The first AlDub telemovie capitalized on the chemistry between KalyeSerye phenomenal starts Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza.
Titled Love Is, this telemovie aired during the October 21 episode of Eat Bulaga. It tackled a very relevant and important, albeit controversial topic: depression.
The telemovie directed by Adolf Alix Jr. stars Maine as Vivienne and Alden as Marco.
Vivienne is an associate creative director and social media influencer.
Her boyfriend Marco proposed to her from a viewpoint overlooking Metro Manila from Antipolo.
Dedicated to her job and her family, Vi basks in the love of her fiancé and parents (played by Nonie and Shamaine Buencamino).
Amid wedding preparations, both Vi’s parents and Marco’s mother (played by Bing Pimentel) hint at already anticipating a grandchild. Marco’s mother also encourages the couple to relocate to New York soon, where they will face a better future.
Later, the couple talk about this and Vi tells Marco that she cannot leave her parents behind. Marco reassures her that he respects her wishes.
One day, Vi is almost run over by a car driven by, as it turns out, her cousin Edwin. He encourages Vi to invest her money in stocks through him, promising a huge amount of return. Vi discusses this with her father, because she wants to contribute to wedding expenses, which are being shouldered by Marco. Vi’s father, who recently retired from being an OFW, gives her access to his retirement fund to use for the investment, because he trusts her discernment.
The idyllic family life is disturbed when Vi’s father suffers a stroke. The doctor gives the prognosis that he needs to undergo an expensive surgical procedure. Vi discusses their lack of funds with Marco and he suggests that they use their savings for the wedding to pay for the medical expenses—because the priority should be her father’s health and wellbeing.
The stresses of her family life encroach on Vi’s work, and she starts to become irresponsible, earning her the ire of her boss.
Meanwhile, her father comes home from the hospital, but has to be confined to a wheelchair. Vi posts a video on her social media page, thanking everyone for the prayers and support. She says: “Ang buhay ay parang laro lang ng chess. Laban lang!”
As Vi’s family continues to struggle to pay for their medical bills and for her father’s medicines, she tries to contact Edwin, to ask for her investment to be returned. He does not return her calls, a check he issued bounces for lack of funds, and finally, the car that they had paid Edwin for is repossessed by the bank for non-payment.
Vi spirals into bouts of sadness and loss. Her boss is forced to assign their project to another team, and she is encouraged to take a leave from work. She also begins to neglect her relationship with Marco, withdrawing from him, her friends, and her family.
While at a party to celebrate Marco’s promotion, she posts on her social media account: Have you ever felt alone in the sea of people?
She begins to feels unmotivated. She stays in bed for days without getting up, not even to eat.
Marco calls and sends her texts, but she rarely replies. During dinner with Marco’s family, he observes that Vi is losing weight and has no appetite. After Vi steps out, Marco tells his mother that he has gotten in touch with a friend of theirs who is also a psychiatrist because he thinks Vi is suffering from depression. Marco’s mother is immediately concerned that Vi might be going crazy. Vi overhears them and Marco runs after her to confront her.
They talk and Vi describes how she feels: “Gigising ako araw-araw, di ko naiintindihan bakit ang lungkot-lungkot ko. Pakiramdam ko mag-isa ako, pakiramdam ko walang kuwenta, pakiramdam ko wala akong direksyon.”
Marco tries to encourage her, saying: “’Wag kang susuko, kaya natin ‘tong dalawa.” But Vi is beyond convincing and tearfully gives back the engagement ring.
Marco tries to find ways to talk to her, but she doesn’t want to and pushes him away.
Finally, Vi takes a bottle of sleeping pills with her to the viewpoint where Marco proposed to her. She tearfully starts to delete her social media accounts one by one. Marco tries to contact her, calling her and checking her accounts.
Alarmed, he rushes to Antipolo and catches her just in time before she attempts to overdose on pills.
Marco promises: “’Di ko mapapangako na magiging okay bukas, sa isangaraw, isa lang mapapangako ko sa ’yo: Di kita iiwan hanggang sa huli. I love you for everything you are.”
Marco and Vi talk to a psychiatrist about depression, and she explains that it is a clinical disorder. She reassures them that there is a treatment for this: psychotherapy and medication. And that there is hope.
The psychiatrist tells Vi’s parents: “There should be acceptance, ‘wag magkaroon ng stigma. ‘Di puwedeng ibalewala na lang. Importante ngang pamilya ang nandiyan para suportahan siya.”
Marco shows he is present for Vi by simply being with her, cuddling with her. Vi also receives support and encouragement from her friends, boss, and family.
Soon, she is back online. She records a video message in the same viewpoint in Antipolo and she tells her followers: “What is love? For me, it’s loving myself and accepting who I am. Opening your heart to someone na gusto kang intindihin, gusto kang pakinggan, at handa kang tanggapin nang buong-buo. Sabi nga nila, kailangan mo munang mahalin yung sarili mo, bago ka mahalin ng iba.
“Kaya kung pakiramadam mo, parehas tayo ng nararamdaman noon, gusto ko lang malaman mo na kung pakiramdam mo lagi kang mag-isa, o kaya, parang katapusan na ng lahat: hindi pa. Marami pang mangyayari sa buhay natin. Parang ito, ngayon.”
Marco arrives to bring her flowers. He joins the video and tells viewers: “Okay lang matakot, Okay lang maging malungkot, pero hindi okay na basta ka na lang titigil. Kailangan lumaban lang, kahit na anong dumating sa ’yo, dahil karapat-dapat kang pakinggan, karapat-dapat kang mahalin. Hinga lang. Laban lang!”
He addresses Vi by saying, “I’m so proud of you at hindi ako nagkamali nung sinabi ko na isa ka sa pinakamalakas na taong nakilala ko. Not because you never gave up but because binigyan mo ko ng chance para palakasin yung loob mo. Para maging tao na nandun para sa ‘yo sa oras ng pangangailangan mo.
“Thank you for that chance. If you have to go through the same thing all over again, uulitin ko, uulitin ko lahat.”
Then, he brings out a ring box and asks: “Once again, will you marry me?”
Vi says: “Yes!”
He asks: “Sure na ‘yan, ha?"
She answers: “Sure na!”
Marco and Vivienne then share a tender kiss.
The movie ends with a message to the audience: Extreme sadness that lasts for two weeks, coupled with erratic mood swings, may happen to anyone, at anytime.
If you or your loved ones experience it, there are people ready to help and understand.
Contact: RMT-CEFAM of Ateneo de Manila University at 426-4289 to 92 or MetropsychFaility at 643-6056 loc. 107
AGB RATINGS. How did Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza's Love Is fare in AGB ratings?
Based on AGB Nielsen data, GMA-7's telemovie got a TV rating of 7.8%. It was shown during the October 21 episode of Eat Bulaga that aired from 11:30 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.
The daytime teleserye Ika-6 na Utos got an AGB rating of 7.7%. The teleserye of Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon, and Gabby Concepcion aired from 2:35 p.m. to 3:28 p.m. last Saturday.
Its ABS-CBN counterpart, It's Showtime, got an AGB rating of 7.2%. It aired from 11:57 a.m. to 4:09 p.m. On that day, the Kapamilya noontime show aired the awarding ceremony for the Magpasikat 2017 competition.