Reel turns real (2019 edition): 26 love teams who became sweethearts


Posted at Feb 14 2019 02:49 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2019 03:51 PM

MANILA -- Life imitates art? 

Avid fans of today's hottest love teams are fervently praying that their idols would also end up together in real life. 

But there are actually many reasons for them to remain hopeful, especially since local showbiz has already witnessed several love team partners who became real-life sweethearts.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular tandems through the years whose onscreen romance crossed over into real life.

1. Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano

Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano have admitted that they are already a couple. Appearing on "Gandang Gabi Vice" on Sunday, the "Alone/Together" stars were asked about their relationship. 

"Kayo na ba?" Vice Ganda asked, to which Gil answered: "Yes." Soberano later admitted that they have been in a relationship for more than two years, and they celebrate their anniversary in October.

In a separate interview, Gil said their love story started when they starred in the 2014 primetime series "Forevermore." They first exchanged 'I love yous' when he was in Australia for a tour.


2. Xian Lim and Kim Chiu

It was only last November when Kim Chiu finally acknowledged that she is Xian Lim's girlfriend, answering "yes" when asked if they're really together. 

She also admitted that while they're happily in a relationship, they have yet to consider marriage in the near future. 

That was the first time Chiu said that she and Lim are officially a couple, despite years of speculation based on their sweet showings.


3. McCoy de Leon and Elisse Joson

Mccoy de Leon and Elisse Joson’s breakout tandem was formed in 2016. Former housemates in the reality show “Pinoy Big Brother,” Joson and de Leon appeared to have developed romantic feelings for each other during their stay in the iconic yellow house. They exited the program to a large following that would be called “McLisse,” a portmanteau of their first names. 

Although they never admitted when they officially became a couple, the two revealed while they were promoting “Sakaling Maging Tayo,” their last movie together, that they were in a relationship.


4. Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto

“Ngayon at Kailanman” stars Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia have made no secret of their affection for each other, whether through social media or sweet gestures in public.

Despite this, it was only in April last year when a casual slip by Garcia on "Gandang Gabi Vice" that their legion of fans became convinced that they have brought their onscreen romance to real life. 

This was followed by a social media post from Barretto in December where she referred to Garcia as her “boyfie.”

The two first worked together in the 2016 movie “Vince and Kath and James.”


5. Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador

Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador were first launched as a love team when they were paired in the 2016 teleserye “Born For You.” It is through that series that their close friendship blossomed into a romantic relationship. 

While they never admitted when they actually became a couple, their love story was cut short when Salvador finally went on record last October to say that their relationship was over.

6. Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo

Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo began their tandem when they were paired in the hit youth-oriented show "Growing Up" in September 2011. Since then, fans have been clamoring for their special friendship to bloom into a real romantic relationship. Last year, Bernardo and Padilla finally confirmed being a couple after years of speculation on the status of their relationship.

7. James Reid and Nadine Lustre

James Reid and Nadine Lustre turned their onscreen romance into a real-life love affair on February 11, 2016. Although he planned to ask Lustre to be his girlfriend on the night of their concert later that month, Reid said he was unable to stop himself from telling the actress he loves her while they were on a dinner date. Reid announced their relationship at the end of their concert at the Araneta Coliseum. Prior to being a couple, the two were constantly paired with each other. Photo from James Reid’s Instagram account

8. Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo

They've been mum about whether they're officially back together. But a slip of the tongue appeared to have confirmed that Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo are a couple once more. In an interview at the 2017 Star Magic Ball, Anderson accidentally declared that he and Alonzo have "been together" for the last few months before cutting himself short. The two began dating again after they were paired for the 2016 movie “How to Be Yours.” They had a short-lived relationship in 2010.Photo from Gerald Anderson's Instagram account

9. Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo

Ryan Agoncillo and Judy Ann Santos tied the knot in April 2009 in Batangas. Santos and Agoncillo were first paired as a love team in 2004 for the fantaserye “Krystala.” It was during that time when their friendship deepened and their relationship blossomed. They confirmed their relationship after “Krystala” ended and have been inseparable ever since.Photo from Judy Ann Santos’ Instagram account

10. Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati

Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati first worked together in a primetime series of GMA-7. It was during that time that they fell in love with each other. Five years into their relationship, the two got engaged in Switzerland. Currently, they have a four-year-old son Zion, and are expecting another baby boy soon. Lahbati joined ABS-CBN in 2015. Gutierrez followed her and officially became a Kapamilya through the primetime series "La Luna Sangre."Photo from Richard Gutierrez’s Instagram account

11. Elmo Magalona and Janine Gutierrez

Elmo Magalona and Janine Gutierrez first worked together, though not as a love team, in 2012. One year later, they were paired onscreen for the remake of a former series which aired in GMA-7. It was while they were working on the series where they fell in love with each other, with Magalona admitting their relationship in October 2015. The two have since broken up. Photo from Janine Gutierrez’s Instagram account

12. Tommy Esguerra and Miho Nishida

Former contestants of "Pinoy Big Brother," Miho Nishida and Tommy Esguerra first met during their reality show stint. Their pairing, dubbed "ToMiho," spawned a following for their sweet on-cam moments. They officially became a couple in December 2015 when Esguerra asked Nishida to be his girlfriend on an episode of "It's Showtime." However, the two broke up in April last year. 

13. Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson

The love team of Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson started when they were still housemates during the first teen edition of “Pinoy Big Brother.” After Chiu won, the two were tapped to topbill the drama series "Sana Maulit Muli," which became a success. The "Kimerald" tandem was such a draw that they were cast in "My Girl" in 2008, "Tayong Dalawa" in 2009 and "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo" in 2010. Their love team was also brought to the big screen via "I've Fallen For You" in 2007, and "Paano Na Kaya" and "Till My Heartaches End," both released in 2010. Along the way, they became a couple, which proved to be short-lived. The two reportedly ended their relationship in 2010. 

14. Kaye Abad and John Lloyd Cruz

The love team of Kaye Abad and John Lloyd Cruz started when they were doing the teen drama series “Tabing Ilog.” The show ran for over four years from 1999 to 2003 on ABS-CBN. It was during that time that they became a couple, but they also eventually broke up. In a previous interview, Cruz explained that they were perhaps too young at that time to realize what's real and what's not in their relationship. Despite this, they two have remained good friends. They recently starred in an episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”

15. Heart Evangelista and John Prats

Heart Evangelista and John Prats were first paired in the late '90s via the youth-oriented show “G-Mik.” Although they were a love team for five years, Prats admitted in a previous interview that their relationship lasted for only a year. Aside from Prats, Evangelista also had a relationship with Jericho Rosales, who was also once her leading man. Currently, she is already married to Senator Francis Escudero, while Prats also recently married Isabel Oli.

16. Kristine Hermosa and Jericho Rosales

The blossoming of Kristine Hermosa and Jericho Rosales’ love team happened in 2000 when they starred in the phenomenal series “Pangako Sa ‘Yo.” Because their love team was such a hit, the series ran for almost two years. During that time, Hermosa and Rosales also became real-life sweethearts and despite their separation years after, the two maintained their potent onscreen chemistry. Since then, Hermosa married to Oyo Boy Sotto, while Rosales married to Kim Jones.

17. Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan

Arguably the most popular "love team" in the late '90s, Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan co-starred in several ABS-CBN series and six movies under the network's film arm Star Cinema. The two, who first worked together in the 1996 film "Radio Romance," eventually became a couple in real life after years of being paired on-screen. They celebrated their fourth anniversary on March 4, 2002, only weeks before Yan passed away. The couple was rumored to have already broken up when Yan died on March 29, 2002 due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.

