#FEATURE | You had me at ‘Hello’: Love Month media recommendations

The Science Scholar
8 min readFeb 25, 2024

by Chezca Sabino and Mika Allauigan

Cover art by Xangel Hita.

Valentine’s Day has often become the poster day for people in love, especially couples. It’s a day meant for love and for all romantic gestures one could think of.

Over time, love has often been defined as happy dates, cute gifts, and showing affection. When one thinks of love and relationships, these are often the first to come into mind. Of course, there is nothing wrong with these associations, yet these become so emphasized that people tend to overlook the nuances and diversity of love. How, just like other human emotions, it covers a plethora of senses and personalities that truly conquers all.

As the love month comes to an end, here are some media recommendations that present just the right mix of sappy romance and real-life experiences of love, perfect for any emotion you’re feeling. From movies, books, to albums, one of these recommendations might just hit the spot and perfectly wrap up your Valentine’s Month.


  1. Before Trilogy dir. Richard Linklater

Watch and buy on Google Play
Recommended by: Mika Allauigan

From Before Sunrise (1995)

Can the greatest romance of your life only last one night?

This romantic drama film trilogy focuses on Celine, a young student returning to Paris, and Jesse, an aspiring writer and TV producer traveling through Europe. It explores their relationship at three different periods in their lives. Interestingly, the events in the films are set to happen in only one day.

The films in the trilogy, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight, tackle Celine and Jesse’s encounters. It started with their first meeting on a train to Vienna, until an ambiguous encounter nine years later in a bookstore in Paris. The trilogy ends with their life as a married couple with children as they vacation in Greece.

This movie is an essential watch for the hopeless yet pragmatic romantics. It tackles various issues and lessons about love and its nuances with realism and depth. It also explores emotions and connections in the most raw, human way. The dialogues, the actors’ chemistry, the cinematography, and the soundtrack all tie together to create what I believe to be one of the best movie series ever.

2. Happiest Season dir. Clea DuVall

Watch on Netflix PH
Recommended by: Mika Allauigan

From Happiest Season (2020)

This holiday, everyone’s secrets are coming out.

Directed by the same woman who brought the roles Graham (from “But I’m A Cheerleader;” 2000) and Georgina (from “Girl, Interrupted;” 1999) to life, this lesbian Christmas rom-com follows the story of a woman’s desire to propose to her girlfriend. The twist? She discovers her partner has not yet even come out to her highly conservative parents.

The cast, including notable actors like Kristen Stewart, Aubrey Plaza, and Dan Levy, all work together to create an atmosphere that keeps the film as light, heartwarming, and funny as possible while at the same time tackling the tough and complex subject that is coming out. Their performances add depth and authenticity to the characters, making the film both entertaining and thought-provoking. This movie might be underappreciated, but it is well on its way to becoming a beloved holiday favorite for audiences soon.

TV Series

  1. 25 21 dir. Jung Ji-hyun

Watch on Netflix
Recommended by: Chezca Sabino

From 25 21 (2022)

25 21 is widely known as one of the saddest Korean dramas released in 2022–but it doesn’t have to be.

Its heartbreak and loss define the end of a relationship but also one that flourished while it lasted. The drama’s plot revolves around the dreams of two individuals amidst the IMF crisis, a late 1990’s economic recession. This gave a good foundation for the plot’s typical coming-of-age trope in the sense that it portrays the main characters’ journeys through maturity, learning the hardships of life as the drama progresses. Its main theme throughout the drama was how relationships were made and broken during these times of uncertainty, whether it be romantic or not, and how these can impact one’s life.

The drama explored the theme of crisis through several characters, portraying a “riches to rags” story as well as making controversial decisions forced by circumstance. This forces the characters, most of whom were high school students at the start of the drama, to grow up and mature quickly in order to help their families get through those hard times, until each of them were slowly able to rebuild themselves from these issues at the age of 21.

Over time, their cherished moments only became little happy moments. By now, the drama had already gotten its message across: love may not last, but it is meant to let you grow.

2. Anne with an E created by Moira Walley-Beckett

Watch on Netflix
Recommended by: Mika Allauigan

From Anne with an E (2017–2019)

Loosely adapted from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, this coming-of-age and romance story explores the life of Anne, a 13-year-old orphan seeking her true identity and a place in this world.

