Marco Gallo, Heaven Peralejo now tagged as MarVen

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at May 18 2023 04:22 PM

Photo from the Instagram page of Heaven Peralejo
Photo from the Instagram page of Heaven Peralejo

MANILA -- After only the first episode of “The Rain in España,” the Wattpad novel created by Gwy Saludes that was turned into a now widely-followed series on Viva One, a new love team was created with the instant popularity of the leads Marco Gallo and Heaven Peralejo.

The success of the pilot episode of “The Rain in España” came as a surprise for Gallo and Peralejo, as they were readily tagged as “MarVen,” a combination of their first names.

“A love team is not a hindrance,” Peralejo told ABS-CBN News. “It’s a door. A beautiful door.”

Who would have thought that former “Pinoy Big Brother” teenage housemates Gallo and Peralejo would end up as a love team that would have projects both on TV and also on the big screen?

Although they were both introduced as teen housemates in “Pinoy Big Brother Lucky Season 7” in 2016, they were never paired then. 

When Gallo and Peralejo first started taping for “The Rain in España,” they were merely introduced as a pair, and not initially a love team.

“The fans saw that me and Marco had this perfect chemistry,” Peralejo said. “Our chemistry just comes out naturally. We bring out the best in each other. We gained this trust and respect for each other. That was a good foundation for a better friendship.”

The heart-warming romance revolves around two ambitious undergraduate students Luna, an architecture major at University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Kalix, a legal management student at Ateneo de Manila University. The two fall madly in love against the pressures of studies, family and future plans.

In most places where Gallo and Peralejo were seen, they were identified by the characters they played in the series.

“I was in Boracay recently and a lady who saw me there asked, ‘Where’s Kalix?’” Peralejo recalled. “People see us as the characters we are playing in the series and not just Heaven and Marco.

“There was also one girl who had a henna tattoo and when she saw me, she readily posed for a picture with me. Nakakatuwa.”

Not surprisingly, when Viva first announced “The Rain in España” in November last year, the reception of the public was very tentative. In fact, there was even negative feedback.

“I really got sad when I first read the comments,” Peralejo said. “Sanay naman ako sa negative feedback towards me or towards everything about my life.

“Alam ko naman na when I did my best, I will be very proud of the outcome. I also know that when everyone did their best, the audience will love it.”

Gallo acknowledged the negative comments would really affect them. “We just did our part. Whether people like it or not, it doesn’t change what we did.”

“Eventually, I’m just happy and so glad the public received ‘The Rain in España’ very well,” Peralejo said. “The public saw us as the characters we were playing and not Heaven and Marco.”

For Gallo, being paired with Peralejo for the first time was initially scary. “There was a lot of pressure being on this project,” Gallo said.

“We were trying to re-enact a popular book, so you’re trying to tell people’s imagination, we’re the characters in the book. The fact that a lot of people did like ‘The Rain in España,’ that means the world to us.”

Peralejo admitted she didn’t expect “The Rain in España” to be well-received and instantly popular especially among young fans. “I’m not the type who expects,” she said. “I don’t want to get hurt. I didn’t expect for the best. I just did my best.”

The popular Wattpad novel by Gwy Saludes has 131 million reads and has been turned into a 10-episode, 45-minute rom-com series that has a story which spans almost a decade. At the helm is director Theodore Boborol.

Gallo and Peralejo shot the series for 25 days in a span of four months, from November to March.

“I realized that Heaven was a whole new different person the whole time we were shooting,” Gallo said. “I didn’t know about her then. You just find this person whom you didn’t see coming in a good way.”

Peralejo noticed Marco is a “different guy” this time around than when she first met him six years ago. “He was still so young then, but he’s so manly now,” she said. “I’m so happy for him that he’s so passionate with his work, his craft and the people he works with.”

After shooting the series, Gallo and Peralejo were readily given their first film together, “Ship Show,” megged by Jason Paul Laxamana. “We already started shooting,” Gallo said. 

"'Ship Show' has a really beautiful concept. We can’t wait to share with you the story of our first film together,” Peralejo added.