REVIEW: MMK “Halo-Halo” shows the right mix to find true love

While most love stories we watch or read most often give us the unabated thrills, chills, and most aptly the kilig we all feel, it is when the lovers end up committed to one another that reality sets in and make them wonder, was it all worth it?

Biggest challenge

MMK’s “Halo-Halo” shows how a realization brings about the biggest challenge to a relationship, and how this painful test turned out to become their validation.

Gellen (Ritz Azul) and Jomz (Ejay Falcon) are two characters we don’t miss in your standard romantic fare. Both fastfood crewmembers, they had truly fallen for each other. Gellen, a working student, is the aggressive, strong-willed woman and would do anything to get what she wants. And Jomz, a co-worker, truly became someone she really wanted.

She would thus do anything to make Jomz notice her. However, it seemed all her attempts went for naught. But this didn’t stop Gellen from pursuing Jomz, even succeeding in having a common work shift. But little did she know that Jomz had actually fallen for her from the start and was waiting for the right time to “confess” his love.

Time came when he did confess, actually profess, his love and revealed how he actually tried his best to express how he felt yet couldn’t muster the courage until that fateful day.

Reality check

And as their relationship made that joyful commencement, both Gellen and Jomz got one big reality check: it wasn’t really a life happily ever after.

Now living under one roof, Gellen would constantly nag Jomz about text messages and late trysts with buddies, even suspicions about lady co-workers. She feared that her relationship with Jomz would turn out the same way as what happened to her parents Thelma (Teresa Loyzaga) and Ricardo (Efren Reyes, Jr.) , who had parted ways.

All came to a boiling point, when Gellen became livid about Jomz going out on a drinking spree with his friends when he actually promised to her he won’t. Jomz told Gellen that he endured two years of nagging and loss of trust and sacrificed personal time out of love and devotion to her and said he had enough. He eventually left her despite her apologies.

Blamed herself

Gellen was devastated and blamed herself for their estrangement. Thelma told Gellen that she should not assume that her relationship with Jomz or any other man would turn out to be just like her parents. Now that they had separated, Thelma advised Gellen to learn from her mistakes and move on.

And years passed and Gellen did move on. Still hurting from her failed relationship, Gellen found the strength to focus on reaching her dreams. Now a successful corporate auditor, Gellen still had that deep void in her heart she wanted to fill with only one person in mind.

Back together

Until one night as she was on the way home by a street corner, she found him. Jomz was on the other side of the street, alone and looking desolate as well. And, when their eyes meet, the happiness was all too real.

They were together again and talked. With that imposing, familiar celebratory structure at the heart of Manila as backdrop, they were beaming yet apologetic about their past ills. And, as Gellen excused herself, Jomz called her out and professed the same love he said before. Gellen slowly admitted feeling the same, yet was wary about what may happen next. Jomz, holding her tearful face, said he too was afraid but with all that they went through, they should be confident that they can overcome. And, they kissed.

Truly, it wasn’t still life happily ever after, but what’s different is how their love became stronger and wiser amidst the difficulties of life together when they spend the following years as husband and wife.

As real as it gets

We all conjure up castles, charming princes and beautiful princesses in dream fairy tales when we celebrate that once in a lifetime romance, we often end up frustrated and disappointed when it becomes as real as it gets.

But it is during these times we get to truly know how much two people love one another, and during these times of hardship we get to realize the true essence of love for all its worth.

MMK’s “Halo-Halo” episode, directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar and written by Benson Logronio, warms our hearts and presents with clarity all the rough-and-tumble, the distrust, uncertainties that befall the early stages of a committed relationship. While most who have gone through this stage have a mere smirk to validate its truthfulness, this serves as a fitting lesson to those about to enter what is supposed to be a lifelong bond. It takes more than the giddy boy-meets-girl fervor—it’s real love, loyalty, and trust to make forever really happen.

Impressive portrayal

Ritz Azul gave an impressive portrayal of the lovestruck yet forceful Gellen in expressing a kind of love that’s both sincere yet unwittingly spiteful. What’s even more praiseworthy are those painstaking shifts in emotion, sometimes in one frame. Indeed, a promising actress on the rise.

Ejay Falcon, on the other hand, has made stark improvements in his acting, particularly in this outing, wherein he delivered a delightful depiction of the unassuming yet genuine Jomz. Hopefully, he could be given more challenging roles to further improve his craft.

Hats off likewise to Teresa Loyzaga for a deeply felt and moving portrayal of Thelma. As with her previous depictions of difficult, multi-faceted characters, Teresa nailed a well-internalized and gripping performance.