Filipino Drama: ‘On the Wings of Love’ Episode 1-15 Thoughts

Time is definitely not on my side these days, but I make it mandatory that I unwind after work with an episode or two of some kind of drama. It’s the ultimate stress reliever, trust me. That said, this is a first for me. Yep, you’ve heard that right. This is my very first Filipino drama, and like anything new (of the Asian variety) that I discover, I can’t help but hash out all of my feels with those of you who get it.

If you haven’t watched any of this series yet, please remember that if you read beyond this point, you will definitely encounter some spoilers. It’s been a hectic week so I apologize that some of my thoughts aren’t very well put together. This week I will be able to watch the episodes as they air because I recently purchased a premium subscription at TFC. The price was a little steep, but I can watch the series in HD and with English subtitles, so it feels like it was well worth it. Plus, I can post more regularly about the series now.

Since I don’t have time to do recaps as I’ve just caught up, here is a synopsis of my thoughts on the first 15 episodes.

On The Wings of Love is the story of Leah Olivar (Nadine Lustre) and Clark Medina (James Reid) who meet by coincidence. They meet in San Francisco just as Leah’s arrived from the Philippines with her choir group. What starts as a coincidental meeting turns into a series of meetings and misunderstandings. It’s instant disdain for the other. Just when you think that’s all that’s ever going to amount to that, both Leah and Clark find themselves in some pretty dire straights. Leah’s visa is about to expire; Clark owes money to a loan shark.

Due to their pressing circumstances, the two enter into a marriage of convenience at the insistent of Tita Jack, who just so happens to be Clark’s aunt and Jigs’ mother. Tita Jack is also the person who has helped Leah as she’s decided to stay in America and bring her dead mother’s dream to life.

Clark desperately needs money and Leah doesn’t want to be deported. Time is of the essence and they will have to put their differences aside to make things work. As if the marriage of convenience isn’t enough, Leah and Clark both have strong personalities and they often clash with each other. Can they fool immigration? Will true feelings develop between these tough, spirited people? Will Jigs ever make it to San Francisco? Will Clark and Leah get the opportunity to reunite with their family?

I’m only three weeks into this series, and from what I understand, these dramas have lots of episodes, so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy whatever we get. Thankfully, this is nothing like a soap opera, which I despise with a burning passion, so On the Wings of Love has already soared even higher on my “love-o-meter” for that reason.


Additional Thoughts:

I really like the set up of this series. Our leads don’t even meet until the end of the first episode, which is refreshing. It gives us time to familiarize ourselves with each character and how they interact with the people in their lives and also their surroundings.

Leah is exactly the kind of female lead I like to see. She’s tough, genuine, hard-working, and honest to a fault. Once she has an idea in her head, she plans to see it through until the really end. Leah is also a very hopeful and optimistic person while managing to be realistic to her means. She initially struggles to find any common ground with Clark, but she genuinely develops feelings for him. Of course she seems him as a friend, but it’s a great leap in this series. With immigration worries keeping them on the constant defense, I honestly can’t wait to see how things develop between these two.

Clark, in many ways, seems like the typical jerk, but the beauty of this series is that we know it’s not true. When Clark was still in the Philippines as a child, he was the one with the “big heart” that returned Leah’s dove to her. He’s tries to be rude and indifferent; he talks the talk but he doesn’t really walk the walk. And when I say that, I mean that Clark isn’t as tough and cruel as he tries to be. He also has an unending love for his family, and despite losing his mother and having a father that doesn’t accept his son, Clark does really well. Who knew that he was homeless after his mother died? Who knew that his foster life was a living hell that he left one night and walked and walked until he got back to San Francisco with Tita Jack, who was an illegal immigrant at the time.

Can I just say that Nadine and James have a really nice, natural chemistry? I recently watched the movie Diary of an Ugly, and while it was cute, it has nothing on their chemistry in On the Wings of Love. Holy hotness, my face was on fire and my heart was beating a mile a minute when they were both in bed and they kept stealing glances at the other with silly little smiles on their faces. Bickering aside, Clark and Leah are so freaking cute and precious. When they connect, they really connect. They are so much alike, and I’m just loving life and enjoying as they continue to learn more about each other.

