"Hindi lahat kailangan may explanation sa tao, hindi kailangan may sagot sa bawat tanong, di ba?" - Julia Barretto
"Pero parang ten na," Julia gushed.
Within two short years, the pairing of Julia Barretto and Josh Garcia instantly became known as JoshLia after their first movie, Vince, Kath, and James, an entry in the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.
And—just like that—they went on to headline two more movies, Love You To The Stars and Back and Unexpectedly Yours.
They also did one Maalaala Mo Kaya episode, a side dish to their entrees to satisfy their growing fans.
Now their fans want more! Lucky for them, something is always cooking with JoshLia.
Currently, Josh and Julia are busy promoting their fourth movie I Love You, Hater, together with Kris Aquino.
They were still shooting the movie when cameras started rolling for Ngayon at Kailanman, their first teleserye as a love team airing soon.
JoshLia also serves up a dessert their fans are drooling over.
They are so sweet together, so at home with each other, so mutually caring that Joshua and Julia are themselves amazed how it all seems they’ve known each other for ages.
They finish each other’s sentences and call each other by their pet name—Bub, short for Baba.
Already, so soon?
Joshua said, "Ang bilis kasi naming... alam mo yun, mabilis tayong naging komportable sa isa't isa. Nagka-jive agad kami."
Julia concurred, "… ang bilis talaga ng mga pangyayari, you think, looking back, noong VKJ days, hindi ko ma-imagine na three, two years later, nandito kami now. Parang ang bilis, ang bilis-bilis. Grabe."
During this interview, we brought up the praises Julia has been receiving for her breakdown scene by the elevator in I Love You, Hater.
Joshua was the first to react and quickly said, "Saglit niya lang ginawa yung eksenang yun!"
Julia countered, "Uy, hindi naman! Grabe siya!"
Joshua continued, "Proud na proud nga ako diyan noong ginagawa niya yun. Alam mo yung habang ginagawa niya yung eksenang yun, parang natutulala ako sa kanya. Nawawala ako doon sa eksena pag ka-eksena ko siya. Ibang klase ito kaeksena, pang-beterano!"
He sounded like he was Julia’s one-man cheering squad, and so was she to Joshua.
The 21-year-old actress particularly expressed admiration for his teammate’s attitude towards his craft.
Julia said, "Hindi siya nagtatrabaho dahil gusto niyang maging mas magaling sa iba or dahil gusto niyang may malagpasan or may matapakan.
"Parang yung trabaho niya, ginagawa niya sa sarili niya, kinukumpitensya niya, yung sarili niya.
"Gusto niya, yung work niya ngayon, better sa last work niya, sa last project niya."
Obviously flattered, Joshua smiled and taunted Julia, "May gusto ka ano?"
Julia teased back, "Sa 'yo?"
Turning serious, she told him, "No, kasi, I don't think you realize that about yourself, that's what's nice about you.
"You just really focus on your own, yung sarili mong karera, yung sarili mong trabaho kaya mas okay."
Joshua told PEP.ph, "Gano'n din siya, halos parehas kami sa lahat, mas maganda nga lang siya sa akin!"
The room was immediately filled with laughter, and above it, we observed how they were so open about their support for each other.
In fact, they complimented each other to no end all throughout the interview.
In passing, we mentioned an incident in April 2018 when Joshua became involved in a controversy after screenshots of his conversation with a female Instagram user came out on social media.
It did affect their closeness somewhat, but only briefly.
As Joshua put it, "Normal talaga na may pagdadaanan ang isang relasyon, siyempre kasi wala namang perfect na relationship, e.
"Siguro, ang importante kasi doon, pag dumaan yung problema, may matutunan kayo. Like for example, ako, natuto akong pahalagahan kung anong meron ako. In general yun, ha—kung anong meron ako as an actor at kung anong meron ako [bilang] tao."
For Julia, such problems should be settled privately, away from prying eyes.
She said, "Hindi lahat kailangan may explanation sa tao, hindi kailangan may sagot sa bawat tanong, di ba?
"May mga ibang bagay na puwedeng ako lang magtanong tapos ako lang din sasagot sa sarili ko. Mas marami pala talagang naaayos kapag in private, in closed doors."
And, thus, JoshLia came out from that scrape unscathed, and have since moved on--wiser and closer to each other more than ever.
Today, Joshua and Julia are taping for the teleserye Ngayon at Kailanman, which Julia described as a "classic love story."
In this project previously titled Nostalgia, they will be working with seasoned actresses Iza Calzado, Alice Dixson, Rio Locsin, Ina Raymundo, and Rosemarie Gil, no less.
They are also preparing for the upcoming zombie-themed movie Block Z.
Both projects are slated for showing before 2018 ends.
And so it goes with JoshLia team forging ahead.
PEP.ph: Weirdest thing in your room or closet or bag?
Julia: I really have a big collection of band aids. I collect band aids. I have a collection of band-aids. I don't know why?
PEP.ph: Different colors?
Julia: Yes, with characters, themes, lahat. Name it.
