“Opo, masasabi ko na pong close. Mas close kami ngayon kesa po talaga noon,” said Julia Montes about her Muling Buksan Ang Puso co-star Enrique Gil.
A thanksgiving press conference for the show was held on September 26, at the 9501 Restaurant in ABS-CBN, where the two spoke in separate interviews about the current status of their friendship.
The 18-year-old actress continued, “Kasi noon, more on, ‘Hi. Hello. Uy, katrabaho kita,’ parang gano’n lang.
“Ngayon po, parang more on talagang alam na namin iyong… like, mahilig siya sa kotse.
“May mga alam na akong gusto niyang kotse, tapos may napag-uusapan na kami about sa kotse.
“More on nakikilala na namin iyong isa’t isa, iyong mga favorites. Unlike before na parang dedma lang, basta trabaho.
“Ngayon po mas close kami, iyan ang masasabi ko.”
Enrique Gil agrees: “Actually, tama iyong sinabi ni Julia. Noong una talaga, wala, puro… medyo ilang talaga noong una.
“Pero actually, that’s good, in a way, para mas natural sa eksena na medyo ilang-ilangan pa.
"Pero bandang dulo—gitna, dulo—okay na, medyo at ease na.”
A “DIFFERENT BALL GAME.” Julia and Enrique play Sarah and Francis, respectively, on the show.
Francis is the balikbayan from America, who ends up falling deeply in love with Sarah, the girl who’s had a crush on him for a while.
As they developed a striking onscreen chemistry, throughout the course of the teleserye, Julia and Enrique’s friendship also blossomed off-cam.
Having done projects together before—they starred in the movies Way Back Home (2010), The Reunion (2012), and The Strangers (2012)—it’s quite surprising to know that they hadn’t built a special bond.
Enrique explains why: “Well, actually, noon po kasi, starting sa show, alam ko kasi… galing kami sa The Reunion, e.
“E, iyong The Reunion hindi masyadong… Well, doon, kami iyong magka-loveteam, pero hindi masyadong intimate, di ba?
“So, kumbaga, ibang ball game ito para sa amin ni Julia.”
Indeed, working on the set of Muling Buksan Ang Puso opened doors for both Enrique and Julia to get to know each other more.
Julia was asked during the presscon if she and Enrique get to talk about extremely personal details, such as their “bank accounts.”
Julia responded with a hint of laughter: “May gano’n? Hindi naman po.
“Siguro na-open lang iyong kung ano iyong mga plans, iyong mga gustong gawin pag nakapag-ipon, gano’n. Iyong mga gustong i-invest pag naka-ipon.”
Again, it goes back to Enrique’s fondness for cars.
HIGH RESPECT. The 21-year-old actor-dancer says that his relationship with Julia has improved a lot, to a point that he now sees another aspect of her personality.
“Noong una talaga, aaminin ko na, hindi naman sa ilang, pero may something siguro na parang nagba-block.
“Hindi ko alam kung bakit, parang hindi ko ma-explain.”
One reporter at the presscon interjected: Was it because of Enchong Dee, their teleserye co-star, who was once linked to Julia?
“Si Enchong? Hindi. Hindi naman po,” Enrique clarified. He even noted that he and Enchong are very good friends.
“I mean, nagba-block na parang… How should I say this? Parang may vibe na… may wall na nagba-block sa aming dalawa. I don’t know.
“But what’s amazing is, noong nakilala ko siya, doon ko na-realize na, ‘A, kaya pala,’ parang may wall na na-break na.
“Tapos when I got to know her, saka ko nalaman na… When I ask her questions, I got to know her, doon ko nalaman na, ‘Ay, kaya pala.’
“After that, doon na iyong respeto ko sa kanya, doon na lumabas, tumaas.
“Iyong, ‘Wow! Grabe itong babaeng ito.’ So, doon na, iyong respeto ko sa kanya talagang shoots off the roof.”
The wall that Enrique was pertaining to was Julia’s heartfelt dedication to her craft and her commitment to help her family, which sometimes make the young actress appear “too serious” for her age.
Now armed with a better understanding of his onscreen partner, Enrique says about Julia: “Tumaas talaga ang respeto ko sa kanya.
“And for some reason, naging okay kami. Ngayon sobrang okay kami compared to before. Sobrang okay kami, which… super happy naman ako.”
Muling Buksan Ang Puso will soon end its run on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida slot on October 4.