Photography: Stephen Capuchino

 

The trees are set up, the lanterns are in every corner, and the carols are ringing in our ears—the all-around festive mood goes to show how much Filipinos love to get into the holiday spirit.  

This holds true for Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber, also known as MayWard, who recently sat down with StarStudio.ph in order to share what they’re truly thankful for as Christmas draws nearer and the year comes to a close.

2019 has gifted the pair with a lot of things, so let’s unwrap the good stuff that MayWard appreciated throughout the year, one by one!

1) GIFT OF TRAVEL

Beginning with MayWard’s memorable travels, some countries left a lasting impression on the tandem. For Maymay, a certain place has a special spot in her heart. “Nagsimula ang taong 2019 ko nung nandoon ako sa nanay ko sa Japan. Kasama ko si Dodong noon,” she recalls. “Ang tagal din kasing ‘di kami nagsama ng nanay ko.”


Photo from Instagram (maymay)

Aside from Japan, Maymay also finds Hong Kong profoundly memorable. “Napakalaking oportunidad ‘yung time na ‘yun, medyo hindi pa nga nagsi-sink in,” she said. One may recall that Maymay played a part in Hello, Love, Goodbye starring Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards, which eventually became the highest-grossing Filipino film of all time.

Photo from Star Cinema

“Mabigat ‘yung istorya pero ‘yung samahan namin, ang gaan, ang saya,” Maymay elaborates. “Ako po kasi ‘yung baby-baby nila doon tapos ang dami kong natutunan. [May] kalokohan man pero at the same time mas marami ang natutunan, [tulad ng] disiplina galing sa kanila tapos mabuti talaga silang tao e.” Maymay also went to Disneyland with her co-stars, and tried different kinds of food during her stay there.

She also recalls the time when Edward, who she fondly calls Dodong, gave her a surprise visit during the shooting of the film. “Dati kasi excited din siya sabihin ‘yung mga surprise nya kasi nga naeexcite din sya kung ano magiging reaksyon ko. Ngayon, natuto na siya.”

As for Edward, he has three places in mind, namely Japan, Norway and Italy. “Top of the list was when the two of us went to Japan. We went three times this year. Favorite ko is in August, mga 13 days. [Maymay] moved house ng time na ‘yun. Sobrang sarap ng pagkain sa Japan!”

Photo from Instagram (maymay)

Edward stays with Maymay’s family whenever they take trips to the country. Edward and Maymay’s brother got along so well, with Maymay even noting that the two became basically inseparable. Edward says it’s because he and her brother Vincent have similar personalities. “Halos tuwing gabi naglalaro kami ng video games—Mobile Legends, Monster Hunter, Call of Duty, lahat. Parehas kami ng ugali.”

He recalls: “The first two times we went [to Japan], I ate a lot. The third time, sumama si Maymay mag-exercise with [Vincent]. We went out, we went biking. Matamis ‘yung hangin sa Japan. It’s so bright, parang HD lahat!” It was particularly memorable since the two prefer the countryside more than the bustling atmosphere of the cities.

2) GIFT OF WORKING TOGETHER

When it comes to what MayWard is grateful for having each other as an on-screen partner, the tandem give out an unexpected answer: it’s whenever they experience panic attacks.

“At the beginning of the year, both of us, hardcore,” Edward confesses, noting that the attacks happen even outside of work. “Ako talaga, may times na pumunta ako ng CR, just to breathe. ‘Yung process ng adjustment namin, hindi madali. Growing pains.”

Maymay also reveals that the pressure gets to them sometimes, to the point that they end up vomiting. “May times na sobrang normal lang, wala namang problema, tapos bigla nalang...nabibigla po talaga ako sa change. Kasi sinasabi nila, ay, ‘multi-talented, nagpapatawa, kumakanta, sumasayaw’...pero hindi po madali. Dapat prepared po talaga ako sa isang bagay...sinasabi ko, okay lang ‘yan, pero dapat pala damdamin ko din na ‘di siya okay. Kapag naiipon siya dun ako nagpapanic attack.”


Photo  from Instagram (maymay)

Edward adds, “It’s like you have a car, you have a battery inside the car, you have to keep changing the battery every time you go to the stop.”

Maymay admits it’s harder for her during the first few times, since she had no idea what panic attacks were before. “Grabe, totoo pala talaga! ‘Dun sa Solo ko na sayaw, first time ko sumuka sa sobrang kaba.” Maymay had a dance cover of Solo by K-Pop star Jennie on ASAP, which trended on social media.

