MANILA - Alex Gonzaga triggered laughter with her reaction when she learned for the first time at a press conference held Thursday that her "Pure Love" co-star, Arjo Atayde, has feelings for her.
Atayde, son of veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez, candidly mentioned that he likes Gonzaga, just minutes after the actress said that her doors are closed for now to any relationship.
The 23-year-old actor, who was seated on stage with Gonzaga, said he is willing to wait for her to open her doors, getting approving reactions from those present at the event.
"Ever since naman talaga, may gusto ako sa kanya. Hindi ko naman dini-deny 'yon... Totoo nga, I like her. But more than that, since sinabi niya nga na the door is closed, I'll wait for it to open," he said.
Asked to respond to Atayde's statement, Gonzaga made jokes, but was requested to answer seriously. Initially at a loss for words, she asked her leading man whether what he said is true.
"Kung totoo man 'yon, natutuwa naman ako, napa-flatter naman ako, pero sa ngayon, focused po kami dito talaga, sa paggawa namin ng 'Pure Love,' so ayaw po namin mag-isip ng gano'n, anything personal. Focused pa muna kami sa characters namin," she said.
ALEX: HE NEVER TOLD ME
Speaking with reporters after the press conference, Gonzaga said Atayde never "formally" told her about his feelings, or whether he has intentions of courting her.
While she is not open to romantic relationships at this time, the actress said she is not ruling out the possibility that her ties with Atayde may be go beyond friendship.
In a separate interview, Atayde was asked why he had yet to tell Gonzaga personally that he has feelings for her.
"Ang problema is... I'm not more of a vocal person. Torpe ako pagdating sa kanya. For some weird reason, nato-torpe ako, I have to say. Really, I'm torpe. But 'yung nga, this is the first time I ever became vocal about it, 'yung pagkaka-crush ko sa kanya, the way I like her and everything," he said.
Atayde said the press conference was actually the first time he expressed publicly that he likes Gonzaga, explaining why the actress may have been caught off-guard by the admission.
"Never ko na-verbalize 'yung 'I like you,' but given the chance to say yet, I'll say it naman talaga... Ngayon lang ako naging vocal, and 'yun nga, even if her doors are closed, as long as mag-open na 'yon, I will really go for her," he said.
On whether he is planning to court Gonzaga, Atayde noted his co-star's earlier statement about entering any relationship. The actor added, however, that he intends to get to know her more as they work together on "Pure Love," which premieres on July 7.
"I'm still in the process of getting to know her. Iyon nga, ayoko magsalita nang tapos. Once she gives me a hint na parang, you know, she's okay, then I'll really go for her," he said.