Even before last year's controversy that would out actor-musician-host Alex Diaz as bisexual, Ella Hake already knew about his orientation. It was no biggie, the Fil-Brit model thought. "Before I met him, I already knew. He didn’t even have to tell me. He didn’t even have to explain himself to me. I don’t think that it’s something he has to explain to anyone else because when I met him, I took him the way that I saw him. I wouldn’t change him. I never wanted to do that because I wanted to love him unconditionally. Because that’s the point of going into relationships right?” she told ABS-CBN Lifestyle. In detail, Ella had already heard of Alex from her best friend who was dating Alex's brother.
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Ella and Alex dated for just five months before deciding to split. And even though they didn’t have a long history of friendship between them, it was their openness to each other that paved the way for them to remain friends. “Surprisingly, I think what made us so strong was we laid all our cards out on the table in the beginning of the relationship. She knew I was fluid and I knew everything about her. Instead of focusing on the light, we focused on the darkness and each other and that’s what made it easier for us to open up and be ourselves,” Alex shared.
Though they may make it look and sound so easy, everyone who’s ever been through a breakup knows it’s always a hard path to go down on. But Alex and Ella would rather keep themselves in each other’s lives, no matter what the future has in store for both of them. Alex's simple but sage advice to other ex-couples? “I think you should realize that you can still love somebody and not be with them. You can love somebody and not have them be “yours” and still want what’s best for them even if it’s not you at that moment in time.”
Learn all about their candid reminiscing below!
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How many months/ years were you together?
Ella: 6 months.
Alex: Like in total?
Ella: We were on and off.
Alex: We were. It was complicated.
Ella: Probably, like, a total of 10 months.
What was your first impression of each other?
Alex: I thought you were a bad b****. You were intimidating. You had like this strong silent confidence about you, like you didn't need anybody.
Ella: I thought you were nice. I woke up from the nap, and that was like the Christmas dinner. He was shirtless and then he walked in the room. He was like, "Hey, what's up? I'm Alex." Like, "Hi".
Alex: I'll be honest, I knew what I was doing when I walked in with my shirt off. I was like, "K, I'm about to say good morning...what's up?"
Ella: Oh my God. It was cute.
Alex: I also thought you were very pretty.
Describe that moment when you started falling in love with the other.
Alex: I think I realized I'm falling in love with you when I said it by accident when we were drunk at one party. But I knew I was in love with you when you took me to see your dad's grave. And I saw you setting up the candles. And I was like, "Yeah, I'm in love with this woman."
Ella: You're tearing up. I think when I cried.
Alex: My house?
Ella: Yeah. 'Cause I didn't want you to die. It came out of nowhere. I don't know, I just didn't want to lose you as a person, like even if we're just friends, you know? I want to go and stay.
Tell us about the other’s best traits as a romantic partner.
Alex: You are the most maalaga peron I've ever dated. You take care of me and you know how to have fun but you also are the only girl who gets me home on time, at a decent hour.
Ella: You're very understanding. Never met anyone like that. You compromise a lot in the relationship.
Alex: You also, very understanding.
What is something that you liked doing together?
Ella: Going to the gym.
Alex: Yeah, I like watching you workout. Not maliciously, (but) just because you don't need any help, you'd break a sweat, whereas most girls I know kind of they just sit there looking pretty. You would actually put the work in. So I thought that was very attractive.
Ella: We like watching crime documentaries. That was like a huge thing in our relationship. I got him addicted to crime documentaries.
Alex: Yeah, I wasn't into it but then I realized that you have the knack for criminology and I think that's something you should pursue.
In all your months/years together, tell us about the sweetest thing the other has done to you.
Ella: My birthday. You set up this really, really nice dinner. And I thought, I was like, "I don't deserve this, but okay." That was really sweet.
Alex: I think it's 'cause you did deserve it. I think the sweetest thing you did to me was loving me completely when there's a lot of people in my life that would'nt accept all of me. I think that's how I was able to love you so wholeheartedly, it's because I felt that I never felt that I had to hide who I was from you. Yeah.
In one word, describe your relationship.
Both: Litty AF.
Alex: It was an escape, for sure, from how s*** life can be sometimes.
Ella: For me, it's inspiring. 'Cause like when we were together, I've worked with myself more than I ever did before. You inspire me as a person.
Take us back to the time things went sour.
Ella: It didn't really seem like... I didn't take it like the hard way, but I was sad. It was something that I thought that would last a long time. Yeah, I was just sad. Until now, when I come to think of it, it's like it's sayang. Sayang.