A few more things:

Jigs is one irritating, selfish character. The eternal optimist in me wants wants to remain hopeful that he’s not all that bad, but I’m not convinced just yet. One episode in and he gives Leah an ultimatum. Okay, so while I can understand that he didn’t want his girl to go the US, it was very childish that he threatened to break up with her. Oh, Jigs. It’s no wonder she went running for the US. I think Jigs and Leah like each other, but they’re not “in like” with each other. Leah even tells Jigs that she just sees him as a friend in episode 15, and while he didn’t flip his lid at that moment, I feel it’s going to happen soon.

Furthermore, while he pouts over Leah being gone, the guy doesn’t even man up and do anything. For the love of all things, if you love her Jigs, then do all you can to get to get to the US. I admit that I feel sorry for him now that Clark and Leah are growing closer, but this guy has a lot of growing up to do. Does he love the idea of Leah or is he in love with her? I think that’s an important distinction I’d like to see clarified soon because I can’t stand the thoughts of a love triangle between cousins. Sure, Clark says that Jigs is acting that way because he loves her, but I’m not sure.

On another note, I’m scared for Leah’s dad. I hope they can raise money and get him healthy again before something bad happens to it. It kills me that Leah has no idea what’s going on.

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29 thoughts on “Filipino Drama: ‘On the Wings of Love’ Episode 1-15 Thoughts

  1. I love marriage-of-convenience stories! But I haven’t seen any Filipino drama yet…this one looks interesting though…just the way I like it….but if it has a lot of episodes, I don’t know if I’ll be able to commit.

    • From what I understand of Filipino dramas, they are quite long. On a good note, each episode is only 20-25 minutes. Episodes air every day from Monday through Friday. (No weekends.) So a whole week is basically the equivalent of one episode of a typical k-drama or t-drama. I anticipate there will probably be a lot of episodes, so you’d have to see if you like the story enough to commit. I plan on posting about the series regularly, so you can feel free to keep reading and see if it’s a series that might be doable for you. 🙂

  2. Sorry I’ll unlurk now. That’s very interesting, i’ll try to watch it. Hopefully i see one for free in the website with an english sub

    • Hi Brit! If you do a Google search, you will find what you’re looking for. It seems that this drama is starting to pop up all over the internet. I will only post legal links, though. If you sign up on tfc.tv, you can have the premium account free for seven days. There, you can watch in HD with English sub as well.

      • Hi i did google it and I’m glad that it’s posted in several website with english subtitle! Will be doing a marathon now 🙂 Also looking forward to your reviews about it and to other new asian dramas you’d recommend (idk why but I’m experimenting in watching other asian dramas other than the usual (J-drama, K-Drama and T-Drama). If you can rec from other asian countries I’d try it out too. You have great taste 😉 *lurks back again lol*

      • Have you watched any Thailand dramas, which are referred to as lakorns?

        I just posted about one here that you can watch. It’s only 10 episodes and it’s a lighter drama with a great message. The whole thing is available on youtube with English subtitles!

        I also LOVED Thailand’s remake of the Korean “Full House.” If you haven’t watched that, you can see it on viki.

        If I come across anything else, I’ll be sure to let you know.

  3. Andrea, are you of Filipino descent? Just wondering, we also love this drama back in Philippines because of the hot leads, James Reid and Nadine Lustre. It’s also the first time a light rom-com series was produced from the usually heavy dramatic themed series in Phils. Do you know that James & Nadine are also singers, just check their music videos in youtube. By the way Thank You for writing about OTWOL, God bless you.

    • Nope, I’m not Filipino. I am totally and completely addicted to this series, though. James and Nadine have great chemistry and they work very well together. I didn’t know they were singers, so thank you for that! My favorite thing about this is the light rom-com feel it has. I will continue to post about OTWOL. In fact, I’m working on a review of episode 16, so I should have that up soon. I hope to see you around here again. Thank you for leaving a comment. 🙂

      • I just started watching the drama a week ago and was able to catch up with all the 55+ episodes. Im a filipino but this is the first one i watched and follow. Got addicted with the story and the chemistry between the two. Thank you for writing ☺ ends my day with a smile and lots of 💞

      • I desperately need to catch up with OTWOL. Thank you for commenting! I know a lot of people are coming here for this series, so I hope to slowly start rolling out the reviews I’m behind on. 🙂

  4. It’s here!!! Thank you Andrea! Aside from the good story, I think what’s making us addicted in this show is the explosive chemistry between the leads. I just can’t with the way Clark stares at Leah. So intense! I love this drama!

