MANILA — "Magkaaway sila sa palabas, pero ang daming nag-si-ship sa kanilang dalawa!"
This was Vice Ganda's observation as "It's Showtime" welcomed "Darna" stars Jane de Leon and Janella Salvador, who arrived hand-in-hand in the opening segment of the noontime program's live episode on Wednesday.
De Leon and Salvador made a guest appearance on the show to promote the February 10 finale of "Mars Ravelo's Darna," where they respectively portray the iconic title character and her snake-haired nemesis Valentina.
Due to what they've described as "unexpected chemistry" onscreen, the pair has drawn a loyal fanbase dubbed "Darlentina" and "JaneNella" — some of whom trooped to the "It's Showtime" studio to cheer for them.
Both have time and again expressed gratitude to their supporters, whom they endearingly call "vadengs."
"Hello, Darlentina and JaneNellas!" they greeted their fans who carried huge posters of their faces on Wednesday.
Even the "It's Showtime" hosts, led by Vice Ganda, called the two by their "ship" name. The comedy superstar took it a step further by requesting a short duet of the two.
"Nakakakilig!" Vice Ganda said, after Salvador and de Leon sang the last few lines of "A Thousand Miles" to each other.
"Taray, love team!" the comedian quipped earlier, during the group number where the two similarly sang facing each other.
The "kilig" was palpable in the studio, going by the shrieks from the audience. "Kinikilig 'yung mga Darlentina!" de Leon noticed.
First-time co-stars in "Darna," de Leon and Salvador have described their deep bond as "unexpected," as they've become not only close friends as Narda and Regina in the series, but also in real life.
Answering the clamor for a follow-up project featuring them — as seen in various fan-made trailers and snippets they frequently acknowledge — both have expressed willingness to star in a "GL" or "girls' love" title, possibly with each other.