The fourth and final installation to Sun Life Financial Philippines’ “Kaakbay” campaign launched on August 3 2019, wrapping up the series of films with Charo Santos-Concio’s “Greatest Love”. This film, like that of Enchong’s, Matteo’s and the Pascuals’, celebrates Charo’s very own lifetime partner – her husband, Mr. Cesar Concio.
“Our wedding shocked Manila”, was the opening line to the 7-minute film. As if the black and white treatment or Charo’s powerful narration wasn’t enough to captivate an audience, that first line alone is impactful enough to invite viewers to watch the rest of the video and find out why.
“Greatest Love” takes viewers back to the 80s where Charo and Cesar met. Charo as a rising model and actress in her early twenties, and Cesar as a successful businessman in his 40s. To merely say that the film takes viewers to a trip down memory lane is an understatement, but it’s the truth. Aged photos flash through the screen, recalling the beautiful love story that bloomed in transit across Europe. As Charo said, the odds were against them, and society was against them, but they held true to their love for one another as it’s all that they have.
Perhaps it is the fact that Charo is the iconic voice that tells stories of love, pain, and all the intense human emotions we feel every Saturday for decades with Maalaala Mo Kaya that makes the film so effective in evoking such strong emotions from its viewers. Lines she delivered seem to have greater weight as the story progressed, so much so that simple testimonies of their love are deeply moving:
“But, news of our wedding shocked Manila society and many disapproved. But I took my lead in Cesar, who anchored himself in an inner sense of truth – our honest love for each other.”
The film, as captivating as it is, had its fair share of challenges according to Director Jun Reyes, Creative Head of Indie.Go. Charo’s role in the Saturday evening program MMK was so iconic that Direk Jun made conscious decisions to divert her image away from it for the film. This is also to emphasize her personal story, and not the story of other Filipinos that viewers are so accustomed to her telling.
“..The common perception of Charo is that she’s in a studio, sitting down, very made up. That’s her common persona. So I persuaded her to go outdoors.. I ‘deconstructed’ her in a lot of ways – makeup, hairstyle, dressing up – so that it would lead credence to her story. Take her out of that MMK mode and photograph her in a new light. In one part she was saying that this was the MMK of her life.”
“Greatest Love” wraps up the 4-part series of Indie.Go for Sun Life Financial Philippines with a life partnership that transcends time, age, and social norms. It perfectly caps off the themes from the three films released previously: Coach‘s guidance and support, Nonno‘s anchor on family, and the impact of being under the spotlight with Bro.
The whole campaign is also hand-in-hand with an online contest by Sun Life Financial in search for the best kaakbay story. Entrants are invited to comment their piece on the campaign videos from Jul. 13 (Sat) to Aug. 11, 2019 (Sun) for a chance to win 3 Days and 2 Nights roundtrip tickets to Singapore for 2.