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Unstoppable Love: The controversial, romantic love story of Maria Ozawa and Jose Sarasola 

By Maria Ozawa and Jose Sarasola (as told to Brooke Villanueva) Published Feb 10, 2021 12:13 pm Updated Feb 24, 2021 10:23 pm

Due to a controversial past, our relationship was faced with a lot of bashing on social media at the start. Despite that and our differences in culture, language, and personality traits, we have managed to maintain our spark for about three years now. This is our Unstoppable Love.

Jose Sarasola 

We actually met at my bar, Avenue 75 Sports Bar, in BF Homes, Parañaque back in 2017. I think it was her third year in the Philippines or second and then we had a common friend who invited her over to Avenue 75. Since she didn’t have that many friends back then, she went with our common friend and she got introduced to me. Eventually, we started talking. She would go back to Japan, but we would keep in touch, asking each other how we were and stuff like that. The communication never stopped, which eventually led to us becoming together around 2018. 

Maria Ozawa 

My first impression of him was “Oh, he’s pretty handsome and buff! That’s good.” After we met for the first time, I think I went to his bar a few times with my friends. We started to hang out other than his bar, like we’d go to the movies and have dinner. He was nice and cute. I thought, “Maybe I want to have a serious relationship with him.” 

Jose

Our relationship was challenging at the start. There were a lot of bashers, as we all know, from Maria’s past work. Hindi lang nagbabash sa akin mga Pilipino, pati mga Malaysians, Indonesians. It was very overwhelming. They would always talk about her past, tag mean things, and the usual—what her work was before. It was very hard din, very overwhelming for me, my family. I’m very grateful that I really have amazing parents and grandparents who accepted her.

Maria 

It was more of Jose getting bashed by my fans. I told him that people are gonna hate on each other, me and him, no matter what. Since he’s in show business and I’m in show business too for a long time, it’s really hard to be loved by everyone. I told him don’t mind them, don’t mind the hate comments. I told him, if it’s really bothering him and he can’t take it, he should talk to me and maybe we should stop the relationship. But surprisingly, he said, “Oh that’s not gonna stop me" or something like that. So that was one of the reasons why I kinda fell in love with him. He really wanted to make this relationship work. 

Jose

There are worse things in life than Maria’s past, so to speak. There are things that people do, who are far worse than what she did before. It was a job, it was work, so we can’t really judge her for that. But then, I guess we also live in a society, whether we like it or not, talagang judgmental talaga tayo. It was hard but then, you know, after the first year, I kinda got settled na din naman. I didn’t really mind the bashing. As time goes on naman, you kind of learn to adjust and you’d know how to handle things better.

Maria

We’ve been going strong for three years now despite our differences. I think it’s a culture thing. I didn’t know Filipinos are really hospitable. When it comes to feelings, they express their feelings very openly. Since I got used to Japan and we don’t do it that much, at first I had to open up myself towards any kind of person. He was telling me how to lambing because we don’t do that in Japan. 

Jose 

She’s Japanese, I’m a Filipino. The customs are different. It’s two different cultures. There are so many different things between the Filipino culture and Japanese culture. Actually, me and Maria had a debate one time about that. I tried to stress my point, she tried to push her point also to me na, “In Japan, it’s different.” Then I teased her, “But you’re in the Philippines, so you have to adjust." And then she got pikon. It was a friendly, funny debate. It’s fun being in a relationship with someone from a different country.

Maria 

We haven’t seen each other for almost a year already because I have to take care of my business here in Japan. Ever since I was separated from Jose, my feelings towards him grew stronger because when I was there in the Philippines, we’d always see each other. It was normal to see him any time of the day. But now that I’m here, now that I can’t see him, it makes me want to stay strong.

Jose 

It’s really challenging because she’s been gone for eight months already. But the good thing about the apps these days, it’s very easy to contact each other. We Viber every day. She updates me where she is. Good thing it’s been a busy year for me, at least I have something to do while she’s not here. If wala akong ginagawa and she left, it would have been harder for me to handle.

Maria

It’s really harder than I thought. The longest I did was a month. But this time, I didn’t know that I was going to be in Japan for a long time. We message each other every day. Just because we’re happy on the phone and messaging each other, I still miss him. It’s really, really hard. But we have a strong bond that I trust. I think communication is the best key to have a good relationship and we have that. We trust each other also. But I think as of now, if it’s going to be more than a year, it’s gonna be like, “Aww, so sad.”

Jose 

The thing really is just constant communication. Once you stop the communication, that’s when the problems and the questions pop up in your head. For the meantime, us Pinoys we can’t go yet to Japan kasi we’re tourists lang eh. Siya naman, she can’t come here because her establishments are closed for the meantime due to the pandemic. Hopefully, we can see each other soon.