    • I agree. The chemistry is off the charts – it’s that good! I read somewhere that they don’t think Jadine have chemistry and that they can’t act, but I don’t see that at all. I’m so impressed with every part of this drama. ❤

  5. Thanks for supporting Filipino Teleseryes Andrea!

    OTWOL is my current obsession right now. I’m Filipino and I always make it a point to be at home at 9:30 PM to watch it on TV. Great storytelling and direction aside from the fact that JaDine have incredible chemistry; Well that’s apparent in their ratings now, making them #1 on their timeslot. I

    I hope more teleseryes get more limelight online. You see Filipino producers can be a bit strict about illegal distribution of their content so its quite difficult to find episodes (with subs) online, they tend to go after them sites and put them out of business. Anyway, hopefully, the networks can work around distributing it legally to as many netizens as possible so more people can watch it.

    Back to OTWOL, I wanna know Andrea what’s your fave episode so far?

    • I’ve only watched up to episode 16 (I’m catching up on 17 tonight and 18 tomorrow when it’s up on TFC), so my answer will be based off of that. My favorite episode so far is episode 14. (I think that was the episode.) Clark was determined not to reveal the truth about his dad because of how painful it was, but Leah was very supportive of him and managed to coax the truth out of him. I love how Clark was able to open up and trust Leah enough to share his story with her. Also, Leah didn’t badger him with hundreds of questions once he confessed about his father. She just comforted him and gave him what he needed most: a friend. At that point, the firm establishment of their friendship, was very powerful to me. With a firm foundation for friendship, I feel it’s only a matter of time before it grows into love. While I’ve loved many of their interactions up until this point, that moment just resonated deeply with me. So, as of right now, I’d have to rate that as my favorite episode.

      • Yes that was a poignant moment between the two in front of San Francisco Bay, just beautiful scenery. Hey did you know that while the outside shots were obviously in SanFo all their indoor scenes were just shot in Philippines? From their apartment to the restos to the hotel where Clark works? Pretty neat huh?

        Anyway since you also have subscription to TFC. I would like to recommend another teleserye that was very popular just recently. The show is called FOREVERMORE. It stars Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil (aka LizQuen), another big team-up (aka Loveteam) here in the Philippines aside from JaDine. There is also another big Loveteam called KathNiel (for Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla). They appeared in GOT TO BELIEVE and the currently running PANGAKO SA’YO. These 3 are like the holy trinity of young loveteams in the country, lol…and all of them are contracted under one network which owns TFC, so all their shows are there.

        I hope you consider viewing another teleserye (hopefully Forevermore or Got to Believe) and let us know what you think about it, but ofcourse continue watching OTWOL coz it seems it’s gonna get even more romantic. 🙂

      • Thanks for the info on the filming! I had a hunch that it wasn’t all filmed in San Fran, so it’s nice to know that’s actually the case. So, how did it work then? Did they fly to San Fran first and film all outdoor scenes? And then return to the Philippines to shoot the indoor scenes? I imagine it would be very expensive to fly back and forth.

        It’s funny that you mention Forevermore because that’s actually how I ended up on TFC in the first place. (I watched Just The Way You Are and really enjoyed it, so I went in search of other work they did.) Unfortunately, they only started subbing Forevermore in February, so I can’t watch any of the episodes that aired before that because I won’t be able to understand some of it. I did notice that they recently added the first 4 episodes in english subtitles, so I’m hoping they plan to do the rest because I’ve been itching to watch this series. That’s how I ended up finding OTWOL, actually. I was checking what they had subtitled and it caught my attention right away.

        Don’t worry, I will definitely watch another teleserye! I’m loving everything I’ve watched so far. And thank you for interacting with me. I LOVE to discuss dramas, so it makes my day when I have someone to swap thoughts and theories with. 🙂

  6. From what I remember, last April they first went to San Francisco and shot all the outdoor scenes for almost 2 weeks. Then they went back here to shoot the the rest of the indoor scenes. Amazing how they managed to shoot that many in a short amount of time and they haven’t even shown the Napa Valley scenes yet. Editors did pretty well in interweaving the abroad scenes with scenes shot from here.

