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Japanese actress Maria Ozawa can’t believe the buzz around her relationship with Filipino-Spanish chef-actor Jose Sarasola.
According to Maria, it started when they posted their Valentine date on their Instagram accounts.
“Actually, I didn’t know it will gonna be this viral.
“I think the cause was, it was on Valentine’s day.
“We were having a dinner out around the area and I posted a picture of us together. First time!
“That’s when it got all viral and people started to talk about us.
“'Now that we’re together, is this another big trouble, blah, blah, blah…'
“So, I said, ‘Oh, my god! Everybody’s so supportive and they’re all so nice and they’re caring about us.’
“Actually, I’m happy that I posted the picture of us,” Maria told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an exclusive interview.
Maria sat down with PEP last May Monday, May 22, at the Jardin Garden Club, the bar she owned in Remington Hotel.
Here, the former porn star recalled how she met Jose
“Yes, I think we were friends for a year or so.
“Our common friend took me there,” she said, referring to the bar owned by Jose in Parañaque.
“That’s how we met.
“After that, I will go hang out at his bar. He will come to my bar.
“I think that’s how we started our friendship.
“After a while, I guess things got serious. We’re talking about dating.
“After Valentine’s, we became more serious in our relationship.”
FRIENDLY CHAP. What was her first impression of Jose?
“To tell you the truth, my very first impression when I saw him that day was….
“When I went to his bar, his bar was like a sports bar, which I really, really like.
“I was, like, ‘Wow! You have a sports bar. That’s cool!
“‘I like going to different bars. Can we be friends?’
“I was questioning him about a lot of stuff… His name is, of course, Jose.
“And my favorite drink is Jose Cuervo.
“So I was, like, ‘Oh, my god! Your name is in the bottle of the drink that I really love.’
“That’s how I talked to him. Then, 'I wanna come back to his bar, I’ll bring my friends over.'
“I thought he’s just so friendly. He’s game to almost anything.
"He’ll be, like, ‘Oh, yeah, come to my bar, drink, Maria.’
“From the beginning, I thought he was really friendly,” she said.
FIRST PINOY BOYFRIEND. Maria had shared in a previous interview her hope to have a Filipino boyfriend.
As it happened, she got her wish.
Maria related, “He’s my very first Filipino boyfriend.
“I’m kind of nervous also, because Japan and Philippines, we have so many different culture.
“Actually not only Jose, but when I first came to the Philippines, I’ve noticed so many different stuff—good and bad.
“I guess now that I have a Pinoy boyfriend, I will find out more.
“Our relationship is different already.
“I have struggles, but then, in a good way, I could learn the culture faster because I have a Pinoy boyfriend.
“I could learn my Tagalog. He could be my teacher. He could be my partner.
“So I’m, really really excited for it.”
Did she expect they would end up in a relationship?
“No. Actually, when I first met him, I was, like, ‘Oh, he’s nice!’ He’ll take me to dinners, movies.
“So, I was thinking, ‘He’s such a nice guy and a gentleman. It’ll be nice if our relationship could be closer.’
“He has a lot of respect for me also. He wouldn’t jump into conclusions. We would take step by step.
“First, we will go out to dinner, then see his parents, then go on a movie… everything was nice,” she replied.
HER PROTECTOR. There are those who question Jose’s intention towards Maria, has she ever doubted him?
She said, “Actually, for me, not doubts. I had more worry.
“Of course, people would bash both of us.
“And then, compared to me getting bashed, I think he’ll get more bashed like, you know, those bastos comments and all the things he had to deal with.
“I was worried that he’s gonna give up or it’s gonna be too hard for him.
“I’ve noticed that he’s a really tough guy.
“He’s really nice. He will protect me no matter what.
“Now, I have no doubts nor worries about our relationship right now.”
She continued, “Actually, when people tell me, when our relationship went viral, people were, like, ‘Oh, you deserve a second chance, Maria.
“‘You will be happy. Good thing Jose is with you.’
“But then, sometimes it makes me think that, ‘What do you mean second chance?’
“As if I screwed up one time.”
On the other hand, Maria revealed Jose also feels insecure at times, “I think he had his doubts also on me.
“He’s like, ‘Oh, my God! This is Maria Ozawa. What am I gonna do? Where should I take her?’
“But then, after a couple of days, I think he noticed that I appreciate little things.
“That’s how we get along.
“We talk about everything. I tell him everything.
“I think he tells me everything.
“Every problem or every good stuff, I always discuss to him first and then I’ll follow whatever he tells me.”
NICE GUYS. Maria, in talking about her past as a porn star, stressed she has no regrets, “What I did in the past is what I am right now.
“And I am really proud of what I have right now. I’m a bar owner.
“I just feel, like, for people to know that I’m just a simple girl, who fell in love with a Pinoy guy.
“I just want people to support us.
“At the end of the day, I’m so normal.
“People think I’m the ‘legend Maria Ozawa.’
“So they’re, like, ‘Oh, how do you treat a guy? What’s your love life? How do you treat him?’
“None of that. It’s just so simple.”
What was her impression of Filipino men before she met Jose?
“Actually, I’ve noticed... I said this in all of the interviews, they are so nice!
“Known in the world that they are so gentlemen. They get your door, buy you flowers.
“In Japan, it’s okay, okay, but not that gentleman.
“Because our culture is more, like, the woman doesn’t really have the right to the relationship.
“So when I first came here, everybody was so nice to me.
“I’m like, ‘Oh! What am I gonna do? I’m gonna fall in love with everybody.’
“That’s how nice they are.”
And of all the men, she has chosen Jose. Ain’t he a lucky guy?