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Series / Forevermore

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Forevermore is a 2014 television series directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, a luminary of Philippine romantic fiction. It stars Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, following the love story of Alexander “Xander” Grande III (Gil), the rebellious, broken only child of a hotel magnate, and Maria Agnes Calay (Soberano), the daughter of a strawberry farmer in La Presa, Benguet. They cross paths when Xander crashes into the Calays’ strawberry truck while base jumping.

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This series contains examples of the following tropes:

     A to G 
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Clauie to Xander, although it’s more because of her personality than her looks; as proven when Xander’s conventionally unattractive friend becomes smitten with her wiser, but physically identical twin Judy, providing a more direct example.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Gil and Soberano are both mestizos (half-Filipino, half-white). However, Soberano looks a lot more visibly Southeast Asian than Gil. Gil’s Xander has sleek, reddish brown hair and fairly European-looking features (also known as “white-passing”). Her mother, Bettina, is like this as well: pale, with fairly European-looking features and lighter hair.
  • The Atoner: Xander’s brother Sebastian died, and he feels responsible for his untimely passing.
  • Beauty Contest/Talent Contest: Agnes and Andrew participate in one that’s a combination of these. Although marketed mainly as a beauty pageant, the “talent” portion constitutes nearly half of the final score.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Grandes, with an Evil Matriarch (Xander’s grandmother) to boot.
  • Bilingual Bonus: More like trilingual bonus (100% a Truth in Television for the Philippines). The characters are fluent in Tagalog and English, but the strawberry farmers in particular also speak Ilocano, one of the many minority languages in the Philippines.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Alex seems nice compared to his mother, but is actually a domestic abuser who beats up Bettina.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Bettina is an elitist, antagonistic Love-Obstructing Parent. But her own “inferior” socioeconomic background is why her husband’s mother irrationally dislikes her in the first place.
  • Cassandra Truth: Xander is being a disingenuous prick in the first few episodes of the show, but he isn’t lying about having had his bank balance unknowingly taken from him.
  • The Charmer: Xander, particularly after much Character Development.
  • City Mouse: Xander, who is placed in the classic Fish out of Water scenario at the beginning of the show.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For both Xander and Agnes.
  • Cute Bookworm: Agnes. She says she likes to read much more than watch TV.
  • Domestic Abuse: Alex beats up his wife Bettina. (Although his violent streak is shown onscreen only once — not that beating your spouse up “only” once makes it forgivable — Alex growls “Are you going to hide again?!” at Bettina when she unsuccessfully attempts to run away from his wrath, implying this has happened more than once.)
  • Easily Forgiven: Xander when he swoops in to pay his debt to the farmers at the last minute. That said, their homes and livelihood were on the verge of being literally demolished at the time of Xander’s arrival, so it’s understandable that their jubilance prevails over any negative feelings they may have. Indeed, Agnes’ father tells him upfront that his intentions for saving their community don’t matter, and they’re all just relieved.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Clauie’s reaction to her own twin sister, Judy, snarking that they didn’t buy flowers for the former’s Beauty Contest endeavor because they all knew she would lose.
  • Family of Choice: The La Presa farmers to Xander. He explicitly refers to them as such.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Judy, who is perennially nice and a smart, sensible foil to her vain and ditzy twin sister Clauie.
  • Freudian Excuse: Sebastian died because of Xander. It haunts him every waking moment of his life since, although they were both little kids when it happened.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: The farmers give Xander the benefit of the doubt, which in itself is quite reasonable. Agnes can see he’s lying his ass off, however, and catches him in his attempts to run from responsibility.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Agnes lets him suffer for his spoiled, immature recklessness. It even reaches a point where he’s shivering in his open-space sleeping quarters and Agnes dissuades her concerned father from providing him with a blanket. She predicts he’ll confess and want to pay up soon — it absolutely works, but his father has drained his bank account. The elderly man who initially implores the other farmers to be humanitarian towards Xander, Ka Sebio, turns out to be this as well; he tells them a little later that they should tie the boy up.
    Xander, getting tied up: This is outrageous! When I escape from here, I’ll file a lawsuit against all of you. This is a human rights violation!
    Mang Banky: We have human rights, too, which you violated.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Agnes’ Beauty Contest gown is a rich purple. The equally lovely, levelheaded Judy chose it for her.