    Regarding Forevermore I’ll try to find an English sub of the complete series and I’ll let you know. I can’t wait for you to get to know the love story Agnes and Xander (Liza and Enrique’s characters). Hopefully TFC will sub all the episodes coz its still so much better watching in HD. In the meantime I’ll share their official theme song/music video coz its still on repeat in my playlist even though the series has already ended a couple of months ago, lol:

    It was likewise nice talking to you Andrea, I hope you continue to enjoy OTWOL and give us what you think about the succeeding episodes. Keep up the good work here in your awesome blog. 🙂

  7. Hi Andrea! I’m glad that you like OTWOL as much as we Filipinos are. I’m a Filipino who now lives in England with my family. This show makes me smile…. it also makes me feel like im a teenager again (im on my late 40s 😀)…. i am even more addicted to the show that my daughter…… Do you that James & Nad’s love team started only more than a year ago but they click. You can see the chemistry between them even when they always say that they are just friends. Well as long as they are happy together….. I’ll be forever fan….Anyway, thank you for writing good reviews about the show.

    • You’re welcome! The series and the amazing Jadine chemistry really speaks volumes to me. I haven’t had time to review it lately, but I am a devoted fan and I watch it as soon as the episodes are available with english subtitles. With everyone’s feedback lately, I hope I can get back to reviewing. OTWOL is what I call the “bright spot” of my week. Whenever I’m having a rough day at work, I can watch OTWOL and start to feel the stress disappear.

  8. Hi Andrea. I am Filipino but I was not really into filipino dramas. There are quite a few that I liked including Got to believe and Forevermore but never the same way that I adored OTWOL.

    OTWOL came along. Admittedly, I was not able to watch as it aired the first time on TV. And then after few of its episodes were aired, I start to notice facebook posts of my friends enjoying this drama. That caught my attention as some of these friends I’ve known to be not so much into teleseryes (thats how we call the dramas here).

    With so much curiosity, I watched the pilot episode on youtube (the one uploaded by ABSCBN), searched the other episodes online and was surprised to see its being subbed the same way Kdramas are. I liked it instantly because it has a movie feels to it (I am referring to filipino-movie feels. Despite of my lack of interest to filipino series, I very much like filipino movies) and I adore James and Nadine’s chemistry in this drama more than I did in their previous movies together.

    Ive watched their movies way before OTWOL came along and I must say I was never hooked to their tandem as much as I do now with otwol. Now, I can say Ive never been hooked to any loveteams before as much as I am hooked to Jadine now. They’ve got this unbelievably incredible chemistry that made them amazing in portraying their characters as Clark and Leah. Im just losing it every time Clark stares at Leah. They will be the death of me, seriously.

    As of this time, OTWOL has a lot of episodes already and expect quite some more because it will air until February. As much as I prefer it to be shorter, its just how dramas are in the Philippines. A lot has happened already in this drama. Some conflicts had been resolved, new conflicts arise, but I still get “kilig” with Clark and Leah’s scenes together now that their relationship is legit (More hugs, kisses, hand-holdings, dreamy stares, few cute lovers’ quarrel.)

    I hope you are still able to catch up despite of it having an incredibly many episodes than K-dramas and T-dramas do. I am very happy that a filipino drama is getting international viewers’ attention. I believe the drama deserves it because it really has a good plot, amazing actors and awesome people behind it.

    By the way, James and Nadine starred in a recent movie called Beauty and the Bestie. Its still showing in cinemas here so I doubt if its already available on the internet. I’ve watched it already and I had a good laugh during the whole movie. The lead actors with them are Vice Ganda (very popular filipino comedian) and Coco Martin and I really enjoyed them all being in one movie together. James and Nadine’s characters are also different from their characters in otwol but they nevertheless, still nailed it. James being so flirtatious in this movie is also funny and they still have that Jadine effect to everyone. I hope you can watch it when it becomes available.

    • Clark and Leah. Leah and Clark. What can I say? They have been perfection from episode one. I really worried how I could stick with a series for so long, but once I started watching, I never wanted it to end. It was complete and utter torture when Leah learned about her mother and shut out love and Clark. Thankfully, I’m at the point where Leah isn’t denying her feelings and has completely opened her heart to loving Clark, so I’m enjoying their cutesy, lovey-dovey moments so much. And Leah is so sweet and genuine. I really love to see her interacting with Clark’s family — especially Jenny and Jordan. I’m enjoying every sweet moment because, in the back of my mind, I know that Tatong Sol is going to find out that his wife is actually still alive, and I’m sure that part is going to crush him, but probably not as much as everyone else around him already knowing that she was alive. I’m just so ready for all the secrets to be over. Oh, that and Jigs. Man, Jigs is one persistent guy. I’m crossing my fingers that his obsession with all things Leah can end soon. Sometimes I feel bad that he’s so far deep in denial that he can’t accept the reality that Leah will never go back to him. Jigs has an interesting repertoire with Maggie and she seems like she’s starting to feel something for him, so I hope he doesn’t end up crushing her.

