IS friendship a good foundation for a romantic relationship? A new film suggests that it could be.
In the new romantic Pinoy film Ngayon Kaya (opening in theaters on June 22) the lead characters played by Paulo Avelino and Janine Gutierrez share many 'kilig' and meaningful moments.
In the story, shy Harold (played by Paulo) and outspoken AM (played by Janine) are college friends-turned-band mates who are so close but never seem to be more than friends due to the challenges in their personal lives. One day, the two talk about the topic of courtship during which AM is surprised to discover that Harold doesn’t believe in dating.
Harold offers the following as his explanation: “Hindi ba puwedeng yung natural lang… Yung magkaibigan muna kayo tapos ‘di ba kapag swak na kayo, eh, di kayo na.”
Although this line was uttered by his movie persona, Paulo might have also have been stating his personal conviction.
“My point of view is the same as Harold’s,” the actor says categorically. “I definitely do not believe in courtship or dating.” Asked to elaborate, Paulo obliges and says, “There’s magic in friendship where you don’t have to put up so many walls. You don’t have to put your best foot forward. So it’s nice knowing the genuine person, and for the other person knowing the genuine you before you both jump into a relationship.”
While Paulo and Janine have not confirmed the persistent rumors that they are a couple, what is certain is that the two have developed a very good friendship, one that began in 2017, and nurtured through the projects they have done such as Ngayon Kaya and the teleserye Marry Me, Marry You. The former is actually their first project as well as their first movie together since it was shot prior to the pandemic.
Paulo was the first to be cast in this project directed by Prime Cruz and written by Jen Chuaunsu. By the time the film was offered to Janine, she already felt confident about it, as it had Paulo’s “seal of approval.” The actress relates, “When I got the script (of Ngayon Kaya) and found out that Pau signed on, sabi ko, ‘Oh my God, game si Paulo!’ So I know maganda talaga ang script kasi I know he’s choosy when it comes to work. I love all his films.”
The actor-producer, for his part, watched Janine’s films before they shot their Ngayon Kaya scenes and was impressed. “I’ve seen her in Elisse and Babae at Baril… I noticed she gets out of her way to look for nice roles. I could see that she is someone who is hungry to feed her craft,” Paulo says of his leading lady Janine.
Ngayon Kaya, produced by T-Rex Entertainment and co-produced by WASD Films, also stars Alwyn Uytingco, John James Uy, Donna Cariaga, Haley Dizon and Ms. Rio Locsin.
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