People & Inspiration

Love Actually: Fashion Forward Couple Eldzs Mejia And Fold Canela Talk Love In The Time Of Twitter!

Love Actually: Fashion Forward Couple Eldzs Mejia And Fold Canela Talk Love In The Time Of Twitter!

In the age of social media, even the quiet ones can also send signals. Such is the case with Folded & Hung Creative Director Eldzs Mejia and fashion filmmaker Fold Canela. Back when devices like BlackBerries were used to express our innermost thoughts, Eldzs found himself caught so off guard with Fold’s subtle hints of attraction (a.k.a. tweets) that it compelled him to confirm his now-fiancé’s true feelings with a very romantic gesture. As the couple continues to make waves in the creative industry, we find more about how their seven-yearr relationship started.

[related: Love Actually: Alex Gonzaga On How She Found Hunky Boyfie Mikee Morada Thanks To Papa P!]

How long have you known each other? Where did you two meet?

Eldzs: Sabi nila una tayong nag-meet (sa) Cubao X? Hindi, eh! Actually, naalala ko na una kitang na-meet, pero na-realize ko lang na ikaw pala ‘yun after a few years, is sa UP Techno Hub. That was after college. We’re both from UP pero ‘di kami magkakilala nung college. Higher batch si Fold, so I was still in school n’un. Pero friends nya yung mga friends ko. Nakilala ko siya randomly (pero) ‘di ko siya pinansin.

Fold: Na-introduce lang kami to each other through common friends. Parang ang raming friends nya na friends ko rin. Marami rin akong friends na friends rin nya pala. So, naturally, at a certain point, magkikilala kami. Officially, (ang) first na na-introduce kami to each other was I think 2009 sa Techno Hub. A year after, nag-meet kami ulit sa Cubao X. Di nya maalala. Yung official na nag-meet kami, na friends na kami, was December 2010.

E: I think d’un ko sya naging crush! There was a moment na ‘di ko sya kilala. Iba yung mukha nung Tope—Tope kasi was his nickname—and iba yung binabanggit ng mga friends namin. ‘Pag sinasabing, ”O ‘yan si Tope" or "si Fold,” ibang tao ‘yung nakikita ko. Sometime that year, 2010, nakilala ko na sya ulit. Tas medyo ini-stalk ko sa Facebook. Medyo (feeling ko), “Hmmm cutie!” Crush-crush lang

What were your first impressions of each other?

E: 'Pag na-i-imagine ko lang, alam ko may kasama talaga ‘yung friend ko, tapos sya ‘yun. Hindi kasi ako nag-fo-focus sa mga ganyan kasi makakalimutin din naman ako. Pero medyo nakilala ko na sya, tas first impression na sa kanya cutie, tas medyo conyo. Parang sosyal kid (sya)? Nakikita ko (na) parang hipster sya. Akala ko Inglisero....In my imagination, para siyang taga-Valle (Verde) or nag-aral siya sa all-boys school — Ateneo, La Salle, or whatever. Yun pala complete opposite.

F: Wala lang…normal.

E: Anong normal?

F: I mean—

E: Ano bang first impression mo nga?

F: Wala naman.

E: Ano ba yan! (Laughs) Kailangan alalahanin mo.

F: Siguro maingay, ganyan.

E: Ano ba yan, given naman na kasi ‘yon!

F: Oh anyway—

E: Sige, whatever.

And how long have you been together since?

E: We’re going on our seveth year this April. Technically, we started hanging out (around) this time seven years ago.

Now for the cheesy part. At what moment did you realize that you were in love?

