Too soon? Not for these couples.
Fresh from breakups, it didn't take these celebrities too long before going public as controversial pairings.
The possibility of overlaps is debatable. Evidence of untimely rebounds, however, is certainly incriminating.
Now that Valentine's Day is finally over, here are local stars who ended up in each other's arms: against all odds, as a matter of course, and amid heavy societal judgment.
Aljur Abrenica and AJ Raval
Aljur Abrenica and AJ Raval went Instagram official on Valentine's Day 2023. They each shared separate images of themselves together as AJ wrote in her caption, "I'll always give you all the love I have in my heart and love you unconditionally."
Aljur's last ex was Kylie Padilla, whom he was married to for two years until they separated in July 2021, as confirmed by the latter and her father, Robin.
Kylie, around three months later in an interview with an online publication, reacted to reports claiming her former husband was dating AJ, saying she only wanted him to be happy. “Alam niyo, gusto ko lang maging masaya siya sa buhay niya. Kasi, siya pa rin ang tatay ng mga anak ko. Kahati ko siya sa pagpapalaki sa kanila. And kung nararamdaman ng mga anak ko na hindi masaya 'yung tatay nila, aba, hindi ko gusto 'yun,” she said.
In retaliation, Aljur publicly told his ex in a now-unavailable Facebook status, "Kylie, please tell them the truth." He accused her of cheating "first" and wrecking their family. "Don’t hide and disguise your comments, statements for your self-gain. Tell them who cheated first. Tell them who wrecked our family. Tell them why I gave up on you, not on our family," he said.
Aljur added that he supposedly maintained his silence following her father's statement due to their agreement: "When your dad opened to the public his one-sided story. I maintained my silence because of our agreement. But now that people who support us still throw accusations and reading [your] statements it breaks my heart that you can sit still despite of the truth. Tell them who cheated first. Tell them who are you with right now. Have the courage to settle this."
AJ shared the statement on social media, confirming that they were indeed dating but claims that no overlap happened. She later apologized to Kylie in a now-unavailable TikTok video, claiming, "It's not my intention to hurt anybody."
"People are accusing me sa isang bagay na hindi ko naman ginagawa. Tinatawag nila akong ‘kabit,' tinatawag nila akong ‘homewrecker,’ which is hindi naman totoo. Wala akong sinirang pamilya, never akong maninira ng pamilya," the actress said at the time.
Her father, Jeric, later confirmed in a March 2022 interview with the aforementioned publication that AJ and Aljur are indeed in a relationship. He claimed to have talked it out already with his daughter's partner.
“Basta na sa ayos lang ang lahat. Nagkausap na naman kami," he said. "Lalaki namang kausap yung tao, mabait naman. Tinanong ko lang naman sa kanya kung siya ba ay hiwalay. ‘Opo.’ ‘Ano ba ang plano mo sa anak ko?’ Sabi niya, nagmamahalan daw sila. ‘Eh ‘di magaling,’ sabi ko. ‘Yung tipikal na tinatanong ng isang ama," Jeric said.
Gerald Anderson and Julia Barretto
It all started in July 2019 when Bea Alonzo clarified her rumored breakup with Gerald Anderson, claiming she was ghosted. "To my understanding, we did not break up. He just started not talking to me."
She soon posted a cryptic caption on Instagram, "'You can’t make the same mistake twice, the second time you make it, it’s not a mistake anymore, it’s a choice.' ENOUGH."
But what caught the country's attention at the time was Joshua Garcia, who split with Julia Barretto that year, liking Bea's post. Rumors of a relationship between Gerald and Julia began circulating after they starred in the 2019 movie Between Maybes.
Julia berated Bea in return, posting on Aug. 6, 2019, "You can play victim all you want, but I refuse to be your victim." She first denied cheating on Joshua as they had broken up months ago. The actress-businesswoman then added she was not the "cause of another relationship's breakup."
"I would like to dissociate myself from the breakup of Bea and Gerald. Their issues are entirely their own. However, since I was brought into this mess without a choice, this is what I have to say. Your heartbreak should have been a private matter, but you have selfishly turned it into something of national concern," she posted.
While Bea did not mention Julia's name in any of her posts, it further irked the latter who said she was being alluded to anyway.
"Bea, you wanted to keep your hands clean by not mentioning me in your controversial post, but with a click of your finger, in your sly way, you have charged everybody to destroy me FOR YOU. You have encouraged a culture of hate by purposely liking harmless photos, putting malice into the minds of many, which resulted in the outrage of insults against me. You are a woman of great influence and following. You could have used that power to promote strength and grace in women, but instead, you've used that to promote social media irresponsibility. That is downright bullying," Julia continued at length.
