Do you remember the first time your crush gave you butterflies in the stomach? Perhaps you daydreamed about a cute guy on campus who made you and your friends swoon. Your palms were sweaty and your heart beat faster whenever he passed the hall. You might have also written his name in the back of your notebook and stalked his Friendster account a few times.
Just like me, I know a lot of you can’t help but get nostalgic about your first loves, especially because it just felt so light and carefree. Of course, part of this blissful experience was watching relatable cheesy shows that completely captured our teen lives on the small screen.
Let us reminisce about 10 local TV shows that gave us major kilig and heartbreak back in the day – the ones you probably never skipped watching before!
10 Memorable Local TV Shows that Once Turned Us into Hopeless Romantic Teens
10. Got to Believe
Aired: August 2013 -March 2014
Got to Believe starred the phenomenal young loveteam Kathniel who played the role of Chichay and Joaquin.Chichay (Kathryn Bernardo) met Joaquin (Daniel Padilla) at their family-owned carnival when they were kids and where she made him believe that magic is real.
Their friendship became troubled when Joaquin and his family had to go abroad due to the brain damage he got from an accident. After 10 years, their paths crossed again. Oblivious of the past they once had, fate drew them closer when Chichay was hired as Joaquin’s nanny. They had a nasty relationship at first, but later on fell in love with each other as they defied life’s challenges together. The show had an iconic tagline, too: “The heart remembers what the mind forgets.”
9. First Time
Aired: February 2010- May 2010
First Time was about two teenagers, Cyndi (Barbie Forteza) and Lucas (Joshua Dionisio), whose friendship was tested when Lucas had to live abroad after his mother died in a strange accident. After two years, Lucas returned to the Philippines and studied at Cindy’s school.
Cyndi tried to rekindle their friendship, but found out Lucas became sheltered and detached from everyone, including her. With the help of her best friend Baste (Jake Vargas), though, Cyndi eventually befriended Lucas, and the three of them became inseparable. Unfortunately, both Baste and Lucas fall in love with Cyndi.
8. Sana Maulit Muli
Aired: January 2007- April 2007
Travis (Gerald Anderson) was devastated by Jasmin’s (Kim Chiu) death from a bus accident. But then, a mysterious and creepy janitor showed up and gave him a chance to travel back in time to change his love’s unfortunate destiny. Against all odds, Jasmin and Travis proved that anything can be conquered by love, even an inevitable event like death.
The primary setting in this show is a high school campus, making the scenes those that the youth could relate to, including Travis being tutored by his crush, going home with Jasmin after school, them developing deeper feelings with each other, and entering a romantic relationship.
This show is also the first time where we first heard some of the songs we used to love, like “Alive” and “Hiling” by Frio, “Maalala Mo Sana” by Silent Sanctuary, and “Umaasa lang Sayo” by Six Part Invention.
7. Abt Ur Luv
Aired: November 2006- January 2008
Abt ur Luv was a weekly, youth-oriented program that tackled the lives of teenagers and their affairs with their families, peers, and romantic relationships. As the title suggests, the story revolved around love and life, in general, as well as how the youth dealt with the challenges they faced.
In the first episode, Neri (Shaina Magdayao) moved to her cousin’s compound in Manila after the death of her parents. Her cousin (Carla Humphries) and her peers made her feel like she didn’t belong, so she ran into a catastrophe and met Gens (Rayver Cruz) and Celine (Denise Laurel). Neri ended up on the missing list at the compound, and the whole neighborhood went crazy looking for her. Soon after that, she realized that her new life in the city was exciting, after all.
6. Love Spell
Aired: July 2006-March 2008
Love Spell was a romantic fantasy show that opened with a different love story each season. Each episode had something to do with magic and love with elements symbolizing it like amulets, love potions, genies, and spells. Although the show could be considered as sci-fi, Love Spell was true to its theme and made us feel like love is indeed magical.