18. Anne Curtis and Sam Milby

Anne Curtis and Sam Milby were first paired on TV via the ABS-CBN series “Maging Sino Ka Man.” The show aired in 2007, the same year that they became a real-life couple. However, Curtis broke up with Milby later that year to establish her “personal relationship with God.” In 2008, the two admitted that they were exclusively dating again but Milby ended their relationship in November of the same year. The two have remained friends since then. Their last project together was the 2014 comedy film “The Gifted.”

19. Angelica Panganiban and Carlo Aquino

Carlo Aquino and Angelica Panganiban were each other’s first official relationship when they were teenagers. They managed to become friends despite going through two breakups, and in 2018, courted a fresh following when they reunited onscreen in the romance-drama film “Exes Baggage.” 

The movie, a box-office and critical success, spurred new demand from self-proclaimed “CarGel” fans for further projects featuring the former sweetheats, leading to Aquino’s additional casting in “Playhouse.”

Some fans, however, have gone further to ask the two to get back together, with their hopes bolstered by recent affectionate photos of the former couple. This, despite Panganiban and Aquino saying they are better off as friends. He clarified in September 2018 that he was not courting his ex-girlfriend anew.

20. Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco

Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco first met each other inside the “Pinoy Big Brother” house in 2009. The two eventually fell in love with each other during their almost five-month stint in the reality show. However, it was only when they got out of the famous yellow house that they became a real-life couple. 

In 2012, the two made headlines when Cantiveros admitted that they broke up. However, they rekindled their romance one year later and in December 2013, Cantiveros and Francisco tied the knot in General Santos City. 

21. Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes 

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes first worked together in 2007 via the TV series “Marimar.” However, it was only in 2009 when Rivera admitted that she and Dantes were already exclusively dating. Five years later, the two tied the knot at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon City. Photo from Marian Rivera’s Instagram account

22. Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Herras

Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Herras were both contestants of the first season of the reality series “Starstruck,” which aired in 2003. After the show, the two were paired in a number of TV projects. During that time, the two became a couple but they also parted ways after a year. In a previous interview, Mercado said the main reason why their relationship didn’t work out was because they were too young at that time. Despite their breakup, the two remain good friends until today.  Photo from Jennylyn Mercado’s Instagram account

23. Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga

Dubbed "DanRich" by their followers, Daniel Matsunaga and Erich Gonzales first worked together in March 2014 as guest co-hosts of "Kris TV." Despite being teased to each other by Kris Aquino at that time, the two kept their relationship professional as Gonzales was still with her non-showbiz boyfriend back then. It was only in June this year when Matsunaga finally introduced Gonzales as his girlfriend. The two worked together in the ABS-CBN series “Two Wives” and "Be My Lady." However, they broke up eventually. Photo from Erich Gonzales’ Instagram account

24. Dawn Zulueta and Richard Gomez

Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta's team-up has been dubbed as the eternal love team of all time. The two rose to fame since they did the '90s movie “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit.” They gained an even larger following when they became a real-life couple and starred in numerous projects. Considered as one of the most sought-after tandems in the '90s, Zulueta and Gomez reunited in the 2013 series "Walang Hanggan," which concluded in October 2012. They also starred in the Star Cinema movie “The Love Affair” and the TV series “You’re My Home.”Photo from Richard Gomez’s Instagram account

25. Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera

Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez first met in 1982 on the set of their show "Penthouse Live." It was then when they started developing feelings for each other that they became a couple and got married four years later. The two have two sons, Ram and Robin. It was also during this time that their tandem gained popularity and were eventually tagged as the Concert King and Queen. However, their real-life relationship ended amid allegations of infidelity on Nievera’s side. Fernandez reportedly filed for the annulment of their marriage in 1999. This was granted by the court only a year later. Despite this, both have maintained a good relationship for the sake of their two sons.

26. Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion

Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion were dubbed as the ‘80s movie power couple with movies like "Dear Heart" and "PS I Love You." Their fan base grew larger when they eventually became a real-life couple. The two tied the knot in 1984 and they were blessed with a daughter, actress KC Concepcion. However, their marriage didn't last long. They recently reunited for a commercial, which became viral just days before Valentine's Day.