I've always thought of Luis as kuya. I remember we met on the set of ASAP. Lagi syang bumubisita sa mga dressing rooms at nakikipagkwentuhan. Just like that. Naturally. Eventually, naging magkaibigan kami yung napansin nya na nagkakaproblema ako sa ex ko. There was this one time I guested on Deal Or No Deal which he hosted. He would ask me off-cam as part of his hosting preps, “Pwede ko bang banggitin na you guys are still together? Pwede ba nating syang pagusapan?” Since we were already close enough, I told him not do it. He was kind enough not to ever touch the subject on the show.
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Luis and I became close since then. Whatever problems at work or in my relationship then, I would tell my kuya. Pansin ko rin na friends nya na mga lalaki, puro non-showbiz. Pero yung friends nya na showbiz, puro mga babae—Alex Gonzaga, Anne Curtis, Toni Gonzaga, and son. I would like to think I shared the same special relationship they all had with Luis.
Eventually, he started courting me, right after his birthday, April 21. He was really consistent, I'd say. Like, I would just message him about any bad, tiring day at work—and by dinner break, I would open my van and get surprised to see flowers, popcorn, chocolate, anything inside. He doesnt' look it, but he's really a sweet thing.
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Binasted ko sya the first time. I was confused at that time since it was choice between career or love. That time, I was being pushed to be part of a love team so any relationship would pose as a dilemma. I got so confused I even had to talk withj my mom and tita about it. Five days would pass—I missed him. Hinahanap-hanap ko yung mga FaceTime nya, yung mga "Good Morning" nya. I was guilty that I turned him down. Twice.
But, Luis was kind enough to give us a chance. I was still not that ready to commit a.k.a. say "I love you" then. Naniniwala kasi ako na if you really love someone at gusto mong maging kayo, sasabihin mo yung "I love you." Luis got so used with my Thank you's whenever he'd say he loved me. And then that one time, I just said back, “I love you, too.” He couldn't believe it! Sobrang di niya in-expect. Tuwang tuwa sya na sinagot ko sya! It was June 25. Tinawagan pa nya yung PA at driver nya para balitaan na, “Kami na! Kami na!”
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Photos taken from my account | Interview by Mels Timan
Banner image by Lui Jimenez