MANILA, Philippines — Marco Gumabao is “inspired” these days.

“Lagi naman akong inspired,” he replied with a smile when asked during a recent virtual media conference for the TV5 series Di Na Muli about how inspired he is now.

He was also asked about the video of him with actress-vlogger Ivana Alawi getting cozy during a karaoke get-together with friends. He said, “Yes. I’m inspired…” But he didn’t confirm or deny the real score between them.

Marco kept mum when further asked about their status and changed the topic to, “Di Na Muli nasa Vivamax na po sa Oct. 22. Panoorin niyo po.”

In the video post which went viral on social media recently, Marco can be seen briefly laying his hand over Ivana’s leg while she was singing in a karaoke session. This eventually sparked rumors of the two dating, which trended online.

His co-star in the series Di Na Muli and long-time friend Julia Barretto came to his defense during the virtual call.

“I think si Marco will talk if he’s ready to talk about it. I think everyone is still in shock and he is still overwhelmed. Kasi si Marco is the type of guy na pag private life niya, gusto niya private lang,” said Julia but she was clueless about the viral video.

Last November 2020, Marco cited Ivana in a jojowain o totropahin vlog as someone he could be in a relationship with. “Si Ivana, crush ko talaga. I can say na d’yo-d’yowain ko si Ivana,” said Marco.

The same goes for Ivana, who named Marco as one of the showbiz personalities she could see herself dating. “Ang gwapo ng mukha… Bro, crush kita,” she said.

Julia, being Marco’s close friend, said that she can tell when he is in love. “I can tell when Marco really likes a girl. I know when Marco is actually going to pursue a girl. I know how he behaves when he’s in love. I know when he starts acting like when he is in love,” shared Julia.

“But, I also know Marco when he’s unsure. I also know Marco when he’s nervous. I also know Marco when he’s afraid. Period. Hanggang dun na lang muna,” she added.

Marco can likewise tell when Julia is happily in love. “For example, may gusto siya, parang mayroon siyang giddy feeling na alam mo yun, para siyang nasa Cloud 9. Si Julia pwede mo siyang i-bully or lokohin tapos OK lang sa kanya. You can get away with it because she is super happy because she is in love,” he revealed.

“Walang bad day kay Julia pag in love siya…That’s how love can change your persona or your aura. Kaya masarap maging in love.”

Marco and Julia have been friends for quite sometime now.

“I think when I was seven, Julia was like four, nagkasama na kami sa isang party before because our parents are friends. I remember Julia at that age,” recalled Marco.

He continued, “But fast forward to nag-artista na kami, I think 2012 or 2013, same po kasi kami ng handler sa Star Magic before. That’s why nagkakasama kami sa guestings.”

Julia shared their paths crossed again during her 17th birthday and since then, Marco would frequent her birthday parties.

“Marco and I have been friends for almost a decade now. We’ve been there for each other through ups and downs. Life, love, problems, family — that’s something that we both talk about. That’s something that we’re talking about right now. Nagte-text-an kami ngayon, nagpapa-update ako ngayon sa mga nangyayari ngayon dahil huli ata ako sa balita (viral video),” said Julia.

She considered Marco as one of her “bestest friends for a very long time.”

Marco agreed, “We really open to each other about everything. When it comes to family matters, I’m super close to her parents. Close din ako sa buong family niya. All these years, our friendship is close to family na rin talaga. We all tell each other’s problems. We run to each other for comfort. Yun yung bihira na makita natin sa showbiz. Yung totoong kaibigan.”

Airing Saturday nights at 8, TV5’s Di Na Muli also stars another Marco, the Filipino-Italian actor and model Marco Gallo. The series is directed by Andoy Ranay and written by Noreen Capili.

It tells the story of Yanna (Julia), who has a special ability to see the life span of other people by holding their hands. She meets Mico (Marco Gumabao), who challenges her outlook and attitude towards love.

The cast members and director were asked to complete the sentence: “Di na muli ako…” Direk Andoy quipped, “Di na muli ako iibig pa,” while Marco Gallo said, “Di na muli ako magpapalipas ng opportunity.”

Marco Gumabao answered, “Di na muli ako totodo sa pag-ibig,” while Julia commented, “Di na muli ako mago-overshare tungkol sa mga personal relationships ko.”

Julia also shared some advice to people who are brokenhearted, encouraging them to not lose hope.

She said, “Lahat naman tayo pinagdaanan natin yan,” not only in love but life in general, adding, “Maraming bagay sa buhay minsan parang ayoko na, ‘wag na lang. Nakakawalang-gana. Nakaka-discourage.”

But don’t give up, she furthered, “Wag kang magpapatalo sa ganun kasi ang sarap magmahal eh. Ang sarap mabuhay. Ang sarap magtagumpay. Ang sarap mag-move forward. Ang sarap mag-move on.”

Julia also sees pain in a positive light. She said, “Alam mo yung may kurot na ang sakit, pero parang masarap siya kasi alam mo yung tumitibay ka eh. Pag na-overcome mo siya, parang ‘Ay, na-overcome ko yun.’”





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