“Na-tense ako, ha!”
This was Julia Barretto’s reaction right after Joshua Garcia was put on the hot seat during the presscon of their Star Cinema movie Love You To The Stars And Back, held at ABS-CBN’s Training Hall today, Sunday, August 20.
There was a slightly tense moment when Joshua suddenly clammed up when he was being grilled about his long courtship of Julia.
It happened during the middle part of the Q&A portion, and there was no way for Julia to ask Joshua if he was fine without interrupting the flow of the program.
But she managed to convey her concern for Joshua by reaching out for his left arm and kept holding on until he hurdled his tense ordeal.
Joshua reciprocated by reaching out with his left hand and gripped Julia's right arm.
All these happened behind film director Antoinette Jadaone's back, and probably didn't seem too obvious to those seated in front.
The two kept their hands at each other's arms until the latter part of the presscon proper.
Julia's silent show of support seemed to have helped Joshua overcome his awkwardness at being peppered with personal questions as he finished the presscon on a lighter note.
HOW THE TENSE MOMENT CAME ABOUT. That part of the Q&A portion started cordially enough, with Joshua gamely admitting that he had been courting Julia since January of this year.
“Parang simula nun… Simula nung, eto, this year.”
Entertainment reporter Allan Diones threw a follow-up question and asked Joshua if his chances at winning Julia’s heart had improved after seven months of courtship.
Joshua simply answered, “Ganun pa rin po.”
When asked to elaborate about the real score between him and Julia, the 18-year-old actor reiterated that they are still in the courtship stage.
“Nanliligaw pa rin ho. Pero malalim na talaga yung pinagsamahan namin.
“Mas kilala na namin ang isa’t isa,” he pointed out.
JULIA'S TELLING STATEMENT. It should be noted that prior to this part of the Q&A portion, Julia gave a telling statement about her feelings for Joshua.
The 20-year-old actress said, “If I’m being very honest, I’ve learned to prioritize my work.
“But he’s become such an important person in my life and it’s not like nakakasagabal siya sa trabaho ko.
“So, I don’t see any problem naman na if every pagsabayin ko.
“That’s because I’m being very honest right now.”
Some members of the entertainment press even remarked that Julia had no trouble answering queries without revealing much about what appears to be a blooming romance between her and Joshua.
After all, she practically grew up in showbiz.
In contrast, the Pinoy Big Brother: All In ex-housemate seemed to be keeping safe by giving short and clipped statements.
This was why he was the one being grilled about how he plans to go about courting Julia.
Julia, for her part, tried to interject, saying, “Kawawa naman po siya.
"Nagmi-make sure lang na... Baka kasi magkamali siya sa sagot.”
JOSHUA'S FEAR OF REJECTION. But after a bit more prodding from the veteran entertainment reporter, Joshua went on to explain why he’s taking long in asking Julia to become his girlfriend.
He admitted, “Nakakatakot pa rin magtanong sa kanya kasi hindi mo rin mae-expect kung ano ang puwede niyang sabihin.
“Puwede siyang maghindi, e.
“Kasi sa ngayon, yung trabahong pumapasok sa amin ang hirap sayangin, e…”
Joshua paused for a few seconds before he reiterated, “Kasi... Nakakatakot kasi talagang magtanong.
"Natatakot po akong magtanong.”
Why does he feel scared when Julia seems to like him anyway?
Turning serious, Joshua replied, “Kasi lahat naman tayo natatakot tayo ma-reject…"
Then he added, “Kasi po wala po talaga akong... Ako kasi, ako yung taong insecure.
“Mababaw yung confidence [level] ko.”
When told that he shouldn’t let his fear of rejection get in the way of his feelings for Julia, Joshua kept his stand about his low self-esteem.
Still speaking in a serious tone, Joshua said, “Pero hindi niyo rin po ako masisisi kung ganun ho yung nararamdaman ko.
“Ganun po akong lumaki na, e.”
At this point, Joshua clammed up and did not elaborate anymore about what particular experience in his life brought about his low self-esteem.
While he grew quiet for a bit, Joshua's mood lifted as soon as the Q&A took a lighter note.
In a separate interview after the presscon, Joshua clarified that all is good and he just didn't want to expound his answer about taking his time in courting Julia.