BiGuel: Love Team to Beat
by Anj Sampayan
Apr 29, 2019

"Yun ang maipagmamalaki naming dalawa...hindi kami hard sell." -Bianca on Biguel

They were practically kids when Bianca Umali, 19, and Miguel Tanfelix, 20, first worked together in Paroa: Ang Kuwento ni Mariposa, a 2012 drama fantasy of GMA-7 headlined by Kapuso star Barbie Forteza.

Their chemistry was evident even then.

This gave rise to BiGuel, the portmanteau coined by fans who have remained loyal and grown bigger in number as the young stars climbed to greater heights in their career.

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Bianca and Miguel shared the screen in several projects, to wit: Mga Basang Sisiw (2013), Nino (2014), Once Upon A Kiss (2015), Wish I May (2016), URL: Usapang Real Love (2016), Mulawin vs. Ravena (2017), Kambal, Karibal (2017), and now, Sahaya (2019).

The teen actress admits that they didn’t like each other the first time they met.

"Kaming dalawa ni Miguel, nag-meet kami sa workshops lang.

"Hindi talaga kami magkakilala at all, at never namin din… nung una kasi nagkikita-kita lang, we never talked.

"As in super duper layo, as in we didn’t like each other before at all.

"And honestly noon, parang kahit na sinasabi nila sa kin na ipe-pair ako sa kanya or what, hindi ko talaga siya…

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"Never kaming naging good friends before kami magkaroon ng kung yung friendship namin ngayon."

Asked for his first impression of Bianca, Miguel answers frankly, "Masungit but beautiful."

He adds, "Naalala ko na hindi talaga kami magkasundo, di ba, kasi siguro masungit si Bianca.

"Kinukwento ko siya sa bestfriend ko… na sinabi rin sa kanya, bestfriends kaming tatlo, kaya lalo siyang nainis sa kin.

"Pero na-realize ko nung medyo tumagal-tagal, the more you hate the more you love. [laughs]

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"Well maybe it's because we're not giving each other the chance to get along or to know each other kaya hindi kami nagkakasundo.

"Pero nung once nag-start kami mag-taping ng marami, unti-unti naming nalaman yung personalities ng isa't isa.

"Hanggang sa naging matibay yun, hanggang sa na-hook kami sa isa't isa, ngayon sobrang close na namin."

CLOSER AND CLOSER

Thoughout the years of working together almost every day, Bianca and Miguel have developed such a deep friendship that they can already second guess what the other is feeling.

Bianca says, "Kami ni Miguel andun na kami sa point na hindi na namin kailangan mag-usap kasi kabisado na namin yung isa't isa."

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Still, Bianca says, "Number one is communication talaga. It's not only kapag nahihirapan kaming dalawa nang sabay, hindi yun. Kahit yung isa lang nahihirapan, the other one helps.

"Yung feedback, yung advice, sa gano'n kaming dalawa madalas nagtutulungan kahit hanggang ngayon.

"Yung communication din kasi para alam ng isa kung ano yung gusto ng isa.

"Kung papipiliin kami na kung sino yung makakatrabo namin, parehas na alam naming agad-agad kaming makakapag-deliver ng magandang trabaho, that would be with each other.

"Kasi nga sobrang kabisa na namin yung isa’t isa."

Even outside of work, Bianca and Miguel have got each other's back.

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Miguel recalls, addressing her, "Remember, Bianca, there was a time na may problem ako and then I called you up early in the morning. Natatandaan mo pa yun?

"Kasi wala akong tatawagan, e, siya lang. So tinawagan ko siya, tapos kinomfort niya ako sa call pati sa text, so andyan kami sa isa't isa, sa tabi namin.

"And yung connection na meron kami, yun yung parang nagko-comfort sa 'min.

"Kapag may problema ako, or si Bianca, isa siya sa mga taong nilalapitan ko."

As a love team, Bianca takes pride in their naturally kilig tandem.

She says, "I think yun naman yung maipagmamalaki naming dalawa ni Miguel sa team-up namin, na hindi kami hard sell.

"We never planned yung kahit na anong gagawin namin sa lahat ng trabaho namin kasi, di ba meron dyan yung, 'Oh, dapat sweet tayo, mag-holding hands tayo…'

"Hindi kami gano'n, walang planted. I think yun yung isa rin sa mga naging secrets naming dalawa sa lahat ng ginagawa namin.

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"Ang pinapakita namin is natural. Oo, gano'n lang. Ang goal lang namin is makapagpasaya and makapag-entertain.

"And makapagpa-kilig ng mga tao, yun lang."

LEARNING NEVER STOPS

Bianca and Miguel both agree that professionalism and their love for the craft are the keys to their successful showbiz career.

Emphasizing his point, Miguel says, "Yung professionalism na word sa 'min ni Bianca, sobrang importante.

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:Dumarating kami on time, binabasa namin yung script… and kasi mahal na mahal namin yung work namin kaya ginagawa namin kung ano yung nire-require.

"Yun, yung passion namin, nagkakaisa kami ni Bianca sa passion namin for this."

Bianca avers, "Kaming dalawa, hindi kami yung mareklamo, hindi kami demanding, and we're both humble enough.

"Hindi namin pinagmamalaki o pinagyayabang yung kung ano yung meron o kung nasaan kaming dalawa ngayon.

Aware of the fickleness of fame and fortune in showbiz, Bianca and Miguel have kept their feet firmly on the ground as a love team and as solo stars.

Explaining, he says, "Kasi ako, definition ko ng pagiging successful is yung pagiging happy, pagiging content sa buhay.

