Angelica Panganiban and John Lloyd Cruz. File photo
MANILA, Philippines -- Angelica Panganiban and John Lloyd Cruz were hoping to resolve a misunderstanding when they found themselves finally admitting their feelings for each other.
In an interview in the April 2013 issue of entertainment magazine StarStudio, the 26-year-old actress recalled that it was in July last year when she first admitted to Cruz that she loved him.
According to Panganiban, the actor visited her at her home hoping to address a misunderstanding, which at the time confused them as they weren't a couple yet.
"Bigla na lang nag-'I love you' na kami," the actress said.
Admittedly, Panganiban said she was the first one to confess her feelings to Cruz. "Sumagot din siya agad, hindi naman niya ako pinahiya," she said laughing.
"Walang pilitan na nangyari. Talang parang lahat maayos, sakto, tama, tama 'yung pangyayari lahat," she said.
Both contract artists of ABS-CBN's talent management arm Star Magic, the two started out as mere acquaintances and remained that way for a long while despite their frequent encounters.
Even when worked together in the drama series "Maging Sino Ka Man" in 2007, their relationship remained professional.
Four years later, the two would be tapped to star as a "love team" in the 20th anniversary film offering of Star Magic, "24/7 In Love." For the first time, the two were paired onscreen, which eventually translated to a blooming romance even off camera.
At the time, in April, the Kapamilya actress had already ended her relationship with former boyfriend Derek Ramsay. The two broke up in February last year. For his part, Cruz's former girlfriend, Shaina Magdayao, confirmed their breakup in May.
Panganiban admitted that she initially had to reflect to address her own concerns that she may have seen Cruz as a "rebound" boyfriend, following her six-year relationship with Ramsay.
"[Pero] bago naman ako umabot sa pahihiwalay, ang tagal ko na nag-struggle na alam kong doon siya papunta, alam kong ganoong 'yung mangyayari," she said.
On Cruz's part, his breakup with Magdayao bred rumors linking Panganiban to the separation. The "Rubi" star recalled that this prompted a phone conversation between her and the actor to clarify things.
Cruz apologized to Panganiban, and assured that she was not at all a reason for the breakup. Eventually, this led to them having a "heart-to-heart" talk on having a failed relationship.
"Sabi ko, 'Sana alam din iyon ng mga tao, sana alam niyo 'yon ni Shaina kasi ayaw ko din naman na ganoon 'yung isipin sa akin ni Shaina. Feeling ko kasi maganda sa relasyon na alam niyo 'yung dahilan ng break-up niyo para do'n kayo matututo, 'di ba?'" Panganiban said.
After this conversation, the two started seeing each more frequently, as Cruz somehow found a way to tag along with Panganiban's "Banana Split" friends.
These friendly hang-outs went on until finally, Panganiban began missing Cruz during times when he was away.
"Parang pag hindi siya nagte-text ng isang araw, 'Ay, hindi yata niya gusto 'yung suot ko.' Parang mapapaisip na ako. Pag magkikita ulit kami, naiilang na 'kong chumika ng pabarkada effect. Nagpapa-girl na ako. Hanggang sa 'yon, bigla na lang, alam na namin," she said.
In the April 2013 issue of StarStudio, Panganiban also retraces her beginnings as an actress, having been in showbiz for 20 years now. The actress also opens up on her six-year relationship with Ramsay, and recalls her teenage romance with actor Carlo Aquino.