They say it’s difficult to find true friends in showbiz. However, Angelica Panganiban and John Prats continue to defy this assumption with their rare but genuine friendship. The besties share their inspiring story in the recent episode of I Feel U hosted by Toni Gonzaga.
Angelica and John have known each other as kids since they both started as child stars and she often shared projects with his sister, Camille Prats. But contrary to the closeness we see, they did not like each other at first. Angelica joked that John would be irked by her presence at the Prats abode every time she’d drop by to visit Camille. Besides, he had a different set of friends at that time.
They starred together in “Ang TV: The Movie” and Familia Zaragoza and in the coming of age programs G-mik and Berks. Still, the teenage John and Angelica didn’t get along well. He used to tease her a lot and Angelica then wasn’t the ‘fighter’ she is today.
Their friendship just took off eleven years ago when he joined the cast of Banana Split (later Banana Sundae) where she was part of the pioneer batch. They surprisingly clicked and became the best of friends, so John thought of their pet name.
Angelica considers one of John’s biggest heartbreaks as the turning point in their friendship. That was when she realized that she would never want to see him getting hurt, and that they’ve built an unbreakable bond.
On their fondest memories together, they looked back at the time when Angelica received death threats. John was there to protect her, and make her laugh, of course. Angelica forgot the fear and she found John’s extreme worrying quite hilarious. He would ask Angelica to duck when passing by the windows.
They also shared bits of a Boracay getaway wherein they bonded over calamansi muffins and got stranded due to heavy rains.
John and Angelica witnessed each other’s milestones. They are practically growing old together, as friends. When asked if they ever felt attracted to one another, the best friends simply laughed it off. John quipped that he warned Angelica not to fall for him. Kidding aside, they’re like siblings to each other.
John and Angelica know they have the say on each other’s romantic affairs. But they try not to meddle as much as possible. They’re only there to provide advice when needed. When John was still looking for ‘the one,’ Angelica was often the third wheel to his dates. He would know the verdict once she stops joining them, a sign that she caught some red flags.
Similarly, John would know if a guy isn’t good for his friend. But he won’t intrude and impose his thoughts. He always wishes for her happiness despite his frequent qualms about her relationships. The best he could only do is to be there to provide comfort when she’s broken.
John would often remind Angelica to love herself first, to also consider her own happiness over others’. He believes that his ‘pets’ deserve to be loved and be happy because of how kind and generous she is. He said that Angelica might be known for being frank but she has a pure heart. With these, he swears that the one Angelica chooses to love is a lucky man.
She likewise always advises him to set boundaries and fight back when oppressed. Although, she fairly admits that John isn’t perfect. There was a phase when he would commit relationship mistakes.
Angelica knew her buddy has found ‘the one’ when he began dating Isabel Oli. She saw Isabel’s commitment to the Lord and where the relationship was headed. And looking at the kind of husband and father that John has become, Angelica is just amazed and proud of him. She is a witness to how he works hard for his family. She sees the joy whenever he takes on his daddy duties.
In return, John is proud of Angelica’s generosity. She was never selfish as a daughter and as a friend. He knows Angelica will become a good wife and mom someday. And when that time comes, he will become even more proud.
Just like in any other friendship soused in honesty, John and Angelica also quarrel sometimes. And it’s always truthfully brutal. They openly express what anger them and fix the trouble immediately. No matter how much misunderstanding tries to test their friendship, John and Angelica will surely remain solid.
For John, a true friend deserves to be loved despite the imperfections, like how people fully embrace their partners’ flaws. Angelica defines friendship as an eternal bond. Lovers may leave and romantic relationships may end up sad but a true friend will always stay. “Ang friendship, wala siyang break-up. Panghabambuhay siya,” Angelica said.
Even before plant parenting became a quarantine fad, Angelica Panganiban has long been a certified ‘plantita.’ She now has a growing plant collection of almost a hundred pieces. For Angelica, her plants are like babies that make her look forward to coming home. They brighten her mood and bring her calm, especially during this pandemic.
The quarantine re-introduced Angelica to her many strengths like discipline and independence. She realized that she can also do things alone. She was in Dubai for work when the first week of lockdown was announced. Coincidentally, their flight was scheduled the next day.
Apart from being lauded for her acting genius, Angelica is also admired for being a true friend to many of her showbiz colleagues. She defies the notion that genuine friendship can never be found in the industry.
One of her besties, Glaiza de Castro, made an appearance in the interview and asked Angelica three burning questions. Glaiza would like to know if there’s something Angelica would like to tell her but she didn’t have the guts to.
Angelica shared that Glaiza is a ‘baby,’ someone who is used to being taken care of. On a trip to Japan, Angelica, being naturally affectionate as well, looked after Glaiza throughout the travel. But
there came a point when she silently hated tending to all her needs. “Ako ‘yung may bitbit ng bag niya tapos gusto ko talaga siyang kausapin na, ‘Ilang araw na kitang inaasikaso, pwede bang asikasuhin mo naman ‘yung sarili mo?’ Nasabi ko rin naman ‘yun sa kanya pero siyempre pagkatapos na,” enthused Angelica. She simply joked about her sentiments not to offend her friend.
Angelica believes that nothing can break their friendship. She only has three closest female showbiz friends. Apart from Glaiza, she’s also best friends with Kim Chiu and Bela Padilla. Most of her other buddies are gays and males. Thus, Glaiza serves as the ‘kikay’ friend that adds balance to her being one of the boys.
Angelica can’t really put their friendship into words. She thinks they are different and when they’re together, their little quirks just combine into the right blend. They just get each other’s weirdness. Angelica considers Glaiza as the sister she never had. She’s also close to her family.
For Angelica, authenticity is the key to finding true friendships in the industry. She would admit that its easy to always be up for competitions. And this kind of mindset only blocks genuine relationships.
Angelica started in the industry at the age of 6. Her first Star Cinema movie was the Maricel Soriano starrer “Separada” that made her win her first FAMAS trophy as Best Child Actress. But her most iconic works as a child star would have to be “Sarah: Ang Munting Prinsesa” where she played the role of the good-hearted, poor girl Becky.
Looking back on her rich filmography after 28 years in showbiz, Angelica is happy and proud of her works. For her, just finishing a whole project is already an achievement. The recognition is just a bonus. Angelica is currently working on a new teleserye.