MANILA — For the first time, celebrity couple Andrea Brillantes and Ricci Rivero opened up about their relationship, including how they first met and who made the first move.
Brillantes, 19, and Rivero, 24, shared details of their love story in a vlog on the actress’ YouTube channel where they answered questions from her followers.
Prior to dating as adults, Rivero revealed that he first saw Brillantes when she was 12 years old during the school fair of La Salle Greenhills, where the basketball player studied. They had not interaction at the time.
“Una talaga na nagkita kami sa XYLO,” Brillantes said, referring to the night club in Taguig City. “Gala with friends. Galing kasi ako sa breakup noon. So, siyempre, ano’ng ginagawa ng mga tao? Lalabas sila. Pa-party with friends, iinom sila.”
Brillantes did not mention which relationship of hers ended.
Her last known relationship before Rivero is with her co-star Seth Fedelin. Brillantes and Fedelin were together for over two years, until they broke up in October 2021.
Brillantes recounted that she was invited by a friend to the club, where Rivero also happened to be hosting his party. “Biglang lahat ng mga tao, ‘Hi, Ricci!’ Bati silang lahat! Ang-VIP naman ng lalaking ‘to. Hindi ko alam, party niya rin pala ‘yun,” she said.
Brillantes and Rivero proceeded to have different recollections of that night, with the “Lyric and Beat” star saying her now-boyfriend ignored her when he passed by her group of friends, and the basketball player saying he was simply on his way to his table and didn’t have time to greet everyone
“Hindi naman kailangan naman na mag-hi siya sa akin kasi artista ako. Wala naman akong paki sa ganu’n. Pero dahil tao ako… Sabi ko, ‘Ang yabang!’” Brillantes said.
Rivero explained: “Kasi, ‘diba, nandoon ‘yung friends ko sa kabilang dulo. ‘Diba ‘pag ikaw may friends ka, hindi mo naman iisipin ‘yung mga nandidito. Pupunta ka muna doon!”
That first encounter left a bad first impression on Brillantes, saying she initially thought Rivero was, “Mayabang, suplado, akala mo kung sino.”
As the couple answered more questions, revelations included who made the first move that led them to dating. The two recalled that Rivero once messaged Brillantes during the time she was still starring in “Kadenang Ginto,” which aired from 2018 to 2020. Brillantes never replied.
After they crossed paths at XYLO, Brillantes took her turn to initiate a conversation through private message on Instagram. She also followed Rivero’s account again after they both once un-followed each other on Instagram prior to meeting at the club.
Brillantes narrated: “Ang sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘In-unfollow ko siya dati, i-follow ko nga ulit.’ Tapos nag-post siya ng astrology. Sabi ko, ‘Wow, you’re into astrology also!’ Kasi nga ‘diba, mahilig ako sa mga zodiac sign.”
Their back-and-forth of delayed responses lasted for a couple of weeks, they shared.
Tackling more serious questions, Brillantes and Rivero discussed the advantages and disadvantages of having a public relationship.
“For me, since nagkaroon na rin ako ng relationship na ginawang private, mahirap lang kasi laging tago,” Brillantes said. “Ngayon mas masaya kami kasi okay lang na lumabas kami together, mag-date kami na nakikita kami ng mga tao. Hindi kailangan na nagtatago kami.”
The negative part of it, for Rivero, is how people can set out to ruin a relationship that’s known. “Hindi mo kasi alam kung naninira,” he said.
Brillantes agreed, saying, “Mas madali kaming masira kasi maraming taong involved at puwedeng makialam nang basta-basta ‘pag public ‘yung relationship niyo.”
Brillantes and Rivero’s love story unfolded publicly, notably when the latter asked the actress to be his girlfriend after winning a basketball game on April 9 as part of the UP Maroons.
If his team hadn’t won that day, Rivero would not have made the move to make the relationship official, he revealed in the vlog answering a fan’s question.
“Hindi po talaga, sinabi ko rin sa kaniya (Brillantes) ‘yun noong araw na ‘yun. Iyon (manalo sa laro) ‘yung isa sa mga signs ko. Marami akong signs noong araw na ‘yun,” he said.
Brillantes, meanwhile, said she never imagined she and Rivero would end up a couple, pointing out that he had many of her “red flags” in a potential partner.
“Hindi po talaga, kasi una, mas matanda siya, basketball player siya, Lasallian siya. Lahat po ng red flags na nakikita ko sa isang lalaki, na sa kaniya. Kasi ‘diba, galing ako sa heartbreak, so kailangan ko protektahan sarili ko. Hindi talaga,” she explained.
“Kaso, hindi, mabait pala talaga siya,” Brillantes said.