• Saturday after MMK
  • Saturday after MMK
KarJon details acting experience, lock-in setup, and off-cam bonding with “Hoy Love You” co-stars

Young stars Karina Bautista and Aljon Mendoza are not resting on their laurels, taking on their jobs with much passion and at the same time learning from the veterans. Their latest assignment was a mix of work and playtime – acting alongside comedy virtuosos in a captivating beach resort in the South.

KarJon has been swamped with projects since exiting the Pinoy Big Brother house in 2018. They were even busy with digital shows at the height of the pandemic, thus they’re grateful for 2020 and looking forward to an even more promising 2021. Karina, who underwent medical surgery last year, has shifted to a healthier lifestyle while Aljon learned to appreciate the small things. 

Currently, they add more ‘kilig’ in the reunion project of Joross Gamboa and Roxanne Guinoo, the iWantTFC original series “Hoy Love You” available for free streaming.

Karina plays the fisherman’s daughter, market vendor, and student-leader Cara. Her intimidating façade will be a challenge to Charles played by Aljon. 

The newcomers learned a lot from their co-stars whether about acting, the rules of keeping a loveteam strong, and personal experiences. They call working with JoRox a privilege and seeing their humility keeps them grounded as well.

One of the best pieces of advice they got from them is to make sure the friendship remains no matter where life takes them. This wouldn’t be so hard to follow since Joross and Roxanne serve as examples. They admire how they sustained their friendship and respect for each other since calling it quits as a loveteam, and sweethearts.

“Ngayon may sari-sarili na silang family pero nu’ng nagkaroon ng balik-tambalan sobrang tinanggap nila ‘yun. Tinatanong din nila ‘yung mga sarili nila, ‘Uy, effective pa ba tayo?’ Doon ako napapahanga sa ganu’ng attitude nila,” said Karina of JoRox’s professionalism.

The lock-in setup brought everyone closer together. Joross and Roxanne would impart lessons from their past experiences. Dominic Ochoa shares wisdom about taping life and what he admires from other stars as well.

“Si Sir Dom, siya ‘yung nagkukuwento talaga about taping life. Sinasabi niya sa akin kung sino ‘yung mga artistang sa tingin niya talaga sobrang magaling, humahanap ng sariling light, sariling camera. Mga nabibigay niyang example, John Lloyd Cruz, Albert Martinez, mga ganyang magagaling na actor na gusto niya, siyempre, hangaan din namin,” Karina related.

Even seasoned actress Carmi Martin banters with them, although they were intimidated at first. The trio of Pepe Herrera, Yamyam Gucong, and TJ Valderama is the main source of hilarity but Joross and Dominic can keep up with the antics.

It was a fun taping bubble in a majestic location. Since filming in a beach resort, the cast would take on water activities like snorkelling, jet skiing, and kayaking on their day off. The poor signal reception forced everyone to talk to each other, or spend their free hours jamming, hence the bond.   

According to KarJon, working under ‘new normal’ is less daunting and it inspires them to perform better. Karina shared, “Dati, grabe ‘yung sacrifice na 5 AM ang alis, balik ganitong oras. Ngayon, nando’n na mismo kayo sa location, kaunting lakad lang nasa room ka na. Hindi mawawala ‘yung character mo since nando’n na ‘yung location, hindi ka umaalis. Mas nakikilala mo ‘yung co-actors mo.” Aljon added, “Sa work, sobrang ganda ng epekto kasi mas naka-focus kami. Hindi kami nadi-distract sa ibang bagay.” But, of course, they are praying for the end of the pandemic.

It was a challenge to do comedy for the first time, even tougher than drama, but they pulled it off thanks to Director Theodore Boborol. Aljon related that the seasoned director relived his worries, “Dream come true na makatrabaho namin siya bilang direktor kasi ‘di ko inasahan na magkakaroon kami ng ganu’ng direktor in just two years. Sabi ko po sa kanya nape-pressure po ako kasi hindi ako comedian, hindi ko alam kung paano magpatawa. Sabi niya, ‘Huwag kang kabahan. Relax ka lang, lalabas din ‘yan.’”

Karina added, “Si Direk Ted, hindi siya magagalitin, very hands-on at ma-communicate siya. After the taping, nakikisama siya sa mga artists niya, so talagang ang ganda ng samahan namin. Si Direk Ted, mabait ‘yan at binibigyan niya din ako ng advice, Nakita ko ‘yan lalo noong nag-presscon kami tapos nag-open up ako sa kanya tapos nagbigay siya ng experiences niya naman bilang direktor.”

“Hoy Love You” is available for free to all iWantTFC users worldwide.