 

Ultimately, Maymay believes it’s worth it. “Thankful po kami na naranasan namin ‘yun kasi natuto kami.”

“It’s a learning process and we’re not the first ones to go through it,” Edward elaborates. “You don’t have to be in show business to get to that level of pressure. In your own personal life if you have exams, if you’re gonna ask a girl on a date, if you’re gonna propose, you can’t survive the pressure some of the times, you [give in].”

Maymay is also grateful when she and Edward keep themselves grounded and center their attention on God whenever they experience such frustrations. During those times, prayers help them the most. “Alam ko sa araw na ‘yun magpapanic attack tayo, pero alam ko sa huli magiging successful tayo.” 

3) GIFT OF TIME SPENT TOGETHER

Maymay lights up as she shares what she appreciates about Edward whenever they hang out off-cam. She says, “Sinasakyan niya lahat ng gusto ko, whatever I do. Kapag gutom ako, bibili siya ng pagkain. Biglang andiyan na delivery! Pagsabi ko, ‘Dong, gusto ko manood ng Netflix.’ Kahit ayaw niya ng horror, manonood siya ng horror! Kahit ayaw niya ng heights, sumasakay rin siya [sa extreme rides].”

One of the things the duo also enjoys together is taking lots of photos. Maymay likes how Edward just randomly take her snapshots so he can show it to her later. In particular, they love the SLO-MO feature of their phone cameras, which they use a lot whenever they take trips. She says, “Siya nagcacapture ng happiness ko.”

Photo from Instagram (maymay)

Edward also divulges on their love for going to the movies. “If we have 2 or 3 free days, araw-araw nagsi-sine kami!” he says. While they don’t do it often, they love to go all out, deliberating what movies to watch, extra popcorns and all, whenever they have the chance.

When it comes to video games, Edward says he’s the one who first got addicted, until Maymay joined in on the fun, since it helps fight off the stress. Edward, laughing, says: “Dati ‘pag tumatawag siya sakin tapos pinapatay ko agad kasi rank game ‘yun, there’s a lot on the line, pinapatay ko agad. Tapos nagagalit siya sakin, but she’s the one doing that to me now! Ngayon siya na ‘yung parang mas addict kesa sakin.”

4) GIFT OF FAMILY

This year, both Edward and Maymay grew even more appreciative of each other’s families. Maymay says, “Sa family niya, sobrang okay ako. Si Tita Cathy, nakakarelate din po ako kasi taga-probinsiya din po siya. Ang ganda ng nanay niya po, andami ko natutunan kina Tita Cathy lalo na ‘yung pagkain ng healthy. Puro gulay! Saka magaan kasama sila, pati ang ate niya. Sa kaniya ko din po natutunan ‘yung paghahanda sa mga bagay.”

“‘Yung tatay [ni Edward] parang barkada lang, tsaka madali din siyang kasama. Kasi masaya siya kapag masaya ka.”

Photo from Instagram (edward_barber)

“If you look at my travel history, makikita mo na close ako sa pamilya ni ‘May,” Edward says. He remembers meeting Maymay’s mother in PBB. Back then, he didn’t know he’d be close with Maymay’s brother, but when Vincent stayed in the Philippines for a few months, they eventually grew closer as they share the same interests, such as playing lots of video games (he even bought Edward a headset!).

Photo from Instagram (edward_barber)

Maymay also has a ten-year-old half-brother named Ryo, who Edward hangs out with a lot of the time, too.

5) GIFT OF FANS

Maymay and Edward both acknowledge that the fans have a drastic impact in their life and the blessings they’re experiencing today. Maymay shares: “Sila ‘yung alam ko, sa kabila ng pagsubok gaya ng negatibong paulit-ulit nalang, sila ‘yung ipaglalaban kami hanggang dulo. Hindi kami ikinakahiyang kami 'yung sinusuportahan nila. 'Yung tipong wala namang kaming tinatapakang tao, wala namang kaming masamang ginagawa. Sila 'yung ipaglalaban kung ano ‘yung tama."

Edward says, “There are so many challenges this year where I was like, 'I don’t know if I’m able to do this.’ One of them was MMK, and one is the concert. It’s just a constant reminder—minsan wala kaming ginagawa, then, [we’re] trending.

Photo from Instagram (edward_barber)

That’s one of the craziest things that I can say up till now that’s happened in my life. We have these people we have never seen before that are supporting us like crazy. It’s crazy that we have had an effect on their lives to this extent. Sobrang grateful kami; they’ve never let us down, and our only wish is we don’t let them down. And if ever we do let them down, alam namin they won’t give us up straight away.”

