Jessy Mendiola and Luis Manzano are marking their fourth year together as a couple with a momentous milestone.
Earlier this month, Jessy and Luis revealed that they are engaged. The two are planning to tie the knot next year.
Perhaps because they are a celebrity couple, Jessy and Luis’ love story has been marred and tested by a number of issues and intrigues—and a fair share of denials about the status of their relationship.
Their engagement announcement is also currently steeped in controversy. Days after the couple revealed their engagement, a jeweller took to social media to decry being discredited for the design of Jessy’s engagement ring.
Jessy, in turn, said she had the ring reset by a different jeweller because of the “negative vibes” brought about by its original design—a story that involved Jessy and Luis breaking up earlier, Jessy falling out with a close friend, and the couple eventually reconciling and getting engaged.
We take a look back at the captivating story of Jessy and Luis’ romance:
September 2015: The Plane Incident
In interviews, Jessy said that she and Luis had always been friends.
But their friendship, Jessy said, was strengthened after she was involved in an altercation with actor Enrique Gil on a plane en route to a show in London.
According to reports, Luis defended Jessy and Liza Soberano from a drunk Enrique who was making a scene.
Reports cited Jessy’s Instagram post from this time as a reference to the incident and how Luis helped during the reported altercation. “Si hassle na walang ginawa kundi patawanin ako buong trip. Salamat sa mga advice mo at sa mga kwento mo. Ibang klase ka talaga chokie! Salamat sa protekta!” Jessy said of Luis in an Instagram post on Sept. 8, 2015.
Jessy was then in a relationship with actor JM De Guzman. Luis was in a relationship with Angel Locsin.
In a TV interview days after the incident, Enrique apologized to both Jessy and JM.
November 2015: Jessy and JM split
Jessy admitted that she had broken up with JM, saying it’s better if they focus on their “respective priorities” instead of their relationship.
”I just want to focus on myself and that's the same with him,” Jessy added.
That was the second time Jessy and JM had split. They had broken up in 2013 after a secret two-year relationship. They got back together in 2014, after JM’s successful showbiz comeback following a one year hiatus.
February 2016: Luis and Angel break up
Luis and Angel were hounded by breakup rumors in January of 2016. The two denied the reports.
However, days after the two said they were still together, Angel referred to Luis as an “ex” in an Instagram post she immediately deleted.
The caption for the post, a photo of Luis singing, read: “On the eve of my neck procedure, I saw my ex singing ‘Love Yourself’ sa MYX IG.”
Angel and Luis eventually confirmed the breakup.
April 2016: “Super close” friends
Following their respective breakups, it was also expected that Luis and Jessy would be rumored to be making sweet music together.
The rumors intensified when Jessy posted a birthday greeting for Luis on her Instagram account, revealing that the actress was with the TV host to celebrate his special day.
But in an interview with PEP.ph, Luis dismissed the rumors linking him to Jessy, saying she is only a “super close” friend, a friendship that became tighter after the plane incident with Enrique.
June 2016: Already an item?
Citing an unnamed source, The Philippine Star’s Ricky Lo reported that Jessy and Luis are “already an item.”
However, Luis said in a statement that the report is “100 percent untrue.”
A few days after Luis’ denial, a fan saw the TV host and Jessy at a mall in Mandaluyong City. The fan claimed she saw Luis and Jessy watch “The Conjuring 2” in the cinema together.
July 2016: ‘Hindi pa (kami)!’
July 2016 was a highlight in Jessy’s showbiz career. She was named FHM Philippines’ Sexiest Woman in the World, then an important achievement for female stars.
Previous titleholders include Marian Rivera and, yes, Angel Locsin.
During the press conference to officially announce her as FHM’s Sexiest Woman, Jessy said that she and Luis were not yet together.
But Jessy also admitted that Luis was courting her.
Jessy said Luis started courting her around May 2016. “Alam niyo, it’s so weird, kasi hindi ko rin siya ma-outline. Kasi ang nangyari, parang eto na lang siya, naging ganito na lang siya. Kunwari, kung tatanungin ninyo ako or siya, hindi din namin talaga alam kung paano nangyari, basta naging ganito na lang siya,” she said at the time.
At the FHM Philippines’ 100 Sexiest Women Victory Party later that month, Jessy declared she and Luis were not yet together. “Hindi pa,” she said when asked about the status of their relationship.
July 2016: Angel speaks, Jessy reacts
Angel was pressed by the showbiz media to comment about Luis’ rumored relationship with Jessy during the press conference of her movie The Third Party.
There were also rumors that Luis’ relationship with Jessy overlapped with his relationship with Angel.
Angel did not confirm nor deny the allegations. “Wala akong magandang masabi so hindi na lang ako magsasalita. Kung ini-enjoy nila yung moment na yun, e, di good job!” she said.
Angel also said: "Alam ko naman din na darating din iyung panahon na aaminin naman nila na sila na. ...Pero buhay na nila iyan eh. Iba na ako. Tinanggal naman nila ako sa eksena so dito ako sa eksena ko rin,”
The statements didn’t sit well with Jessy, who said she was not the reason why Luis and Angel broke up.
“Para sa akin, malinis ang konsensiya ko, malinis ang puso ko. I would never ever destroy a relationship,” Jessy said.
