How our personal relationships make life brighter

Sun Life Financial launches short films that show how true love isn’t about grand gestures – it’s about the real, helpful ways we show it

Isabel Salvosa

Published: 3:27 PM June 17, 2017

Updated: 11:14 AM June 19, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – We all have different objectives in life, different reasons for being. For some, it’s to be indispensible to the people they love.

This was the theme of Sun Life Financial’s latest collection of digital films, dubbed Sun Shorts 2.

The series was launched along with corresponding reaction videos from brand ambassadors Matteo Guidicelli, Judy Ann Santos, and Piolo Pascual last June 7 in Makati Shangri-La.

Sun Life brand ambassadors Matteo Guidicelli, Judy Ann Santos, Piolo Pascual, and Charo Santos-Concio. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

The short films, inspired by clients’ real-life stories, are about the ways we show love.

“Waves,” directed by Zig Marasigan, tells the story of Marco and Amanda, a couple who met at the beach. By the end of summer, Amanda returns to the city, but Marco, a surfing instructor, stays behind. As with any long-distance relationship, issues of jealousy and distrust soon ensue.

While struggling to keep their relationship above water, Marco unexpectedly dies. A distraught Amanda discovers a ring and a personal accident insurance wherein Marco named her as the beneficiary. With the money, she sets up a café by the beach – a dream the couple shared when Marco was still alive.

Asked about his work on Waves, Zig said: “The thing about millennials is we are mistakenly characterized as individuals who don’t know what they want in life. What I feel is that anyone, regardless of age, be they a baby boomer or a millennial, can come to a point when they don’t know where to go. We only know what we want in life when we see it, or in the case of ‘Waves,’ when we meet them.”

Matteo agreed with this sentiment, saying that that while millennials like him may be into social media, they also realize the importance creating personal connections.

The next short film, “She Said, She Said” tells two sides of a parent-child relationship. 

It follows the struggles of a single mom as she tries to make a name for herself as a fashion designer and raise a daughter on her own. Their relationship seems to get more strained and distant as the child grows older.

The film then switches to the daughter’s perspective. She understands that her mother is doing her best to provide a comfortable life and a stable future. But at the same time, she just wishes her mother would spend more time with her.

Director Nic Reyes was inspired by his experiences as a father and his relationship with his own parents. “Parenthood is rewarding and at the same time the most difficult thing to do. But before becoming a parent, I was also a son. It was interesting for me to see both sides of the story,” he said.

Judy Ann Santos, a young mom herself, acknowledged how balancing present needs and future plans for children can leave parents with no time for themselves. She embraces the challenge all the same, because family always comes first.

“Pa’no ko itatawid ang kinabukasan ng mga anak ko? ‘Di ko alam kung hanggang kailan yung life span ng pagiging artista. Gusto kong paghandaan. Kasi gusto ko maayos ‘yung kinabukasan ng anak ko,” an emotional Judy Ann said. (“How can I prepare for my children’s future? I don’t know how long I’ll be an actress, but I want to be ready because I want a good future for my kids.”)

Rounding up Sun Shorts 2 is “Sayaw” by Mihk Vergara, the story of a romance in its later years. After decades of marriage, their love turns cold.

SAYAW.' Film still courtesy of Sun Life Financial

Relating to the couple in the film, Piolo agreed that with busy lifestyles, it can be easy to take the people who matter for granted. But this shouldn’t be the case.

Mihk shared that the short film extends the narrative beyond the reel. “A lot of love stories don’t show what happens after the hero says, ‘I love you,’ then rain pours down and the credits roll. After that, this is what happens. Is the love still there?” he said.

Charo Santos-Concio, another Sun Life ambassador, said that each of the stories hits close to home.

“What I’ve realized is that at the end of the day, life is indeed a beautiful journey. And it’s made even more wonderful by the relationships we build. Hindi ba’t andito tayo para sa mga taong minamahal natin? (Aren’t we here for the people we love?) The people we love inspire us, give us courage, give us purpose, give us a reason for living. It’s imperative that we nurture and build these relationships.”

This is something Sun Life wants to help Filipinos with, and primarily why the company marks Financial Independence Month every June.

Sun Life believes that helping Filipinos achieve financial security through insurance and investments can set them free to express their love to the people they care for.

Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa

Real love is quiet but confident in its strength. When we’ve secured a bright future for our loved ones, we can, in a way, be there for them no matter what happens.

When you truly love someone, the finitude of the relationship doesn’t matter; their security and their happiness do.

For the rest of the month, Sun Life will hold a series of free financial planning sessions and online modules and courses on financial planning. Visit Sun Life and Brighter Life for more details.

Watch out for the release of all short films on Sun Shorts 2. You can also watch the videos on Sun Life’s Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments section for a chance to fly to Tokyo. Promo runs until June 30. –