Valentine's Day fever was still raging at the 9501 restaurant in ABS-CBN last Wednesday night, February 20, because of the kilig moments that Mariel Rodriguez and Bianca Gonzalez shared with the members of the press invited to the launching of Cinema One's Celebrity Central Block.
Bianca was the first to be asked about her love life since she had to leave early to attend the 4th USTv Students' Choice Awards. The awarding ceremony held at the University of Santo Tomas also took place last February 20. Her show Y Speak was the Students' Choice of Public Affairs Talk Show Program in the said competition.
Reporters asked Bianca: is she back together with her ex-boyfriend Lino Cayetano, whom she met for a date in Singapore recently?
"It's still the same kasi [with Direk Lino] honestly, at buong-buong katotohanan, no we're not back together. But, uhm..."
Before Bianca could finish her statement, Mariel interjected, "But you hope to get back together!"
Bianca laughed and said, "Someone asked me kanina, ‘May lovelife ba ako?' I don't know how to answer that talaga because I'm the girl. Dito sa Pilipinas, ang babae ang nililigawan. I can just say that happy ang heart ko ngayon."
What makes her heart happy? "Madami, pero included na rin yun," Bianca says cryptically. Even Mariel prods Bianca to answer the question by saying, "Sino? Sino? It's okay, Biancs [her pet name for Bianca]."
The host of Cinemanews Weekend Edition refused to give the guy's name, but when asked if his initials start with the letters LC (short for Lino Cayetano), she answers shyly, "Yes, yes."
What is her reaction to those saying that she caused the breakup of Lino and KC?
"Ever since before, I have no right to comment about anything on their part because even them, when they are asked about it, hindi rin sila sumasagot, so what more kung ako? About that naman, if I caused it..." her voice trails off as she pauses to think of her response.
"I know Lino is a really decent guy. He wouldn't start talking to me again kung alam niyang may masasaktan na iba," Bianca declares firmly.
Will she follow Lino to the United States where he's located now? No, she says.
When asked if she received a Valentine's gift from Lino, Bianca revealed, "Flowers. It was after Valentine's."
LILIES AND CAKE. After Bianca left for the USTv Awards, it was Mariel's turn to get grilled about her lovelife.
"Di ba dati lagi kong sinasabi na ‘we're friends' because noong time na yun, we were really just friends. I feel that I'm at a stage when we're a little bit above the friendship line. Dati, friends lang talaga; ngayon, may flowers na. He gave me flowers and cake."
When Mariel learned that she and Bianca both received flowers from their respective partners, she quipped: "Nabigyan lang ng flowers, nagpa-presscon na!"
After the presscon, Mariel answered a few more questions about her and Zanjoe Marudo, a former housemate of Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition.
Why is she more open now about talking about her lovelife? "Sawang sawa na ako and I'm sure lahat ng tao sawang sawa na rin sa kakarinig ng, ‘We're just friends.' At first time niya magbigay ng flowers ever, sa tanang buhay niya. Siyempre, kinilig ako...humaba ang hair ko tapos nalaman ko, si Tita Monch rin pala nabigyan, si Tita Mariol [Alberto] rin pala binigyan.
"First time pala niya magbigay ng flowers at mass production pa! At least yung sa kanila roses, yung sa akin lilies."
How did she receive the flowers?
"Pagdating ko sa dressing room, nandun na. May card na nakalagay sa labas ‘For You' tapos sa loob sinulat niya, ‘From me.' Hindi naman kami ganun kahirap i-please," she said candidly.
"Nandun yung flowers sa vase na may tubig, kung puwede lang siya buhayin forever, ginawa ko na kasi baka hindi na maulit muli. Kailangan i-preserve!" she said half-seriously.
How would she define the status of their relationship? Is it courtship or the getting-to-know-you stage?
"Siguro naman kilalang kilala na niya ako, 'no? Asan na ba? I think it's not nice talaga na sa amin manggaling kasi girls kami. Dapat kasi mag-presscon na yung bagong shows para siya [Zanjoe] naman [ang magsalita]," said Mariel.
What has happened to her blossoming romance with her former housemate, Jon Avila of PBB Celebrity Edition 2? "Mabait talaga si Jon, kahit sa loob ng house. There's really nothing bad I could say about Jon. Sobrang bait niya talaga, he's the nicest person I know. Friends pa rin kami."
She goes on: "Kapag napapanood ko siya sa TV, kapag nababalitaan ko na may mga mall shows siya, or meron siyang upcoming projects, natutuwa ako for him kasi I wish him all the best."
Does Zanjoe get jealous about her close friendship with Jon?
"If there's anyone in the world who should understand, siya [Zanjoe] yun kasi housemate siya, di ba? Hindi ko naman ine-expect na magsabi siya ng bad things tungkol kay Bianca [Zanjoe's former housemate in PBB]. I'm sure yung success ni Bianca, kinatutuwa niya rin. May pinagsamahan sa loob ng Bahay ni Kuya and you cannot change that, you cannot deny that. Meron talagang special bond."
She also revealed that she will be going to Boracay with her special someone this March to host the grand finals of her new reality show. "Sa Got 2B Fit Challenge, host ako at judge naman siya [Zanjoe]," ends Mariel, who is the host of Celebrity Hit List. This pop-culture show airs for 30 minutes on Cinema One every Monday at 9 pm. Bianca's show, Cinemanews Weekend Edition, is aired every Friday also at 9 pm. She will be joined by co-host Eri Neeman.