Albie Casiño and Dawn Balagot’s fingers were intertwined when they stepped out of My Cinema in Greenbelt 3, Makati City last Monday night, July 16.
But they quickly let go when they realized they were about to be interviewed.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was one of the select members of the press invited to the advanced screening of the Cinemalaya entry titled The Animals.
Dawn is Albie’s leading lady in this indie film. She is a TV commercial/print ad model who was previously paired with John Prats in ABS-CBN’s 2009 comedy series Parekoy.
When Albie was asked if they are exclusively dating, he did not answer immediately. Albie first consulted his rumored girlfriend Dawn who was standing nearby.
And then he replied ambiguously, “Uhm, I guess.”
In a separate interview with PEP.ph that same night, Dawn was evasive: “I’m not going to say I’m single…no comment na lang.”
What does he like most about Dawn?
“She laughs at all my jokes. She acts like one of my friends lang. That’s what I really like about her,” admitted Albie, who is the ex-boyfriend of ABS-CBN actress Andi Eigenmann.
Did his relationship with Andi overlap with his closeness with Dawn?
"No. I just met Dawn recently. Not naman recently but wala na kami ni Andi nun,” he said.
How did he and Dawn become close?
“When you’re with someone for that amount of time, you really become close. With Dawn naman, it was different... Kahit siguro wala kami sa movie, we’d get along also.”
What if people criticize him by saying that it took him just a short time to move on from his previous relationship?
Albie stressed: “Well, it’s been over a year already.”
Does he think that he can become friends again with Andi?
“I don’t think so,” he said, this time without skipping a beat.
FIRST KISSING SCENE. Directed by Gino Santos, The Animals tackles the interconnected lives of spoiled rich kids whose lives are changed forever during a high school party.
The film chronicles a day in the life of Jake (Albie Casiño), Trina (Dawn Balagot), and Alex (Patrick Sugui, former Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash Of 2010 housemate).
The Animals marks several milestones for the 19-year-old actor. For one thing, it is the first time that he appears topless in a movie.
“Kinakabahan ako [about taking off my shirt]. Hindi naman nila sinabi na maghuhubad ako!” exclaimed Albie.
This project also marks the first time that the ABS-CBN actor shot a kissing scene. In the story, his character Jake is the boyfriend of Trina (played by Dawn).
“It was a little bit awkward since first time ko…first time namin pareho. We didn’t know what to do, kung anong gagawin,” he said about shooting a kissing scene with Dawn in front of cameras.
The Animals depicts drug abuse and a harrowing rape scene, which is why the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) gave it a rating of R-16. This new classification has yet to be implemented by the Philippine movie industry this August.
Direk Gino revealed that when he submitted his film to the MTRCB, The Animals initially received a rating of R-18.
“We defended it by saying that college and high school people should watch it kasi it talks about the youth and violence,” recalled Direk Gino.
“Then they said it could be perfect for R-16 but it will be implemented this August.”
(CLICK HERE to read all about the entries competing in this year’s Cinemalaya)