by: Cora Llamas
If one prominent showbiz soothsayer is right, the millions of fans of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo in the Phlippines and overseas won't have long to wait.
According to this famous psychic, 2006 is THE year when Lloydy and Bea will finally come out in public and admit what fans had been suspecting all along, and what they had been praying to be made "official" -- that Lloydy and Bea are finally a couple.
Time and again, the couple have admitted that they are just "good friends". Nothing but pals who will be there for each other through thick and thin--but simply platonic, non-romantic friends. There was a time in the very early years that the Lloydy-Bea die-hards felt their hopes sag when the couple nonchalantly revealed in a magazine interview that they didn't even have each other's cell phone number. How un-romantic can you get?
Still, hope burns bright, especially now that reel couple have another movie opening this February, tentatively titled (as of press time), Close To You. In a case of art imitating life, the movie has two bosom buddies denying their repressed feelings for each other--until another guy comes along (Sam Milby as Lance) who threatens to take Bea's character, Marian, away.
But what is it about this clean-cut guy with the rakish smile and this innocent lass who shows a bit of flair and spunk that audiences can't seem to get enough of?
First of all, both young stars come from the school of hard knocks. Though they are pretty much enjoying the fruits of their success right now, they weren't exactly born with the proverbial silver sthingy.
Bea Alonzo entered showbiz as one of ABS-CBN Talent Center's (now Star Magic) Star Circle Batch 10. The stories of how she'd fork out transportation money just to commute to her guestings from her Taguig home is now legendary. So was her backbreaking schedule when she'd go to school the whole day then rush to acting workshops from 7pm to midnight. She'd catch up on sleep on the road and do her assignments late night or early morning.
During her early interviews, Bea would emphasize that she had to become independent at an early age because the family was going through rough times.
Maybe that's why John Lloyd impressed her when they started working together in their first teleserye Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay. At that time, Lloydy was dating Ciara Sotto, which Bea gamely acknowledge in interviews. However, she did admit that his sense of responsibility and ability to make commitments were qualities that ladies looked for in their boyfriends.
Family did seem important to John Lloyd. In his early interviews, he confessed how much he missed his siblings who were working in the US. He would have the opportunities to visit them twice--and he took note of the hours they put in, the kind of dedication they gave, all without the comforts of family and the benefit of a maid that is so commonplace in the Philippines. Lloydy would later use this experience to cement his portrayal of an emotionally lost OFW who was adjusting to his new home in Dubai in the movie of the same name.
When he first met Bea, Lloydy was struck by her openness, honesty, and youthful innocence (Bea was 16 by the time she started appearing in Kay Tagal). He said that he always stand by her as a very good friend.
Bea first gained audience attention as the law student Katrina, the younger sister of Helena (Rica Paralejo). Helena was originally written and cast as the love interest of Yuri, the hotshot lawyer portrayed by Lloydy. But the onscreen chemistry of Bea and Lloydy sizzled--and soon became THE most-talked about tandem in Kay Tagal.
Showbiz insiders and the watching public soon tagged them as one onscreen couple to watch for.
It also helped when Lloydy admitted that Bea helped him heal when he broke up with Ciara. But again, this was followed by the oft-quoted statements that fans didn't want to hear: they were just friends.
Still, the die was cast. And not long after, another teleserye was born, It Might Be You. Whether intended to or not, the title was a not-so-subtle dig that highlighted the possibility that John Lloyd and Bea were meant to be.
In this teleserye, feuding families got in the way of the onscreen romance, which made fans even the more adamant in getting the two together. The clans of the characters portrayed by Lloydy and Bea were mortal enemies. Bea's character was even promised by her uncle, the elected governor portrayed by Gardo Versoza, to the son of the Philippine president. And in that timeless storybook romance straight out of Romeo and Juliet, the prince and princess of the embattled families fell in love.
And against the machinations of their parents and other would-be suitors and partners, they prevailed-culminating in a historic TV wedding set in Pampanga that cost P2 million ($32,000 approximately)x3.
The teleserye ended on a hight note, which was one of the most-watched walks down the aisle in TV history.
The Big Screen
Given their huge following and that onscreen spark, it was only a matter of time before they were given a chance to pair up on the big screen.
For the first time, they were one couple of a twinbill movie entitle My First Romance.
The first major Lloydy-Bea starrer was entitled-tah-dah!--Now That I Have You. The titles of their screen tandems seemed to suggest that the chances of a real-life romance were getting higher. The probability indicated by It Might Be You become more certain with Now That I Have You. Fans were excited.
This time, in the movie helmed by Laurenti Dyogi, the couple played temperemental opposites. Bea played a sweet if hopeless romantic while Lloydy essayed a more realistic down-to-earth guy. They accidentally meet on a ride on the Metropolitan Railway Transit (MRT), bond, feel that elusive "What if--" in just a matter of seconds before they go their merry way. Bea's character believes it's love; Lloydy's character takes a more careful approach.
Fortunately, what was meant to be happend, as the two lovers couldn't deny their attraction to each other.
Later on, Bea appeared with hunky Piolo Pascual in Dreamboy, and Lloydy made passionate love to Claudine Barretto in Dubai.
Those movies were hits at the box-office, but the fans still cared--deeply, devotedly, persistently--about their number one team-up.
They were soon rewarded. The duo's laterst teleserye, Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin, recently ruled the airwaves, especially because of a powerhouse cast that starred Claudine, Diether Ocampo, and Shaina Magdayao (Bea's bestfriend). Bea's Jasmine was the sy, insecure but lovely girl at school, suffering from the wounds of a broken home. This poor little rich girl is soon targeted as the center of pranks by a very roguish but inwardly sensitive rebel kid from another elite family, Oliver of the Ynares clan, played naturally by John Lloyd Cruz.
The Real Score
But what about an offscreen romance? That's what fans are dying to find out.
In one StarStudio interview, both stars repeated that now familiar line--that they're just "good friends"--but this time Bea acknowledge that Lloydy is now one of her closes male best friends.
Meanwhile, Lloydy says that he has grown protective of Bea and would be very happy to see her blossom in her career.
What's more, the two finally have each other's cellphone numbers, and those who had the privilege of watching them interact offscreen say that Bea has cracked through Lloydy's former "loner" exterior.
Yet, both stars also say that they value their special friendship so much that they don't want to do anything that would damage it.
But as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Actually, that's the dilemma that John's character, Manuel, will be wrestling with in Close To You, as another handsome hunk makes come-hither-looks at Marian (Bea).
Time will only tell if the fortuneteller is right. But as we catch that movie and watch those conflicting emotions play on the faces of John Lloyd and Bea as they take on their movie alter egos, we might as well be watching their own possible struggles as, hopefully in the near future, they venture forward to make their reel-life romance all too real.
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Edited by ♥ lavender rain, 16 May 2008 - 09:53 PM.
removing imageshack pics; no longer works @ AF