MANILA—Vice Ganda appeared speechless and quickly diverted the topic when Ion Perez, his rumored boyfriend, asked directly whether the comedy superstar loves him.
The sweet exchange happened Wednesday during the “KapareWho” segment of “It’s Showtime,” where Perez and his onscreen “rival” Jackie Gonzaga usually take turns to impress Vice Ganda with their their respective drink or food.
Besides offering a plate of spaghetti, Perez came prepared with pickup lines that drew shrieks from the live audience. Vice Ganda’s reactions to Perez’s romantic quips became the subject of teasing from co-hosts.
“Mahal mo na ‘ko, ‘no?” Perez then said, catching Vice Ganda off-guard.
The “Fantastica” star then switched topics, but was not spared by his co-hosts. They asked Vice Ganda to answer Perez’s question.
Opting for a safe answer, Vice Ganda responded in the context of Perez and Gonzaga being his wards, whose careers took off through their “It’s Showtime” interactions with the comedian.
“Mahal ko naman silang dalawa ni Jackie,” he said. “Iba ang pagmamahal ko sa kanila. Nandidito ako para mahalin sila, protektahan sila, isama sila, at makita kong nagtatagumpay, at palakpakan sila habang nagbabago at gumaganda ang mga buhay nila.”
Prior to the “KapareWho” segment, Vice Ganda also spoke of love, the romantic kind. While he did not mention a name, he credited an individual for bringing a positive energy into his life, admitting he is “in love.”
Perez joined “It’s Showtime” in September 2018 as a replacement “Kuya Escort,” a role which he has since taken on regularly.
In March, he referred to Vice Ganda as a “special” person in his life, but since then neither has given direct confirmation of being officially together.
Early in June, when asked about the “real score” between him and Perez, Vice Ganda only said that they are “both happy,” not giving further details.