Thirty-seven years. That's how long ago it was when Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion first starred on the big screen together.
The two were paired in the unforgettable 1981 movie, the Danny Zialcita-directed classic "Dear Heart," kickstarting the decades-long obsession Filipinos had with their iconic tandem.
They became so embedded in pop culture that the movie's theme song, "Come What May," became identified with them, rather than with the music legends, Lani Hall and Herb Albert, who originally performed the romantic tune.
This Sunday, Cuneta and Concepcion will be among the many stars who will perform at the Mall of Asia Arena for the grand gathering of Gabay Guro, PLDT-Smart's education advocacy now celebrating its 11th anniversary.
Asked if they will sing a duet that will undoubtedly delight the crowd, Concepcion smilingly said: "We have a standard song that we will sing if that happens. You all know that. If ever, we can also sing any song. Why not? Surprises are always good. Even us, [we] don’t know what to expect."
In case the "Come What May" duet does not happen, Concepcion is always open to simply introducing his ex-wife before Cuneta comes out onstage. "We can talk about that. That’s interesting."
Early this year, the former couple reignited the interest of millions of Sharon-Gabby fans when they appeared in a TV commercial for a fast food chain, leading to exciting talks about a reunion movie.
"Timing is everything," Concepcion maintained. "I never said no to the project. There are many factors to consider. I hope we can make the movie happen. We have been waiting for that."
Concepcion remains optimistic that the movie will happen, even if he admitted that they're not in speaking terms. "We don't talk right now, but we will be once we get things together. I'd like to do that movie. There's a possibility that it will happen. May bukas pa."
Meanwhile, Concepcion is doing a film, "Man and Wife," with Jodi Sta. Maria, directed by Laurice Guillen. He is hopeful that the film will get to be one of the official entries of the Metro Manila Film Festival this December.
For the second year now, Concepcion has been supporting the Gabay Guro project as one of the artists-volunteers of PLDT-Smart’s education advocacy.
"My mom was a teacher," Concepcion proudly said. "I feel very much for the teachers. I believe in education,which is power coordination as a nation building. I am saying this not because I’m running for politics. I feel good when I see the happy faces of the teachers when I perform for them."
The Concepcion family had a Montessori school in San Juan, near their house. That was where Concepcion's mom taught children for years.
"She was there when I was growing up," Concepcion said of his mom. "The teachers are our first educators. With every successful student, a successful nation is attached to that. Hopefully, our children will bring our nation. Our future generation needs all the help they can get."
"I needed all the help I could get when I was growing up. Fortunately, I have a mother who was first a mother, then a teacher or vice versa. Everything that I learned, I learned from kindergarten. Whatever that I do now, it was my foundation growing up that I credit for everything."
Organized as the biggest tribute for Filipino teachers, the Gabay Guro event will feature other celebrity performers that include Martin Nievera, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Randy Santiago, Jaya and Christian Bautista, among others.