When you hear the names of Carlo Aquino and Angelica Panganiban, you are assured of stellar performances whether they do comedy or drama, and whether they are in an indie project or a mainstream flick. They are acclaimed actors even if they are just 33 and 31, respectively, for they started out in the industry as child stars. They may be regarded as seasoned thespians already, but they admit that starring in a love team movie together has been an ultimate wish.
“Dream talaga namin makapagsama ulit sa isang magandang project,” Angelica comments to Inside Showbiz Weekly, adding that the theme of Exes Baggage was another reason why she said yes to the movie. As for Carlo, “Hindi nangyari sa amin ‘yun noon eh, ‘yung magkaroon ng sariling show. Nakagawa lang kami mga guesting-guesting, mga F.L.A.M.E.S.. Pero ‘yung binigay para sa amin na pelikula o show, never naming naranasan ‘yun. Kaya nung nilatag nila sa amin ito, talagang ako um-oo na ako.”
Carlo even says that he never imagined that there would still be a project wherein he and Angelica would be the main stars. “Happy lang. Kasi ang tagal naming inantay na feeling namin lipas na, na hindi na mangyayari. And 33 na ako diba? Tapos siya ang laki-laki niyang artista,” he muses and Angelica butts in, “Nagpapayat na nga ako para maganda ako sa pelikula natin.” Carlo immediately clarifies, “Hindi. Ibig kong sabihin big star,” before playfully hugging his ex-girlfriend.
Their reunion project, which is seemingly like the launching movie of the CarGel tandem that began in youth-oriented television show G-Mik in 1999, came as a surprise. “Biglaan siyang nangyari lahat eh. Hindi naman siya plinano. Nangyari nalang talaga eh. Hiningi ng mga tao, game naman kami, okay naman kami, may mga producers naman like Black Sheep (under ABS-CBN Films) na naniwala sa amin,” reveals Angelica.
But what is the fuss about the CarGel love team now? Why are all eyes on them all of a sudden, even before they started working on the movie? “Hindi ko alam. Siguro kasi may past kami tapos single kami ngayon. Naiwan kami ng mga kaibigan namin,” Angelica surmises, “Masaya kami. Nararamdaman namin ‘yung excitement ng mga tao.”
It was already so long ago when the young sweethearts decided to part ways twice. And although they seem to be very close today, it was not easy for them to rebuild their friendship. “Ilang taon din, matagal din naman,” says Angelica. Carlo adds, “Nangyari lang siya. Hindi pinilit. Minsan pa-text-text, nangangamusta ako, babati lang, ganun.”
Their comfortability and closeness have led others to wonder why it is okay for them to be friends even after a failed relationship. Others, on the other hand, would choose to cut off exes from their lives. “Case-to-case basis naman ‘yun. Hindi naman requirement kaya lang siguro kasi ang magandang nangyari sa amin, isang group lang ‘yung mga kaibigan namin kaya hindi imposibleng magkita kami o magkasama talaga kami sa event, may birthday. Talagang magkikita at magkikita kami so wala, nangyari nalang siya dere-deretso,” explains Angelica.
Angelica even shares how she feels whenever people say that they want CarGel to become a couple again. “Natatawa kami. Siyempre ang cute nung mga ganung comments. Talagang binabasa ko ‘yung mga sinasabi nila. ‘Pag ‘di ako makatulog, doon lang ako confident magbasa ng comments. Masaya lang silang lahat. Kami rin naman masaya lang din kami. Hindi naman kami na-pe-pressure. Wala naman kaming pinipilit eh. Nag-e-enjoy lang kami, masaya kami. Nagtrabaho kami, gumawa kami ng pelikula, and siguro nakikita kasi ng mga tao kung gaano kami ka-kumportable sa isa’t isa.”