For MayWard, everything they do in the industry is related to how their fans think of them. Before they make a move, they make sure to think about the fans first.

When it comes to criticisms, Maymay admits, “Nasaktan ako noon kapag may mga negatibo, ngayon narealize ko ganun talaga, wala kang magagawa, kelangan mo lang tanggapin. Walang perpekto. Ang importante ay naiintindihan namin ang isa’t isa.”

6) GIFT OF AWARDS

With the love team gaining a lot of recognition this 2019, the two can’t help but feel overwhelmed from all the support. Maymay says, “Given na ‘yung pasasalamat namin sa fans. Sila talaga ‘yung masikap. Pagmay votings, ‘di talaga sila titigil para iparamdam ‘yung suporta nila sa amin. Enough na sa amin na nandiyan sila pero ‘yung magbigay sila ng sobra, na umabot na sa awards...kaya siguro hindi kami sumusuko. Sila talaga ’yung number 1 na pinaghuhugutan namin, aside sa family and kay God.”

If Maymay has to pick an award that struck her in particular, it would have to be when she was granted the German Moreno Youth Achievement Award during the FAMAS. “Masaya ako kasi...hindi ko inexpect na naiinspire pa rin sila doon sa kung paano nila ako nakikita, kung paano hinahandle ‘yung mga bagay sa industrya ng showbiz. Masaya ako sa kung sino ang nakikita nila sa PBB, hanggang ngayon nandiyan pa rin.”

There’s no specific favorite for Edward, but some of his memorable ones are whenever it’s for the fandom. “I love it when MayWard wins that. Because it’s not us winning, it’s them winning. These people work so hard. They give so much of their life and their time...when they get awards like that, it’s a time when they get recognition for that, more than Maymay and I could ever give.”

Photo from Instagram (maymay)

7) GIFT OF CHALLENGING MOMENTS

Trying times can be a blessing in disguise, especially when there are important lessons that can be learned after overcoming them. For MayWard, handling things in a more mature manner is what challenged them the most as a love team this 2019.

“Growing process namin, sa isa’t isa, sa trabaho, sa showbiz,” Maymay details. “Mahirap talaga siya. Kasi nandoon lahat ng challenges emotionally, mentally, physically...lahat. Hindi siya madali lalo na kapag nag-iisa ka. So masaya ako na may kasama ako sa lahat ng pagsubok kasi naging mas madali 'yung adjustment process kasi nandiyan si Dodong.” At this point, Maymay believes she’s become even stronger after learning the hard paths in showbiz.

“Biggest challenge for me was Hiwaga ng Kambat with Dreamscape,” Edward says. “The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Prosthetics! After 10 minutes your whole body was wet, and you have to have emotional scenes inside the suit, you’re tired, you get dizzy, and you have to control your emotions. But I was so grateful to everybody because they were so patient with me. I’m so happy they’re patient with me every taping day.”

As for their hard times together, both agreed that MMK was a certainly tough challenge as a love team. During the making of the episode, Edward had a sudden realization. “This is not my life, so this is not my right to not give it a hundred percent.”

In the end, after watching the episode, Edward and Maymay were proud of their hard work and were even tearful out of their gratitude for the support of their fans.

8) GIFT OF FOOD!

As for experiences regarding food this year that both found memorable, Maymay and Edward instantly agreed on one thing—scouring convenience stores in Japan.

“Wala talagang makakatalo sa convenience stores ng Japan!” Maymay exclaims. “Dong, kung gusto mo akong idate, ‘wag na ‘wag na restaurant, simpleng simple lang gusto ko! Kesa naman kumain ka ng sosyal, ‘di naman masarap, ‘day, sayang lang pera, doon ka na sa sureball na, masarap pa!”

Edward share Maymay’s disbelief when it comes what the stores can offer. “We don’t have any plan as to what we’re gonna eat. Pupunta lang kami sa isang convenience store, kung ano mang options ‘dun, ‘yun na lang!”


Edward likes katsudon (a bowl of rice topped with pork cutlet, egg, and vegetables) and Maymay likes yakiniku (grilled meat), and both enjoy onigiri (small rice balls with meat fillings) and sushi (rice with meat, seafood or vegetable toppings)  With Maymay being a fan of One Punch Man and Edward being a fan of Naruto, both relish the idea of eating something similar to what they see in their favorite animes.

9) GIFT OF FRIENDS

“Childhood friends ko, ngayon hanggang ngayon kasama ko,” Maymay says, recounting their names one by one, and mentioning that they keep contact through forming chat groups on their social accounts. She also remains friends with some people way back in her elementary school days.

