Melissa Ricks, 28, and Helga Krapf, 30, were just nene when they both joined Star Circle Quest in 2004.
Fourteen years later, both of them are moms with little girls of the same age. Melissa's daughter is named Kiera, while Helga's is Amelie.
They're also BFFs and magkumare.
At the opening of ART For Everyone at SM last August 30, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) spotted the two ladies looking at paintings.
When asked if they collect, Helga replied, "Medyo lang. Ngayon pa lang ako nai-inspire. Hindi pa ako, wala pa ako masyadong art pieces kasi medyo magulo pa bahay ko."
So far, she has about six paintings in her growing collection.
"Konti pa lang...I buy what I like…Kasi sa iba, investment, di ba. So ako naman, I buy what I want for display sa bahay."
Melissa, on the other hand, didn't buy the painting she was eyeing because, "Wala pa akong paglalagyan."
They have different tastes in paintings.
Melissa said, "Ako, I find paintings interesting pag nakaka-relate ako. The thing is, when people look at a painting, they see something different."
Helga interjected, "Ako kasi, ayoko ng dark."
Melissa reacted, "Di naman dark yun," referring to the piece of art she liked.
Smiling, she added, "Hindi kami magkasundo."
But despite their differences, the two have an incredible friendship story, and consider each other as her "support system."
"Ever since kaming dalawa, hindi pa kami nagkakaanak, nasa showbiz pa lang, nagsusuportahan na kami," Melissa said.
They always look picture-perfect on their social media feeds, how do they manage to be well put together all the time?
Melissa answered, "Pang-Instagram lang talaga yun."
Helga threw in, "In between, may mga breakdowns talaga kami, like, 'Anong gagawin ko?' Halimbawa tumalon si Amelie kanina, naku, tawag agad ako sa kanya."
They don't always have the solution to their concerns, but knowing there's someone who's going to be there is such a big help.
Helga remarked, "Oo, kasi mahirap if you just rely on what you think you know, di ba. Parang maganda na may second opinion ka."
Melissa resumed, "Nagkataon lang, nagkasabay kaming manganak halos, nakaka-relate pa rin kami sa isa’t isa. Sabi nga namin, ‘Pa’no kung ikaw lang ang may anak? Ano kayang mangyayari?'
"It’s good to have people around who are there for you, and who keep you sane. Kasi ang hirap talaga pag first-time mom ka."
How do you de-stress?
Melissa quickly replied, "Vlogging...meron akong YouTube channel. Every Wednesday yung day-off ko at niya. Kasi coding day ko.
"So every Wednesday, para sa adventures namin. We shop, we cook, we do vlogs, whatever."
Yup, Wednesday is also the free day of Helga, who elaborated, "Off ng husband ko, so siya yung magbabantay, magdadala sa school. Nagkataon lang pero nakakatuwa."
Because they're usually seen together, they get invited to the same events.
Melissa said, "So far lahat ng events namin, magkasama din, in fairness. Parang naging package na kami kasi nakikita nila kami parati.
"And since pareho kami ng event na pinuntahan, we usually get the same stuff."
The two celebrity moms laughed.
Melissa related, "Minsan, hindi kasi maiiwasan baka magkapareho kami ng isusuot, so tinatawagan ko muna siya. 'Mars, anong suot mong lipstick? Yung binili nating pink sa Forever 21, wag mo susuotin, ha.'
"Hindi naman kami kambal pero mukhang ganun na nga. We get the same stuff.
"Kahit na yung mga toys, kasi three months apart lang yung babies namin, super parehas sila."
Helga added, "Yung clothes nila, nagkakataong pareho rin. Kunwari, dumating kami sa event, pareho pala sila ng jumpsuits."
What's their rule about bring their girls to events?
Melissa prefers having Kiera in tow.
"Umiiyak yung anak ko kasi sasama raw siya. Akala ko bawal yung bata, e, may nakita akong bata. Sinasabi ko, 'This is mommy’s grown-up time. Mommy has to do and see…Mommy has to work. Mommy has to do this with Ninang. We’ll come back, okay. Look, Amelie is not here also.'
"Kasi kung kasama yung isa, kasama rin siya dapat."
"It’s acceptance. Iba na yung buhay mo ngayon. Hindi na yung gaya ng dati na you can leave anytime. Kung kaya mo siya isama, isasama mo talaga siya.
"It’s no longer just you, e."
Until now, Melissa still gets separation anxiety each time she leaves Kiera.
"Even sa shopping, pag wala si Kiera, I don’t know why pero nasasabi ko, ‘Ay, ang daming magugustuhan ni Kiera. Ay kasya ito sa kanya.’ Or ngayon bago umuwi, we have to buy something for them. Kahit little stuff lang. Sobrang saya nila pag-uwi namin."
For events where they have to bring Kiera and Amelie, they really go for it.
Helga said, "Kahit bumabagyo, kahit matraffic, laban kami. Pag event namin, okay lang. 'Huwag na tayo pumunta.' Pero pag sa kanila, laban."
Melissa continued, "Sumugod kami sa Mall of Asia dahil sa Shopskin event, e, gustung-gusto ng mga bata. So pupunta talaga kami."