MANILA - When Martin Cervantes saw the now-viral Jollibee ad entitled "The Vow," he felt he was watching his life, and vividly remembered how painful it was to let go of the woman he had always loved.
"This tearjerker of an ad hit me right in the feels because no...Jollibee didn't talk to me for this story plot, but I share an almost uncanny similarity with the turn of events," said Cervantes in a Facebook post Friday.
Cervantes said he has known best friend Christine since Grade 5. They were bus mates and neighbors for years, and even went to the Junior Prom together. He saw Christine endure several heartaches, while he longed to be given the chance to love her.
"I remember the words I used for her when I asked if she could be my girlfriend. I told her, 'You've been through a lot, I don't know why you've never given me the chance.'"
He eventually got the chance, only to be hurt a year after.
"We became a couple but she broke up with me through a text message. It was a bad break-up," Cervantes recalled.
Years passed and he knew there was still a spot in his heart that only Christine could fill. They eventually mended ties and decided to be friends--until Christine found her happily-ever-after.
"We reconnected after a few years. I had my life and she had hers, the guy is good, taking care of her really well. I was happy for her," he told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.
But on Christine's wedding day, when he was tasked to be the wedding commentator, Cervantes was shaken.
"I had the best view of her and then it hit me, I turned away from it and wiped a few tears, I didn't know why that was happening. I thought I was okay, I gamely accepted the role in her wedding but I knew at that moment it was part regret but a bigger part was sincere happiness since she was going to a good man who would take care of her," he said.
He was hurting, but it was the same "unconditional love" that gave him courage to continue his duties as the wedding commentator.
"I had to get myself together, holding it in the whole time. But I was very happy for her, happy that she's happy with the man, a better man she ended up with," said Cervantes.
TIME TO MOVE ON
Cervantes said the Jollibee advertisement depicted the pain of getting "bestfriendzoned," but beyond the ad, he knew it was possible to move on.
"I am very happy how life has mended...It's a cute story, something I am sure a lot of people can relate to. I'm not the only best friend that got sidelined," he said.
Cervantes and Christine remain constants in each other's milestones, with Cervantes getting invited to Christine's family events.
While Cervantes has yet to find his life companion, he believes love will eventually find its way.
"I still believe in the good. I am hopeful, still an idealist. I didn't get my happy ending but it is a work in progress," said Cervantes.