Teen stars move on from 'audio scandal'
MANILA -- Teen superstar Kathryn Bernardo has finally spoken up about viral photos supposedly showing her and onscreen partner Daniel Padilla kissing at an airport.
The 18-year-old actress was asked about the photos after a press conference on Tuesday held by rice take-out brand RBX, which recently renewed its endorsement deal with Bernardo.
The supposed "kissing photos" made the rounds last week on micro-blogging site Twitter. At the time, Bernardo and Padilla had just finished the four-stop "One Magical Night" tour in Canada with fellow Star Magic artists Kim Chiu, John Lapus and Marcelito Pomoy.
One of the photos shows Padilla holding Bernardo's neck with both hands. The actress' back was to the camera, obstructing her and Padilla's faces.
Bernardo acknowledged the photos, saying they appear to have been taken while they were at an airport in Canada. However, she denied that she and Padilla were kissing, as their fans have speculated online.
"Mahilig kasi si DJ ganyanin (squeeze) 'yung mukha ko, eh," she said. "Inaasar niya kasi 'yung cheeks ko! May mga tao kasi na nandoon na, na naghatid sa amin sa airport. Makikita mo na 'yung ibang fans, nandoon sila, so nag-picture sila."
"Siguro noong ginagano'n 'yung face ko, nasakto na parang na-block 'yung face ko. So pagtitingnan mo sa picture, parang nag-ki-kiss," Bernardo explained.
When asked about several other photos of Padilla with his arms around her, Bernardo said the 19-year-old actor has always been expressive of his affection towards her, his mother, and other women who are close to him.
"Akbay, normal lang naman 'yan," Bernardo said. "Clingy talaga siya sa mga ganyan. Very comfortable po kasi kami."
Surviving a controversy
Bernardo's interview on Tuesday was the first time she faced members of the press since the so-called "audio scandal" in September involving Padilla, which, by his admission, strained his relationship with the actress.
Daniel Padilla hugs Kathryn Bernardo on stage at "The Naked Truth" fashion show in September, days after the audio clip made the rounds online. Photo by Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBNnews.com
The conversation heard in the 90-second clip triggered speculation about Padilla's ties with Jasmine Curtis-Smith, his co-star in the Metro Manila Film Festival entry, "Bonifacio Ang Unang Pangulo."
Curtis-Smith, who is in a relationship with singer-actor Sam Concepcion, has since admitted exchanging text messages with Padilla, but emphasized that she is not romantically involved with him.
More than a month since, Bernardo said she and Padilla have moved on from the controversy. She did admit, however, that learning of the contents of the audio clip affected her.
"Noong nalaman ko, siyempre normal lang naman [na maapektuhan]. Pero inayos naman ni DJ, si Tita Karla (Estrada, Padilla's mother), makikita mo na lahat sila na in-ensure ako kung ano talaga 'yung nangyari. Of course, maniniwala naman ako sa kanila at nagtitiwala naman ako sa kanila," she said.
Bernardo added: "Importante sa akin 'yung marami kaming natutunan sa nangyari. Feeling ko naman, planado naman 'yun ni God kung ano ang nangyari. Basta ngayon, ayos na, masaya na ulit kami. Basta ngayon, mas nag-grow kami pareho sa nangyari, nag-grow lahat."