Ria Limjap: Everything I know about love, I learned from Pinoy movies

Our SPOT.ph blogger's list of 10 love lessons, courtesy of Pinoy movies.

This time of year, even the most cynical–like myself, I dare say–think about love. If you're loveless–like myself, imagine that–why not treat yourself to a sappy movie on Valentine's Day and enjoy it? There's something predictably wonderful about falling in love in the style of Pinoy films. Here are a few things to consider: 1. First thing to learn: fall in love and prepare to cry. Do you notice how iyakan is omnipresent in Pinoy movies? Never mind if it's a romantic comedy that's supposed to make you laugh–at some point, you will cry. The sensitive hero or the suffering heroine always cries. Maybe it's because Love Hurts. 2. Pick a theme song. Make it a good one, because it will constantly play in the background through the duration of the relationship. If you end up together, it will forever be your song. If you break up, you'll end up hating the song and yet find yourself crying when you "accidentally" hear it. One day I was walking around Plaza Sulayman on Roxas Boulevard at sunset–often used as a location in many romantic Pinoy movies–and Air Supply came on. Perfect. That's exactly the moment for having a theme song. Just for fun, here's the original video: 3. Beware of stunningly good-looking people. The leggy mestiza with a trust fund and attitude to match will steal your love away if you don't watch it. The successful and handsome yuppie/rock star/best friend from childhood might get the girl instead of you. In the words of one wise and worldly friend: you snooze, you lose. (So how to deal with snakes? Become a snake charmer.) Meanwhile, if the love of your life falls for the dubious charms of someone else, don't be a loser and cry yourself to sleep at night. Get up and fight for your love! That's what they always do in the movies. Watch the classy Jackielou Blanco spy on Gabby and Sharon. (Plus Tessie Tomas as the maid!) 4. In case you need to do a muni-muni scene, do it on a rainy night. Find a nice window, cue your theme song, and go for it. It helps to surround yourself with stuffed toys (presumably gifts from your beloved) and pictures from happier times. Snot is unsightly so have a box of tissues on standby. For extra special heartbreak, a glass of scotch on the rocks might be nice–you can always hurl the glass into a wall if you're really wallowing. Also, I find it useful to have a good eye cream and a tall glass of water the next morning, when you're looking puffy and feeling drained. 5. Confrontations need killer one-liners. Never get caught without one. I suggest that you keep a notebook where you can write them down. But please be original. Do not say something John Lloyd said to Bea, or Bea said to Sam, or Sam said to Toni. Use your imagination and the dictionary if necessary. Also, it's all in the delivery so practice, practice, practice. Really deserve that acting award! Pa-cute won't cut it. Watch Juday flex her acting muscles in this scene with Piolo. 'Yan ang acting!
6. If you're a guy who can play the guitar, super. Ladies, all you have to do is look lovely and mahinhin. Fake it till you make it. Seriously though, old school ligawan is best. My favorite harana scene of all time is from Mike de Leon's Kung Mangarap Ka't Magising. Who can resist the charms of a young Christopher de Leon singing a love song to the lovely Hilda Koronel on top of a hill in Baguio? For a few moments, you really wish you could be there, too. 7. Talk to your understanding best friend, funny sidekick, or kindly relative. They might actually give you good advice, like: "Snap out of it." Or, "If you really love him, let him know." Sometimes another perspective helps. (I want my friendly sidekick to be Matet de Leon because she's awesome: grounded, funny, and reassuring.) 8. Melodrama is allowed, in fact, it is de rigueur. Make sure you have the stomach for it. See what I mean? 9. Contrabidas get their comeuppance in the end. This is karma, Pinoy-movie style. If you're bad, bad things will befall you. And if you're the bida, always be the bigger person and learn how to graciously forgive your karibal in the end. Here's the wonderful Cherie Gil as the ultimate contrabida in Butuing Walang Ningning: 10. It will end happily ever after. Boys and girls, fear not. There's love waiting for you.

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