"Our love story began with respect and ended with respect."
In a candid statement on Nov. 30, Kathryn Bernardo broke her silence regarding the rumors swirling around her relationship with Daniel Padilla. The couple, collectively known as KathNiel, had been together for 11 years.
Alongside a nostalgic photo of the couple during their teenage years, Kathryn confirmed their separation rumors with a bittersweet message: "It's true that Deej and I have decided to part ways," she wrote.
In her heartfelt letter, Kathryn paid tribute to her 11-year relationship with the actor, marking a bittersweet farewell to the beloved reel-to-real-life relationship.
Now that Kathryn and Daniel have called it quits, let’s take a look back on their relationship for the past 11 years.
2011: KathNiel was born
Kathryn and Daniel first worked together in the youth-oriented series Growing Up, which aired from September 2011 to February 2012.
In an interview on Magandang Buhay six years ago, castmate Julia Montes said that ever since the series began, there has been a spark between the two actors.
"'Nung Growing Up, ano sila nagkukulitan, kasi mapang-asar 'to [Daniel] so ako, personally, kinikilig na ako. Pero siyempre, grupo-grupo, aasaran muna, pero later makikita mo na," Julia shared.
2012: Daniel tells Kathryn "I love you" for the first time.
In 2012, Kathryn and Daniel starred in their first teleserye together, Princess and I.
During a 2021 video released by Star Cinema where KathNiel played "Boyfriend Tag Quiz," Daniel revealed that it was during their Princess and I days when he said "I love you" to the actress.
"Princess and I days, sa tissue ko nilagay," Daniel narrated. Kathryn, meanwhile, recorded the exact date and time of the former's confession.
2013: KathNiel stars in debut film, Must Be...Love
Kathryn and Daniel teamed up for Must Be...Love, their first film under Star Cinema production.
2014: Blossoming on-screen romance
Kathryn and Daniel starred in a new film called She's Dating The Gangster, helmed by Cathy Garcia Molina. The film was a commercial success which earned a grossing P296 million in total.
In the following years, their on-screen romance continued with films such as Crazy Beautiful You (2015), Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016), Can't Help Falling In Love (2017), and Hows Of Us (2018).
2016: Their first kissing scene
During Kathryn's 20th birthday in Balesin, Karla Estrada, Daniel's mother, posted a photo of her son posing with the words "Happy Birthday Bal" written in the sand. In case you don't know, the two have an adorable pet name for each other, "Bal." They also called each other "Pottie," "Baba," and "Bali."
In the same year, Kathryn and Daniel shared their first onscreen kiss in the movie Barcelona: A Love Untold. However, in a candid revelation during a guesting for Tonight With Boy Abunda five years ago, Kathryn said that their first kiss happened before that.
The 27-year-old actress said, "First kiss [was] super quick. No'ng tumalikod si Mommy, [nasa] Kamuning pa kami. Sabi ko, ''Yon na yong first? Hindi 'yon yong in-imagine ko!' Pero 'yan. Super quick. Si Mama nando'n. 'Tapos parang tumalikod lang po siya, may kinuha siya or something."
2018: The hard launch
Kathryn and Daniel officially made their relationship public during a press conference for their romance film, The Hows of Us. During that time, Daniel said that they had been dating for more than five years already, indicating that they were already a couple in 2012.
2019: Kathryn was entirely open about the idea of marriage with Daniel
The actress declared in 2019 that she is "very open" to the notion of getting married to Daniel, but that it won't happen anytime soon. This came after Kathryn's mom posted on Instagram "May nag proposed (sic)," fueling rumors that Daniel popped the question to Kathryn in Japan.
"Hindi muna siguro. Open ako sa idea pero kailangan pa naming magtrabaho pareho and baka too young pa ngayon [magpakasal]," she said.
It was also the same year that Kathryn addressed breakup rumors for the first time, reaffirming their commitment to each other. Kathryn shared a series of photos from their 7th-anniversary celebration in Morocco.
"Thank you for being my dream guy and my reality guy at the same time. Falling and staying in love with you is the best decision I've ever made," she wrote.
In October 2019, Kathryn and Daniel opened their first business venture together, a barber shop called "Barbero Blues."
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2020: Their dream wedding
In April, Kathryn and Daniel talked about their ideal wedding in a video interview at Magandang Buhay. According to the ex-couple, they both love the beach and wished for an intimate ceremony attended by people who have helped them throughout their careers.
"Over the years kasi parating yung common na lugar na nagpapasaya sa amin [ay] yung dagat. Pareho kami na gusto yung wedding sa beach, kasama yung mga tao na tumulong kung paano maging kami ngayon," Kathryn said.
2021: 'KathNiel: Isang Dekada'
To celebrate their love team's anniversary, Kathryn uploaded a one-and-a-half-hour vlog titled, "KATHNIEL: ISANG DEKADA," featuring their milestones together.
"As we celebrate KathNiel’s 10th anniversary as a love team, DJ and I met with our friends, family, and fans to create this special documentary that tells the story of our humble beginnings, our cherished milestones, and everything in between," Kathryn wrote in the caption.
2022: A decade of love
In May 2022, the couple celebrated their tenth anniversary in Thailand. In an Instagram post, Kathryn wrote a touching message for DJ, while sharing photos of them bonding with the elephants at Chiang Mai. “Celebrated our special day in the most unforgettable way possible and enjoyed every minute of it,” she wrote.
"You know how much this trip means to me and how much I looove elephants, so without a question, you agreed to do this again with me right away. All you said to me was 'Kahit san mo gusto love, susunod ako after ng trabaho ko," she added.
2023: End of an era
2023 is the year when Kathryn and Daniel embarked on individual ventures. Daniel was announced to be filming The Guest opposite John Arcilla by the end of the year.
Kathryn, meanwhile, alongside acclaimed actress Dolly De Leon, took on lead roles in the highly anticipated film A Very Good Girl (AVGG). Despite being unable to attend the film premiere, Daniel proudly shared the official trailer of AVGG on his Instagram account. At the time, the actor was in Spain for work.
In September, fans noticed that the two walked solo on the ABS-CBN Ball red carpet. They did, however, partied together inside.
Two months later, Ogie Diaz, through his vlog, has fueled rumors of betrayal among Kathryn, Daniel, and fellow actress Andrea Brillantes. In the video, the talent manager cited rumors that the couple had already broken up.
Weeks later, eagle-eyed fans noticed that Kathryn’s “following” count on Instagram dropped, and searching Andrea’s name showed no results. Consequently, Andrea made the rounds online early Sunday, Nov. 19 after social media users noticed that Kathryn was no longer on her following list.
On Nov. 30, both Kathryn and Daniel confirmed their breakup.