MANILA, Philippines – Before Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla became one of the most popular on-screen couples in the country today, the two stars initially found each other cranky and irritable.
Sparks did not fly when Bernardo and Padilla first met on the set of the ABS-CBN noontime show “Showtime” in 2010, when they did not have any project together, according to the cover story of StarStudio magazine’s February 2013 issue.
The two teen stars were there for a guesting but were not yet formally introduced to each other. A year later, they met once again in the youth-oriented show “Growing Up,” which was supposed to be Bernardo’s on-screen reunion with her “Mara Clara” leading man Albie Casiño.
Because of issues linking him to his former girlfriend Andi Eigenmann, who was then pregnant, Casiño was replaced by Padilla at the last minute.
“Parang masungit,” Padilla said of his first impression of Bernardo. “Naisip ko na baka sungitan lang niya ako ‘pag kinausap ko siya.”
Bernardo said the same thing about Padilla. “Masungit. Naisip ko rin po na baka snob siya, kasi ‘di ba nasa look ni DJ (Padilla’s nickname) na hindi pala-joke, o super serious.”
Despite being thrown together as a love team, Bernardo and Padilla made it a point to stay out of each other’s way, which resulted in awkward scenes for “Growing Up.”
Even the show’s director, Lino Cayetano, noticed this and tried his best to help the two stars warm up to each other.
Not long enough, Padilla made the first move and reached out to Bernardo.
“Sinabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Bahala na!’ Tinanggal ko na lang ‘yung hiya ko sa kanya kasi siyempre ako ‘yung lalaki. Pangit naman kung siya pa ‘yung unang lalapit,” he said. “Hindi ko na rin kasi pinabayaan na magkaroon pa ng awkwardness kasi wala namang mangyayari. Hindi ko pipnapakitang nahihiya ako. Parang normal lang.”
Bernardo, for her part, said: “Siya ‘yung unang lumapit at nagulat ako.”
It took Bernardo and Padilla another week before they began to feel comfortable with each other, and another two months or so before they exchanged mobile phone numbers.
After “Growing Up”, they found themselves working together again in the top-rating primetime soap “Princess and I.”
And the rest is history.
Bernardo and Padilla are set to star in their first own full-length movie, which will launch their love team on the big screen.
Padilla hopes that he will always be paired with Bernardo, who has become a special person to him.
“Gusto ko magtagal talaga ang love team namin. Kung pwede nga, hindi na magbago eh,” he said.