Love Bites’ first episode titled “Lost But Found” paints the bittersweet situation of falling in love while you’re still not ready.
Launching ABS-CBN Entertainment’s newest Made For YouTube series, Love Bites, is the story of Aina (Vivoree Esclito) and Macoy (Anthony Jennings). The episode opens with a pleasant catching up between the two. Aina, who just came from Indonesia, presented a memory box she kept in college. Nostalgia was in the air as they banter about their campus memories, inspired by the things in the box – a mallow cake wrapper, an elephant stuffed toy, and Macoy’s calculator. By this point, hinted by the awkwardness, we get that Aina and Macoy are exes.
Vivoree and Anthony’s acting in just the first scene would make you curious about their characters’ past, which was directly tackled in the next sequences. We meet Aina as a college girl, a busy and passionate Student Council officer, and a hopeless romantic who dreams of meeting her own Mr. Popular someday. In the middle of munching her favorite mallow cake while on duty at the Student Council office, Aina got a sweet surprise when Macoy, the campus heartthrob, asked for help in searching for his calculator.
He got her mobile number to keep in touch about the missing item. Before leaving the room, he pointed out the chocolate stuck in her teeth, keeping the meet, cute, all the more charming.
Macoy was quick to show interest in Aina. They became textmates and developed romantic feelings which progressed into a relationship. The courtship stage had all the ‘feels’ of a campus romance. It will remind you of the excitement while waiting for the other person’s reply, and the classic ‘kilig’ that comes with every “Kumain ka na ba?” and stolen moment. Then, at the marriage booth during their school’s Foundation Day, Aina and Macoy confessed their feelings for each other and made their relationship official. It was when he gave her the elephant stuffed toy.
In their search for a missing calculator, they found love instead. However, the feelings of newness and excitement in their relationship eventually succumbed to Aina’s unresolved issues of insecurities. She felt as if the love story of an ordinary girl and popular guy only exists in fiction. She believed the naysayers when they said he is too perfect for her. Aina initiated their breakup. Macoy wanted to fight for his feelings but he chickened out.
Six months later, she received a letter from him narrating how he fell for her. In the letter, he admitted that he liked her even before their first interaction. He has always adored her simplicity and passion, and he even thought her clumsiness was cute.
Aina found Macoy’s missing calculator. And along with it, she also found her sense of self-love, which she realized is a prerequisite for loving another person and entering a romantic relationship. Back to the present time, the plot twist came when Aina and Macoy introduced their respective partners.
“Love Bites: Lost But Found” is a pleasant rollercoaster of feels, just the right blend of romance and comedy. But after immersing in the ‘kilig’, it pays to realize that there are valuable lessons that we can get from Aina’s story, one of which is the significant takeaway about self-love as a measure of our readiness to enter a serious relationship. At times, we get so thrilled about the idea of falling in love that we forget it’s hard to find happiness and security in another person if we don’t value ourselves first.
Vivoree and Anthony blessed us with their endearing chemistry. We smiled at the genuine display of ‘love’ between their characters, even when the love has gone from romantic to platonic. In the opening scene, they expressed how happy they are to be reunited after college, and we felt that. And even if they spoke to each other just by eye contact in the final sequence, there were heart-tugging feelings that seemed real and bittersweet.
“Love Bites: Lost But Found” is now available via ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube Channel. Catch the next episodes every Friday, at 8 pm, on the same platform.