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Ws and Ls in Philippine entertainment relationships during the 2nd quarter of 2023

We find ourselves at the cusp of the final month of the first half of 2023, where an array of showbiz events has unfolded. From queer representation to the emergence of “love triangles” and the unfortunate instances of cheating and grooming, the Philippine entertainment industry has been abuzz with noteworthy occurrences. Now, let’s delve into an overview of the relationship stories that garnered media attention during the second quarter of 2023.

McDonald’s new ad features queer representation

Starting with a win, McDonald’s Philippines released an advertisement with a sapphic love story ahead of Pride month.

The advertisement titled “You’re my happy place…” released on May 29 features TVC actress, Ky Mahinay, as a skateboarder ordering an à la carte cheeseburger at a drive-thru where she meets Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 gold medalist, Kaizen Dela Serna, as the drive-thru operator who hands her order.

Serna circles around the drive-thru flirting with Mahinay while ordering different items from the menu, and at the end of Mahinay’s shift, they meet again and go home while holding hands.

The advertisement has garnered a lot of support, praising the fast-food chain for its queer representation which is often overlooked in the country.

On-and-Off Screen ‘Love Triangle’?

Next up is the quirky “Love Triangle” consisting of Barbie Forteza, her real-life boyfriend Jak Roberto, and her co-star David Licauco. Well, technically, there is no love triangle in this love story, just an overactive imagination run by the fandom.

Forteza and Roberto have been in a private relationship for years now, but the overarching popularity of Forteza’s recently finished TV series, “Maria Clara at Ibarra”, and her good chemistry with co-star David Licauco, have led Filipinos online to believe that the tandem’s popularity and closeness is affecting Forteza’s relationship with Roberto.

Forteza and Licauco’s fanservice on social media and interviews added sprinkles to the fans’ imagination, making them yearn more for the loveteam they dubbed, ‘FiLay’, and pitting Licauco against Roberto.

However, Forteza put an end to this as she states that Roberto is supportive of the love team seeing how it impacts the promotion of the series and that Roberto is actually friends with Licauco in real life.

The love team also assured that they’ve set boundaries on their relationship as professional actors, and they would never do something that’ll disrespect Forteza’s relationship with Roberto.

Here Comes the ‘Groom-er’

Of course, there’s always something that just leaves us scratching our head as we’re happy for them but then again, we’re not, because at what cost?

Coco Martin made the headlines when he confirmed that he’s been in a relationship with Julia Montes. Though, the news doesn’t come as a shock, what made the people talk is the fact that he revealed that they’ve been in a relationship for 12 years now.

This garnered mixed reactions, with some congratulating the couple for their relationship, while most criticizing Martin for ‘grooming’ Montes.

Martin and Montes had a 14-year age gap, they started their relationship when Montes is 16 years old, and Martin is 30 years old. An interview with the couple also resurfaced, where martin shared that he tried to court Montes when she was 13 years old, and Martin was 27 years old.

Whether he groomed her or not, the sheer fact that Martin made a move on Montes as a minor when he was a full-grown adult and they’ve been in a relationship for years now is nothing but an L – showing how our society can tolerate this behavior and letting someone that famous have this influence over its audience.

‘Ikaw Pa Rin?’ EME

To end this roundup, we’ll end on the one that started beautifully but is now as messy as it could be.

Moira Dela Torre and Jason Marvin Hernandez is getting attention again a year after they announced that they’ve parted ways after three years of marriage.

The dispute started when Hernandez shared on his Instagram a photo of a ‘mystery girl’ hugging him from behind wearing a cap, which people believed to be dela Torre.

Another photo was posted with the ‘mystery girl’ spending time with him with the caption “Siya ang nag ligtas sa’kin, ang nagbalik ng aking ngiti,” which is now believed to be his new lover.

Days after, it was revealed that it was just a marketing stunt to promote his new music, with the ‘mystery girl’ turning out to be his co-actor in the music video. The music video also garnered heat at it features clips from his wedding with Dela Torre, angering Filipinos online saying he is using Dela Torre to get attention for his music.

The controversy became bigger after a colleague of Dela Torre and Hernandez posted on Facebook, accusing Dela Torre of having another man and invalidating her works by saying she hired a ghostwriter.

Dela Torre debunk his accusations and shared that she is currently focused on her path toward healing hoping that one day she’ll “have the capacity to embrace a love that is faithful and genuine.”


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