Hashtags member Paulo Angeles received good reviews for his trending performance in the Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode wherein he was paired with Barbie Imperial.
The hashtag, #MMK200ILoveYous, was one of the trending topics on Twitter, and most of the tweets talked about Paulo's crying scene in the episode.
But did you know that Paulo was not actually the first choice to play the role?
Minutes before the January 12 episode, MMK episode director Theodore "Ted" Boborol responded to a netizen who asked via Twitter why Barbie and Paulo were chosen for the roles.
The director revealed that Barbie was already assigned to the episode and they considered two other actors to play Paulo's role.
These two actors were Glorious lead star Tony Labrusca and returning Kapamilya Kiko Estrada.
Boborol wrote, "Kiko Estrada and Tony Labrusca were the other options but things just didn’t fall through. Personally I am happy the role landed on Paulo’s lap. You’ll see when you watch the episode in a few minutes!"
Paulo elaborated about this in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and bloggers during the premiere night of Sakaling Maging Tayo last January 15.
He said, "Di ba, napost naman ni Direk Ted na hindi naman talaga ako yung first choice?
"Siguro, parang sinwerte lang ako na napunta sa akin.
"Pero siyempre, noong nabigay sa akin yung trabaho na yun, sabi ko talaga kay Direk Ted, baka hindi ako ready, parang nagdadalawang isip pa ako, kasi ang bigat, e, noong binabasa ko yung script.
"Pero sa awa ng Diyos, nagawa ko naman, at saka sabi kasi ni Direk Ted, 'Go, kaya mo 'yan,' so sumabak ako."
What was his reaction when he found out that his performance became a trending topic that day?
The 21-year-old actor answered, "Wala kasi akong Twitter, e, so nababalitaan ko lang kela Barbie, sa group chat ng 200 I Love Yous.
"First time ko kasing maging parte ng trend, kasi usually, tahimik lang ako sa likod, ganyan.
"Nakakatuwa na naa-appreciate nila yung ginagawa namin and maraming, maraming salamat kay Direk Ted na binigyan ako ng chance, kay Barbie na tinulungan ako and kay Arron Villaflor at kay RK Bagatsing kasi sila nagbigay ng advice sa akin para sa mga drama scenes ko, kaya maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo."
Paulo and Barbie's MMK episode is also the first episode produced by its new unit, RSB Drama Unit. This group also produces the drama anthology, Ipaglaban Mo.
RSB Drama Unit is the drama unit helmed by director Ruel Bayani.
The episode also revived his team-up with Barbie Imperial. They used to be a love team in another RSB Drama Unit show, Langit Lupa.
In 2018, Barbie and Paulo worked together in Precious Hearts Romances: Araw Gabi, but not as a love team. Barbie was JM de Guzman's leading lady, while Paulo was paired with Ysabel Ortega.
How does Paulo feel that people are clamoring for their team-up?
"Siyempre, masaya din naman, kasi si Barbie, sobrang kumportable na kami from Showtime, Langit Lupa, sa Araw Gabi, so parang lagi ko talaga siyang nakakasama.
"And si Barbie kaibigan ko na talaga yan, ever since nakilala ko na 'yan, kaibigan ko na talaga yan."
It seemed like ABS-CBN listened to this strong demand from fans.
On January 21, RSB Drama Unit promo head Carlough Hermano posted on Twitter a photo of what seems to be an outtake from a pictorial featuring Barbie and Paulo.
He wrote in his tweet, "Can't get enough of PauBie? Abangan!"
This was retweeted by Barbie and she wrote in the caption: "I AM FREAKING OUT. WE ARE SO EXCITED!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!"
Last January 24, Barbie and Paulo met with business unit head Ruel Bayani for an upcoming teleserye, which was dubbed as #ProjectPauBie.
Barbie shared her excitement for the project through her Twitter account.
She wrote, "Can’t wait for my new project with Paulo!!!! Yung story, grabe. Ang ganda!!! Thank you RSB Unit, thank you Lord!"
Paulo is included in the cast of the upcoming series, Project Kapalaran, starring JM de Guzman and Arci Munoz.
It has yet to be announced if Paulo will still be part of Project Kapalaran or if he will be pulled out of the show, which will also be produced by RSB Drama Unit.