Just between us two, how many times have you seen a Jollibee commercial and were surprised to find yourself actually tearing up? You go first. I have a stone-cold rep to protect.
TBH, it doesn’t surprise us anymore when the fast-food chain serves us award-winning short films that hit us with the feels. Jollibee Studios’ film series called “#KwentongJollibee” is back with tearjerkers, just in time for Valentine’s season. (Remember “Vow” from 2017? Ouch.)
Jollibee is offering three new stories about love under quarantine. If you’re wondering if the brand can bring anything new to the table since we’ve been talking about pandemic love stories since last year, I can attest that its team of directors helped give the short films a sense of timelessness. I was part of an exclusive virtual screening so I can’t spill *all* the deets. But I can say that the films are heartwarming and have relatable narratives that really captured the theme #FindStrengthInLove.
On Feb. 4, Jollibee premiered the first short film from the trio called “LDR.” Directed by 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Director Antoinette Jadaone, it follows the story of Mina who doesn’t believe that long-distance relationships can work, but found herself in one anyway. At first, Mina’s a little judge-y and cynical (I got a teeny-tiny Aubrey Plaza vibe from it which I enjoyed). Enter relationship woes and she realizes that she’s not above it. Mina quips in one scene, “Nagka-LDR ako. Lockdown relationship.”
It’s not really a will they-won’t-they break up story, but it’s definitely angsty. Fans of JaDine’s “Never Not Love You” might find a few things to make comparisons with. The highlight? A moody dance in the middle of an empty road.
Coming out on Feb. 8 is the second episode titled “First Date,” directed by Pepe Diokno. It’s about a woman named Mara who’s definitely going through it as she faces flat tires and plumbing problems all alone. She meets a special friend who gives her a hand and, as you can guess from the title, they go on a date. It has a clever twist at the end that will have you reflecting on whether the choices you made last year were the best for you. It’s such a cute story that literally made me go, “Aww.”
Last but not least is director Ianco dela Cruz’s “Hero.” I’ll be watching it with the rest of the world when it premieres on Feb. 12. But Jollibee seems to be cluing us in that it’s the one that packs the strongest punch. It talks about how one person’s love can help another get through the hardest days. My guess is that its protagonist is a frontliner. Want to bet?
Jollibee Philippines Marketing Head Francis Flores said about the brand’s Valentine’s series: “Challenges and rough times are felt more now than ever before, leaving people a little doubtful of love. That is why this year, what we would like to highlight is that there is strength to be found in love that is determined to overcome all hardships, and make it work.”