"The Good Son" actor Joshua Garcia couldn't hold back his tears as he addressed a viral screenshot of his private exchange with a mystery girl on social media, acknowledging it caused a fight between him and his girlfriend and onscreen partner, Julia Barretto.
Garcia, 20, was asked about his recent tumultuous weeks with Barretto, 21, following the circulation of the screenshot, in the episode of "Tonight With Boy Abunda" that aired Tuesday.
"Gusto ko lang po ma-i-clear sa lahat, at ma-admit 'yung nangyari," Garcia said, referring to his private message to a woman only known as Dane.
In the screenshot that made the rounds online, Garcia remarked, "Art shot," in reference to a swimsuit photo posted by Dane on Instagram.
When asked by host Abunda directly about Dane's identity, Garcia answered: "Wala lang po siya. Wala siya sa buhay ko. Hindi siya naging parte, o kahit ano. Nag-comment ako sa kanya, nag-compliment lang naman ako sa picture, e. Wala namang nangyaring conversation."
Failing to hold back his tears, Garcia continued: "Siguro kasi, nakahanap 'yung mga basher ko ng . . . Hindi kasi madali 'yung nangyaring iyon, e. Ang daming nag-judge."
The most challenging part, Garcia said, was what happened between him and Barretto as a result. He acknowledged the episode caused them to fight, but clarified they have since patched things up.
"Dahil doon, yes, [nag-away kami]. Naayos. Hindi lang naging madali pero kaya naman. Sobrang okay naman ngayon," he said.
Their reconciliation was apparent in their exchange of tweets on March 31, when the couple alluded to the spread of rumors about their relationship, referring to numerous reports that they had broken up.
First paired together in the box-office hit "Vince and Kath and James" in 2016, Garcia and Barretto have grown to become openly affectionate towards each other, short of confirming they are officially a couple.
The viral screenshot of Garcia's private message is the first controversy to beset their relationship.
In his interview with Abunda, Garcia was in tears as he recalled what he told Barretto after she learned about the exchange.
"Sinabi ko sa kanya na, siyempre, 'I apologize for what happened,' and sinabi ko na, 'Challenge lang 'to na kailangan natin malampasan,'" he said.
The neophyte actor, who until now had yet to hurdle a major intrigue, added he has nonetheless learned from what happened, but regrets having hurt Barretto in the process.
"Siyempre nagsisi din ako na ginawa ko 'yun, kasi nagalit 'yung mahal ko sa buhay," Garcia said.
"Masaya ako na nangyari 'yun, kasi may mga natutunan ako, na ingatan ko 'yung ginagalawan kong mundo. Siguro may gusto sa 'kin iparating si Lord, may gusto siya na matutunan ko, and narinig ko siya," he said.