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5 Lessons We Learned From Laida Magtalas And Miggy Montenegro

It’s been 10 years since a very special film came out that saw two of local cinema’s most respected actors give life to what would be one of the greatest tandems before all the portmanteaus of romantic shipping came out in KathNiel, JaDine, MayWard, et al.

A Very Special Love, directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, was Sarah Geronimo’s first film with Star Cinema in a lead female role after Sarah: The Teen Princess thirteen years prior. She plays Laida Magtalas, the diamond-in-the-rough who lands the opportune job as assistant to John Lloyd Cruz’ Miggy Montenegro, an egomaniacal bachelor who’s out to prove he’s more than that.

Of course, in true romcom formula, the two opposites eventually attract, and their love story went on to gross ?179,235,324 in its entire run to become the highest grossing Filipino film of 2008.

Today, while Sarah (who just turned 30) has found a very special love in boyfriend Matteo Guidicelli, and JLC has exited the building to live a life away from the spotlight, we find ourselves happily reminiscing a time when the two shared the big screen and reinforced these lessons in life and love in each of us.


Dreams do come true.

A stable job, check! Working for crush, check! As the saying goes, when you want something bad enough, the whole Universe will conspire for you to get it. Laida never gave up on her dreams and it brought her to the right place at the right time—in the middle of a team meeting gone awry holding coffee for the tyrant of the office who happens to be the man of her dreams.


But while dreams come true, it’s up to you to keep them alive.

Crushes fade, jobs get increasingly difficult, and when you realize there’s a gap between expectation and reality, you’re probably already on the verge of falling through the cracks. And that’s okay. As long as you know that it’s temporary and eventually you’ll have to brush yourself off and start again.


When you see the best in people, you might actually inspire them to live up to it.

Everybody hated Miggy and saw him for the bully he was. But not Laida. She always tried to understand and see past the façade and eventually Miggy sees himself more clearly through her eyes and begins to mold himself accordingly, to everyone’s pleasant surprise.

Sometimes people just need someone to care enough to want to believe they’re not as broken as they feel on the inside. Find someone brave enough to prove you wrong and stand by you as you make things right.


Family is family.

Miggy may not feel worthy of the Montenegro legacy because he’s his father’s bastard, but what he realizes later on is that you don’t need to prove your ‘worth’ to family. They know it even when they don’t realize it. They know your strengths and weaknesses, and even when they give you a hard time, it stems from a place of genuine concern.


No matter how impossible the request, you still try.


While we were all waiting with bated breath if the rain will truly stop while Miggy was doing the rain dance, we knew that he knew that it was impossible—but it didn’t stop him from trying.

Sometimes the people we love just want to see how far we’ll go for them, how much we’re willing to risk, and if we’re willing to look silly to oblige unreasonable requests just because they asked us to. They’re not always looking for results, they’re looking for effort.


Photos from Star Cinema