The first episode of Love Spell was entitled “My Boy, My Girl”. Stephanie (Kim Chiu), who wanted to get everyone’s attention, auditioned to be a part of Mean Girls; but before she could join and get the signature necklace of the squad, she had to accept the deal to get a trophy boyfriend first. Stephanie succeeded at making Simoun (Gerald Anderson) fall in love with her; but when Simoun found out about Stephanie’s cruelty, she woke up screaming and the spell had turned her into a guy!
5. I Luv NY
Aired: May 2006-September 2006
I Luv NY was a romantic-comedy show and the first Philippine drama filmed in New York City. The story revolved around Baste (Mark Herras), who won a ticket to the US and was meant to go to California to look for his long-lost mom. Unluckily, he encountered a booking problem that took him to New York instead. There, he met his soulmate Natalie (Jennylyn Mercado) and the other love team Albert (Marvin Agustin) and Polly (Jolina Magdangal).
The program was similar to the 2015 hit movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” in the sense of finding love while traveling. Here, we learned that the universe has a way of turning our misfortunes into a blessing and we just have to enjoy the ride.
4. Your Song
Aired: February 2006-March 2011
During the time when OPM bands proliferated the music industry, there was ‘Your Song’, a musical anthology series featuring songs of local artists. It was televised every Sunday afternoon. Each week, a different love story was shown, inspired by the background song of the entire episode. Most of the songs presented were by OPM bands like Callalily, 6 Cycle Mind, Silent Sanctuary, Soapdish, Imago… and the list goes on.
The show was effective in instilling more kilig to a love song by creating stories that deeply interpreted its meaning. It was also fun to compare our initial imagination of the song in our head from the first time we heard it on the radio versus what was portrayed in the story.
Aired: May 2005-September 2005
Qpids was a reality love team search featuring nine love pairs that had to go through races and different acting challenges to survive until the Grand Finals where only 4 love teams would remain.
During its first three weeks, 9 ‘princesses’ and 18 ‘princes’ were introduced and sent on a lot of quests to get to know each other. Later on, each princess was asked to pick her prince, while Lauren Dyogi (who played the role of Mr. Qpido) chose a prince for each princess. The pairings resulted into love triangles, where each princess was matched with two princes, and where some of the princes were also linked to two princesses.
2. Twin Hearts
Aired: October 2003-June 2004
Adrian (Dingdong Dantes) and Iris (Karylle) were a young couple with a great love for each other… until Iris died. Iris’ mother (Pops Fernandez) donated her departed daughter’s heart to Althea (Tanya Garcia) who had a fatal heart attack and needed to undergo a heart transplant. Adrian, who was deeply hurt by Iris’ loss, promised not to fall in love again; but then he met Althea who helped him move on without knowing that Iris’ and Althea’s hearts were one. This formed an extra special love between the two.
1. Love to Love
Aired: July 2003-October 2006
Love to Love was a youth-oriented romance anthology that ran for 3 years and was comprised of 12 seasons/ Each season was composed of two different love stories, hence the program title “Love to Love.”
My favorite story was the “Kissing Beauty” in Season 3, which followed the life of Chara (Angel Locsin). Chara felt lucky to be working as a mascot at an amusement park because she knew she wasn’t pretty. Despite her looks, though, she had a kind heart that shone like gold. Her friend Joseph (Cogie Domingo), a rides operator, never left her side; but Chara’s main illusion was to be noticed by Alfred (Dennis Trillo), the son of the coffee shop owner near the amusement park.
One day, through the help of a “magic lipstick”, she was able to transform into a beautiful girl and nobody recognized her, so she introduced herself as Charina. When Alfred met Charina, he fell in love with her but she couldn’t kiss him because her beauty would fade if her lipstick wore off. So, by day, the ugly Chara was with Joseph, and by night, the pretty Charina was with Alfred.
(ALSO READ: 10 Pinoy TV Shows We Watched When We Were Kids)
What was your favorite show when you were a teen?