TAGS: edward barber, fantastica, loinie, loisa andalio, maymay entrata, mayward, ronnie alonte

Photography: Stephen Capuchino

 

 

Just a few days after love team partners MayMay Entrata and Edward Barber, aka MayWard, took Dubai by (sand)storm, the hardworking young stars are back in the swim of things here in their home base. For starters, they’re having a photo shoot this fine Thursday afternoon with StarStudio.ph. Oh, yes, it’s their second time since they graced the cover of our inaugural issue last September—and it certainly won’t be the last. (We hear you, MayWard fans!)


Though still feeling some signs of jet lag, MayMay and Edward become their high-spirited selves as they pose for photos, play our video challenge, and sit down for the interview. They get more excited when talking about their recent trip to the cosmopolitan city found in the heart of the United Arab Emirates.


MayMay’s face lights up while recalling her international catwalk debut at the Amato Couture Fashion Show for Arab Fashion Week last November 24. She wore one of the grandiose creations of Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One with grace and confidence, wowing the crowd in the process. Deep inside, she now tells us, she couldn’t help but think about her past life challenges while walking the runway.


“Nagfa-flashback ’yung mga pagsubok ko na talagang dati nasa isipan ko lang ’to,” she says, referring to her childhood dream of becoming a model. “Nangarap lang ako nang gising ’ta’s ngayon, nandito na ako. Naglalakad na ako [sa runway] ’tapos kasama ko din ’yung mga mahal ko sa buhay [na] nandiyan para suportahan ako.”

Photo from Regis Colin Berthelier of NOWFASHION

But MayMay also knows how not to let such an accomplishment and the accolades that go with it get to her head. “Deserve mo rin ma-overwhelm kahit sandali,” she points out. “Damdamin mo ’yung mga na-a-appreciate ng mga tao, mga compliment. Pero after no’n, bitaw mo agad para hindi papasok agad sa utak, para hindi lalaki ang ulo.”


For his part, Edward remembers being all eyes on MayMay as she walked the runway and couldn’t help but compare his feeling to a dad watching his child perform in a school play. He was a proud witness to every challenge MayMay had faced, from the auditions to rehearsals, and finally to the catwalk itself.


“I was so proud,” he says of his love team partner. “We were celebrating when she passed the audition. At that part, I was already proud, so seeing her walk, it’s a big deal and it just goes to show that ’yung talent niya [ay] ’yung ugali niya din. People don’t just like her [only] in the Philippines, people appreciate her and her personality even outside of the country.”

Photo from Regis Colin Berthelier of NOWFASHION

 

Another prime example of that is when MayWard had their concert at the Global Village, also in Dubai. They didn’t expect that huge and warm response of support as they approached the stage. “Hindi namin alam na gano’n kainit ’yung pagtanggap sa amin at pagsuporta sa amin ng mga OFW ng Dubai. Nakakatuwa lang,” a visibly thrilled MayMay says.

Photo from Yugen PR

MayWard made sure they repaid that support by sweetly singing to and with each other while spreading kilig throughout the show. If given the chance to do another such show, they will surely grab it and do their best. Edward says he understands the lonely feeling of being away from one’s family because his loved ones live in Germany. He and MayMay also know the responsibility that OFWs carry, so they’ll be honored to entertain our kababayans abroad again with songs, dances, and lots of fun.


“We see how happy it makes them,” Edward says. “And it’s one of those things where it’s not about you anymore. When you walk into the stage, it’s not about you… The whole point is that it’s for them. It’s just to make them happy because they don’t get that chance a lot. You don’t know what challenges they go through daily. They’re not with their families, they have their children waiting for them, and it’s a big sacrifice. So anything that we can do just to get them one hour, two hours of relaxation and peace, it’s a big deal. Hopefully, we get to make more people happy and, hopefully, we made all OFWs in Dubai happy.”

Photo from Yugen PR

DREAM TEAM
Edward knows why he and MayMay work well together and how special his love team partner is to him. “There are two halves to MayWard,” he says. “She’s the other half. I apply the same philosophy to my life, as well. It’s half of me.”


MayMay returns the compliment to the one she fondly calls Dodong, which also means “young man” in Cebuano, that is widely spoken in her native Cagayan de Oro. “Kung wala si Dodong, hindi ko ma-e-experience ’yung iba-ibang klaseng saya sa buhay ko,” she beams. “Pag nandiyan siya, madami akong na-experience na ’di ko ma-e-experience [katulad ng] saya na meron kami ngayon.”


As all MayWard fans know by now, the awesome pair’s chemistry began in the reality TV show, Pinoy Big Brother (PBB). The energetic promdi girl would always be paired with the reserved Fil-Brit in accomplishing Kuya’s tasks. Even then, MayMay found it hard to make Edward open up to her.


She tells us that her first impression of him is that of “misteryoso.” She then explains, “Feeling ko siya ’yung taong kapag kausap mo noong una, hindi siya nag-o-open up agad. Maingat siya sa mga taong kinakausap niya. Hinayan ko lang naman kasi siya. Okey, tanggap ko siya kung ganyan siya [na] hindi siya magshe-share. Then, kusa na siya nag-share.”


