Though the message might not be that new, or somewhat cliché, in depicting young love, what we truly impresses us about the MMK episode “Cellphone” was how each scene, portrayal, and creative element vividly resonates our own.
That first glance, a melting, embarrassing first encounter, how those ties blossomed and developed from mere larong kalye to sweet exchanges through text messaging, until that moment of triumph when two hearts had met, even though how young they were, and started a blissful first love.
Head over heels
Mart (Zaijian Jaranilla) was that lovestruck tween head over heels over a visiting, fellow prepubescent Sandra (Belle Mariano), who had caught his eye and heart. Yes, he did present his boyish attraction to a pretty girl, and to his luck, this was very much reciprocated by an equally enamored lass.
From those innocent looks, rip-roaring playtime, and every little thing they enjoyed together as being the “Best” for one another, both then eventually called each other “Babe” after a simple SMS began that “puppy” relationship they instantly enjoyed.
Of course, the story revealed how such kind of relationship can easily fall apart like a house of cards with just simple peer pressure and with Mart’s new involvement with the varsity basketball team. While Sandra felt it was real, Mart thought it was pinning him down—a common occurrence among juvenile romances.
And there it ended, with Mart breaking up with Sandra even as she tried to reach out to her boyfriend to try to work things out. Indeed, it was sordid immaturity on the side of Mart, which was something his mom Emilia (Yayo Aguila) took issue with her son. Having been a victim of unfaithfulness herself with her philandering husband Reynaldo (Ricardo Cepeda), Emilia told Mart he was no different from his father. And that made Mart realize his mistakes and sought Sandra to ask forgiveness, all for naught. Apart from leaving the neighborhood they once shared, Sandra also changed all her contact details, also deactivating her Facebook account, to break all ties with Mart.
As they drifted apart for several years, Mart made it a point to deserve her forgiveness. He did excel in school and became a better person, respecting people around him and eventually reached his dreams. But the only thing missing that meant everything to Mart was Sandra. He realized how much she meant the world to him when she was gone.
Now a young adult Mart (Diego Loyzaga) suddenly found Sandra’s (Sofia Andres) profile on Facebook and made a friend request. She reluctantly accepted it, but feared Mart was the same person who hurt her. She scrolled down Mart’s profile to see a video he created, singing “Stay”, which amused and touched her heart. She clicked “Like” and paved the way for their first meeting after several years.
They did meet, and Mart personally asked for forgiveness for all that has happened and sought for a second chance. While Sandra said she would give him a “difficult time,” that rekindling of that electrifying first love was definitely forthcoming.
While it was a simple story of young love, MMK Cellphone, directed by Raz dela Torre and written by Benson Logronio and Arah Jell Badayos, showed how an emphatic, well-paced, and brilliantly acted presentation will leave an indelible impact on viewers. A lot were dumbfounded, touched, and moved by the episode, leaving them breathless as they witnessed the heartwarming depiction of how young love grows, falls, and rebuilds into a mature, true kind of love.
Its pre-show hashtag, #MMKWhenLoveGrows, became the top trending topic worldwide and in the Philippines from the time of the telecast until the next morning. Quite an incredible feat for online discussions for a television drama.
Zaijian Jaranilla and Belle Mariano can surely bring that sweet young love into quite a believable and identifiable portrayal. In fact, we won’t be surprised if this team-up would eventually blossom into more projects, either on TV or movies. Televiewers can’t get enough of them.