"Yes, happy ako kung anong meron kami ni Bianca ngayon, pero syempre personally and bilang magka-loveteam, we will never stop dreaming and achieving more.

"And we will never stop learning dahil yun naman talaga yung buhay, you keep going and going… saka hindi ka pwedeng mag-stop at one point.

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"Pag sinabi mong successful ka na, hindi pwedeng mag-stop ka na sa point na yun, e.

"You have to continue pa rin to improve yourself and be a better version of yourself."

Bianca adds, "Kahit ako rin, personally, hindi ko masasabing na-reach ko na yung 100 percent, no, never akong darating dun.

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"Kung ma-reach ko man yung 100 percent, hindi yun doon mag-e-end.

"There’s still 110 percent, 120, 150, goes on and on.

"I will forever be learning kahit na tumagal man ako ng kahit gaano katagal sa industriyang 'to. I will always be learning and hindi ko masasabi na, 'Ay alam ko yan, kaya ko yan.'

"Ako, personally, naniniwala ako na I will never stop learning. The both of us will never stop learning."

Elaborating, Bianca says, "Mas gusto kong marinig na, 'Ay consistent yung BiGuel' compared to, 'Uy, successful na yung BiGuel.'

"Malaki yung difference sa consistent and sa successful, di ba?"

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While Bianca describes their love team as "effortless," Miguel compares BiGuel’s ten-year team-up to a rollercoaster ride.

"Ang daming nangyayari, never siyang naging boring sa kin, never.

"Every day na magkasama kami, we learn something about each other and exciting talaga e.

"Parang on your toes ka palagi.

"Masasabi kong rollercoaster ride talaga kasi hindi mo malalaman yung mangyayari in the future.

"But still na-e-enjoy mo kasi medyo nakakatakot and thrilling."

RANDOM QUESTIONS FOR BIGUEL

PEP: Name one thing you would never totally get bored doing together?

Miguel: Marami, pero feeling ko nasa pinaka-una sa listahan ko yung kumain.

Bianca: Ako din… ako din!

Miguel: Weh, gaya-gaya.

Bianca: Eating…

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PEP: What’s the craziest thing you did together?

Miguel: Nasa Northern Cebu kami nito, tapos parang may giant swing…

Bianca: Anong tawag d’un?

Miguel: Giant Swing… [laughs] super taas… mga 30 feet

Bianca: As in super-duper taas talaga, tapos yung mangyayari kapag nasa taas na kayo…

Miguel: Naka-stop lang kayo d'un.

Bianca: Dapat makita niyo yung video.

Miguel: Panoorin niyo yung video, nasa vlog ko.

PEP: What is the first thing that pops in your mind whenever you hear your loveteam's name?

Miguel: Oh pikit ka… 1, 2, 3… Miguel, anong naririnig mo? [laughs]

Bianca: Basketball.

Miguel: Basketball, talaga?

Bianca: Oo, wala ka namang ibang ginawa kundi mag-basketball.

Miguel: Actually, kaya sobrang galing ko na. [laughs]

Bianca: [whispers] Bianca

Miguel: Juno…naisip ko si Juna.

Bianca: Yung dog na bigay niya sa kin.

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PEP: Three wishes for your partner.

Bianca: First wish, I wish you… ang hirap kasing mag-wish para sa taong alam mong meron na siya nung lahat…

Miguel: Wala kang wish para sa 'kin, kahit kotse?

Bianca: Ang hirap kasi, ano material thing?

Miguel: Ako rin e, ayoko ng material things.

Bianca: Wish ko maging corny ka forever, yung walang tatawa sa mga jokes mo… Yung ako lang yung matitirang tatawa.

Miguel: Gusto ko yan.

Bianca: First wish ko, ikaw na maging pinaka-corny na tao sa buong mundo.

Miguel: Tapos ikaw lang yung tatawa.

Bianca: Oo, tapos ako lang yung tatawa.

Miguel: Ako yung pinaka-korny na tao sa buong mundo, ang wish ko naman sa yo, ikaw yung maging pinakamasayang tao sa mundo sa jokes ko. Okay, second wish.

Bianca: Wish ko, sana mawalan ka na ng sipon.

Miguel: Yan, gusto ko yan. [laughs] Good health nga.

Bianca: Wish ko kay Miguel, good health forever. [whispers to Miguel] Wish mo maraming cookies, tsaka books, sabihin mo.

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Miguel: Ako, wish ko sa yo maraming maraming cookies, maraming maraming books, maraming maraming sweater ng Hogwarts, Harry Potter, butterbeer.

Bianca: Wish ko, last wish ko na ‘to. Wish ko ikaw lang maging partner ko forever.

Miguel: [laughs] Wish mo sa kin yan, talaga?

Bianca: Oo.

Miguel: Wish mo yan, seryoso yan? Ako… wish ko sa yo na maging successful ka sa buhay in all aspects.

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PHOTOGRAPHER: Kyle Shih

SHOOT PRODUCERS: James Patrick Anarcon and Rommel Llanes

ART DIRECTOR: Jeremiah Idanan

MAKE-UP ARTIST for Bianca and Miguel: Don de Jesus

STYLIST:

For Bianca: John Paul Dizon

For Miguel: Mark Ranque

HAIRSTYLIST:

For Bianca: Mark Baquiran

For Miguel: Don de Jesus

VIDEO PRODUCERS: Jean Saturnino and Jham Mariano

VIDEO EDITOR: Jham Mariano

SHOOT INTERNS: Kathlene Gardiola, AD Rosales

Special thanks to Yani Cardino and Kyla Nicole Paler of GMA Corporate Communications; Wilfred Villaruel and Mike Foz of GMA Artist Center

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PHOTO/S: Kyle Shih
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