He also vaguely admitted to being "guilty" to his ex's "ghosting" accusation, "Ganito lang po ‘yun. Ano po ba ang definition ng ghosting? Kasi ang dating sa akin is parang na sa gitna kami ng dinner tapos nag-decide ako mag-back out and ‘di magpakita kahit kailan. ‘Yun ba ang definition? Or is it walking away from a very unhealthy, toxic—not saying na siya ‘yung toxic, but being together, we were very toxic... Hindi narerespeto ‘yung explanation na binibigay mo, hindi tinatanggap. After months and months and months and months of being on the rocks and [puro] away... I mean, ‘yun lang. I’m just gonna leave it at that. Bahala na po kung paanong ano, but if ‘yun ‘yung ghosting, I’m guilty of one of those two.”
Several months later in an August 2021 conversation with the talkshow host, who asked Gerald if he would want to reach out to his ex, the latter said, "I really pray, I really hope she (Bea) will find it in her heart to forgive what happened, forgive me. Nagho-hope lang ako."
The One More Chance star during the Jan. 26 episode of Fast Talk with Boy Abunda said there is no chance of them reconciling, despite remaining on good terms with her other ex of six years, Zanjoe Marudo. "Hindi, because I can never be friends with somebody I cannot trust and somebody who doesn't take responsibility for his actions. So, siguro hindi," she said plainly.
Unbreakable actress Alonzo has since found love in actor Dominic Roque, marking their first anniversary on Jan. 29, 2022.
Paolo Contis and Yen Santos
Paolo Contis and LJ Reyes once had their "happily ever after," dating from 2015 until sometime before September 2021, as well as sharing a lovely daughter named Summer.
With Yen Santos, however, Paolo found the "Summer Capital Of The Philippines."
To make matters worse, Paolo unfollowed LJ on social media and deleted all her photos. And just like her A Far Away Land co-star, Yen was also no longer following anyone on her Instagram account. Her latest post at the time was a now-unavailable photo with Paolo promoting their Netflix film.
Paolo, in back-to-back posts that same month, apologized to LJ, his ex-wife Lian Paz, and their children. Here, he denied taking drugs and consequently hurting LJ and the kids, ever performing physical abuse, that Yen was the reason behind his breakup with LJ, or that an overlap took place during the Baguio visit.
He did admit to cheating multiple times on LJ, "Aaminin ko, naging marupok at gago ako sa ilang taon naming pagsasama. I’m not proud of it. For that, I’m sincerely sorry. I’m truly ashamed of my actions."
The caveat was he denied that he cheated on her with Yen. "Yen Santos - She was never the reason of our break up. I was. Kung matagal na kaming hindi okay ni LJ, it was mainly because of me. Masyado niyo siyang diniin sa issue na to. Pati pag promote namin ng movie nabahiran na ng kung anu ano," Paolo wrote.
Regarding Baguio, he said that Yen "went there as a friend."
"I will work on making myself a better person and learning from this. But for now, please respect our privacy and pray for us," Paolo wrote.
A month later, LJ told Abunda in an Oct. 27, 2021 episode of The Interviewer that her ex made "no efforts" to reach out. "It’s a work in progress. Pinagdadasal ko na mapatawad ko siya because I know that if I don’t forgive him, this very dark emotion will just eat me up and I won’t be able to move forward with my kids nang maayos at nang walang galit," she said.
In a now-unavailable June 2022 post, Paolo posted a photo of a meal made by Yen, who replied, "My pleasure." Then in November 2022, he himself congratulated Yen on her "very well-deserved" Gawad Urian Best Actress win for their film.
“Ang sa amin kasi, what you see is what you get naman. Hindi namin puwede ipilit yung tao to be happy for us. Hindi namin puwede ipilit yung mga tao na paniwalaan yung gusto nilang paniwalaan. Sana lang isipin nila na kung ano lang yung nakikita nilang nakapost, ‘yun lang yung truth na alam nila,” he said.
However, Paolo maintained that he and Yen did come to Baguio "as friends." He went on record saying, "Noong nag-Baguio kami ni Yen, na sa States na sila LJ noon. Nagmukhang baliktad because your interview with LJ came out, pero wala na kami sa Baguio noon... So feeling ng tao, habang ini-interview si LJ, na sa Baguio ako. Pero when you were interviewing LJ, at least 10 days na silang na sa States. I left for Baguio, na sa States na sila. Hindi na kami noon."