Photo from Instagram (maymay)

 

While they didn’t get to spend much time together this year, Maymay remains supportive of her friends and the recent happenings in their lives, such as during important events like weddings.

While Edward hasn’t seen a lot of his friends back in Germany for the past years due to his work in the country, his relationships with his best friends remain solid and intact. “My best friends talaga, we don’t have to talk to them every day to still be best friends with them.”

In the Philippines, Edward has formed a tight bond with those who are also in showbiz. “Si Russell, from BoybandPH, one of my best friends in the world, Marco from PBB, si Kyle Echarri, si Darren Espanto, si Turs Daza as well. They’re the best group, we bully each other, we grill each other..andami naming memes. We make fun of each other but when one of us needs help, we’re there for each other.”

10) GIFT OF ACHIEVEMENTS

“One of the first times na sobrang pakiramdam ko ang saya-saya ko, syempre, mga out of the country ng ASAP Natin ‘To,” Maymay says, giddily remembering their out-of-the-country adventures.  “Ngayong year, first time ko mag-US na outside of Hawaii. Sa mainland. Saka masaya din kasi mga OFW nakikita namin doon, lalo na mga sumosoporta samin. Nakapagchika-chika pa kami...isa sa mga bucket list ko na nachieve ko na is ‘yung Six Flags.”

“For me, achievements in terms of work is MMK. And ‘yung concert namin ni Maymay,” Edward recalls fondly. “That was crazy. I’d never thought I’d be performing...it was our concert this year, I never thought I’d be doing that. Biggest achievement ko ‘yun."

Photo from Instagram (maymay)

11) GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH

More than anything, many of the love team’s accomplishments would best be attributed to having good health as they face the high demands of their work.

Edward remarks: “Maymay took such a big step this year….she broke free of what she was used to, she started eating vegetables, [eating] healthy food na masarap. She’s taking her vitamins—hindi lang ‘yung gummy bear (vitamins), (pati) ‘yung mga pangit ‘yung lasa. Dahil sa’kin kasi, pinapakain ko sa kanya! I’m really proud of her ‘cause she did a lot of it out of her own initiative.”

As for himself, Edward wants to take things slow with regard to his diet. “During taping, I do lose a lot of weight. I don’t like eating during taping days. Kapag kumakain ako ng marami inaantok ako...but there are times where I eat too much...I’m trying to take it step-by-step.”

12) GIFT OF LOVE

And lastly: what qualities are MayWard thankful for with regard to each other?

At this point in the interview, Maymay turns to Edward as she expresses her gratitude. “Sobrang thankful ako na kung ano ‘yung masamang nakikita ng mga tao sa’yo ay sobrang confident ako na mali sila.”

She continues, “Kasi simula kasi nung nakilala ko si Dodong, at naging friends kami at nag-grow 'yung friendship namin sa isa’t isa. Siya lang kasi ‘yung lalaki na alam kong hindi siya mahihiya na kasama ako, na ipaglaban ako hanggang sa dulo, na ipagsigawan sa buong mundo. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa kanya kasi ‘yung mga dream guy, nagkakatotoo pala ‘yun, at para sa akin, siya ‘yun.”

Edward begins, “Of course, people are gonna say she’s always there for me, which is true. A lot of people know what we’ve been through, the challenges we’ve managed to get through, it’s been together. One of the biggest things I never could have asked for, from anyone, and she did it out of her own accord, she did it out of her own heart...is that she never lost her patience with my impatience. She was never upset when I was upset.

“May mga times na gusto ko talaga sumuko. Ang bigat ko, she had to carry me, so many times. Kambat was one of those. Sometimes in iWant ASAP, she had to carry me. She let me rant, she let me be upset, and she was there for me. Not a lot of people can say that they were—yeah, I had my bros, my friends, but none of them were there 24/7.  Almost every day of the year I’ve seen Maymay, I’ve worked, I’ve hung out, I’ve been with her. There’s nothing else in the world that I could have asked for other than that support. If you do something good, if you pray, a blessing will come out of nowhere, straight away. There are testimonies to that. Sometimes it will take years to blossom. It’s a seed growing. Maymay in my life has been a blessing that must have been growing for a long time for me to deserve it.”

 

Art Direction: Alfred Amado
Photographer's Assistant:
Jobo Nacpil
Styling: Rain Dagala with Team RainXEm
Hair: Jaymar Lahaylahay
Makeup: Owen Sarmiento and Aimee Grey
Videography: Gabe Balatan
EA: Sheena Pangco