PEP.ph: Do you follow your horoscope?
Julia: I follow the Lord. Not horoscope!
PEP.ph: But what’s your zodiac sign?
PEP.ph: Minsan may mga tumatama ba sa nababasa mo?
Julia: Oo naman, siyempre, meron naman. Pero hindi ako dumi-depende.
PEP.ph: Whom or what do you always make time for—except for Joshua?
Julia: My family, my mom.
PEP.ph: Excluding family members, Joshua, and your pets, what personal item will you save in case your house catches fire?
Julia: Ano yung ise-save ko? My mom's gift to me when I was 16, yung necklace that I always wear. Kasi handwriting niya yung necklace na yun, e. That's my most precious, treasured possession.
(Joshua, interjecting, reminded Julia: Isama mo na rin yung passport mo, wallet mo.)
Julia: Hindi, okay lang yun. Basta yung necklace na yun, hindi puwede.
PEP.ph: What's the best thing about being Julia Barretto?
Julia: That I have the best family support system. I have the best mother.
PEP.ph: What childhood toy do you still keep in your room, and why?
Joshua: Hala... wala.
PEP.ph: O sige, ano na lang yung pinaka-favorite mong toy noong bata ka, yung hindi mo mabitawan?
Joshua: Yung brick game... the story is, kumupit ako ng 100 pesos. Uy, pero hindi tama kumupit, ha! Mga bata, hindi tama yun. Kumupit ako sa lola ko, ‘tapos bumili ako ng brick game. Tuwang-tuwa ako sa brick game. Kasi siguro hindi ako nagka-game boy. So binili ko na lang, brick game.
PEP.ph: Who is your favorite fairy tale character?
Joshua: Si Gingerbread Man.
PEP.ph: Greatest compliment you received ever.
Joshua: Noong sinabi ng tatay kong proud siya sa akin.
PEP.ph: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Joshua: Ito, na nandito ako sa industriyang ito. Kasi nakakatulong ako sa pamilya ko. Ang dami kong natutulungan, yung ate ko napapag-aral ko. Proud talaga ako sa pinasok kong ito.
PEP.ph: What's the best thing about being Joshua Garcia?
Joshua: Na meron akong mapagmahal na pamilya, mapagmahal na kaibigan, mabuting tatay.
PEP.ph: How do you know if the other one is upset?
Julia: Pag hindi na nagsasalita.
Joshua: Pag hindi na pinapansin o kaya nagse-cellphone na lang siya.
PEP.ph: Paano niyo na-o-overcome?
Joshua: Pag wala siya sa mood tapos kinukulit ko, ‘tapos wala talaga siya sa mood, tumatahimik na lang ako.
Julia: Ako kasi pag wala sa mood, dapat hindi mo ako kinukulit, you have to wait for me.
Joshua: So tatahimik na lang ako ‘tapos hihintayin ko na lang.
PEP.ph: How do you settle your little tampuhan?
Julia: We don't have little tampuhan, they're always extreme.
PEP.ph: O sige, your tampuhan na lang.
Julia: A little time and a little space apart until our heads are both cool and ready to talk properly.
PEP.ph: What's the sweetest thing you can do for each other?
Julia: The best and the sweetest thing is to give him my love, that's already the best thing a person can give.
Joshua: Ako din.
PEP.ph: Why do you think you complement each other?
Julia: Because we balance each other.
PEP.ph: What's the history behind 'Baba?'
Joshua: Baby kasi meaning noon e, kasi pag naglalambing ka, 'Oh, baba, oh, baba baba.' E, nasa taping siya noon ng A Love To Last, dinalaw ko siya noon tapos kumain kami sa labas, may dala akong bulaklak noon sa kanya.
Joshua: Sabi niya, parang ang ganda ng 'Baba' na tawagan.
Julia: No, kasi our make-up artist was making kwento na one of the terms for baby is 'Baba' and we were making it as a joke pa to each other until it became what we call each other na. ’Tapos parang oo nga, 'no? Joke-joke lang siya at first ‘tapos yun na rin yung nag-stick.
PEP.ph: Last question, are you guys together? If yes, since when, if no, how do you label your relationship?
Joshua: Next question, please.
Julia: Yeah, next question please!
PEP.ph: O sige na nga, puwede na!
Joshua: Kita niyo naman, e, oh! Kitang-kita naman, e! Hindi, joke lang!
SHOOT PRODUCER: Nikko Tuazon
CO-PRODUCER: James Patrick Anarcon
ART DIRECTORS: Jeremiah Idanan/ Nikko Tuazon
PHOTOGRAPHER: Noel Orsal
VIDEO TEAM: Rommel Llanes, John Henri Alsol Mariano, Pam Carlota
STYLISTS: Cath Sobrevega (for Julia)
Joey Espiritu (for Joshua)
MAKEUP ARTIST: Mikka Marcaida for NARS Cosmetics (for Julia)
HAIRSTYLIST: Anton Papa (for Julia)
GROOMING: Jay Herrera (for Joshua)
Special thanks to Keia Inciong of Star Cinema