     H to Z 
  • Hate Sink: Aling Galietta, the owner of the land upon which the farmers plant and reside. She’s greedy and willing to screw over dozens of industrious workers with families for her own personal gain, to the point of leaving them deprived not only of their livelihood and homes, but also their every single possession.
  • Happily Adopted: Mirasol is not Agnes’ biological mother, but treats her like any mother should. Fittingly, her surname “Amparo” means “shelter.”
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Agnes’ father and Mirasol. They aren’t romantically involved, but Mirasol is Agnes’ adoptive mother, recognized as such both in-universe and out.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Intentional on Agnes’ part. She uses purposely horrid singing to force Xander to wake up early.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Niknok is a little boy who thinks he’s dating teenage Agnes. He’s overprotective of his ”my love,” but Agnes very clearly doesn’t reciprocate his feelings, for discernible reasons.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Xander’s friends are cocky, spoiled party animals (who somehow utterly neglect to secure a business permit for an event they’d been planning for a long time) like he is, but they’re right in saying he should honor his promises to them.
  • Love at First Sight: Downplayed. When Agnes first lays her eyes upon Xander, she’s struck in a way that reads as more than just finding him attractive. However, he’s also the reckless idiot that cost her and the other farmers thousands of pesos, so she truly does find him irritating.
  • Meaningful Name: Xander’s erstwhile girlfriend and near-wife, Katherine “Kate” Saavedra, is a mentally unstable Jerkass who eventually heals from her issues after years of therapy. The name “Katherine” is believed to mean “torture” or “pure,” and both roots are applicable here. Her surname, “Saavedra,” also roughly means “old house,” alluding to the fact that her relationship with Xander is a Destructive Romance from the past that should stay there.
  • Meet Cute: In the technical sense of the term, as in fortuitous circumstances force them to meet. Neither of them are happy about it, although anyone well-versed enough in the art of romantic fiction will know where that usually leads.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. For instance, rather than the usual reactions of irrational, blustering anger or cool unsentimentality, Drew cries when Agnes rejects his courtship.
  • Morality Pet: Niknok to Xander. The greatest glimpses into Xander’s softer side are through his friendship with the child.
  • Motifs: Strawberries. They’re attractive, delicious, and considered exotic in the Philippines, where the climate in most regions is unsuitable for planting them. It’s no wonder that a teleserye set in one of the few places within the whole archipelago cold enough to accommodate strawberry growth (Baguio) would utilize the fruit so heavily in its aesthetics.
  • No Name Given: “Aling” is a Tagalog honorific that practically just amounts to “Aunt,” but can be used for any sufficiently aged female figure of some authority. Galietta’s forename is never revealed (that is, unless Galietta is her forename). Likewise, “Mang” is an honorific in the same vein; “Banky” is a jokingly Anglicized form of “bangkay,” meaning “corpse,” as the character is known in-universe for being so gaunt and old that he’s reminiscent of a cadaver.
  • Not So Above It All: Smart, reliable Judy, who readily helps Agnes give Xander a dose of his own medicine, can’t help blurting out that she finds him “yummy.”
  • Pet the Dog: A significant early marker of Xander’s Character Development is helping a child get rid of his aching tooth.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Judy and Clauie look alike, but could hardly be any more different.
  • Quirky Curls: Agnes has these.
  • Scenery Porn: Agnes and her community are introduced via gorgeous shots of the steep strawberry farms.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Xander and Agnes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Some of the names, like “Clauie.” Yes, it’s just Chloe spelled strangely. Another genuine quirk of Philippine culture.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Agnes. Her Establishing Character Moment is her making an effort to stand up to Aling Galietta’s money-grubbing tyranny. Her father says Agnes never cowers from a challenge.
  • Starter Villain: Clauie. She’s catty to Agnes for no reason. However, she is still a welcome member of the farmers’ community and ultimately quite harmless. She and Agnes become friends over the course of the series.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Downplayed. Agnes isn’t Amazonian-gigantic, but she stands at 5’7“. This is considered very tall especially in the context of a Philippine show (she’s One Head Taller than most of the other women), and her leading man is no more than 3 inches taller than she is.
  • Teleserye: On the lighter-hearted side of the spectrum, but still qualifies.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Xander, naturally. Kate as well, and Clauie, but the latter was never really more than a catty peer. She even coaches Agnes for her Beauty Contest.