E: Magdadagdag kami ng question: kung pa’no kami nagsimula. Short story is parang love in the age of Twitter. Ito ‘yung time na naka-BBM (Blackberry Messenger) lahat ng tao (at) Facebook and Twitter lang ang pwede mong gamitin sa Blackberry. I was not looking for a relationship. Crush ko lang sya (pero) maraming akong crush nung time na ‘yun. Tapos all of a sudden, ma-text kami. Siyempre lumalandi ako. Pero nothing OA na, “Oh my God you look so pogi.” I didn’t want him to know na crush (ko siya). I was posting a lot on Twitter ('tapos) napansin ko lang na parang may answer (sya) sa tweets ko without direct(ly) tagging me. Kunwari, I’m (posting), “Gutom na gutom na ako” or “Pagod na pagod na ako.” 'Tas all of a sudden, may tweet sya after two to three minutes na, “Oh my God take care.” Ang OA ng (ibang) tweets ko na parang, “Oh my God, nagbabalat yung kamay ko!” Tas (may) “I wanna hold your hand” after. Grabe talaga! Napikon ako. Parang may kausap syang iba, pero walang naka-tag. Ayokong mag-assume so nakakaloka! Nung una, medyo creepy na nakakairita ‘cause I don’t want my emotions (to) be played with. (Laughs) Nalaman ko na he was in a relationship that time. (But) I don’t want to put (a) timeline din dun sa pagiging official namin kasi the moment that we knew that we liked each other, medyo official na rin kami. Basically, I knew that he was a teacher in SoFA. At dahil magka-text kami, I knew na matatapos yung class nya by noon. So, sabi ko lang sa sobrang naiirita ko sa ginagawa niyang pagti-tweet (kahit) I’m not sure if ako ba yung tini-tweet niyapinadalhan ko sya ng bouquet ng flowers sa school nya without putting my name. Nilagay ko lang, “Text me if you receive this.” Kung ako maisip nya, medyo, “Hmm may common attraction kami.” Ayun. Nakakatawa! Twelve (PM) nga raw matatapos class nya. (Pero) 12:30, wala pa ring nagte-text. So heartbroken ako for a few minutes. Tas bigla siyang (nag-text), “Sorry kakatapos lang ng class ko.” “Ah okay.” Tas sabi niya, “Saan ka?” Sabi ko, “Ito, nag-pu-pull out sa Greenbelt.” Tas biglang sabi niya, “May pinadala ka ba?” And the rest is history. (Laughs) So, technically, na-confirm nya na ako nagpadala.

F: ‘Di ba ako sasagot nun?

E: Anong isasagot mo?

F: Uhh…

E: Ay, eto na! Sabi mo, maganda isasagot mo dito.

F: ‘Di naman.

E: Dapat kiligin ako, ha!

F: Ang arte.

E: (Laughs)

F: I don’t believe in like, a specific moment na kunyari, two people in a relationship just say, “Mahal ko na sya ng moment na ‘to!” Parang it’s so fake. The more that you spend time with each other, the more you fall in love with each other. The moment na nangyari yung flower-giving, magkasama lang kami almost every day, except kapag nasa ibang bansa ako. Pero may moment na na-Freudian slip ako...

E: (Laughs) Kinikilig me!

F: Parang ginugulo-gulo niya ako. Sinasampal sampal nya ako. 'Tas sabi ko, “Ano ba yan, boyfriend abuse!”

E: Pero parang hindi ko sya pinansin. Medyo na-shock ako, pero I don’t wanna assume na may sinasabi syang ganyan. (Laughs)

How soon after did you become “official?"

E: Parang he asked me. (Turns to Fold) O, ikaw magkwento kasi ikaw gumawa nyan!

F: It was…

E: April 11!

F: Just a week before his birthday. Kumain lang kami sa isang restaurant. Tas meron akong card for him. Nakasulat sa card, “Will you be my boyfriend?”

E: “It would be the greatest pleasure to be your boyfriend,” ata!

F: Oo, ganun.

E: Yeah, so that would be seven years ago.

What are your biggest similarities? When did you discover this?

E: Similarity namin siguro ‘yung interest in fashion. Apparently, he (was) into fashion nung time na ‘yun (at) bago rin ako sa magazine industry. Naalala ko (na), I (would) tag him sa mga design competition kasi I heard na he’s a Design student. Nag-go back sya to school for Fashion Design. (Pero) mas naging close kami n’un kasi nagkaroon kami as a barkada ng interest in K-pop music. We were brought together by our friend Ziggy (Savella). Kami ni Ziggy, we like dancing to K-pop. Nahihilig kaming manuod ng cover groups sa mga convention. Then parang gusto naming magkaroon din ng group. Tas sya, push naman sya kung sinu-sino, like napagsama niya different people (na) magkakakilala pero not magkakabarkda or magkakaibigan. Parang tatanungin niya lang, “You wanna join?” ganyan. Knowing Fold, alam ko go lang siya nang go. He’s the type of person (who’d say), “Okay!” Feel ko na-peer pressure sya kay Ziggy. Anyway, ‘yung bigger similarity namin (na) na-discover ko when we were together na (ay) we have different personalities, pero our interests are all the same. Our point of views (at) parang tipong kung anong sosyal, anong maganda, anong class, anong magandang design, aesthetically…That’s important to me kasi syempre, we both work in the creative industry. Hindi naman siya parang, “Yes! Gusto ko syang maging jowa kasi maganda taste nya.” Organically naman nangyari na nag-click kami kasi we have taste. Mas maganda pa nga taste nya (sa'kin). Mas naturuan pa niya ako ng mas mga kasosyalan.

