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Unstoppable Love: KathNiel, LizQuen, and other reel to real life couples that are going strong

By CHUCK SMITH Published Feb 12, 2021 1:53 am

Relationships can be fickle in show business—just look at all the onscreen love teams that became real-life couples, only to break up in the end.  

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find love in show business. There are many stars who have found their true loves while working together as onscreen love teams and partners, a case of life imitating art. 

Gladys Reyes and Christopher Roxas

There is, for instance, the case of Gladys Reyes and Christopher Roxas. The two were practically just young adults when they first met as co-stars in the 90s soap opera Mara Clara. Christopher courted Gladys for five months—and they have been together ever since. The two have been married since 2004. 

Photo from Gladys Reyes' Instagram account

Barbie Forteza and Jak Roberto

Young stars like Barbie Forteza and Jak Roberto, too, found love offscreen while working in front of the camera. Jak was one of Barbie’s leading men in the 2017 romantic-comedy series Meant To Be. And while Barbie did not end up with Barbie on the show, they ended up together as boyfriend and girlfriend in real life. 

Photo from Jak Roberto's Instagram account

Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez

Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez, too, were first lovers on the TV screen, as a married couple in the LGBT-themed show “My Husband’s Lover” in 2013. Carla previously dated onscreen partner Geoff Eigenmann, so fans didn’t think Carla would fall for another leading man again. And yet they did, with the two admitting that they were exclusively dating each other in 2014. 

Photo from Tom Rodriguez' Instagram account

Here are other stars whose reel-to-real relationships are still going strong:

Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo 

Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo were seen as an unlikely couple when they first started dating more than a decade ago. Showbiz followers saw the two as coming from different backgrounds. Judy Ann was a daughter of showbiz, having been an actress since she was seven year old. Before she started dating Ryan, Judy Ann was already one of the most popular stars in the country. Ryan was a model who found acclaim as a TV host. The two met when Ryan became Judy Ann’s leading man in the fantasy series Krystala in 2004. 

Photo from Judy Ann Santos' Instagram account

Fans of the actress weren’t exactly enamored with the onscreen tandem of Judy Ann and Ryan on TV, but that didn’t matter as the two obviously clicked and dated in 2005. Their onscreen tandem as a married couple in the acclaimed 2006 domestic comedy Kasal, Kasal, Kasalo, however, was a hit—and a sign of things to come for the two. Judy Ann and Ryan got married in 2009. Today, the two remain a picture of marital bliss with their three children. 

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes were the most popular showbiz couple durng the late 2000s. Their relationship developed after being paired together in the 2007 local adaptation of the Mexican telenovela Marimar. The show became a hit, and their tandem became among showbiz’s hottest love teams. The two starred in a number of TV shows together after Marimar, with fans constantly asking if they had taken their onscreen relationship to the next level. Two years later, Marian and Dingdong admitted that they were dating. 

Photo from Marian Rivera's Instagram account

The two married in December 2014, with a grand reception (televised on GMA-7) held at the Mall of Asia Arena. Marian and Dingdong are blessed with two children. Despite the occasional showbiz rumors claiming otherwise, their relationship remains as strong as ever. “One thing is for sure. Kahit magkasama kami sa bahay, buong-buo yung pagmamahal namin sa isa't isa. Kasi sa totoo lang, itong quarantine, nangyari na magkasama kami sa bahay, mas na-realize namin na, 'Ay, hindi talaga tayo nag-aaway,” Marian said in an exclusive interview with PEP.ph recently.  

Iya Villania and Drew Arellano 

Iya Villania and Drew Arellano actually started out as a love team. They first met and worked together in the GMA-7 teen-oriented show Click in 2003. In a TV interview, Iya even revealed that Drew even acted as a “bridge” for a mutual friend of theirs who liked her. However, in the process, Iya and Drew realized that it was the two of them who liked each other. "Noon palang nakita ko na how family-oriented he is, how close he is to his papa, his siblings,” Iya said. The two got married in 2014, after being in a relationship for 10 years. They now have three children. 

Photo from Iya Villania's Instagram account

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla 

This young couple proves that you can indeed find love in show business. Daniel and Kathyrn started working together as a love team in 2011, when they starred in the ABS-CBN weekend youth-oriented show Growing Up. Daniel wasn’t supposed to be part of Growing Up, as Kathryn was initially partnered with Mara Clara co-star Albie Casino. Meanwhile, Daniel was originally Julia Montes’ onscreen partner in the 2010 show Gimik 2010. But Daniel replaced Albie—and the rest is history. The two starred in a string of highly successful TV shows and movies as one of the country’s biggest love teams. And they weren’t exactly shy about their feelings for each other either—which only made fans, among the most active in the ‘biz, more invested in their reel- and real-life relationship. But Daniel and Kathryn, during the early years of their love year, refused to confirm if they were a couple or not. 

Photo from Kathryn Bernardo's Instagram account

The confirmation happened in 2018, during the press conference of their movie The Hows of Us, where Daniel and Kathryn admitted they have been in a relationship for more than five years. “Mas looking forward akong makasama pa si Kathryn sa mas marami pang biyahe sa personal naming buhay dahil marami pa kaming mga gagawin. I think ‘yun ‘yung the next level of love,” Daniel said during the press conference.  

Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil

The news of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano’s tandem came as a surprise. But their reel-to-real life relationship wasn’t. Enrique has been in showbiz for a couple of years—and has worked with a number of female stars, including Julia Barretto, Julia Montes, and Jessy Mendiola—before getting his biggest showbiz breakthrough in the 2014 soap opera Forevermore, where he and Liza played star-crossed lovers. The show became a huge hit, with Liza and Enrique becoming ABS-CBN’s biggest young stars. The two starred in a number of hit shows, such as Dolce Amore and Bagani, and a number of movies together.

Photo from Enrique Gil's Instagram account

But like Daniel and Kathyrn, it took the couple a few years before admitting their real-life relationship. Enrique and Liza admitted their relationship status in February 2019, during an interview with Vice Ganda in the late night program Gandang Gabi Vice, while promoting their movie Alone/Together. Liza said at the time that they have been in a relationship for over two years.

Photos from the subjects' Instagram accounts