What makes ‘JaDine’ and #OTWOL a hit among Filipinos

When  James Reid and Nadine Lustre—a.k.a JaDine—started making some buzz, I wasn’t paying much attention. I love their tandem but I didn’t think they would be the phenomenal loveteam that they are now. Things changed when I went home (Philippines) for a vacation and really saw it for myself—The JaDine craze is beyond imaginable!

ABS-CBN’s TV Series, “On the Wings of love” (OTWOL), which starred reel—and now real lovers—James and Nadine ended just a week ago. After soaring the airwaves with over four million viewers every day, 1 million tweets and the hyper-kilig-to-the-bones feeling that’s just so contagious that they could form a cult, they finally ended their seven-month run. I didn’t get the chance to watch the final episode but it’s like the end of an era when it happened. Everybody got so hooked to the story; now that it’s over, there’s just a void in their day-to-day routines between 9:30pm–10:15pm.

You’ll know an amazing show when you can’t stop thinking about it. You just stop whatever it is you’re doing or make room in your schedule to watch it. And it doesn’t end there — you have this intense desire to talk about it with your friends or play the scenes in your head and think about possible lines you would’ve said if you were Leah (Nadine’s character) or Clark (James’s character). It got me thinking what makes this series so unique and yet so familiar to Filipinos.

Well, for one, it is a story that is so relatable to the modern Pinay and her struggles as an OFW.

The pilot episode showed Leah’s mom, “Rona” (played by Isay Alvarez) leaving her children to work abroad. The scene where she is saying goodbye to her children is just one of the many scenarios happening over and over to thousands of our Kababayans who chose to do the same to give their families (back home) a better future. The situations involving TNT’s in the US and “arranged marriages” to get a green card, or wishing the “American dream,” are just among the issues that we (here in the US) encounter so often. Coming from someone who’s lived here almost my whole life, I can relate when the show talks about problems that immigrants face. I believe this is one of the strongest points of the show. They truly knew how tug on the heartstrings and make the storyline relatable in a really poignant manner.

Speaking of emotional scenes, OTWOL just makes you feel in love almost all the time. What’s even more amazing is that you feel for the characters; you laugh, fall in love, get heartbroken and be hopeful just like the characters! There are no overly complicated plot lines, cliché displays of affection, ‘forced’ backstories or complex love affairs. Only lighthearted, romantic story that puts you in a good mood every time you watch it.

But aside from the way the writers made this TV series so engaging, there is no denying the chemistry of James and Nadine. Even the whole cast spoke about it behind the scenes. Indeed, the one thing that the creators of this series did right from the start is to cast a loveteam that is not predictable and unassumingly innocent.

JaDine is the fresh, ‘good-vibes’ pair that’s so easy to love. They don’t try too hard to look sweet or to come up with stories for publicity’s sake. They started out as best friends in real life, they didn’t make people expect that they are—or will be—a couple. And when they actually became one, they owned up to it and admitted it in the most kilig way possible! Everything about them is so transparent and that, I believe, is their best asset as love team both on and off-cam.

It is nice to know that we, Filipinos, can still spot and appreciate an authentic relationship in reel or real-life. To some, JaDine may be seen as just another loveteam competing amongst equally lovable rivals. But for me, they do more than just solicit votes and followers – they prove that there is much to look forward to as far as TV entertainment is concerned. To actually see how a teleserye like ‘On The Wings Of Love’ became a household name even without the use of gimmicks or rated-PG scenes, tells us that there’s some maturity in us as Filipino viewers.

To JaDine, and the cast and crew of OTWOL, congratulations! Please do not make us miss you too much. a movie ‘version’ would be nice (hint!).

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Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration. To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at monetsalon@aol.com

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Monet Lu
Monet Lu

Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at monetsalon@aol.com.

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