Carla Abellana on her screen partner-turned-avid suitor Geoff Eigenmann: "I know that regardless of what will happen, siya yung tipong tao na malalapitan ko for anything."

Photo: Noel Orsal

The Pond's lady was quick to say, "We're very close now, he's courting me pero sabi ko sa kanya, 'Bahala ka, maging patient ka, tingnan natin kung hanggang sa'n ka tatagal.' Ayoko naman sabihing walang pag-asa, siyempre meron namang pag-asa..."

"YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT." Turning a bit serious, she said now was not the right time for love.

Carla stated, "We're not rushing things. Yes, we date, we go out. I know his family already, he also knows my family. So important kasi sa 'kin yun, e... Very conventional ako, naniniwala pa ako sa courtship.

"Alam ko sa showbiz, hindi na uso yun pero naniniwala ako sa courtship. If he's really sincere and serious about you, 'pakita niya, di ba? So, yun lang... Important din yung family siyempre, hindi lang ako yung ipi-please mo. Kailangan, di ba, pati yung family [ay] happy."

Besides, she's very happy with the status quo. A part of her is worried about the possible complications should they ever become more than friends.

"I like him as a person and I appreciate everything he does for me. In all fairness to him, nakikita ko lahat ng efforts niya, and he's really serious about me naman pero ang hirap kasi na... ayoko kasi na once committed na kayo sa isa't isa parang ayan na, diyan na papasok yung mga problema, mga issue-issue, jealousy ganyan...

"Kumbaga, I'm already happy as we are now, and ayoko sanang magbago yun because, you know, getting into a relationship would change everything. So, we'll see na lang. Kumbaga, we'll take our time na lang. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'You have to be patient, you have to understand me. Talagang hindi natin mamadaliin.'"

NEXT LEADING MEN. Her next project will be with Dennis Trillo, her co-host in StarStruck 5.

"We'll be doing Love Bug, yung pumalit sa Dear Friend. This Sunday, we'll be flying to Hong Kong at dun kami magshu-shoot," said Carla.

When asked to describe the award-winning actor, "I've worked with Dennis, okay naman siya. He's very nice, very quiet, may sariling mundo. Pero nakakatawa siya and he's this innocent person talaga, e, na mabait naman. First time namin na we'll be acting together so we'll see how that goes, I mean, yung partnership namin onscreen."

Geoff will be her partner in Sinenovela's TV remake of Basahang Ginto, which will air sometime in May. The original Mars Ravelo classic was made in 1952 and starred Pancho Magalona and Alicia Vergel.

What if GMA-7's management tells her that the projects of the Carla-Geoff tandem will be temporarily shelved?  

"Okay lang, walang problema kasi sabi ko naman, nag-uumpisa pa lang ako na I know it's inevitable. Mangyayari at mangyayari 'yan na mape-pair ako with others kasi the public has to see me with other leading men. So, part din yun ng trabaho na mag-experiment yung network. Okay lang yun, walang problema. Mas maganda nga yun para more experience."

Her Pond's commercial will start airing tomorrow, April 11. Does Geoff have a part in it?

"Hindi, hindi... Sana magkaroon kami ng endorsement together. Why not, di ba?" she exclaimed, before adding: "Basta abangan niyo sa Sunday. Pinaghandaan namin nang mabuti."