Why they broke up

Dingdong and I are okay — Karylle (in a tab headline)

Karylle and I are okay — Dingdong (in another tab headline)

Half truths, really, but I won’t call them half-lies.

Yes, it’s true: Dingdong Dantes and Karylle “are okay” as friends but…and that’s the BIG BUT…they’re not okay as sweethearts.

They have broken up.

“It’s over!” Karylle told Funfare in her first time ever to admit what is being played up in the tabloids and TV newscasts.

“Yes, break na kami,” said Dingdong, also in his first time ever to confirm the so far “unconfirmed” reports.

Asked if there’s any “third party” involved, Dingdong said no, there isn’t — that is, not even Marian Rivera whose name is being dragged into the mess as one of the causes, if not the cause, of it all. Marian was Dingdong’s leading lady in the GMA hit fantasy-adventure series Marimar and Dyesebel, and is now starring with him in One True Love which is produced by GMA Films.

Maybe because of their closeness on the set, it’s inevitable for Dingdong and Marian to be romantically linked to each other, especially since Marian reportedly only recently broke up with Ervic Vejandre, a member of the San Sebastian College basketball team, after going steady (off and on) with him for seven years. (Was it a case of, ehem, the “seven-year itch”?)

“I have nothing to do with (Dingdong and Karylle’s) break-up,” insisted Marian even if showbiz-watchers believe otherwise.

Added the well-mannered Dingdong, “I don’t want our break-up to be used as promo for my movie with Marian. Ever since we started going steady, Karylle and I tried to draw a line between our careers and our private lives.”

First reported as a blind item by Funfare about a month ago, the Dingdong-Karylle break-up after what looked like a three-year smooth, fairy-tale romance, didn’t happen, well, just like that.

“It was the result of a long process,” said Dingdong. “Basta, nagka-iba ang priorities namin. We did try hard to iron things out and save our relationship, but…”

Beyond that, Dingdong and Karylle would say nothing more.

Even when pestered and pressured by the movie press to speak up, Dingdong has remained evasive, saying quite a mouthful but not saying what he should. On S.O.P., the GMA Sunday show, Karylle would act as if nothing was happening, as if all’s right with her world, but deep inside she’s hurting — terribly, terribly, terribly!

The ex-sweethearts decided to keep mum — until now — because they agreed initially to talk together only to The STAR as a nod by Karylle to her being a regular contributor to this paper’s Entertainment Section. In fact, when I was in L.A. for the interviews first with the High School Musical 3: Senior Year stars and Quantum of Solace actor Daniel Craig (and his Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko), Dingdong texted to me a message, asking where I was. I gave him the landline at the Four Seasons (Beverly Hills) and he called soon after. He said he and Karylle wanted to talk “only to The STAR” about their break-up, so we set an appointment at a secret place for Oct. 26, three days after I arrived home. No TV coverage, please!

At the appointed date, Karylle begged off, saying she had to undergo a root canal. To make a rather long, and winding story shorter, the meeting was postponed again and again, with the ex-sweethearts agreeing to just talk separately, Karylle first before Dingdong, until we ended up talking not face-to-face as originally planned but on the phone because their schedules just didn’t jibe.

I understood why Karylle was taking her time.

“She’s hurting,” said somebody close to her. “She loves Dingdong so much. She’s taking the break-up very badly because up to now, she hasn’t really faced the reality that her parents, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Dr. Modesto Tatlonghari, have split up. It happened when she was young kaya matindi ang impact sa kanya.”

I think Karylle is in denial. Concerned friends have been trying to console her and to help her to move on, reminding her to, you know, try to take it easy and to remember that it would have been harder if it were, like that of her parents, a marriage break-up.

Karylle has gone on a religious retreat with a dear friend to help her accept things more easily, painful though it may be. But being a true professional, Karylle finished the run of West Side Story (as Maria, with Christian Bautista as her lover Tony) at the Meralco Theater without any hitch.

“Performing in the musical became some kind of a therapy for Karylle,” said a staffer of STAGES, producer of West Side Story. “The audience probably didn’t notice it pero ang galing-galing ni Karylle especially in the dramatic scenes. Talagang feel na feel niya, lalo na doon sa dapat umiyak siya. She must have felt lighter after every performance.”

That, for the time being, is part of the true story behind the Dingdong-Karylle break-up.

People are wondering, is it really a break-up or just a cooling-off? Will they get back together again? Sayang naman ang masasayang tatlong taon nila, they said.

Come to think of it, the story has not really ended yet.

Shall I say, abangan ang susunod na kabanata?

RICKY LO
Philippine Star

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