Remember that time Iñigo Pascual asked Maris Rascal to the yearly Star Magic Ball on Sunday’s ASAP? The singer pulled out a rose and got down on one knee that had Maris blushing (who wouldn’t, right?)! Before that, Iñigo tweeted 100 tweets to Maris that ended with him asking her out!
With how the pair really seem comfortable with each other, it makes one wonder if it was always like that. Their love team just seems to be in-sync. And they agree, saying that they’re very alike but it wasn’t always like that especially when they first met each other (Caution: so much kilig ahead!).
What was going through your minds the first time you met?
Iñigo: The very first time I met Maris was actually at my dad’s taping for Hawak Kamay.
Maris: Sa hospital sa set ng Hawak Kamay. Nakakahiya pero awkward at first kasi before that inasar na kami ni Papa P sa bahay ni Kuya.
I: it was a funny encounter. What happened was my dad’s fans kind of told me that Maris was there and that they wanted us to meet. So I was like, "Okay but I’m not prepared. I’m not ready, I look like a mess!" So I was trying to fix myself. There’s a video on it somewhere on the net, on social media. It was funny kasi parang after that I went inside the bathroom to hide. I was super awkward.
M: Curiousity ata yung naka-add ng awkwardness—yung curiousity naming sa isa’t-isa.
I: Kasi when you talk to someone on social media before you actually meet them, its kinda awkward right? I was going through my awkward teenage stage that time. I was about 15. I didn’t really have confidence back then but it was cool naman. It was nice to meet her and she was going through her awkward stage as well. It was an awkward moment but it is something you can laugh about now at least.
Next question. What were your first impressions of each other?
I: I saw this really quiet, very charming girl. She had a nice smile and, you know, she was very Filipina. Very magalang, very chill, and not…you can tell that she’s not mayabang. She’s just simple.
M: Napaka-inglisero niya! As in! Hindi siya nagtatagalog tapos medyo shy type pa siya. Pero opposite pala sa totoong buhay. Sobrang hyper. Super supportive niya talaga from time to time, palagi siyang magtu-tweet sa akin ng “Congrats” kahit hindi siya kasali sa project na iyon. He would send me personal messages na “I’m so proud of you” or “I’m so happy for you”. He’s been supportive until now and he’s been positive sa lahat ng nangyayari sa amin.
What led to you guys to become good friends?
I: I would see her all the time in ASAP. She just got out of the PBB house (and) I would always see her Loisa (Andalio). I would talk to her.
M: Yung 3 years after that…sobrang casual lang kami. After his digital concert, nag-guest siya sa concert ko at nag-guest ako sa concert niya. Puro kami on-stage performance level. Nag MMK (din) kami before and doon na nag-start yung MarNigo.
I: The term I’d use is kalog. She’s very outgoing and really fun to be with. I really love her humor as well. It’s kinda what drew us together. Our humor was almost the same, and in terms of music naman parang we had the same love and that brought us even closer to each other. The first time we worked (together) was Bloody Crayons. I was part of the original cast but eventually, I had to do school, some directors, productions, and cast members were changed…pero, because of that project, for the first time we really became friends. We were always kind of bullies (to) each other. I’m the type of guy when I find someone attractive I tend to bully in a funny way.
In all the years you’ve known each other, what would you say is your favorite memory together?
I: There a lot. I’d say there are moments where I feel like I’m in a movie when I’m with her. One time when we were chilling in my car and I think I was dropping her to her condo. We were just blasting music and I was surprised because this girl was literally acting like she was a rapper. I was just watching her and she’s just fun to be with. Not all pretty girls would do that even when on stage. She’s not one of those super girly girls (but more like) “I’ll be funny, I’ll be myself, I want you guys to know who I am as me and that’s how I am as a person”. I enjoy seeing her just being herself.
M: The moment na binabalikan ko from time to time is yung kinanta ko sa kanya yung bago kong single na sinulat ko for him, Ikaw Lang Sapat Na. There were MarNigo fans there and they were so happy. He was so happy! I’ve been writing songs, but this one was different. Siya yung nakapag-open sa akin ng ganun. He’s been a really big blessing para sa akin.
I: Every moment with her was really special but really memorable moments are those when we were being ourselves and talking about whatever. I love it when she shares her music to me, I love it when she tells me, “This is my song, what do you think of it?” I mean, I don’t really get to relate with anyone in terms of music. Everyone’s talking about sports, about this celebrity…but with her (it’s) music and we’re just in the zone all the time. I love performing with her. Every time we perform I don’t even think about steps I have to do (or) the song we are singing, I’m thinking about the moment and enjoying it while it’s happening. There’s moments when we dance, and because of the joy it gives you parang you’d find each other just smiling.
