MANILA — What if “Darna” co-stars Jane de Leon and Janella Salvador, whose unexpected screen chemistry gave rise to the trending “Darlentina” (Darna and Valentina) pairing, actually had a romcom project together?
Their vocal fanbase have been campaigning for just that, with efforts ranging from Twitter parties to tongue-in-cheek mock headlines, and most recently, a full trailer imagining de Leon and Salvador as love interests in a movie.
The trailer for the envisioned film, titled “I Fell For My Boss,” puts together actual scenes of de Leon as Narda and Salvador as Regina in “Darna,” to form a story about a workplace romance. In the primetime series, Regina is Narda’s boss, and their deep bond predates their professional relationship.
The fan behind “I Fell For My Boss,” Twitter user @yawnsedits, posted the trailer last Friday. Since then, the video has amassed at least four million views across platforms.
On Facebook, a re-upload of the trailer has garnered 2.7 million views, as of writing, with many comments echoing the post description about how convincing the edit was. “Kung hindi ko lang alam na ‘Darna’ ito, maniniwala ako! Ang husay!” user Jaspy wrote.
“Why is this so amazing? They need a romcom!” a TikTok user who re-uploaded the trailer said of the video, which has fetched almost 800,000 views on the platform.
The original upload of @yawnsedits on Twitter has also drawn nearly 800,000 views over the last three days, and at one point even became a trending topic. Shortly after the trailer was released, “JANENELLA ROMCOM MOVIE” ranked among the top 10 Twitter trends in the Philippines — the latest testament to the fandom’s exponential growth.
“Overwhelming” was how @yawnsedits described the response to her fan-made trailer, pertaining to its viral moment as well as comments expressing excitement over a prospective “JaneNella” project and those praising her video editing skills.
Viewers who commended the professional editing guessed correctly, as Yawns (her preferred name), does indeed edit videos for a living, specifically for an international company, she told ABS-CBN News. The 24-year-old, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, major in cinema, is also juggling studies as an aspiring lawyer.
“I actually grew up learning video editing through online tutorials, having taken interest in it back in grade school. I’ve had a passion for it since then which led me to taking up a Cinema course for college. Watching these tutorials and making random edits during my free time definitely enhanced my editing skills. I can say that creating fan edits is one of my stress relievers,” she said.
It was then only natural for Yawns, a fervent “Darlentina” fan, to combine her two passions and come up with the trailer for “I Fell For My Boss.” Admittedly not a “Darna” fan during its first weeks on air, Yawns recalled being intrigued by the ABS-CBN series when she saw scenes of Narda and Regina circulating on social media. Now, she watches religiously, making it easy for her to pinpoint moments that could lend to her imagined storyline for the two leading ladies.
“Because I have been consistently keeping up with the show, it wasn’t so hard for me to find specific scenes I wanted in my edit. I actually felt excited as I always do whenever I edit videos for Darlentina or JaneNella,” she explained.
Pointing out the enormous response to “I Fell For My Boss,” Yawns said there is “no doubt that there is a genuine interest in the pairing” of de Leon and Salvdor on screen.
“I was surprised that the general public — especially the casual viewers on Facebook — found the edit amusing that even those not part of the community felt ‘kilig’ and saw their chemistry. International viewers have also taken interest in the pairing! I genuinely think that if a JaneNella movie does happen, it would reach the international audience and would positively affect sapphic representation in Philippine media,” she said.
Yawns’ viral edit is the latest indication of the broad appeal of “Darlentina,” whose central screen couple, de Leon and Salvador, have time and again acknowledged the efforts of their fans as a tandem.
Most notably, during their Las Vegas meet-and-greet with US-based fans, the two addressed their “Vadengs,” their term of endearment for the community.
Salvador introduced herself as “your president,” and thanked them for their “energy” in making Darna and Valentina constantly trend on social media. De Leon also expressed gratitude for their love and support, mentioning in particular the “edits” depicting romance between Narda and Regina — which now include Yawns’ imagined movie.
Whether a project in the vein of “I Fell For My Boss” will become a reality remains to be seen. What’s certain, however, is an audience awaits, going by the palpable enthusiasm — and demand — for sapphic content in the mainstream.