MANILA — Yeng Constantino and Ryan Bang were surprised by each other’s confessions in relation to their past romantic ties, finding out belatedly on Friday that they could have had a chance at love had they understood each other better at the time.
The two came face to face anew in the live episode of “It’s Showtime,” which Bang co-hosts and where Constantino is a semi-regular judge of Tawag ng Tanghalan.
Their personal history came up after a contestant said she was hesitant to enter a relationship, for fear of getting hurt.
Taking her turn to comment on the hopeful’s performance, Constantino first agreed with the sentiments of host Vice Ganda on the topic of being hurt in love.
“Minsan, kahit hindi mo nga naging jowa, e, basta nagparamdam na sa ‘yo tapos biglang nawala, naku, napakasakit talaga,” she quipped.
“‘Di ba, Ryan?” Constantino gestured towards the comedian, laughing.
Visibly shocked, Bang was asked by Vice Ganda to share what had happened between them.
“Unang crush ko kasi si Yeng. [Year] 2010, ‘no, Yeng? Nanligaw ako kay Yeng,” he said.
Constantino appeared compelled to clarify, however, that she did not reject Bang, when Vice Ganda asked him how long it took for him to move on.
“Hindi kita binasted! Hindi kita binasted noon,” she told Bang. “Tumigil na lang siya magpadala ng kape.”
Constantino admitted she was hurt when Bang stopped pursuing her, without explanation.
“Oo, na-sad ako noon,” she answered Vice Ganda.
Asked whether Bang had a chance to become her boyfriend then, had he continued courting her, Constantino said: “Siyempre ngayon, iba na, may asawa na ako. Pero noong time na ‘yun, kilig na kilig talaga ako sa kaniya.”
In a 2012 interview, Constantino admitted she once had a “crush” on Bang.
Constantino got married to her first and only boyfriend, Yan Asuncion, in 2015.
Bang recalled how persistent he was to romantically pursue Constantino, saying: “Tuwing Thursday yata noon sa ‘PBB’ (Pinoy Big Brother), may taping ka, nagpapadala ako ng kape. Tapos nagsimba pa tayo together tuwing Linggo. Bago ko nakilala si Yeng, hindi ako nagsisimba, e.”
Vice Ganda then pressed Bang for an answer as to why he stopped his efforts.
“Ayan na! Mag-i-explain na siya! Ano’ng nangyari?” Constantino teased.
“Akala ko, ayaw mo sa akin,” Bang said, to Constantino’s shocked reaction. “Kasi noong panahon na ‘yun, gumigimik kami, kasama ko sila James Reid. Siyempre lumalabas ako tuwing gabi. Inaaya ko siya, ilang beses. Tuwing inaaya ko siya tuwing gabi, hindi siya lumalabas, kaya akala ko ayaw niya sa akin.”
Bang also brought up singer Richard Poon, whom he mistakenly thought, at the time, had a blooming romance with Constantino.
“Tapos, sumasama ka kay Richard Poon, ‘yun pala, prayer meeting iyon sa Tagaytay. Akala ko nag-outing kayo. Akala ko, ayaw mo sa akin,” he said.
Constantino agreed with Bang regarding Poon: they had only gone out of town for a prayer meeting, nothing else — a fact Bang unfortunately only got to confirm much later on.
“Sa explanation niya, naiiintindihan ko ngayon,” Constantino said. “Noong time na ‘yun, hindi talaga ako puma-party.”
After being “scolded” by Vice Ganda, who Bang regards as his mother in showbiz, he apologized to Constantino for not explaining at the time why he stopped courting her.
“Yeng, pasensya na. Dapat pala nagpaalam ako, nagtanong ako sa ‘yo,” he said. “Noong nanligaw ako, galing naman talaga sa puso ko ‘yon. Ikaw ‘yung pinaka unang-unang crush ko sa buong buhay ko, ikaw ‘yun.”
Constantino acknowledged Bang’s belated explanation, thanking him.
“Feeling ko, suwerte ng magiging jowa nito kasi napakalambing talaga,” she said.
In a moment not seen on TV, Bang and Constantino approached each other during the commercial break, as seen in a clip posted by “It’s Showtime” on social media. They appeared to continue their conversation about their expectations and ideas of dating misaligning.
“Okay na ako,” Constantino told Bang, “Siyempre may asawa na ako.”
“At least, ito, may closure na tayo,” she said.