Julia Montes and Kathryn Bernardo on special bond: "Parang magkapatid na kasi kami"

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"Siyempre kasi, lalo na sa showbiz po, hindi maiiwasan na kami yung pag-aawayin. Pero sa amin kasi kung may pagdadaanan din in the future, parang hindi maaapektuhan yung friendship namin ni Julia," says Kathryn Bernardo (right) when asked about possible trials that her friendship with Julia Montes (left) may go through in showbiz.


Young actresses Julia Montes and Kathryn Bernardo are growing up together like real sisters.

From the ABS-CBN children's program Going Bulilit to the recently concluded remake of Mara Clara, the soap that made known their promising talents, Julia and Kathryn have been through quite a ride.

Their adventure continues after being cast in the film Way Back Home, and now working with each other yet again in the new young-adult show, Growing Up.

Julia, 16, and Kathryn, 15, face the same issues as teen stars. Their rocketing showbiz careers make their experience extraordinary and at times difficult, and the girls can only be thankful to have each other.

Are they happy to be in showbiz despite compromising a normal teenage life? Do they miss out on parties, going out with friends, or boy troubles perhaps?

Dusky beauty Kathryn replies, "Yung nakakalabas siguro, pero yung party hindi rin kasi nga ako ma-party na tao, so para sa akin, nag-eenjoy din naman ako.

"Kailangan mag-sacrifice ka rin po ng konti... Okay lang naman po sa akin na yun yung kapalit dahil sobrang worth it naman."

It is surprising to find that both girls think beyond their years.

"Minsan po... iniisip ko na lang, positive side... ako, nakaka-ipon na ganito yung edad ko, ganito pa lang ako kabata. Para sa akin masuwerte pa din ako compared sa iba. Thankful po ako," says Kathryn.

Meanwhile, a mature Julia expresses that she has and will have no regrets in pursuing the showbiz career even if it means compromising the ordinary teenage life. Providing a better life for her family is what matters most.

"Siguro kasi hindi ako umabot sa point talaga na nagsisisi kasi nung bata pa lang talaga ako, Going Bulilit pa lang talagang tumutulong na ako," says Julia.

"At nine years old talagang naisip ko na na kailangan ko na tumulong sa kanila. Hanggang sa paglaki ko, na-mind set na ako na more on family talaga.

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"May time na napapaisip na what if ako yung typical teenager, pero yun nga gaya ng sabi ni Kathryn, iba rin kasi kami na nakakapag-ipon na rin. Nag-eenjoy din kami dito sa trabaho... passion namin ito."

The fair-skinned, half-German mestiza has learned from a young age to act independently. She says that her grandmother, a key-person in her life, is firm yet encourages her to come up with her own decisions.

"Pinababayaan niya ako mag-decide, kumbaga kailangan ko na rin mag-decide sa sarili ko kasi darating din daw yung point na ako na rin magdedesisyon para sa sarili ko," says Julia.

While being paired up with the likes of teen heartthrobs Albie CasiƱo, Sam Concepcion, Enrique Gil, newbies Diego Loyzaga, and Daniel Padilla, the girls steer away from possible distractions and heartaches. Julia and Kathryn prioritize work above all.

"Ako kasi marami akong pinagdaanan sa family ko, parang ayaw ko na rin masaktan," shares Julia who is also the breadwinner of her family.

"Siguro kaya medyo careful na hindi ko inaagad. Yung ibang teenager kasi ang aga-aga nagbo-boyfriend na, di ba? Pero siguro yun nga, ayaw kong masaktan.

"Siguro... talagang i-eenjoy ko muna yung teenage life na walang lovelife, na walang sakit sa ulo."

Kathryn's rejoinder: "Pareho po kami ni Julia kasi. Gusto namin yung boyfriend hindi yung basta-basta masasabi mo lang. Gusto po namin talaga na seryoso talaga [and] at the right age."

While they seemed to always share the same views and answers, Julia was quick to exclaim, "'Wag lang magkapareho ng guy!" The two burst into hearty laughter.

A hypothetical question: Would they fight over a boy?

In such a triangle, Julia was sure she would quit seeing the guy. "Siguro ako, mag-aayaw!" she says. She turns to Kathryn, "Ikaw ba mag-aayaw?"

"Mag-aayaw din ako! E di iwan natin yung guy!" retorts a beaming Kathryn.