F: Ang haba naman ng sinabi mo.

E: Oo nga eh.

F: Ako, isa lang. Pareho kaming competitive.

E: Ay oh my God, that’s correct! It’s not competitive na ako yung mananalo pero we both like winning at life. Like, I remember he was just starting out as a videographer-film director. Siyempre bata pa sya (n'un). Nagkaroon kami ng ideas tapos push naman ako sa kanya, kasi super ganyan ako ka-competitive. 

What about biggest differences? How do you work these out?

E: Personalities tsaka habits. Like ako, super spontaneous, super gulo, and super all over the place. I’m adventurous. Pareho naman kaming go-getter in a sense na achiever kami pareho. Pero ako yung tipong ipagkakalat ko sa mundo na parang, “Oh my God, kailangan kong manalo.” I (also) don’t really plan things ahead. Or if I plan, hindi ganun ka-detailed. He’s the type of person na ganu’n. Medyo nahawa na rin ako sa kanya. And I (was) always late before…

F: Personality-wise, polar opposites kami. Maingay siya, tahimik ako. Fighter, palaban siya

E: Feisty.

F: Shy ako. Magulo (din) sya with his stuff.

E: ‘Di ka rin naman ganu’n kalinis!

F: Burara.

E: Burara, yeah.

F: Ako, organized. How do we work this out?

E: Patience! Natutunan niya na lang.

F: Nagtitimpi lang ako.

E: Oh my God, grabe ka. But, yeah, I can see in his face. (Laughs) I know that he loves me. 

Speaking of, what do you love most about each other? 

E: He’s very smart. He’s very responsible. He takes care of me.

F: Ako, one liner lang. Lahat ng wala sa’kin, nasa kanya.

E: (Squeals)

F: We complement each other.

E: Galing galing mo talaga! Tama ka dyan. Parang yun din sasabihin ko, di ko lang nasabi

Say, you get into a fight. How do you like to resolve it?

E: Before, confrontational ako. Gusto kong pag-usapan (at) ayusin agad. He was the type (na) tatahimk lang — the next day na lang usapan. Tas okay na kami. Sa first year, nahirapan ako sa idea na yun kasi I can’t sleep ng may baggage ako. Pero I learned na dun ako nagko-compromise. He’s the type of person who cools down or calms down first kapag may away kami. Ang babaw ng (mga) conflict (namin), mga creative conflict lang. Nothing too big. Schedules? Wala rin. We work together—side by side, hand in hand.

F: I I think the big thing sa mga bata na couples is always like, “Aww, kawawa naman ako. Ang laki-laki ng  problema ko, tas inaaway mo ako.” It’s always “Me, me, me.” But I think ang importante, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, pero sa'kin I’m just kalma, and breathe.

E: Hindi ka kaya kalma!

F: Pero I need my time to calm down. Pero itong mga difference, hindi naman ganun kalaki. You just need to cool down.

E: Mas madali siyang mairita sa’kin. Pareho kaming irritable —

F: Patience, on my end.

E: Huy grabe ka! Patient kaya ako dati.

How about fun facts, or things people wouldn’t know about you guys?

E: Naku, baka isipin nila R-rated! (Laughs) Pero what I’m trying to say is medyo alam na rin naman nila na we’re opposites. Kunwari, ikaw tahiimik, ako maingay. Akala ng tao, yun na yun eh. Ako maingay, medyo “leader” yung effect ko. Pero mas decisive si Fold sa’ming dalawa. He’s more in charge of things. Siya yung taga-ayos ng mga bagay. Akala ng mga tao ako yung dominant sa mga bagay-bagay, pero si Fold talaga (yun).

F: Lahat naman nasa Twitter (and) Instagram mo na.

E: Huy grabe ka, hindi naman! Kunwari, he’s very emotional.

