They have yet to come out on record that they are a couple.
But sweet photos and an apparent theme-park date in Singapore aside, fans of Arjo Atayde and Maine Mendoza may have finally gotten the closest thing to a confirmation this Friday.
Sylvia Sanchez, Atayde's mother, sat down for an interview with showbiz columnist Ricky Lo and was asked whether she thinks her son and Mendoza are more than just dating.
"Para dalhin sa bahay at i-introduce sa pamilya namin at ipaglaban ang isa't-isa, kailangan pa ba ng eksplanasyon niyan?" she said.
It was on May 23, according to Sanchez, when she first met Mendoza in person, during a family dinner Atayde arranged.
Of the actress, she said: "She was respectful and pleasant na bata. Her first words were, 'Hi po, tita!' She seemed shy when Arjo introduced her to me. Ang lamig-lamig ng kamay niya."
Sanchez shared that the dinner lasted for more than 4 hours, and "the whole time, ang gaan ng feeling ko sa kanya."
"Hindi ko naramdaman na, 'Hey, I am Maine Mendoza; sikat ako!' Nothing like that," she recalled.
"She introduced herself as Nicomaine Mendoza, her real name, so it meant that she was there not as Maine Mendoza the star but Nicomaine Mendoza the private person.
"She was nice even to our kasambahay when Arjo introduced her to them," she added.
Asked if she approves of Mendoza for her son, Sanchez explained her most important criteria.
"Kahit sino ang girlfriend ni Arjo, rich or poor, sikat man o hindi, I expect only one thing: that she should be respectful at mahal lahat ng pamilya namin," she said.
It was last April when Atayde appeared on the late-night talk show "Tonight With Boy Abunda" and gushed about how happy he and Mendoza are at the moment. He also talked about how he would fight for their relationship "no matter what."