MANILA -- Claudine Barretto still has a soft spot for her ex and first love, Mark Anthony Fernandez, more than two decades after their break-up.
“Hindi naman talaga mahirap mahalin si Mark,” Barretto said in a virtual conference with Fernandez for the launch of their reunion movie “Deception.”
“We’ve always been friends so it was not a difficult decision to work with him again," she said.
Barretto revealed there was no real closure at the end of their relationship sometime in 1996 after they did the movie “Mangarap Ka.”
“That was the time na nambabae siya," she recalled laughing. “Pero na-ghosting ko yata si Mark nun. One day I woke up and realized mas importante careers namin. It was really young love, mapusok!”
She went on the record to state that Fernandez was her kindest boyfriend.
“We never spoke ill of each other. Sa lahat ng nakarelasyon ko, siya ang pinakamabait. Hindi mo siya makikita na magagalit. He just takes all the jabs! Very gentleman... siguro ako 'yung dapat mag-ask ng forgiveness from him,” she said.
Fernandez countered though that there is nothing to forgive. “We were never enemies. Though walang closure, we have remained friends and I miss pleasing her,” he said, referring to Barretto as “Boss Clau.”
Fernandez also stands by his earlier declaration in an interview that “love is lovelier the second time around” for them.
“Oo, nasabi ko ‘yon. When you come to think of it, maganda talaga siya, malalim siya, makabuluhan and sa maraming pagkakataon, totoo siya!” he said.
Barretto takes everything in good stride. “Sabi ko, ‘Mark, ano 'yung sinasabi mo na love is lovelier the second time around?' Wala lang, tawa lang kami nang tawa," she said.
“The good thing is he has always been the same Mark na minahal nating lahat. Bilang kaibigan, mahal na mahal ko ‘yan. We haven’t seen each other, but we’re talking on the phone. There are a lot of things na napag-usapan namin, napagdaanan namin and na-experience namin. Sa dami ng pinagdaanan niya, I believe mas mabuting tao siya ngayon. I think now, talagang perfect timing to do this movie with Mark.”
Their lock-in shoot for 10 days start June 11 in Angeles and San Fernando, Pampanga under the direction of Joel Lamangan.
“Basta may mga surprise kami ni Boss Clau sa inyo, meron kaming gagawin na ikakikilig n’yo," Fernandez exclaimed.
Meanwhile, Barretto is overwhelmed by the public’s support of her 1998 Wenn Deramas movie “Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita” with her late great love Rico Yan which was shown on YouTube recently.
“Nagulat din ako! Over 2 million views in four days!” she exclaimed. "I am just really thankful! Sana ganyan din ang support sa pelikula namin ni Mark!”