October 2016: It is in the smiles
Luis and Jessy attended that year’s Star Magic Ball. This is the first time the two were seen in a public event together since it was rumored that they have been dating.
Asked by Cinema One’s showbiz program Cinema News if their appearance at the Star Magic Ball together is an admission of their relationship, Luis said: “Our smiles speak for ourselves. Kita ninyo yung tawa namin? That speaks for itself.”
December 2016: ‘I’ve got your hand’
After months of persistent rumors and sightings (and trips abroad) together, Luis’ birthday greeting for Jessy when she turned 23 years old could be seen, at least in hindsight, as a definitive admission of their relationship.
In an Instagram post, the TV host told Jessy: “Happy happy birthday Chopie, i'm up for any adventure with you... either a high or a low as long as I've got your hand by mine.”
April 2017: ‘Kami na!’
Almost a year after they were rumored to be together, Jessy admitted that she and Luis were, indeed, in a relationship.
“Oo, kami na. Okay na, guys? Happy kami,” she told PEP.ph in an interview.
June 2017: ‘I wowow you’
Luis and Jessy celebrated their first anniversary together—the first time the couple referenced when exactly they became officially an item.
"Thank you for leaving a smile on my face after a year and looking forward to many more," Luis told Jessy in an Instagram post. "Your strength day in and day out never fails to impress me and amazing would be an understatement to describe you. I wowow you!”
Jessy said in her own post: "I am indeed such a lucky girl. One year has gone by and here I am falling in love with you more every single day. Here's to one year and forever,"
This means, of course, that Luis and Jessy were already officially a couple in July 2016, when Jessy said Luis was just courting her at the time.
Netizens pointed this out, saying Luis and Jessy both lied about the status of their relationship in 2016.
In response, Luis admitted that they did deny their relationship status.
“Para namang kami lang nag deny ng konti about our personal lives sa industriya,” he said,
June 2017: No ‘overlap’
Showbiz followers continued to hound Luis and Jessy over the “timeline” of their relationship, insisting that Luis was still in a relationship with Angel when she started dating Jessy.
But Luis denied this once by replying to a basher in an Instagram post, saying she and Angel broke up in January 2016.
He explained: “I was already single January palang around 2 days after the Star Wars Force Awakens showing here. So that's crystal clear. So don't pretend to know it all when all you see/read/know are from tabloids or social media. If you still can't understand that e di kayo na may problema”
December 2017: Talking about marriage?
As early as one year into their relationship, Jessy and Luis were already talking about marriage. In an interview with PEP.ph, Jessy said Luis was already ready to settle down—something Jessy referenced after they officially announced their engagement. It was Jessy who wasn’t ready yet.
“Parang alam niya na I want to do so much more. I want to achieve so much more before I settle down. Parang I wanna show myself, I want to prove to myself na I can achieve more,” she said.
August 2018: Not yet engaged
Like any other celebrity couple years into a relationship, Luis and Jessy were hounded by engagement and wedding rumors. Perhaps the most persistent among these early engagement rumors happened in August 2018 after Jessy posted a video of her wearing a diamond-studded ring. Fans thought the ring was an engagement ring.
June 2019: Three years together
Jessy and Luis celebrated their third anniversary as a couple. “I thank God everyday for giving me a good man. A man who will fight for me, take care of me and see me through the tough times. God knew I needed someone like you in my life. I find it funny and sweet, that after all these years you still know how to make my heart jump and make me smile,” Jessy wrote in an Instagram post.
May 2020: Breakup (for now)
Although they didn’t publicly announce it, Jessy and Luis had broken up around this time—as the actress revealed in a YouTube video about their engagement.
June 2020: Ups and down... and more!
In an Instagram post to commemorate their fourth anniversary, Luis Manzano wrote: ““4 years of ups, downs… and so much more!” Perhaps this is a reference to the recent challenge they had just endured as a couple?
With this, we can also assume that Jessy and Luis had gotten back together between May and June 26, the date of their relationship's anniversary.
August 2020: It hurts because it’s not true
Jessy admitted allegations that she caused Luis’ breakup with Angel have affected her.
In a YouTube video, the actress said she’s offended when people always call her “ahas” or “third party.”
"Actually, sinasabi kasi ng iba, 'Dapat di ka nasasaktan kasi hindi totoo.’ But it's more of, like, mas masakit kasi hindi nga totoo. That's how I look at it,” she explained.
"It even hurts more when it's not true. Kasi kung totoo, 'Sige, hahayaan ko kayong sasabihin ‘yan.’ Kumbaga, deadma, totoo, e, so hindi ako mao-offend. Pero it's more offending kapag di totoo tapos they throw those things at you.”
November 2020: Truth to the rumors
Is there nothing you can hide in showbiz? Speculations that Luis and Jessy were already engaged sparked on social media after an Instagram Story of the actress shows her wearing a diamond ring.
The actress also trended on Twitter after a photo of her wearing a wedding dress became viral.
However, Jessy said the viral photo was taken from her 2020 movie “Stranded.”
December 2020: It’s official
Turns out, the speculations were true: Jessy and Luis are officially engaged.
In an interview following their social media announcement, the couple said the official proposal happened in October.
Jessy, seemingly addressing the tribulations and intrigues she had faced with Luis in the course of the relationship, said in an Instagram post on Thursday, December 17: "Starting a new chapter with the love of my life. We will never let anyone ruin our happiness. Love will always prevail."