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LOVE. LIFE.

Real love is good news

/ 06:30 AM March 04, 2022
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Son Ye-jin as Yoon Se-ri and Hyun Bin as Capt. Ri Jeong-hyuk in the series “Crash Landing on You.” Image: Netflix

News of Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin’s engagement greeted me upon waking up that morning. It made me smile, and I’m not going to lie, it set the mood for the day. Plus, of course it’s the start of the weekend. In my mind, this was a good way to start mornings: kilig news, the weekend, and time to rest.

I became a fan of Ye-jin and Hyun Bin after watching “Crash Landing on You” (CLOY). Actually, I became more of a Ye-jin fan than a Hyun Bin fan, but a huge fan of their team up on CLOY.

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I started watching CLOY just a few days before my dad passed. Prior to CLOY, I would have only watched one other K-drama – “Oh My Venus,” and I wasn’t too keen yet on the who’s who and what’s in in all things hallyu. The first two or three episodes that I was able to watch got me hooked.

I resumed watching the remainder of CLOY a couple of months after dad passed. It’s one of the few useful bandaids that gave me the temporary distraction and relief from my grief. It is amusing to note that this was also about the same time I made the jump into the BTS rabbit hole, but that’s another story.

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Some may find it petty, but CLOY served its purpose of giving the momentary relief that I needed during a time when everything seemed to have fallen apart, and I needed to slowly pick up the pieces, not to forget, but to move forward.

For me, the series was an easy watch. It was heart-warming, wholesome, a no-brainer without being mediocre. It’s the kind that you wouldn’t mind watching repeatedly or just because. The storyline doesn’t get old. The characters are endearing, witty and funny, without being slapstick, and in my opinion, the cast was well-thought of and selected.

Like many others, I found myself rooting and cheering for the love shared between Lee Jeong Hyeok and Yoon Se-ri, and the second leads Gu Seung-joon and Seo Dan.

However, unlike countless women whose hearts were broken and whose dreams were shattered, I was giddy when news broke that Hyun Bin and Ye-jin were dating in real life.

You can just imagine how genuinely happy I was to know that these two actors, whose characters helped bring me some joy (and something to look forward to) albeit temporarily during my grief, are now engaged to be married.

Give such news to a hopeless romantic like me, and I automatically regard it as a fairy tale that has come to life. It’s surreal, on the verge of being too good to be true, but still so much more wonderful. A love story that leaves you in awe and hope. The kind of love (story) that everyone deserves.

In a 2020 journal entry, I wrote about how much of a sucker I am for love and fairy tale endings. The kind that are often depicted in rom-com movies that also most often never really tell the truth about love in real life. I wrote about how despite this truth, I’d still be swooning over the idea of two strangers crossing paths and discovering each other over the course of a long conversation, or two strangers completely loathing each other for most of their encounters, only to overcome their differences and discover they have fallen for each other. And like any hopeless romantic, for some time, I also wanted to meet my own rom-com type of leading man slash knight in shining armor.

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Of course, I later realized, as I aged and gained some (love) wisdom, that the love I want is something more real. Sure, it would be nice to be swept off my feet, preferably by someone as gorgeous as Hyun Bin, but love is not at all always glamorous, is it? And in fact, love may even become messy and unattractive, but that does not mean it cannot be romantic in its reality. It can be both ugly and beautiful, but it can’t be just one of the two. Awake and enlightened, I later realized that I aim in for a good mix.

A good mix and the kind of love where he and I will fall in love, have crazy fights, get a little too bored with each other, encounter and overcome problems, and finally see each other as we really are, and not the ideal and disillusioned characters we yearn for in rom-coms.

I wrote about wanting to have enough history with someone, to truly know him, almost as much as I know myself, less of the boundaries and none of the pretensions. To be at a point where love becomes something we work on together. I wanted to have that kind of partnership, that true and intimate knowledge of each other.

Little did I know in 2020 that I was manifesting something wonderful to happen in real life. For here I am two years after articulating a passionate stand, and I am now living in my own real-life love story. Real love where the only trace of a fairy tale is how, despite moving and swimming in a huge sea of people, we managed to find each other; how we discovered (and continue to discover every day) all the things we have in common; and how we both strive for the same things in life and love.

I swooned and longed for a fairy tale and a happy ending, similar to that of Lee Jeong Hyeok and Yoon Se-ri’s love story, but real love, as in probably (hopefully) the story of Hyun Bin and Ye-jin, is enduring. Real love that will keep us standing beside each other. Real love that stays, hopefully, as he and I still choose each other after walking the path together for so long, and the novelty has faded, revealing our imperfections and flaws.

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Doreen M. Gutierrez, a language editor from Quezon City, enjoys journaling, reading, doodling, watching films and listening to BTS. She believes that “love gives hope.”

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TAGS: Crash Landing on You, engagement, essays, K-dramas, Korea
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