Top stars of the digital short film twinbill “Love Unlock” have gotten important takeaways, not only from the filming of the special exclusive offering on Kapamilya Online Live, but from the general quarantine experience itself as they dealt with the lingering COVID-19 crisis.
For real-life ex-partners Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia, who will reunite in the episode “E-numan,” it was cherishing and maintaining a solid friendship despite their separation—which is a rarity even for non-celebrities.
Julia and Josh play the scriptwriter Tin and the reporter Benj, respectively—ex-college sweethearts revisiting their failed romance in an online reunion or “e-numan” with friends that took an unexpected turn.
“You know I think ang ikinakakatuwa namin parehas is ‘yung friendship na talaga na mine-maintain namin. We have such a good friendship right now and we’re both at ease with each other,” Julia said in a virtual media conference.
Revealing that they “were also friends before we became lovers,” Julia said she and Joshua chose to save their friendship. “Kasi sayang eh. Sayang. We had a lot of good memories together… So we just wanted to go back to that and save our friendship.”
Joshua asserted that having done the “E-numan” episode maintaining that same onscreen chemistry without any hitch or problems between them is a result of their continuing friendship
Julia added: “Communication is constant. We saved the friendship. Hindi namin ginustong i-sayang lang ang mga bagay-bagay. So I think that’s the foundation of everything. If you have a good friendship, you can naturally do everything in peace. So we were able to work in peace, we were able to come face to face at peace, talk to each other at peace. Grateful kami kasi nag mature kami ng panahon ni Josh.”
Asked if there was an initial “awkwardness” when they first encountered each other for the project, both said there was none at all.
“Wala akong na-encounter na any kind of awkwardness with Josh,” Julia said.
In fact, Joshua shared he had even once visited Julia at her home after their breakup as a couple, and everything turned out cordial.
“Since naghiwalay kami, hindi naman nawala ang connection namin sa isa’t isa. Palaging nagkaka-text naman kami. Bumisita ako sa bahay nila. Wala naman awkwardness.”
He said people might perceive it as such because of their separation, but he reiterated everything turned out fine.“
’Yun siguro ang feeling ng tao na naghiwalay kami, pero hindi naman (naging awkward kami sa isa’t isa) po.”
Aside from treasuring their friendship, Joshua and Julia learned valuable lessons from the continuing community quarantine. Joshua revealed how he would now treasure time for himself, and really make the most of the time and opportunities life gives him.
“Ang dami kong sinayang na oras sa panahong na-addict ako sa computer, hindi ko alam kung ano pa ang kailangang kong gawin,” Joshua said. “Pero natuto akong magbasa-basa ng libro, more on para sa sarili, self-love. Ang dami kong na-realize na mga sinayang ko na araw. Mga panahonong pwede pa akong lumabas, parang ‘di ko magawa ngayon kasi nasa bahay lang ako. ‘Pag nagkaroon ako ng chance na makalabas, talagang sulitin ko ang araw.”
For Julia it is to “never to take anything for granted.” She said people should now appreciate the “simple things like going to the grocery, going to a friend (and) be in constant communication with people close to you.”
As for JoshLia’s craft as artists, “Love Unlock” really unlocked some creative abilities they haven’t explored or tried before. Sans a live set or filming location, taping was done in their homes, with Joshua and Julia themselves multitasking their onscreen acting with setting the right camera angles, fixing audio, doing the light design, and other production tasks normally done by several production crew members.
Director Dado Lumibao praised the actors for their professionalism and versatility in completing the very difficult project.
“Love Unlock” premieres on Kapamilya Online Live this August 15, Saturday, at 7:30pm.