Edward cuts in to give more insight into his personality. “People do that when they’re ready, and I was ready so that’s when I opened up,” he says.


As the show progressed, they made viewers feel more and more kilig in each episode. Their interactions in the PBB House delighted audiences, thus earning them a huge fan base, and gave birth to the MayWard love team.


Looking back now, MayWard confess to being surprised at how many followers they’ve made while inside the PBB House, and they only found about it when the show ended in March 2017.


“Hindi [talaga] namin alam,” Big Winner MayMay admits. “Noong lumabas na kami sa PBB ’ta’s ’yung pinanood namin ’yung sarili namin, siguro kung ano ’yung nakikita nila doon sa loob ng Bahay ni Kuya… [Doon] siguro nagsimula ‘yung suporta nila dahil doon sa pagkatotoo na meron kami doon sa PBB which is ’yung friendship na nabuo namin sa isa’t isa.”


Pagkatotoo. That, they believe, is the secret to their irresistible chemistry. For Edward, accepting who they are is key in his strong bond with MayMay. “We’re not normal people, we’re really strange,” he explains, seriously now. “As in we’re weird people. We’ve accepted that. That made us who we are. We don’t have to wear a mask.”
Both of them could vouch in knowing who they really are. In one word, MayMay believes Edward is one thoughtful guy. “Siya ’yung taong kapag mahal niya sa buhay, lahat gagawin niya [para] protektahan ka lang. Inuuna niya ‘yung iba bago sarili niya,” she says.


On the other hand, Edwards considers MayMay as a symbol of hope, not just for himself but for people around the globe.


“The people not just in this country but [around] the world, who else would not look up to her?” Edward asks. “Everybody who has a dream, she represents them even if she doesn’t want to because she’s the person who made it in the end. She was the one who got the chance, who took it, and won. She is the person who still praises the Lord even after all she’s achieved and she’s the person who’s never forgotten who helped her get there so to me and to any other. She’s a symbol of hope.”


FANTASTIC YEAR-END


In this coming season of hope, the popular love team will also get to spread happiness via the comedy flick, Fantastica. The Star Cinema production is one of the eight official entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), which traditionally opens on December 25, Christmas Day, and runs in theaters for two weeks without competition from foreign productions.

“You can’t avoid MMFF.” Edward says. “Everyone always sees it. It’s Christmas, so to be part of Christmas for everyone, for the whole Philippines, it’s a big deal and it’s a big honor for us.”

 

Photo from Star Cinema


They recall saying yes right away when they were told about the project that stars Vice Ganda, along with Dingdong Dantes, Richard Gutierrez, and Jaclyn Jose, to name a few. The moment they heard the story as it’s pitched to them, they could already imagine how fun the set would be and how fun the movie would be for its viewers.


Making Fantastica had been a one-of-a-kind experience for MayWard, especially because of the learnings they received from the Unkabogable Box Office Star himself, Vice Ganda, who turned out to be motherly on the set.


“Para siyang nanay,” MayMay says. “Nag-a-advice talaga siya. Ina-advice niya kami ni Dodong na dapat hindi kami nagpapaapekto sa negative dahil ’yun ’yung magpapa-down sa ’yo ’tapos tinuturuan niya lang kami magrelax, magsaya lang sa shoot. ’Tapos, mag-cooperate lang.”

Photo from Star Cinema

On the other hand, MayMay can’t hide her kilig when our conversation veers towards Dingdong Dantes and Richard Gutierrez. “Hay, grabe talaga ’yung tibok ng puso ko, parang sasabog na!” she exclaims. “Akala mo ang hirap nila kausapin pero sila pa mismo lalapit sa ’yo para kausapin ka. My God talaga!”


All the fangirl moments aside, MayMay happily reports that she and Edward have learned a lot from their seasoned costars. She mentions a few of those lessons: “Bago ka sasalang, dapat relax ka talaga. Natural ka lang dapat. Siguro, natutunan ko ’yun [sa kanila]. Minsan kapag nasa tent sila, nakikita ko sila na nagbabasa ng script pero, pagdating doon sa shoot, wala ng script. Ibig sabihin, dapat memorize mo linya mo. Pag sasalang ka na, kalimutan mo na ’yung script na ’yan. Kung ano ’yung moment na ’yun, dapat nandoon ka na.”


Seizing the moment and living in it are just a few nuggets of wisdom that MayWard have gleaned from their less than two years in showbiz. “We’ll see wherever God takes us,” Edward says of where their love team is headed. But as the saying goes, there’s no way to go but up.

 

 

Art Direction: Alfred Amado

Shoot Assistants: Tony Valete, Ryan dela Cruz

Maymay's Glam Team
Make-up: Sonson De Asis
Hair by: Jay Wee
Stylist: Team Rain X EM

Edward's Glam Team
Make-up: Aimee Gray
Hair by: Jay Wee
Stylist: Team Rain X EM