CAGAYAN DE ORO

Sia: But was JaDine even real in the first place?

IT'S a symptom that all's not right with our society when people care too much about the end of celebrity relationships, like that of James Reid and Nadine Lustre, aka JaDine.

This, like many other topics, is something I've been hesitant to comment on for some time, especially considering the backlash I could get from fans and others. However, in light of all the hype surrounding the much-awaited Valentine's Day this week, I have decided not to remain silent on this matter any longer. Writers like yours truly have a moral obligation to society, you see.

The first thing people ought to realize about celebrity couples -- or "love teams" as they're often called -- is that both parties are often always actors in some capacity or another. While this could apply to influential people with very public lives like Donald and Melania Trump, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Doug Kramer and Cheska Garcia, and Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez, in the case of James and Nadine, they literally both are.

This means that their purpose in life is to make a good impression in the eyes of the public, and oftentimes that calls for them to pretend to be things that they're not. In the case of politicians like Donald Trump, that means making big promises he has no intention to follow through, like building a wall on the southern border. In the case of actors and actresses, that means getting people hooked on your chemistry, both on and off screen, for the sake of generating more movie ticket sales and bagging more product endorsements.

And in the cutthroat world of showbiz, in which they constantly face fierce competition from rivals like KathNiel and LizQuen, it's understandable for James and Nadine to do whatever it takes to remain relevant and keep the JaDine brand shining, even if it means maintaining a relationship that could be politely described as less than sincere.

Does that mean all celebrity couples are fake and therefore not worthy of people's admiration? Not necessarily. In spite of everything I've said so far, there are celebrity couples who do grow old together, like Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland -- the best example of such a couple I can come up with, and sadly the only one I can think of right off the bat. However, notwithstanding the public image they must constantly maintain as actors and celebrities, such couples tend to lead very private lives, and so their relationships aren't used as selling points.

And rightfully so, as the romantic relationship between a man and a woman is something private and special that belongs to them first and foremost, and then and only then to their families and the immediate community in which they are situated. To take their relationship public for the sake of winning elections or selling school notebooks with their faces on the cover would only put an undue and heavy strain on the relationship, and wrongfully shifts the focus from the love they should have for each other to the performance they must now put on for the sake of strangers with money.

That said, it is important for us to appreciate celebrity couples for what they really are instead of what we desperately want them to be. We must realize that regardless of the authenticity of the relationship or lack thereof, we must realize that at best, they are performance art pieces put on for the sake of inspiring feelings of warmth and affection in their fans.

While celebrity couples do tend to inspire cultlike followings, as evidenced by the nationwide fallout that took place when the JaDine split was revealed to be real and final, we must take care to remind ourselves that such things (they are called "idols" for a reason, after all) can and should never replace things that we can personally experience to be real and very much within our reach, such as the love we get from our family, our friends, and of course, our significant others.

"Now, it seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table, but you only want the ones that you can't get," goes the song Desperado by the Eagles. A lovely song to be sure, but also a timeless warning. Let us heed that warning then, and take the time to fully appreciate the real love that is already in all of our own lives.


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