It’s been quite a dream for one Korean drama fanatic in the Philippines to witness on television.
How a Filipino man and Korean woman would have a captivating love story told on primetime TV. This happened quite emphatically on the MMK episode “Red Watch” that had these K-Drama or K-Pop fans raving and cheering that this eventuality could come true, as its pre-show hashtag #MMKSaranghae became a worldwide and Philippine top trending topic on Twitter.
While the story might not mirror what an ordinary K-Drama would present, this still gives that same effect on viewers and perhaps with even a deeper impact.
Typical Pinoy lad
No, Tim (Ejay Falcon) is not your usual K-Drama male lead—a stern, arrogant, sometimes vile dude who gives that leading lady the most difficult time in each encounter yet learns slowly but surely how crazy he is in love with her. Well, he is actually a typical Filipino lad, very much laid back, having less care of the world around him (only himself), least fragile about relationships, always the protected and spoiled darling of the family, and seemingly clueless about what the future holds.
He meets Namu (Sunny Kim) in a school charity activity that had Korean exchange students participating. He sees her as if time had stopped, mesmerized as he could not say anything as they were introduced. And then as he regained his wits, it started with a “hello.”
But it seemed Namu wasn’t smitten at first. She even denied being attracted to him, describing Tim as having an ostrich face, as friends warned her of his being a womanizer.
Yet as Tim had instantly fallen for her, he tried all the tricks in the book to win her heart, despite the language barrier and the cultural differences. They first had their intimate encounter at a beach wherein the ice broke and they had a fun time together.
With those warm conversations, it seemed that even as they spoke totally different languages, they still understood each other. And they still connected despite all.
As Tim volunteered to drive his Korean friends home, including Namu, it was really a stroke of fate that she left her red watch in his car. The next day, Tim found it and took selfies with Namu’s watch in cutesy poses and sent them to her.
At this point, when she saw these photos on her phone, she found Tim adorable. And, it was apparent, she also had fallen in love.
Crazy in love
After spending more time with Namu in those charity projects, slowly but surely, this Korean lass realized she was also fallen crazy in love. She calls Tim while in an outreach in Leyte and tells him she was lonely and misses him badly. Tim tells Namu he misses her too and is excited to see her when she gets back to Manila.
When they met, and walked by a park on the way home, they couldn’t hold back their feelings for each other. And as Tim gave her a gift of hand-made napkins he himself took a lot of time to do for her charity work, she appreciated them so much that she said she wanted to kiss him but don’t know how.
Here, Tim “taught” her how to do it, caressing her, and finally planting his lips on hers for an exhilarating smooch that should have made electrified viewers scream.
She however expressed her sadness that her mission was over and that she had to return to Korea. But that didn’t stop their romance.
Joyous video call
They would still have Internet video chats to bridge the distance. And in one joyous video call, Tim relayed to her the good news that he had “finally” graduated, emphasizing how much Namu was an inspiration to him to become a better man.
When she came back to the country for another mission, Tim introduced her to the family and all were delighted to see how enamoring she was. He also brought her to the egg wholesale and distribution company he now manages. She noticed that Tim was not a hands-on boss and would entrust important financial dealings with a subordinate. Namu warned Tim about it but he downplayed it, saying the subordinate had his family’s trust for years.
Time came when Namu revealed to Tim in a video chat that she needed to find work in Korea to support her family and that she would not be able to visit the Philippines that often. Tim told her not to worry, saying he would be the one who’ll visit her more frequently in Korea. Namu immediately instructed Tim to apply for a visa right away.
But that didn’t happen as Tim’s application and subsequent attempts have been denied. Misfortune came as their trusted subordinate had siphoned off millions of pesos from the family business under his watch, which could lead to its collapse.
It also became quite troublesome for Tim to have other priorities, such as his law studies, which has stressed him out. And while all of these were happening, he had totally lost touch with Namu, whose phone and video calls he had repeatedly missed.
And, when Namu found it necessary to visit the Philippines again because of Tim’s problems, she told off Tim about how he had been so amiss about their relationship. And that he could easily forget her once he faced difficulties in life, including that problem with the subordinate who took away their money, which she warned him about.
She then told him he was selfish and irresponsible as he could have found a way to work things out if he wanted it. She still insists she loves him but told him it seemed he doesn’t know how to love her back. Namu left him without any certainty about how their relationship would move further. It was then up to Tim if he would still fight for their relationship or just cry over his difficulties and surrender.
As his mother Irma (Isay Alvarez) and father James (Lito Pimentel) talk about selling their properties to pay-off the corporate debts to suppliers as a result of their employee’s laundering activities, Tim told them that it was time he won’t depend on his family anymore to save him, and that he would be the one to find a way out of the mess he was responsible for. And, as he revealed that he and Namu were not together anymore, his lola Pret (Lollie Mara) urged him not to bail out just because he feels he has hurt Namu countless times. She told him to show her how much he loves her by fighting for their relationship and that he would do anything just to keep her in his life.
Tim saw enlightenment and as Namu made another return to the country, he was waiting by the airport arrival area to declare how much he loves her and that he would always remain dedicated and responsible to keep their love alive. This brought Namu to tears as they embraced.
Since then, Namu had also been helping Tim in his problems, including finding a solution to pay off those debts. She told him that selling his property, car and others would be enough to pay his suppliers—suggestions Tim appreciated. And as they shared ways on how to work things out, Tim took out something from his pocket and made it official. In his ultimate expression of love, Tim popped the question and with a ring in his hand, asked Nam her hand in marriage. She shivered yet was tearfully ecstatic in saying yes. They got married in civil rites, which allowed both of them to celebrate their love wherever they are, either in Korea or in the Philippines, and be there for each other.
Thus, even with that vast distance in race, culture and language, the heart of the matter was that love was real between them and that alone brought them together through thick and thin, regardless of whatever ordeal or challenge may come.
It’s a love story masterfully directed by rom-com savant Ted Boborol and written by Mae Rose Balanay and Arah Jell Badayos, no one can ignore or take aside. It shows a love so real that it not only brings about happiness and strength despite the barriers, it changes you to become a better person.
We are so delighted with Ejay Falcon’s portrayal of Tim, as his charm and wit provide that magnetic aura of a romantic male lead. But we are so impressed with how Sunny Kim really nails it as a young Korean lady expressing a genuine love that knows no bounds—something so reminiscent of gorgeous and enthralling K-Drama female leads who captivated us through the years. And of course, she is a true thespic revelation as well, signifying how she can impressively bring life to a believable character.