I visited our Jakarta office early last year when one of my colleagues (who got recently immersed in Philippine show business and eventually got familiarized with the concept of ‘love teams’) asked why are we so enamored by actor-actress pairings on television and movies. She asked, “these couples are not even in real relationships — but why do people still believe in them?” In Indonesia, local celebrities gain massive popularity too, but people adore individuals rather than male-female pairs.

It’s true — ‘love teams’ are quite unique in the Philippines. Although the Western world also has beautiful celebrity pairings (such as Brangellina and the Beckhams), we have taken our fanaticism up a notch.

Unlike Hollywood where actors can be paired with other actors, our showbiz world operates unorthodoxly. Once you form a love team (especially a very popular one), you somehow end up being at the mercy of your fandom: no more chances to get paired with other celebrities; you are expected to remain sweet to each other at all times (on-cam and off-cam); people hope that you will end up together as a real couple.

And once you break your love team for whatsoever reason, your fandom will mourn —  forever. 

Why are we into Love Teams?

The Philippines is a traditional country where love and romance are at the very core of our society. We believe in happy endings and in love stories. We find optimism and bliss in romance. We love seeing things that inspire us and moments that are aspirational.

Love teams give us a glimpse of young love: of potentials and of new beginnings.

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I’ve gathered feedback from other friends, and here’s why they think love teams work in our country:

There are many hopeless romantics in the Philippines. – Denise

Having love teams is just another layer of show business. So why is show business a big deal? It’s a form of escapism. A form of projecting desires. – Kat

The concept of love is very easy to sell to Filipinos. We are big fans of love. – Rob 

In the course of Philippine history, we’ve seen love teams that have emerged even as early as the ’30s.

Here are the most popular love teams in the Philippines from past to present:

Carmen Rosales & Rogelio de la Rosa: Original Sampaguita Pictures King and Queen of Cinema (’40s)

Nida Blanca & Nestor de Villa: Of ‘Romansa sa Nayon’ and ‘The Nida-Nestor Show’ in the ’50s and ‘60s

Guy (Nora Aunor) & Pip (Tirso Cruz III): First appeared as a love team in 1969 for the movie ‘Young Girl’

Sharon Cuneta & Gabby Concepcion: The ‘Dear Heart’ (1982) stars who eventually got married in real life. Years later, the two also separated.

Vilma Santos & Bobot Mortiz: Launched in the film, ‘Young Love’ (1970), alongside Guy & Pip 

Maricel Soriano & William Martinez: The top Regal babies who were launched via ‘Oh My Mama’ in 1981

Sheryl Cruz & Romnick Sarmenta: The ‘That’s Entertainment’ darlings in the ’80s

Judy Ann Santos & Wowie de Guzman: The ‘Mara Clara’ stars of the longest-running teleserye in the country 

Jolina Magdangal & Marvin Agustin: The love team that popularized the line — ‘Oh yes, kaibigan mo lang ako. Kaibigan mo lang ako’ (from ‘Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang?’)

Angelu de Leon & Bobby Andrews: From the revolutionary Saturday teen show, ‘TGIS’ (Thank God It’s Saturday)

Claudine Barretto & Rico Yan: Stars of the successful teleserye ‘Mula sa Puso’ and the blockbuster movie ‘Got 2 Believe’

Kristine Hermosa & Jericho Rosales: Undeniable superstar chemistry in ‘Pangako Sa Yo’ (2000-2002)

Bea Alonzo & John Lloyd Cruz: Millennials know them as Popoy and Basha from the film, ‘One More Chance’

Kim Chiu & Gerald Anderson: PBB Teens’ accidental love team which is also known as Kimerald

Kathryn Bernardo & Daniel Padilla: Popularly known as KathNiel which also starred in the remake of ‘Pangako Sa Yo’ (2015)

Nadine Lustre & James Reid: From reel to real as they say, JaDine started their love team in the film ‘Diary ng Panget’

Maine Mendoza & Alden Richards: AlDub conquered 2014-2015 as possibly the most popular love team in the country when they were launched in ‘Eat Bulaga’s Kalyeserye’

Liza Soberano & Enrique Gil: LizQuen first appeared together as supporting characters in the 2013 Star Cinema film, ‘She’s the One’

**Photos from Google Images**