Angela Faye Samonte, USC Intern / Writer
In the realm of Filipino cinema, few love teams have left an indelible mark like KathNiel—the tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. With a shared journey of 12 years, including an 11-year, real-life romance, their recent breakup has left fans in bittersweet nostalgia.
As we navigate the waves of nostalgia post their recent breakup, let’s take a delightful trip down memory lane with five of the most nostalgic KathNiel movies that continue to make us believe in love.
“Must Be Love” (2013): Nuances of young love
In this coming-of-age romance, Kathryn plays Patchot, a girl who discovers her feelings for her childhood best friend, Ivan (Daniel). The film captures the essence of innocent love, portraying the beauty of friendships blossoming into something more. The heartfelt lesson lies in the simplicity of acknowledging one’s emotions, emphasizing the importance of understanding love in its purest form. Issues arise when Patchot’s cousin Angel arrives, and Ivan quickly develops feelings for her.
A memorable line that lingers is Patchot’s confession: “Nagselos ako, nainggit ako, nasaktan ako... kasi hanggang friends mo lang ako eh.”
“She’s Dating the Gangster” (2014): Love transcends time
This flick takes us through two timelines, with Kathryn playing Athena Dizon and Daniel as Kenji Delos Reyes. In the ‘90s, Athena, a kind and geeky student, ends up pretending to be the girlfriend of the popular bad boy Kenji. The storyline weaves between two generations, emphasizing the timeless nature of true love. It encourages us to believe that genuine connections can endure the tests of time and circumstance, reminding us that love, once rooted, can weather any storm.
As the characters navigate the complexities of life, the famous line echoes the bittersweet truth: “Tumaya ka lang. Kung masasaktan tayo, eh ‘di masaktan. Parte ng pagmamahal ‘yun ‘di ba?”
“Barcelona: A Love Untold” (2016): Embracing second chances
Set against the picturesque backdrop of Barcelona, this film traces the journey of Ely (Daniel) and Mia (Kathryn), two souls scarred by their pasts. It beautifully illustrates that love can heal wounds and that second chances are worth embracing. Life may bring unexpected turns, but true love remains resilient. Sometimes, letting go of the past is the key to unlocking a brighter future.
The famous line, “Huwag mo akong mahalin dahil mahal kita. Mahalin mo ako dahil mahal mo ako, because that is what I deserve,” captures the raw honesty of confronting the complexities of love.
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” (2017): Navigating a marriage mishap
This romantic comedy unfolds the tale of Gab (Kathryn) and Dos (Daniel), who find themselves accidentally married in a quaint provincial town. As the two attempt to annul their marriage, fate intervenes, teaching us that love can be unpredictable and sometimes requires us to let go of our carefully laid plans.
Dos’ famous line, “Sa totoo lang ‘di ko naman kailangan maging sigurado, kasi kapag nandyan ka, okay na ako,” embraces the unexpected turns of life and love, emphasizing that as long as the person is there, everything turns out fine.
“The Hows of Us” (2018): Facing reality
Tackling the harsh realities of a long-term relationship, “The Hows of Us” brings us the story of George (Kathryn) and Primo (Daniel). It delves into the struggles of maintaining love amid life’s challenges, making it a poignant and relatable journey. The film teaches us that relationships demand effort, sacrifice and a willingness to grow together.
Sometimes, love is not about the grand gestures but the everyday commitment. Primo wins over a thousand skeptical hearts with his renowned line: “Sana samahan mo pa rin ako in finding out the answers to all the hows, hanggang maipanalo lang natin ‘to.”
As we bask in the warmth of KathNiel’s big screen journey, these films not only bring back the “kilig” moments but also impart timeless lessons on love, resilience, and growth. Despite the shifts in their real-life narrative, the magic of KathNiel remains etched in the hearts of many and is a testament to the enduring legacy of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla—the quintessential on-screen love team that defined an era.