Sarah Geronimo, right, returns to the big screen in The Breakup Playlist, in which she stars with Piolo Pascual, left. Courtesy Star Cinema
Sarah Geronimo, right, returns to the big screen in The Breakup Playlist, in which she stars with Piolo Pascual, left. Courtesy Star Cinema

Love is in the air in Filipino star Sarah Geronimo’s latest film The Breakup Playlist

Filipino singer and actress Sarah Geronimo, no stranger to the UAE, has returned to the big screen with the romantic comedy The Breakup Playlist. And judging by the reviews from Manila, the 26-year-old star's box-office streak remains unblemished – and that's good news for the pop princess' legions of loyal fans.

But Geronimo’s success in the genre is hardly surprising. Love-centred plots have long been a staple of Philippine cinema, a tested formula worth rehashing for its enduring appeal. But the genre is also not immune to evolution; romcoms have kept up with the times – and changing tastes – of the audience. Here’s a look at why the genre is the gift that keeps on giving.

Romantic pairings

The concept of pairing two celebrities to create an illusion of reel-to-real union started with the emergence of the counterculture movement during the 1960s. Against that backdrop – amplified by rock ’n’ roll music and exposure to western cinema – Filipino producers were quick to recognise the restlessness of young audiences. Today’s Filipino filmgoers are no strangers to the monikers Guy and Pip (Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III) or Vi and Bot (Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz) – two of the most beloved on-screen couples in Philippine cinema.

The 1981 box-office hit Dear Heart introduced the pairing of Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion. The coming-of-age drama arguably set the foundation for Pinoy romantic films to come, and on the heels of its success came two other films starring the duo.

To their fans’ delight, Cuneta and Concepcion tied the knot, giving fans hope of a happily ever after. However, the union was short-lived and ended bitterly after three years.

The rich-poor dilemma

Girl meets boy and the two fall in love. End of story? No. Filipino romcoms are filled with the traditional rich-versus-poor conflict. This is, of course, a universal approach, but used quite prominently in Asian cinema, where the very real social divide makes for a great you-and-me-against-the-world storyline. Movies following this route are aplenty, including I Will Always Love You (2006) and Just One Summer (2012).

A light touch

While older Filipino celluloid romances leaned towards the dramatic, romcoms became dependable box-office gold because the humour balances all the tears and hand-wringing.

Geronimo's success in the genre is down to providing the light touch such stories demand. Her bubbly personality and killer one-liners have brought lasting appeal to her Ladia Magtalas character in the trilogy A Very Special Love (2008), You Changed My Life (2009), and It Takes a Man and a Woman (2013). Geronimo's other romcom blockbusters include: Won't Last a Day Without You (2011) and Maybe This Time (2014). Then there are the big earners that don't feature Geronimo, such as Got 2 Believe (2002); Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo (2007); My Big Love (2008) and My Amnesia Girl (2010).

Between the lines

Pinoy romantic novels are another rich source for producers and screenwriters to pillage from; the sheer melodrama on offer has provided ample material to generate successful drama series and movies.

These books are also credited with introducing fresh concepts that veer away from the formulaic plots churned out by the film industry. Modern romance writers, aside from being young, have more creative flexibility and are not constrained by the mainstream notion of “marketability” as dictated by film producers.

Successful adaptations include Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo? (2013), She's Dating The Gangster (2014) and Diary Ng Panget (2014).

A new generation of screenwriters and independent film studios have also emerged to develop the Fili­pino romcom. For a glimpse of the future of the genre, check out English Only, Please (2014) and That Thing Called Tadhana (2015).

The Breakup Playlist is out on Thursday, July 9


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others


Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya

Directors: Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Dharmendra, Dimple Kapadia, Rakesh Bedi

Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now


5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; Winner: Aahid Al Khalediah II, Pat Cosgrave (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: Whistle, Harry Bentley, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm: Wathba Stallions Cup - Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Alsaied, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

6.30pm: Emirates Fillies Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Mumayaza, Antonio Fresu, Eric Lemartinel

7pm: Emirates Colts Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

7.30pm: President’s Cup – Group 1 (PA) Dh2,500,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: Somoud, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle

8pm: President’s Cup – Listed (TB) Dh380,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Medahim, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Author: Alasdair Soussi

Pages: 300

Publisher: Scotland Street Press

Available: December 1

UAE v West Indies

First ODI - Sunday, June 4
Second ODI - Tuesday, June 6
Third ODI - Friday, June 9

Matches at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. All games start at 4.30pm

UAE squad
Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Adithya Shetty, Ali Naseer, Ansh Tandon, Aryansh Sharma, Asif Khan, Basil Hameed, Ethan D’Souza, Fahad Nawaz, Jonathan Figy, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Lovepreet Singh, Matiullah, Mohammed Faraazuddin, Muhammad Jawadullah, Rameez Shahzad, Rohan Mustafa, Sanchit Sharma, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan

Super 30

Produced: Sajid Nadiadwala and Phantom Productions
Directed: Vikas Bahl
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pankaj Tripathi, Aditya Srivastav, Mrinal Thakur
Rating: 3.5 /5

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The specs

Engine: 5.2-litre V10

Power: 640hp at 8,000rpm

Torque: 565Nm at 6,500rpm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto

Price: From Dh1 million

On sale: Q3 or Q4 2022


Vara will cater to three categories of companies in Dubai (except the DIFC):

Category A: Minimum viable product (MVP) applicants that are currently in the process of securing an MVP licence: This is a three-stage process starting with [1] a provisional permit, graduating to [2] preparatory licence and concluding with [3] operational licence. Applicants that are already in the MVP process will be advised by Vara to either continue within the MVP framework or be transitioned to the full market product licensing process.

Category B: Existing legacy virtual asset service providers prior to February 7, 2023, which are required to come under Vara supervision. All operating service proviers in Dubai (excluding the DIFC) fall under Vara’s supervision.

Category C: New applicants seeking a Vara licence or existing applicants adding new activities. All applicants that do not fall under Category A or B can begin the application process through their current or prospective commercial licensor — the DET or Free Zone Authority — or directly through Vara in the instance that they have yet to determine the commercial operating zone in Dubai. 


Uefa Champions League quarter-final, second leg (first-leg score)

Porto (0) v Liverpool (2), Wednesday, 11pm UAE

Match is on BeIN Sports

THE BIO: Martin Van Almsick

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Family: Wife Hanan Ahmed and their three children, Marrah (23), Tibijan (19), Amon (13)

Favourite dessert: Umm Ali with dark camel milk chocolate flakes

Favourite hobby: Football

Breakfast routine: a tall glass of camel milk


Championship play-offs, second legs:

Aston Villa 0
Middlesbrough 0

(Aston Villa advance 1-0 on aggregate)

Fulham 2
Sessegnon (47'), Odoi (66')

Derby County 0

(Fulham advance 2-1 on aggregate)


Saturday, May 26, Wembley. Kick off 8pm (UAE) 

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 680hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 800Nm at 2,750-6,000rpm
Transmission: Rear-mounted eight-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 13.6L/100km
On sale: Orderbook open; deliveries start end of year
Price: From Dh970,000

Seemar’s top six for the Dubai World Cup Carnival:

1. Reynaldothewizard
2. North America
3. Raven’s Corner
4. Hawkesbury
5. New Maharajah
6. Secret Ambition

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