It was quite a scenic thing to watch, amid the changing of outfits and makeup looks, young couple Blaster Silonga and Crystal Jobli gamely lean toward each other, as photographer Shaira Luna closes in for a shot. There's no air of hesitance or discomfort, and despite admitting that this shoot is a first for the twosome, their chemistry speaks otherwise. It's bold, seeing them with faces an inch or two apart, taking a few glances from time to time, breaking into smiles, and just being themselves. Later on, they go on telling Chalk.ph how this beauty editorial is probably their favorite memory together yet.
"Never namin 'to nagawa. Ito 'yung first time talaga na magkasama kami buong araw tapos required kaming magkasama. Parang first collaboration, first project, first time working together," Blaster says, to which Crystal adds, "Very memorable 'to. Na someone would ask us about our relationship, would take photos and videos of us, and we're actually opening up."
And for the first time since they got together, Blaster and Crystal are getting real. This is their story.
19-year-old Blaster is known as the 1/3 of funk rock band IV OF SPADES. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Crystal spends her days in the hospital as a psychiatric nurse. Looking at their chosen careers, one may wonder how their paths may have come across. And no, they didn't meet as fan-and-artist nor as patient-and-nurse—their tale goes way back as students of their alma mater.
He was in grade school, while she's in high school. Back then, both of them didn't have the slightest idea that, fast forward to present, they'll be holding each other's hand and be the respective half of the other.
The former was taken by his lady love's genuity and care, the top on the long list of things he likes about her. "Hindi naman sa sinasabi kong gusto kong inaalagaan ako, pero 'yun na nga," he playfully teases, sending a fit of giggles to Crystal. The latter, on the other hand, is drawn to her boyfriend's passion. "He knows where he wants to be and he does everything to get there. If nawawalan ako ng motivation, titingnan ko lang 'yung life niya," she muses."'Yun din 'yung una kong nagustuhan sa kanya. 'Yun din ang reason kung bakit may gusto at in love pa rin ako sa kanya."
And we're witnesses of how they grew to be the sweet couple that they are today. As much as they keep their personal lives as private as they can, Blaster and Crystal let slip a few online reminders of their love—in forms of birthday greetings, random appreciation posts, couple photos, and more.
As sugary as they may be, they still consider themselves as best friends. When asked how they would describe their relationship, the IVOS lead guitarist puts it plainly: "It's real." For Crystal, it's all about being "not perfect, but totoo lang." She adds, "Merong ups and downs. Tulungan lang. Kung may kakulangan 'yung isa, we're still here for each other," he says.
This isn't child's play, too. Other people go around and get into a relationship, trying to see if things would work. But the couple actually goes out of their way to make it work. They commit, therefore, they pull it off the best way that they can.
"Kaya kayo nasa isang relationship ay dahil sa commitment, hindi lang dahil sa emotions." Blaster divulges. "Ako, prinsipyo ko 'yun na nakuha ko dati sa tatay ko. Na kung papasok ka lang ng relationship tapos hindi lang rin sa marriage or sa pagbuo ng pamilya 'yung tutuluyan, 'wag na lang. Hindi ako papasok sa relationship na, 'try lang natin 'to!' Laging seryosohan."
Crystal can attest to Blaster's dedication to their relationship, saying, "Aaminin ko, as a girl, I do get emotional most of the time. So marami akong nasasabi na nire-regret ko rin, or minsan, nasasabi ko na, 'Ayoko na sayo!' Pero siya, he reminds me na, 'Ganu'n na lang? Committed tayo e.' Kasi from the very start, talagang pinag-usapan namin 'yung commitment. Kahit anong mangyari, magkamali man tayo, committed tayo sa isa't isa. Even until the end," she says.
And in the years that they've been together, the humps along the road just makes them even more rock solid. They may be young, but being with each other helped them mature and grow, together and as individuals.
Ultimately, what makes them work? Aside from how they're perfectly in sync, the foundation of compromise and acceptance keeps their relationship tower-steady.
"Hindi pwedeng 'yung sarili mo lang 'yung iniisip mo," he says.
"We just feel for each other. It's always a give and take," she says.
We couldn't agree more.
Photographed by Shaira Luna
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Ryuji Shiomitsu
Makeup by Angeline Dela Cruz (Blaster) and Theresa Padin (Crystal)
Hair by Jeff Valenzuela
Video by Spotlight Creatives
Video Produced by Deiniel Cuvin
ALSO READ: #ChalkLovesIVofSpades: IV OF SPADES On Their Journey To Producing 'CLAPCLAPCLAP!'