YES! (Philippines) - - Contents -

An en­gag­ing mix of sub­tle ma­tu­rity and child­like play­ful­ness and ro­man­ti­cism fills the air when YES! Mag­a­zine has a photo shoot one Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon in March. In the photo stu­dio are two celebri­ties who make up one of the hottest love teams of their gen­er­a­tion: Kathryn Bernardo, 22, and Daniel “DJ” Padilla, 23.

The two have been part of the KathNiel love team for seven years— be­gin­ning with the teen-ori­ented TV se­ries Grow­ing Up (2011-2012), which was im­me­di­ately fol­lowed by the hit TV se­ries Princess and I (2012-2013). From then on, they have head­lined hit movies ev­ery year, in­clud­ing Must Be… Love (2013), She’s Dat­ing the Gang­ster (2014), Crazy Beau­ti­ful You (2015), Barcelona: A Love Un­told (2016), and Can’t Help Fall­ing in Love (2017).

They have also starred in tele­seryes, such as Got to Be­lieve (2013-2014), Pan­gako Sa’Yo (2015-2016), and their lat­est hit, La Luna San­gre (2016-2017), where they played star-crossed lovers who must de­cide the fate of war­ring wolves and vam­pires.

It’s a long list of achieve­ments—and hours of gru­el­ing tap­ing days spent to­gether—which is why it doesn’t come as a sur­prise that Kathryn and Daniel have learned to mea­sure the per­fect amount of pri­vate de­tails that they keep to them­selves and in­ter­est­ing anec­dotes that they share for pub­lic con­sump­tion.

The evo­lu­tion of the love team hap­pened slowly. Com­pared with their ways when they were first pushed into the spot­light, they have now be­come less guarded, and more re­laxed and con­fi­dent, traits that come with grow­ing up and be­ing more se­cure with one’s sta­tus in the in­dus­try.

They have the ideals and dreams of the young at heart, but they take the road to those ideals and dreams with much prac­ti­cal­ity.

Kathryn tells us about her wish to be­come an as­sis­tant stylist (“Pag stylist, nakaka-pres­sure, e,” she says), a makeup artist, and a pho­tog­ra­pher. And she says all this with charm­ing shy­ness and open­ness.

Daniel tells us about his dream of en­ter­ing deeper into the world of mu­sic and ad­mits mat­ter-of-factly: “Pero sa ibang atake na sig­uro, hindi na sa pag­tug­tog masyado. Kasi na­pag-iwanan na rin ako. Hindi na ’ko naka­pag-prac­tice.”

What we have here are the Kathryn and Daniel who have got­ten to know them­selves and each other—amid the com­pe­ti­tion and the evo­lu­tion in the chang­ing world of show busi­ness. Th­ese are the Kathryn and Daniel who are grate­ful to be among those of their con­tem­po­raries who are at the top of the heap, who are aware of what might hap­pen, and who re­main stead­fast on the road to clearer goals. Th­ese are the Kathryn and Daniel who are now un­per­turbed by the pres­sures of putting up a fa­cade that is com­mon in their age group.

Now that La Luna San­gre has ended, there is no fear of the un­known fu­ture.

“Masaya din ang feel­ing na nag­ta­pos,” Daniel says. “Well, una, ka­musta ba nag­ta­pos, di ba? ’Yon na­man ’yong ques­tion, e. Paano ba nag­ta­pos? Sa case na­man ng La Luna San­gre, ma­g­a­nda na­man ’yong pag­tat­a­pos namin. Happy kami na may nat­a­pos na na­man kam­ing isang suc­cess­ful na project. So on to the next one na. Hope­fully, mabi­gyan kami ulit.”

As for the KathNiel love team, it can only keep get­ting bet­ter.

“Feel ko,” Kathryn says, “nag-ee­volve na­man ngayon, ’yong sa ilang taon. Malaki na, grabe na ’yong evo­lu­tion.”

Daniel chimes in: “Ev­ery project, may evo­lu­tion na nangya­yari. Meron kam­ing mga nakukuha do’n sa project. May ma­tu­rity din na kasama ’yon, along the way.”

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