Alex: Me, it was painful because we work so well together. So, we broke up because I think you and I have an understanding where we're at are at our lives. I think it was just sayang because I knew that I'm not sure if I'll find someone who will take care of me well as you did.
How did the breakup happen?
Alex: On my side, I drove to your house, I bought a bunch of soju, and I was drinking and crying in the car. When I went upstairs, we talked it out and we agreed that maybe this wasn't the right timing for us. We both cried. I remember you said not to go.
Ella: Yeah, I was telling you everything's so unfair.
How did you behave after the breakup?
Ella: I didn't go out for the longest time. I think that keeping myself busy is good for me at that time because it takes my mind off you and what was happening around me.
Alex: Yeah, you handled it really well. I didn't. I think when things were going wrong, I think it brought out the best in me. And losing you kind of brought me back to going out and getting drunk because I didn't want to think about not having you in my house or not having you to come home to.
How did you behave post-breakup around family? Around friends? On social media?
Alex: I think for me, I would ask my dad and my auntie a lot of questions. It was hard for me to accept even though that I knew there's a reason why. I think everyone thought I was okay, but my family knew I was pretty messed up about it.
Ella: My family doesn't really talk about relationship stuff. But they saw on social media that I was in a relationship with you. So when I visited, they were like, "where's your boyfriend?" I was like, "I don't have a boyfriend anymore." I think it played a big part on my friends. I was more talkative about you with my friends around. They still love you though!
How long was it before you two saw each other again?
Ella: Two-three months? I thought my life was gonna be quiet now. And then he came back, I was like, "No!"
Alex: I'm like, "I'm not done yet."
What was it like to see each other for the first time after the breakup?
Alex: I was back in Manila for the first time. I had asked Nash, Nash is your best friend. I asked if she wanted to go have dinner and drinks 'cause I didn't know where you were and I thought that you might have been dating somebody, so I was like, "Yeah, where is Ella?" And then Nash was like, "Oh she's here. She's not dating anybody."
Ella: When I saw him, I was like, "Damn, daddy got thick!"
Alex: I put my best foot forward and invite her about to start this romance up again. One tequila led to another and we're flirting a lot. It was fun! It was really fun.
Tell us about that moment that made you say you were ready to mend fences with the other.
Alex: I don't think you had a choice. I didn't really give you a choice because after we saw each other again, we kinda just fell back into each other. We kinda both knew that nothing had particularly progressed personally in our lives. I think we just maybe missed being around each other and just fell back into each other.
Ella: Yeah having each other's company.
Alex: But I think the difference now is that my love for you is not about possession, it's about supporting you through the seasons that you need to grow, at the same time, kinda preserving what we had without ruining it by taking for granted the relationship.
Ella: Yeah I always told you that I will always support you, I'd still love you. So yeah, I don't think that it's good to, like, hate each other because we broke up.
Alex: I would love to be there through all the biggest moments of your life moving forward no matter what shape or form my love would take, I'll still be there for you.
Who initiated to be friends again? How did the apology go?
Alex: Are we 100% there? I don't think we're 100% at friends yet.
Ella: What are we then?
Alex: We're there for each other and eventually if it's friends is where we get to, I'd love to be friends with you or whatever.
Looking back, what would you have done differently in the relationship?
Ella: Nothing yeah. I love you unconditionally, even though I know that you're bi, like I still love you. And I always told you that just because you're different, doesn't mean like I can't love you.
Alex: I think you were the highlight of my 2019, for sure. If I had done things differently, then I might not have met you. That would have sucked. You definitely added different color to my life.
What did you learn from your relationship?
Ella: I learned that gentlemen still exists. Chivalry is not dead.
Alex: I leaned that the right person for you is not somebody that tries to fix your demons, it's somebody that holds your hand through those dark parts of your life. And I learned that, when you love somebody, it doesn't need to be understood by anybody else except for that person.
What’s your relationship like as friends?
Alex: I don't think we're at 100% friends yet.
Alex: I think we have to keep having conversations so that things don't get complicated because there's still a lot of feelings there.
Why do you think it's possible to be friends with your ex?
Alex: I think that I say this to you a lot. I love you and I will always love you.
Would you say, No regrets just love?
Ella: I don't think I've ever experienced this type of relationship with anyone.
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Produced by Camille Santiago | Photography by Vyn Radovan | Grooming by Patricia Asis | Hair by Sam Corbillon of Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon | Special thanks to Luis Puno and JM Conopio-Maceda | Shot on location at Almacen, Poblacion, Makati City