10 Tagalog Rom-Com Films To Watch For That Extra Kilig This Valentine’s Day

Laugh and fall in love with this curated list of Tagalog rom-com films

Valentine’s Day comes meaningful for all since it emits a warm air of romance that needs to be filled in and realized. It’s the time of the year when love is expressed louder and with conviction—be it platonic or romantic.

If you’re looking for a good way to spend Heart’s Day, the company of a film is surely the best way to go. So, whether your wounds are still fresh from a devastating heartbreak or you want to bask in happy hormones, binge-watching a rom-com never disappoints. 

With that, FreebieMNL curates a list of Tagalog rom-com films guaranteed to give you an explorative experience filled with witty banter, heartwarming moments, and a dash of romance. 

“English Only, Please” (2014) 

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

Under the helm of director Dan Villegas, this film takes a closer look at the complicated tapestry of love and language—ultimately focusing on how these two concepts overlap and play synchronically when persevered. 

The story revolves around Julian (Derek Ramsay) who hires a language specialist named Tere (Jennylyn Mercado) to settle a score with an ex-girlfriend. Tere is tasked to help Julian with learning Tagalog so he can translate an English love letter more comprehensively for his ex. 

What makes the film so relatable is the use of one particular, calloused-but-always-effective trope: a hardworking lady—usually branded as the breadwinner of the family—finds romance in a handsome, hard-hearted man. 

More so, it takes the greater risk of implementing cultural and economic differences to highlight a more yielding kind of love that is both humorous and touching. 

“English Only, Please” is available for streaming on Netflix. 

“She’s Dating The Gangster” (2014)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

Director Cathy Garcia-Sampana is successful in turning the much-loved Wattpad story into a blockbuster film, and such is so for a number of reasons.

One, she crazed up the fans by having Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla in the lead. Two, she never missed the storyline from the original book, and three, she integrated the right amount of humor, romance, and tears in one romantic-comedy film.

“She’s Dating The Gangster” follows the story of Athena Dizon (Kathryn Bernardo), a straight-laced college student sweeped on the floor by a notorious rebel, Kenji Delos Reyes (Daniel Padilla).

What started as a play-pretend to make Kenji’s ex-girlfriend jealous then turned into a deeper, fonder connection, as they make life out of college, their pasts, and the taxing realities of life. 

With its introspective plot hinged on forgiveness, redemption, and transformative power love, this film is truly a must-watch this Valentine’s day. 

“She’s Dating The Gangster” is available on Netflix. 

“Vince and Kath and James” (2016) 

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

Another book-to-screen rom-com that boldly wears mainstream film formula is Theodore Boborol’s “Vince and Kath and James.” 

Its genius lies in the hidden feelings of one man expressed only through another man’s perseverance—a classic plot that alludes to the 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac” and Olivia Lamasan’s 2002 hit film “Got 2 Believe.” 

For Vince (Joshua Garcia), the attestation of his love for Kath (Julia Barretto) is the romantic lines he posts under the name Da Vince Quotes. Admiring Kath from afar, he was then unwittingly put at the back of the game when his cousin James (Ronnie Alonte) asked him to help win Kath. 

As the three of them are caught in a love triangle, concepts of friendship, self-discovery, and sacrifices become the focal points that ferry the whole film through. Topped with humor and romance, the film just sits as one of the staples for a feel-good film, regardless of the occasion. 

“Vince and Kath and James” can be streamed on Netflix. 

“My Amnesia Girl” (2010)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

This film is yet another classic romantic comedy film from the mind of director Cathy Garcia-Sampana. Met with high regard, it’s just another addition to Direk Cathy’s exquisite formula of integrating drama, comedy, and romance in one visual treat. 

In this film, Glen Apollo (John Lloyd Cruz) along with the pressure of his peers settling down in life, seeks true love. But in doing so, he detours to a path leading back to his ex-girlfriend Irene (Toni Gonzaga). 

Despite their past where he left Irene at the altar, Apollo gets the chance to rewrite their history now that Irene suffers from amnesia. However, Irene’s diagnosis is not what it seems, and just when the plot may have given it all, the story thickens in a poignant and confrontational trajectory.

Get a fond trip to the past as this film explores rekindling of romance, confronting past pains and lies, and finally learning the significance of forgiveness and moving forward.

“My Amnesia Girl,” one of the most successful Star Cinema films, can be streamed on Netflix.

“That Thing Called Tadhana” (2014)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

While this movie solely depended on its two main actors without incorporating any well-known supporting cast or mainstream musical backdrop, this simplistic approach of director Antoinette Jadaone still resulted in a raw yet captivating film that evokes a fresh view on the journey of heartbreak, hope, and second chances.

The story revolves around Mace (Angelica Panganiban) and Anthony (JM de Guzman), who meet in Rome’s airport and opt to journey together when they reach the Philippines. While Mace attempts to recover from a past romantic failure and Anthony grapples with his own setbacks, they forge a growing bond of companionship.