Anne’s story spans four seasons, starting with her childhood struggles in abusive orphanages, to her rocky start living with a strict spinster and her soft-spoken brother, and ending with the start of her journey in college as an expressive and sophisticated young woman after years of self-growth and acceptance.

At its core, the show is the perfect balance of powerful and lighthearted. Although set in the late 1800s, it tackles issues like bullying, sexuality, sexism, and racism, which are still undoubtedly present and prevalent up to this day. It also tackles several history lessons and indigenous issues.

The series also does a great job of allowing the audience to feel everything the main characters feel — from the happiest and most wholesome emotions, to the most melancholy and depressing ones. These reasons, combined with the show’s cinematography, soundtrack, and the undeniable chemistry between the ensemble, cement its place in contemporary media as a groundbreaking and timeless piece.


  1. You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Recommended by: Chezca Sabino

After dealing with heartbreak and loss, Julie, a young teenage girl, discovers that she can still contact her boyfriend Sam who recently passed away through phone calls. The novel explores how Julie held onto Sam for as long as she could to deny the reality that he was already dead, and how it helped her handle her grief.

Julie was blinded by the thought that there might still be a twist, an epilogue, to their love story because of this sudden reconnection, but there was only a conclusion for her to make. Each call would give readers a piece of Sam and Julie’s love story, and how that serves significantly in helping Julie to move on. Julie was then able to revisit wonderful memories, having some sort of “closure.”

The novel talks about grief and love in a unique way, pairing them together in a sense that love can bring about grief, yet grief can relive love. Losing someone you love causes immense grief upon yourself, yet it’s this grief that allows you to revisit the memories you have together, rekindling the love you had for them.

The two teenagers’ love story is romanticized, showing the joys and lightheartedness of teenage love, and how one finds security and comfort in the other in their own ways. This teenage love is the same immense love that Julie had for Sam, making her unable to let go and accept Sam’s death for a long time.

The novel answers an unfathomable question for many: how do you move on after someone you love has died?

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Recommended by: Shawn Amper

Originally written as an autobiography of the author’s life, Jane Eyre is widely regarded as an iconic classic and an excellent recontextualization of the classic Victorian novel. Written under the male pseudonym “Currer Bell” in 1848 due to the struggles of women getting their work published, this novel is a realistic portrayal of a young girl’s battles through life’s struggles. This is personified by an abusive aunt, an arduous journey in school, and a seemingly unrequited love with her married employer.

The romantic aspect of this novel focuses on the existence of kindred souls, two halves that are destined for one another. It also portrays romantic love and relationships as an extensive process that demands challenges and complexities in order for it to flourish.

Jane Eyre has to have one of the most personal, romantic, and heartfelt prose in history, owing mostly to its brilliant first-person perspective. I remember staying up all night reading it as it’s just impossible to put down. It contains characters of such daunting depth, plot points that never lack thrill, and gothic elements that will not cease to amaze any common person.


  1. Bewitched by Laufey

Recommended by: Chezca Sabino
Genre/s: Jazz, Pop
Runtime: 48:19
Notable Songs: From the Start, While You Were Sleeping, Lovesick

2. Geography Lessons by Ourselves the Elves

Recommended by: Shaun Alina

(Stream panjia’s “all the colors that make you!!!” on Spotify and SoundCloud)

Genre/s: OPM, Indie folk
Runtime: 16:29
Notable Songs: Baby I Love You So, Uncertainly

3. the first glass beach album by glass beach

Anonymously recommended
Genre/s: Indie rock, Midwest emo
Runtime: 59:09
Notable Songs: cold weather, glass beach

4. Grace by Jeff Buckley

Recommended by: Mika Allauigan
Genre/s: Alternative rock
Runtime: 57:03
Notable Songs: Lover, You Should’ve Come Over, Grace, Forget Her

Love, like all the different media it’s present in, can be unique. It can manifest as a meet-cute in another country, bickering young love, endless yearning, or even as an award-winning debut album. It’s just waiting for you to discover it.

We know it may be late, but we hope these recommendations are still timely and as life-changing as it has been to us. Who knows — maybe next Valentine’s you’ll experience these with your own significant other.



The Science Scholar

The official English publication of the Philippine Science High School–Main Campus. Views are representative of the entire paper.