How about qualities? What’s your favorite quality about each other?
M: Napaka-loving niya sa mother niya. Sobrang okay yun sa akin. Nakakatawa siya, grabe yung sense of humor niya. Iba siya mag-joke, as in, alam mo yung mapapaisip ka and then sobrang tawang-tawang ka hindi matatapos? Siguro, physically…yung amoy niya! (Laughs) Ang bango niya, parang comforting na, “Awww, Inigo!”
I: I just can’t just pinpoint one. I love that she’s transparent more than anything. I want to be close or be friends with people who’d tell me how they feel about the moment and I appreciate that with her. She’s really sincere.
You guys seem so tight! Is there anything you know about each other that your fans would be surprised to learn?
M: Umm… kung sasabihin ko malalaman nila! (Laughs)
I: I’m such a nice person… I’m such a gentleman. (Laughs) Like, I’m so nice!
M: Napakalambing niya. Alam na yun ng tao eh pero malambing talaga siya! Iba manlambing ang Inigo Pascual, nakakahappy! (Laughs)
I: She’s mabilis mapikon, at least to me. But I find it cute. I make fun of her to joke around but her jokes are usually corny. I’m that person who would tell everyone how corny her joke is and then she gets so annoyed na parang, “Why’d you do that? You’re embarrassing me!” And I’m like, “You embarassed yourself!” (Laughs). It’s such a bad joke the fact that it is so bad makes it funny.
You’ve been a loveteam for seven months now. What’s the secret behind your chemistry?
I: First of all we relate with each other with music and music is my life. I guess also the fact that we enjoy we share the same passion for performing. She’s very independent. I’m independent as well pero I’m sanay na palaging may kasama. I’m used (to) that kind of treatment na I always have people with me and she is independent naman, which is a good balance. I’m learning to be independent and she’s learning to meet everybody. I guess (it’s also) the fact that we’re able to learn from each other. Like what they say, “It takes two to tango.” It doesn’t work with just one direction—you have to understand each other’s likes and dislikes. It’s really just communicating what you want as a team, as friends, what you want to achieve in life. It’s also good to kind of go about life and do what you want to do [while] having a goal. We always set a goal. The thing I appreciate about her is the mentality when it comes to whatever we’re doing. May it be work, may it be school, may it be music...we always have an end goal. I guess that’s what makes us work is that we share the same dream. We share the same passion for what we do.
M: Siguro, hindi naman kini-keep yung grudges sa isa’t-isa. Yes, nagkakagalitan kami sa isa’t-isa minsan but pinag-uusapan namin kasi yung signs namin, we’re both Virgos and we’re good at communicating. Yun siguro yung magic sa amin. Kaya every show, we’re okay. Lahat ng nakikita nila are genuine kasi okay talaga kami as what we are. Not fake and all.
I: And I guess that fact that we’re very weird. We don’t like just to see each other. We want to explore, we want to do fun things together. When we did this one travel video, G Diaries, she was so game with everything like swimming, jumping off a huge rock to the water…I mean she was scared (but) she did it. we are both into adventures. I guess bottomline is somehow we have the same interests, we make it work, and we communicate.
Does this mean you’re…?
M: We’re both…we’re not together together, but… we just have this understanding na ayaw muna namin mag-meet ng other people. Let’s just focus on what we have now and nagfo-focus kami sa dreams namin. Like (for) him, gusto ko na lumaki pa talaga yung music and then siya, sinu-support niya ako sa pagiging songwriter. Nag-susuportahan kami sa isa’t-isa and yun yung naa-appreciate ko at ayaw ko masira yun. Like we’re both building our careers. We’ll never know what’s going to happen in the future but hindi kami nagmamadali.
I: I don’t like to say that we are together. We’ve been asked this and what we like to say is that we are just having fun. Whatever we are doing right now, we are more focused on our careers and she’s doing so well. She’s number 1 on iTunes now. I’m so proud. And you wouldn’t want to be the one in the middle of that, you wanna be the person who supports her and if love comes along the way…let it come naturally. Don’t force it. You don’t push love to be something that has to be there. You let it be what it wants to be.
—Introduction by Denice Dinsay
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Photographs from Iñigo Pascual's and Maris Racal's Instagram accounts. Banner Image by Lui Jimenez.