Backed with Mace’s bold humor and Anthony’s equally witty lines, viewers will surely feel the healing power of love to pick anyone hurting in the gutter. 

“That Thing Called Tadhana” is available on Netflix.

“Labs Kita… Okey Ka Lang?” (1998)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

If you happen to be in search of a best friend-to-lover trope rom-com film, then this masterpiece by Jerry Lopez Sineneng is one perfect recommendation. The film, in its entirety, drops all the pretenses and tackles love and losing head-on. 

Set in Baguio, the lightness of the film reflects the warm vibes that its leads—Bujoy and Ned—elude. 

Bujoy (Jolina Magdangal) and Ned (Marvin Agustin), childhood best friends, share a deep bond akin to family. But as time passes, Bujoy falls in love with Ned, who she believes is the only one accepting her imperfections. 

Ned, however, is infatuated with Marry Anne and dedicates his music to her, despite his growing realization of his feelings for Bujoy. 

As they navigate their emotions, they must decide whether to remain friends or embrace their true feelings for each other—even if it means going out of their comfort zones and risking their connection to flames. 

This film is available for streaming on iWant TFC and Apple TV.

“Missed Connections” (2023)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

Hopeless romantics, this film is tailor-made to your fantasies! “Missed Connections” directed by Jelise Chung is a perfect fit for your movie date night.

In ANIMA Studios’ “Missed Connections,” Mae (Miles Ocampo) becomes infatuated with Norman (Kelvin Miranda) after a chance encounter at a grocery shop, leading her to post a message for him on a missed-connections application site.

Despite discovering he’s not interested in her romantically, she hires him for her business and tries to win him over, while dealing with the strange presence of Mark (JC Santos) and the introduction of the real Grocery Girl, Julia (Chie Filomeno), complicating her pursuit of love.

Miles Ocampo’s perfect portrayal of Mae’s character, showcasing her charm and “delulu” moments makes viewers anticipate her in her quirky world. 

Watch “Missed Connections” on Netflix.

“Loved at First Stream” (2021)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

Another Cathy Garcia-Sampana that exudes humor and romance is “Love at First Stream” bannered by Daniela Stranner, Anthony Jennings, Kaori Oinuma, and Jeremiah Lisbo. 

The narrative follows the story of V (Daniela Stranner), who craves independence from her crowded household. In her pursuit to find reason for being, she turns to vlogging for a living during the pandemic. 

With the help of her charming neighbor Tupe (Anthony Jennings) and cousin-turned-foster-sister Megumi (Kaori Oinuma), her efforts yield little success until a live streamed dating show featuring Megumi’s classmate Gino (Jeremiah Lisbo) propels V into the spotlight. Ultimately, as V delves deeper into the digital world, she learns the consequences of fame and fortune.

Witness the fun and chemistry of these characters as they confront issues of romance, career, and familial duty all at once. 

A co-production between Star Cinema and the streaming app kumu, “Love at First Stream” is on Netflix.

“Wish You Were The One” (2023)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

A dreamy approach locked in a confrontational storyline is just one of the strongholds that director Derick Cabrido implemented in “Wish You Were The One.” This claim cannot be truer for the immense emotional connection he wielded between the characters and ultimately, for the audience.

This film follows the story of Astrud Estrellado (Bela Padilla), a successful woman in her textile business, who one day discovers that her chef boyfriend Jordan (Kean Cipriano) is cheating on her. 

Simultaneously, landscaper Ellis Perry Sumilang (JC Santos) faces rejection from his high-society girlfriend Zoey (Franki Russell). And just how fate allows it, four months later, Astrud and Ellis cross paths at a gay wedding.

In consideration of Bela and JC’s previous film pairings, their tandem always give the audience a good cry—if not, at least, a thought to ponder on the complicated concept of newfound love and losing. 

“Wish You Were The One” has recently become available on Netflix.

“Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” (2006)

Tagalog Rom-Com Films

The 2006 hit “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” helmed by Jose Javier Reyes has its name sealed and cemented as one of the more effective romantic-comedy films. 

The story revolves around the life of Jed (Ryan Agoncillo) and Angie (Judy Ann Santos) who come from two different socio-economic background. As they find love in their differences, they then decide to marry despite parental objections and misunderstandings. 

What comes after it is the daunting wedding planning fraught with tension, familial conflicts and cultural differences—ultimately putting up a confrontational question whether or not wedding is the end-all-be-all of things. 

Watch “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” on Netflix.

Love, as we know it, has complicated facets—with heartbreak being a major part of it. But despite the pain that comes with loving, it still cannot outweigh all the other promises that love will bring. Connection, comfort, fun, and even laughter—all visualized in these rom-com films for you to reflect on and realize. 

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Banner Art Paulo Correa

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