MANILA — “Jowa reveal na ba ito?” went the playful comments on Julia Barretto’s Sunday Instagram post, referring to a mystery man seen in the photo, and amid successive celebrity romance confirmations at the start of the new year.
In the photo, Barretto is seen cradling a puppy while in a vehicle’s front passenger seat, noticeably with a man in the driver’s seat.
“New baby St. Bernard,” she wrote in the caption, without mention of the man whose face is not seen in the photo.
Going by the flood of heart comments on the photo, followers of Barretto appeared to assume that the man is romantically involved with the actress.
“Ayan na!” wrote one fan, while another guessed, “Alex Marasigan.”
Alex Marasigan is the name of the main protagonist of the war drama series “A Soldier’s Heart,” portrayed by Gerald Anderson.
Anderson, Barretto’s “Between Maybes” leading man, has been romantically linked with her since 2019, albeit initially with controversy as the actor had just separated from his former girlfriend, actress Bea Alonzo.
Barretto most recently sparked rumors of a relationship with Anderson in December, when she posted a photo of her wearing a necklace with a “G” pendant. Around that time, photos of Barretto and Anderson at the same mountain summit, although not clearly together, convinced some fans they are indeed an item.
The month prior, in November, Barretto admitted being in love. But she said she now intends to keep her relationship private, after the “trauma” of a public breakup with her former boyfriend Joshua Garcia.
“So one of the things I made myself confident in when it comes to my personal relationships is that, I’m in control,” Barretto said in her Mega interview. “I am in total control of how much I am only willing to share and how much I am only allowing people to know.”
“I’ve already come to realize how important it is to protect your peace and privacy — and that both go well together.”