Enzo Almario and Jay Gonzaga talk about love and courtship, plus their first BL roles

Meeting your ideal man/woman brings you to a rosy world, but it doesn’t mean it won’t bring you any hurdles especially when you’re not yet ready to commit. Sometimes you feel love is in the air but you can’t seem to figure it out.

This ‘situationship’ is something viewers can expect in Love Bites: “Boy Meets Man” starring Enzo Almario and Jay Gonzaga.

The episode tells the real-life story of Japs (Enzo), who finds his ideal guy in Ace (Jay). As their connection grows deeper, Ace will be there to guide Japs in figuring out life and love.

Enzo is honored to represent the LGBTQIA community through meaningful stories like “Boy Meets Man,” which aired last Friday, June 2, just in time to welcome Pride Month.  Likewise, Jay is glad that Pinoy viewers are slowly accepting the BL genre, as it touches not only romance but more importantly, self-acceptance.

For Enzo and Jay, this project equates to a responsibility to give LGBTQIA proper representation, besides giving justice to the real-life story of Japs and Ace. Jay had been looking forward to starring in a BL project, until finally, he did. And this made him love his craft even more. Besides, he’s always up for challenges to broaden his horizon as an actor. He further believes LGBTQIA stories have a wide audience, evinced by positive feedback on the internet.

A singer first before an actor, Enzo felt the jitters since it was his first lead role. He auditioned for the role a day after he attended a friend’s wedding, hence he wasn’t prepared enough. Still, he did it.

Knowing Jay’s background as a theater actor and his performance in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano added to the pressure. Thankfully, it was Jay who first warmed up by sending him a message before their taping. Thus, he felt comfortable with his onscreen partner. And he’s grateful to Jay for helping him in their scenes. He said Jay guided him throughout, even in his intonation and how they’d execute a scene. And after taping, he felt more confident with his acting skills.

Enzo and Jay finished their episode in less than a day. Since they had limited time, they worked on the scenes beforehand – throwing lines and discussing their execution – to avoid retakes. Everything fit together, thanks to their collaboration.

Japs’ character resonated with Enzo in many ways. He was once like him – scared to trust and feeling unworthy of love. And just like Japs, he experienced giving a person false hopes, or in millennial slang, pa-fall, “Hindi siya magandang feeling kasi meron kang pinaghihintay.” He confessed that it started when an ex-boyfriend dumped him for his “boring” personality. Eager to debunk what his ex said, he partied non-stop and didn’t take love seriously. 

“Hindi ko sinasadya na nagiging narcissit na pala ako, na parang naka-focus na lang pala ako sa sarili ko kasi gusto kong i-prove ‘yung sarili ko sa kanya. So, ‘yun ‘yung pangit, may mga nasaktan kang tao along the way para lang ma-prove ‘yung sarili mo. Sobrang mali,” Enzo shared. 

From that confession, Jay was prompted to speak about being kind to yourself before loving other people. He imparted, “Aabot ka na rin kasi sa sukdulan na parang naaawa ka na lang sa sarili mo… Kasi ‘pag in love ang tao, bulag ka talaga, parang, ‘Ito lang gusto kong mangyari.’ Hindi mo na nakikita ‘yung nasa kabila. Mare-realize mo, ‘Parang mali na ‘to.’ Parang wala ka ng time sa sarili mo, napabayaan mo na.”

He added, “You have to love yourself first bago ka magbigay ng pagmamahal sa iba. Para ‘pag dumating ‘yung time na hindi mag-work out, at least you’re happy with yourself.” On the other hand, giving your all in a relationship lessens the regret once things end. “Habang kasama mo ‘yung mahal mo, just enjoy every minute of it. Just go with the flow. Kasi hindi mo din naman madidiktahan ang pagmamahal.”

It’s just a matter of keeping a balance. Love your partner to the fullest, but be kind to yourself as well and know when to let go. “Huwag mong paikutin ‘yung mundo mo sa isang tao lang,” said Enzo, talking from experience.

Asked their opinions on no-label relationships, Enzo explained that what works for some may not work for others. As with any kind of relationship, being clear about your boundaries is a must. Personally, though, he prefers a relationship with label. However, he doesn’t believe in courtship, “Kung may naramdaman tayong spark sa isa’t isa at mutual naman, i-try na natin.”

Jay then compared courtships before and now, saying his generation took it seriously the traditional way. He remembers giving flowers and really making an effort for the girls he courted before. In this digital age, on the other hand, courtship seems dead, buried behind emojis and social media. He thinks youngsters don’t put an effort into courtship anymore, thus, they easily move on from one relationship to another. He also believes that labels are important in a relationship “kasi mahirap magselos.”

Hey, love might be complicated but it’s sweet! Catch Enzo and Jay’s Love Bites: “Boy Meets Man” episode, now streaming via ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube Channel.