Who could ever imagine this moment at the Smart Araneta Coliseum three years ago, when two struggling young artists were waiting for that big break?
James Reid had just emerged from a non-eventful string of television roles and no immediate chance of getting any new project for the year; virtually at the crossroads of uncertainty after his once thought-of phenomenal rise.
Nadine Lustre, who had been a teen upstart in Viva with supporting credits in Petrang Kabayo and TV adaptations of Bagets and P.S. I Love You, aside from being merely one of the female showstoppers in the girl group Pop Girls, surely had promise to bask in the limelight but still couldn’t really make it big.
How it all began
But then something came up that the entertainment giant could not pass up. It was the idea of making film versions of trending romantic stories being uploaded to self-publishing literature platform Wattpad. It was once piece from the site that already had been a bestseller in bookstores that caught Viva’s attention, and the rest was history.
Diary Ng Panget, a story of an ugly girl who won the heart of her snobbish, rude, condescending prince charming, had become a film project that would fuse both traditional print and online fascination into one visual, motion picture piece.
The team, led by Boss Vic del Rosario, had surely no one else in mind for the two leads in the cast in this experimental project: their pretty, reliable, multi-talented Nadine as Eya Rodriguez and the dashing, mestizo, and already popular PBB Teen Clash Big Winner James, who had since been a new contract artist, as Cross Sanford.
The film rocked at the tills, a sleeper hit earning about P130 million without a big-name supporting cast, and made the two the most ravishing love team at the time, enamoring common youngsters with their stark, obvious contrasts yet lovable and kilig-much chemistry.
With the “experiment” Diary ng Panget’s success, Viva discovered their new phenomenal love team JaDine and followed up their box office hit with another Wattpad adaptation, Talk Back and You’re Dead, which also had considerable success and proved JaDine’s growing popularity, not only among their captured JaDine fandom but by mainstream rom-com addicts.
It was at this time when ABS-CBN was so marveled at their cinematic appeal that it had to bring JaDine to TV, and of course taking their Wattpad formula with them. Wansapanatym Presents: My App: #Boyfie, a story of a young woman who created her dream boy using magic tablet application, became their first TV project together and heralded a new chapter in their careers.
With its ratings success, the Kapamilya network began charting their paths as part of its programming and movie productions. Star Cinema partnered with Viva Films for JaDine’s next movie titled Para Sa Hopeless Romantic, which is, yes, another film version of a hit Wattpad title.
Was it real?
And through it all, we all witnessed JaDine as one “professional” and “productive” love team in delivering the money makers in entertainment production, and their heartwarming and enticing on-screen chemistry, which we simply can’t take our eyes off for that simple giddiness we all enjoy feeling.
But, off-screen? Do we see something as real as it gets?
And, as ABS-CBN invited the press and bloggers to a press conference of their first-ever teleserye, On the Wings of Love, in August, there was no sign of it as Nadine and James answered they would rather spend days off with relatives or do their own thing to a question about how would they want to spend their breaks from the set together?
“Parati na kasi kaming magkasama,” Nadine told this writer in jest.
But since the premiere of OTWOL, their affection and closeness towards each other evidently developed as they are not only seen delivering lines but make tender, amorous gestures to one another. In between takes, we saw James cheering Nadine up with gifts like a toy dog and affectionate hugs and kisses.
And, in some instance, being seen quarreling over Nadine’s outfit at a premiere. While not a pretty sight, the incident shows nevertheless how serious and intense their relationship has gone.
And this was totally evident, ironically, in the recently most talked-about intense “break-up” scene, wherein after it was successfully shot, James immediately went to the aid of a visibly affected Nadine and comforted her with gestures not normally seen among professional colleagues or mere friends.
Truly something was in the offing, and all points led to that.
Fitting concert title
It all came to one celebratory gathering to mark the success of their love team and OTWOL that made it official.
Yes, “JaDine In Love” last Friday, February 20 at the Big Dome, was something Nadine’s BFF Yassi Pressman described as so fitting and appropriate a concert title for the two, as it concretized all what they felt for each other throughout the concert, and ended the way it should be, with both of them saying “I love you” to each other and admitting they are already a couple.
Indeed, the journey to true love begins and reaches its destiny when you least expect it. And for JaDine, we all cheer and scream it will be forever.