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"Iiwan namin yung guy. Maghanap [siya] ng iba!" adds Julia with conviction. She believes that their friendship is important to her. "Kasi parang... lalaki lang siya e... Nag-enjoy kami [ni Kathryn] for ilang years, yung friendship namin nandun e, forever. Yung guy, mawawala yun!

SISTERLY BOND. Julia and Kathryn are two peas in a pod and, for now, it is unimaginable to see them in separate shows.

Eventually they will be hurled into different projects.

"Yun nga po yung sinasabi nila. Dadating din po sa point na paghihiwalayin kami kaya gusto po namin ni Julia na sana tumagal yung Growing Up kasi kung paghiwalayin po kami sa primetime at least nagkikita kami once or twice a week," states Kathryn. She and Julia have maintained a healthy competition despite their tandem being bombarded by intrigue, she adds.

Kathryn says, "Yung mama ko po, tawag na rin niya mama. Parang magkapatid na kasi kami e."

In describing their friendship, Julia remarks, "Super magkapatid, super close na kami and matagal na rin po naming iniintay [itong mga projects].

"Kung kami pa yung magsisiraan, parang sinasayang din po namin yung pag-iintay namin, di ba? Kami yung nagtulungan tapos sisirain din namin?"

Has their friendship undergone issues like jealousy and insecurity?

Julia admits that they do encounter moments wherein the other would possess something that the other does not have. Instead of harboring envy they encourage each other and remain supportive.

"May ugali kaming parang 'Hindi magkakaron ka rin niyan!' Yung ganun?"

"Super open kami, wala kaming tinatago, so feeling ko hindi kami aabot sa point na malalaman namin sa iba na ay ganito, ganyan-ganyan kasi super open [namin]," explains Julia.

The secret to Julia and Kathryn's sisterly bond is their honesty and openness towards each other.

"Wala na akong tinatago kay Julia. Lahat po alam na niya," reveals Kathryn.

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How has their friendship achieved this level of closeness?

Kathryn describes Julia as a friend, "Hindi siya yung katulad ng ibang showbiz friend na, di ba, sabi nila pag sa showbiz, mahirap humanap ng totoo mong kaibigan?

"Si Julia po kasi yung kaibigan na kahit hindi pa kami sikat, kaibigan na. Hanggang ngayon andiyan pa rin siya. Loyal po siya."

To this a teary-eyed Julia expressed, "Kay Kathryn kasi... dahil... ate ako... dumaan sa stage na ... na-awkwardan siya sa akin. Pero thankful ako sa kanya kasi umabot din ako sa point na wala na akong naging kaibigan...

"Nahirapan ako maghanap talaga ng kaibigan na parang laging lahat ng naging kaibigan ko sinisiraan ako na ganyan... yung showbiz, showbiz na kaibigan. [Hanggang] dumating nga si Kathryn."

Julia shares a time in her life when she needed someone most and true enough Kathryn proved to be a genuine friend.

"Nung nagkaproblema sa bahay... siya yung una kong tinawagan. Siya talaga yung, alam mo yung, 'Okay ka lang ba? Hindi, gusto mo pasundo kita diyan?'

"E wala akong driver nun so hindi talaga ako makapunta sa kanila. [Sabi ni Kathryn] 'Hindi papasundo kita.' Sabi ko, 'Hindi okay lang, okay na ako dito.'

"[Sabi niya,] 'Hindi papasundo kita! Sasabihin ko kay mama!'

"So talagang naramdaman ko yung andun siya talaga for me. Kahit na hindi kami magkasama lagi, andun pa rin siya, kasi hindi kami magkasama nung araw na yun e.

On the one hand, Kathryn says that Julia is the first person she contacts when something comes up be it an update in her life or a problem. "Mga quarrel-quarrel sa family, ganyan, mga misunderstanding pero [maaayos] din naman agad. Basta gusto ko lang masabi agad kay Julia. Ibi-BBM ko agad, 'Julia halika na dito!'"

"Kahit di kami magkasama, bini-BBM ko lang po siya, 'Julia, ganyan-ganyan' tapos tatawag na siya, 'O ano nangyari?'"

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More than establishing a good working relationship, it is undeniable that Julia and Kathryn have found sisters in each other.

One's soulmate perhaps is not found in a lover. Sometimes, one's soulmate is found in a friend.


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