      I’m on episode 70 right now. I haven’t had the chance to do reviews as I’m struggling to catch up, but as I get closer to current episodes, I hope to resume. I got two big accounts at my job around the time that I started to watch, so I was sad to fall behind as OTWOL has truly been such a breath of fresh air. With such a good series, I want to help get the word out to fellow international viewers like myself. I am so very grateful that TFC is subtitling this series or I’d be missing out on so much. My goal is to do a big post summarizing my thoughts and feelings of what’s been happening since I am unable to post reviews. Hopefully, there is a day that I can go back, re watch this series, and do reviews that can do justice to OTWOL.

      Thank you for telling me about Beauty and the Bestie as I haven’t heard of that. I first saw Jadine together in Diary ng Panget, but I wasn’t particularly impressed. It was okay, though. OTWOL truly gave me the Jadine fever, and it’s so fun to chat with others who have caught it as well. If you don’t mind, what is Beauty and the Bestie about?

      • Currently, the drama has reached its 100th episode. Wew! I am glad that you still managed to catch up with the episodes despite the number being such a challenge. I recommend you just enjoy it and don’t feel pressured so much to reach its current running episode. Though I dont think one can just go and abandon watching. I guess we all have caught up to the Jadine fever. We just cant get enough of their scenes together and just crave for more.

        The latest episodes became even more interesting now and I very much enjoy Leah’s interactions with her slightly evil new boss (a new and exciting character addition.) I hope I am not being such a spoiler for that. Lol. With Jigs, I don’t even want to say anything about it. Just wait for something quite interesting that happened at, I believe, around episodes 85-95.

        Beauty and the Bestie is a Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry from Star Cinema. The said festival opens annually on the month of December and all movie entries are shown at exactly 25th of December. BATB is a family movie. Its basically an action-comedy film. James and Nadine have supporting roles in this movie and the story primarily centers around Vice and Coco’s characters as best friends and how they go on resolving their conflicts. Since its comedy, its packed with Vice Ganda punch lines which are a trend here in the Philippines. Vice’s way of comedy makes us crack up every time.

        Speaking of Vice Ganda, he admits to being a fan of Jadine himself. There was a bloopers at the end of the movie of a scene where James and Nadine kissed. Vice is at the same scene and was not able to deliver his lines well because he got distracted and he was saying all things like him being so much of a Jadine fan while laughing. See? Everyone’s caught up with the Jadine fever. It was all fun to watch.

        AND speaking of bloopers, were you able to watch OTWOL outtakes in youtube? Outtakes are as much fun to watch as the episodes itself. Jadine have amazing chemistry even offcam. I really ship them in real life but they keep on saying they’re just friends. The outtakes felt like there’s more than friendship going on though or is it just my fangirl self overanalayzing things?

        I really have fun talking with you about these things on your blog, Andrea. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I hope you will hold on to OTWOL until the end.

      • Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I do feel pressured to post more about OTWOL as most of my readers seem to be most interested in reading about this series. That said, a while back, I accepted that I wouldn’t be able to review as frequently as I wanted, and I watch the series when I have time. I try to pace myself, but it’s Jadine, and the more episodes I watch, the more my heart melts for them.

        I don’t think I’ve ever watched any of the outtakes on youtube, but now that you mentioned it, I’ll surely be watching some of them when I have free time tomorrow. Maybe it’s just a long shot or wishful thinking, but I do feel as if James and Nadine’s emotions have surpassed “just friends” territory. I don’t really know how loveteams work in the Phillipines, but if Clark and Leah are anything like James and Nadine in real life, I hope they have the opportunity to act on their feelings as they’d be a pretty kilig couple. (I really hope I used that word correctly!)

        Also, thank you for the info on BATB. My Filipino movie/tv series watching is strictly limited to http://www.tfc.tv, so I hope it might appear there someday in the future with subtitles. 🙂

  9. Hi there. I don’t really get to watch Tv because of college. So, even if it has new episodes every day I don’t get to see it.I really appreciate this review. Now i have an idea of what it’s about. I’ve been hearing a lot about it everywhere though i cant relate. thank you. 🙂

  10. I read in the comments that the continuation of the review won’t be any time soon.. but, i’ll look forward to them. Thanks again. 🙂

    • Thank you, Bea! I have watched many episodes since I last posted a review. I will try to pick up where I left off. I just might need to rewatch those episodes. Good thing they’re not that long. 🙂

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