During a press visit, the actor told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other media, "We are more than friends. We’re at that stage na we both have feelings for each other. It’s not just that we're both physically attracted, it’s deeper than that in the sense that she has met my parents, I’ve met her parents, our parents have met."
They first felt the spark in April.
Derek recounted, "Yung connection naman namin was, even before, extra. The things you’re talking about, wala naman kaming alam na magiging ganito ka-close kami.
“When we first met, we already had a connection dun sa station ID ng GMA.
"We just connected, we were just talking about pag-aartista, we did not see na may connection kami, and then nabuo.
“Alam mo, walang ano, e… Usually, pinag-iisipan mo iyan. It just flows naturally."
On June 6, Derek and ex-girlfriend Joanne Villablanca confirmed their split. They were together for six years.
The actor then underlined that it was not caused by Andrea, "Disenteng babae po si Andrea. That’s not fair na nadawit pa siya sa breakup namin."
Derek and Andrea's series, The Better Woman, ran from July 1 to September 27, 2019.
The day before the finale, they flew to Dubai, and started their adventures as a couple.
DEREK AND ANDREA'S FIRST TRIP ABROAD
During their three-day stay in the city, Andrea cheered for Derek at the latter's basketball exhibition game.
Also part of their itinerary was riding the Xline, the world's longest urban zip line located at the Dubai Marina.
They recounted the experience in an interview with PEP.ph at the press launch for Derek's endorsement of Voglio Maca Supplement. The launch was held last October 9 at Manila House Private Club in Bonifacio Global City.
The 42-year-old star recalled, "It was really hectic kasi three days lang kami dun and we arrived late in the evening.
"The next day may game na ako and the following day, may game ulit. But naka-singit pa kami ng zip line, so we did the longest urban zip line in the world.
"And we crossed the entire Marina of Dubai. That was one [of our activities] and I got to show her the side of me that's... may pagkabuwis-buhay.
"She's like, 'What am I doing?' But the minute we took off, she loved it."
According to Xline's official website, the tandem ride at the zip line is priced at AED1,200 or around PHP16,600. Meanwhile, the solo ride is at AED650 or around PHP8,950.
DEREK AND ANDREA'S FIRST ADVENTURE: ZIP LINE
It was a nerve-wracking experience for the 29-year-old actress who has a fear of heights.
Andrea told PEP.ph, "Yun yung greatest fear ko talaga, heights. And I remember, also with GMA, I had a show where I had to do my very first zip line nga.
"Three hours bago ako napasakay. Umiyak ako, tapos lahat nakasakay na, from producers, staff, driver, lahat. Hindi ako mapasakay. Ewan ko kung saan ko nakuha yung lakas ng loob."
Thanks to her beau, she had a better experience this time.
She said, "We went together but they had to strap me first kasi ako yung nasa labas.
"Sabi ko, 'Puwede bang ako yung nasa loob?' Hindi daw puwede. Magaan daw dapat yung nasa labas so walang choice.
"Ang tagal kong nakatingin dun sa pupuntahan nung zip line."
She continued, "Ewan ko, na-excite ako, na-excite ako sa kanya."
With a newfound love for adrenaline-pumping activities, Andrea said she's open to trying skydiving on her next visit to Dubai.
She said, "That's what I want to do next, actually. Kung may time nga lang, feeling ko nagawa namin both zip line and skydiving."
Derek, however, noted that tourists have to book their slots for skydiving in advance since it's a popular activity in the country.
He said, "With the Dubai Skydive, it's so popular that you have to book months in advance and we couldn't do that. So the next best thing was the zip line and we jumped on the opportunity right away."
DEREK AND ANDREA's NEXT TRAVELS
Andrea and Derek are looking forward to exploring the world together.
The GMA Artist talent told PEP.ph, "Pareho naman kaming mahilig talagang mag-travel e."
Derek added, "I'm very lucky I've seen the world. I've been everywhere. I've been blessed with parents who believe that traveling is one of the best education you can give your child. And they sent me all over the place so I'd like to share that with her."
Derek is willing to become Andrea's tour guide as they explore the latter's dream destinations.
He said, "I think one of her dream destinations is Greece. I've been there, it's beautiful. I'll bring her there. I want to show her, of course, my home country, in England."
The actor continued, "She wants to see Santorini so wherever she wants to go, her bucket list."
Andrea confirmed and explained why she loves Santorini.
"Gandang ganda ako sa pagiging laid back niya. Tapos ang dating niya sa akin parang open e, alam mo yun? Mahilig ako sa ganun, mahilig ako sa outdoors and yung kitang-kita mo yung nature."
Aside from Greece and England, Derek also plans to bring Andrea to less touristy countries.
"I suggested other places that are not main tourist destinations and sabi ko, it's much better. Like Ecuador, Montenegro, former Yugoslavia.
"You know, every dream of Pinoy is to go to Paris, go to Rome. Beautiful places but there are a lot more beautiful ones than that."
But first, the actor is planning to bring his girlfriend to his rest house in Palawan.
He said, "The Philippines is beautiful. I always say start with your own country because we have a beautiful country. So I'm excited to bring her to my house in Palawan."
More than anything, Andrea said she just wants to make memories with Derek wherever their feet may take them.
"Ang pinaka-ano ko naman talaga is just to have memories with him. Iba naman kasi talaga kapag kasama mo yung close sa iyo."