F: His persona is always happy-happy, ingay-ingay, party-party, walwal, wild. Pero deep inside he’s quite sensitive. Parang bata. Even though nag-work sya nang maaga, he started supporting himself early. You know there’s this part of himself na mukha syang independent (pero) may vulnerable side din. I think the people around us, na lagi naming kasama, they do not see that often.

Favorite memory together so far?

E: Every memory! Arte! Favorite ko yung memory na nagkaaminan kami. Aside dun sa parang na-confirm ko na he likes me, sumunod din sa’kin sa Greenbelt. Yung isa sa unforgettable is yung sinamahan niya lang akong mag-pull out ng clothes the whole day. We were so clingy. Nag-yosi break kami, tas biglang nag-agree kami na nami-miss namin ang isa’t isa pero magkatabi lang kami the whole day! Na-feel ko talaga yun. Grabe, parang yun yung first time in weeks na nagde-date kami together na 'di kami magkausap o naglalampungan kasi the whole time nag-iikot ako sa mall. Alangan naman bigla kaming magyakapan dun.

F: Siguro nung nagkaroon ako ng surgery…

E: Dalawang beses ka kaya na-ospital.

F: it’s different when you know you have someone na hindi mo family. It’s not an obligation na mag-aalaga sa'yo, kukuha ng stuff mo…

Being in one industry that's quite small, how do you support each other?

F: We have different things to do. Pero kailangang laging may approval ng bawat isa.

E: We complement each other. We make each other better (at) naging successful kami in our work. Feeling ko hindi ako magiging pushy as a creative director or stylist if not for him. Important sa'kin yung opinion nya more than anyone else’s. Medyo iffy ako kapag hindi siya yung magsasabi ng, “Yeah, that’s nice.” Sya yung tina-trust ko na sasabihin nya talaga sakin direct to the point na, “Ha? Pangit ng damit!” Siya rin naman. Nung una, sya yung pikon, pero I guess natutunan na rin namin na kunwari, kapag may ginawa siya (tas biglang), “Edit mo yan. Mas maganda kapag ganito.” I guess we’re type of couple na clingy with each other. Clingy in a sense na gusto naming magkasama lagi. Di kami tulad ng iba na (sa) simula pa lang, takot na sa idea na wag tayo magsama masyado kasi magsasawa tayo sa isa’t isa. We’d rather be with each other para lalong kami nagfa-function. Ang chaka na dependent kami sa isa’t isa, pero yun talaga eh.

F: Different strokes for different folks.

E: Dami naming mga one liner!

You both post a lot on social media. How do you stay connected despite the ‘disconnect’ it brings?

E: We like going on dates. Important sa’min yun.

F: Kunyari, couples spend so much time on their phones, which is your problem.

E: Sya rin! Pareho kaming nasa phone! (Laughs)

F: Or sinundan ko sya sa telepono. Ginaya ko yung mga ginagawa nya.

E: Minsan tina-tag namin ang isa’t isa.

F: If you can’t beat them, join them.

E: Yeah! Tas kunwari magkasama kami sa isang chat group. Tapos magkatabi naman kami pero dun din kami nag-uusap. Pero part din yung mga kasama namin na friends dun sa conversation. Minsan parang, “Are you talking to me?” pero katabi ko naman siya, naka-type pa yun.

F: I always ask him to shut his phone and talk to me or talk to the people he’s with kapag may group of friends.

E: Yeah, di ko maiwasan. Bad habit nga! Pero siya rin naman, bago matulog, mahilig siyang mag-phone. Ok lang. Pero yun yung part na how we solve this...nakakaroon talaga tayo ng moment na di tayo nagfo-phone because special sa’tin yung dates. Magkasama naman kami everyday. Pero we make it a point na magde-date talaga kami. We go to movies, kumakain kami sa restaurant… Actually we still celebrate our monthsary. We always find an excuse to have dates. Special day namin ang second day of the month! Nagyayaya kami ng friends to hang out with. Mahilig kaming lumabas together. 'Pag nagta-travel kami, mas maraming chances na we connect with each other kasi di naman kami nasa phone.

F: Mahal kasi ang data roaming.

E: Diba? Patay ang phone. Patay ang wifi. Airplane mode, naku! (Laughs)

ALSO READ: Love Actually: Kaladkaren And Her Brit Bae Show Us A Love Too Beautiful To Be Hidden In The Closet!

Photographs taken from Eldzs Meija's and Fold Canella's Instagram accounts

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