Pinoy Movie x Book Match: Till There Was You

Pinoy Movie x Book Match is back for the new year! And hey, faux relationship trope fans…this one is for you! ^_^ My first Pinoy Movie x Book Match for 2020 features the Piolo Pascual-Judy Ann Santos film Till There Was You.


Till There Was You (Star Cinema, 2003) tells the story of Albert, a single dad who rides the bus one day and meets a woman who makes an instant connection with his crying baby. The woman accidentally leaves her book at the next stop, along with a photo of her pressed between its pages. Albert never encounters the woman again, but his mother, Zita, has found use for the photo he retrieved. Through the years, Zita has used the woman’s photo to calm Albert’s child, Pippa, going so far as to “introduce” the woman as Pippa’s mother.

Fast-forward to the present, it’s Pippa’s birthday, and as she watches a pair of performers in front of her, she realizes one of them is her mother. Excited to see her mother in the flesh for the first time, Pippa thanks her dad for surprising her on her birthday. Albert then realizes one of the performers they hired for his daughter’s birthday is the same woman he met on the bus all those years ago. And now that Pippa’s met her, she wouldn’t stop asking for her mother.

Determined to fix this mix-up, Albert’s solution is to hire the woman, Joanna, to pretend to be Pippa’s mother until such time he could tell his daughter the truth. In the middle of playing pretend, they develop feelings for each other. Thing is, neither of them are prepared to do anything about it.

Till There Was You is available for viewing on iWant.

“Joanna, hindi ako magaling sa ganito…pero ikaw ang gumulo sa buhay ko. Ikaw ang sumira sa paninindigan ko. Joanna, ikaw lang ang tumarantado sa pagkatao ko. At higit sa lahat, ikaw ang kauna-unahang babaeng pinakamamahal ko. I love you.”

“Hindi! Hindi mo ako madadala diyan sa ‘I love you’ mong yan. At hindi mo rin ako madadala sa ganda ng pananalita mo, kahit na kasing-ganda pa ng katawan mo yan. Dahil yung sakit na nararamdaman ko ngayon, eh higit pa sa kaguwapuhan mo!”

Albert & Joanna

^ I remember seeing this movie in the theatres and CACKLING when these lines came up. I’m not much of a Piolo-Juday fan but I liked this movie a lot (and that other one called Bakit ‘Di Totohanin where he trains her to be a boxer so she could fight and reclaim ownership of her father’s boxing gym).


I’ve mentioned in my last Pinoy Movie x Book Match post that this trope is one of my favorites (sometimes ties with enemies-to-lovers), but I realized I liked it late in the game. Here are #romanceclass titles that’ll whet your appetite for the faux relationship trope!

What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra

It’s the classic one-night stand: Beach wedding, bridesmaid, groom’s friend. When Andrea and Damon meet, sparks fly, and they give in to the attraction. Sounds simple, but Andrea’s still getting over someone, and Damon thought he’d be hooking up with another person that night. It could still be simple, really, if they chalk it up to a weekend tryst and move on.

But one night becomes lunch the week after, and then dinner the next weekend…and before they know it, Andrea and Damon are still together, dealing with the feelings they know they might still have for other people. How hard can it be to get exactly what you want? How do you even know what it is?

***Andrea and Damon met in prequel short story WEDDING NIGHT STAND, but this book can be read as a standalone.***

If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

Martha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe.

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what?

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side.

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Five-minute girlfriend. This is what Jett signs up for when she meets Adrian and his band Arabella at beach music festival Summer Storm. One kiss and the attraction is too electric to ignore, but Jett has no room for love and Adrian is Mr. Relationship who’s getting over his recent breakup. The solution? Keep it simple. Keep it casual. For three months (that’s the rule about breakups, right?), Jett helps Adrian move on and Adrian shows up on Jett’s bed whenever she wants.

Then the three months are up and neither of them are in a hurry to be the first to leave. Does Jett walk away from a potential disaster or does she finally let someone into her closely-guarded heart?

Like Nobody’s Watching by Tara Frejas

It’s all fun and games until someone catches feelings.

If there’s something Pio Alvez is good at, it’s pretending to be someone he’s not. On stage and on-screen, the actor has mastered the art of becoming the characters he plays, and his new role should be no different. After all, how difficult would it be to pretend to be smitten with a beautiful, intelligent go-getter like Audrey Alonzo?

Perhaps it’s more difficult pretending not to be.

Fake It ‘Til We Make It, from You Could Be the One by Ana Tejano

Maybe the One has been right in front of you all along.

Experience the spark of discovering something new with someone familiar in You Could Be the One, a collection of stories about friends, lovers, and friends becoming lovers. Complications abound when the line between platonic and romantic gets blurred, but they did say that friendship is the foundation of a great love story. Will you take the risk for a relationship upgrade?

Fake It Till We Make It

Ruth Garcia is in her thirties and still hasn’t been in any relationship. She’s totally fine with that, but her family thinks otherwise. When her aunt orders her to bring a significant other to the next family event, she enlists her friend Ian Balboa to be her fake boyfriend. But when things go a little too well, she wonders just how they’ll get out of it without ruining their friendship. But does she even want to end the charade?

And there you have it—another edition of Pinoy Movie x Book Match! ^_^ Wonder which movie I’ll feature next…

Any requests?

More Filipino-authored romances in English may be found at the #romanceclass website.

What is #romanceclass?

#romanceclass is a community of:

  • Authors who attended #romanceclass, #romanceclass2016, the steamy reads, YA classes organized by Mina V. Esguerra
  • Readers of the books by those authors
  • Readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors
  • Actors and artists who are part of the event and publishing process

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