the ride isn’t exactly smooth.
The two are both running from different things—Isabel from the confines of a socially-accepted marriage and Chito from the responsibilities of a “normal” life. All their running led them not just to love, but to missing parts of themselves. If you decide to watch this one, look out for the iconic chase scene (you’ll know it when you see it).
Four Sisters and a Wedding (2013)
Four Sisters and a Wedding is a comedy-drama about, well, four sisters trying to stop their younger brother’s wedding because they don’t like his “new rich” fiance.
The film revolves around the inter-class relationship, but it is really a caricature of the leaps and bounds other people will often take in order to deny this kind of love. It also highlights the nuances in these relationships. The fiancé’s family, after all, is rich, but they don’t act the way the sisters might expect rich people to act. Ultimately, the story shows how rejecting inter-class love can tear families apart, and how accepting it can bring them together.
The Prenup (2015)
The Prenup tells a love story many Filipinos might find relatable—it was all well and good until the families get involved. In the romantic comedy, a man’s rich parents become suspicious of his fiancé’s intentions for their marriage. So they insist that they get the titular prenuptial agreement. The preparations only get more burdensome when the woman’s parents chime in on the terms.
Prenups, of course, are meant to safeguard romantic relationships with the necessary realities of rationality. But doing so is often inherently unromantic. Whether the families insisted on the agreement out of love for their kin or out of prejudice for their kin’s partners is up to the viewer to decide.
An entry to the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival, Tagpuan (Rendezvous) tells the stories of a rich but unhappy businessman, his ex-wife caught in the struggle to renew herself, and a free-spirited woman with a heartbreaking past.
The complex love story runs through Manila, New York, and Hong Kong—a plot that highlights the often unsung lives of overseas Filipino workers and immigrants as they navigate love in the diaspora. Director MacArthur Alejandre said that the film is meant to “comment on the social and economic forces that shape our reactions to love and relationships.”
Source: Romano Santos, VICE
Was this advice helpful?