Derrick Monasterio Declares Girlfriend Elle Villanueva As The “Next Marian Rivera Of GMA”

Elle Villanueva reveals how Derrick Monasterio supports him in “Makiling”: “Parang driver on-call!”

Sparkle artists and real-life couple Derrick Monasterio and Elle Villanueva are tackling mature and intense roles as they return to GMA Afternoon Prime via “Makiling.”

The latest afternoon series produced by GMA Public Affairs serves as the couple’s follow-up project for the 2022 drama “Return To Paradise.”

In an interview with FreebieMNL during the press conference of “Makiling” on January 5, 2023 at Luxent Hotel, Elle and Derrick expressed how happy they are to be paired again for their next project.

Elle says, “Kasi medyo matagal din kami [nagpahinga] after ‘Return To Paradise.’ [Sabi ko,] ‘My gosh, tayo pa rin kaya yung magiging next na love team [sa show]?

“If not, we’re just gonna accept it. But if yes, such a big blessing for us so when we heard about ‘Makiling’ na kami yung napili, sobrang saya namin. In fact, naging excited kami na gampanan itong role namin, nag-enroll agad kami ng sarili naming workshop.”

Derrick also shares how he and Elle created a checklist for the dream projects they have together.

“After ng ‘Return To Paradise,’ gumawa kami ng checklist ng mga gusto naming pagsamahan pa: endorsements, movies, billboards, isa pang show. Nangyari yung endorsement—check, nangyari yung isa pang show—check.

Siguro ang gusto na lang namin ngayon, movie together, yun yung pinaka-goal namin. We’re just so blessed kasi ipinagdasal po namin ito, e.”

Derrick Monasterio, Elle Villanueva
Elle Villanueva and Derrick Monasterio

Derrick Monasterio believes Elle Villanueva is the “next Marian Rivera”

In “Makiling,” Elle plays the role of Amira, a provincial girl who finds herself as an unfortunate target of bullies. As she experiences suffering under their hands, she vows to avenge her hardships and get the justice she believes she deserves.

Derrick, on the other hand, is Alex, the love of Amira’s life and her protector.

With the story being centered on Elle’s character, Derrick openly gives the spotlight to Elle even if he is ahead of her in showbiz and in doing lead roles in previous projects.

According to Derrick, aside from the fact that he wants his girlfriend to shine, the limelight is something that Elle rightfully deserves.

He says, “Siyempre, mahal mo yan, e. So, proud ka talaga sa kanya and dream ko rin talaga na sumikat siya ng sobra.

“As in ako yung pinakaunang matutuwa and hindi ko naman siya ipu-push, hindi naman ako mangangarap for her kung wala akong nakikita, e. Meron.

Napakagaling niyang artista, kailangan lang siya bigyan ng maraming breaks, good projects, good director, alam ko magpa-fly ito.”

He then proudly declares, “Ito ang next Marian Rivera ng GMA!”

Elle, who lets out a smile at that moment, says, “Grabe naman yun!

Derrick then supports his claim about Elle: “Kasi lahat, check, e. Yung attitude niya towards work, check. Talent, beauty, PR sa tao, yung love for her craft, yun yun, e. That’s what makes her a superstar.”

How did Elle react to this?

She answers, “I’m so speechless kasi alam mo, whenever nag-uusap din kami usually sa kotse, kapag nagkakausap kami pauwi ng bahay, nagugulat din ako sa sinasabi ni Derrick na he really wants the best for me.

“Whatever happens, parang may maling mangyari man or siyempre, ang buhay ng artista, minsan nasa taas ka. Minsan nasa baba ka.

“So, vice versa, kung ganoon yung mangyari sa akin, ang sinasabi sa akin ni Derrick lagi, ‘I will always be here for you and I will support you no matter what.’ Basta happy siya sa akin kahit anuman gusto ko.

READ ALSO: Derrick Monasterio Dispels Gay Rumor About Him

Derrick is all-out with his support of Elle

But from Elle’s point of view, Derrick has been going the extra mile just to show his support for her.

Elle shares, “Okay, number one, driver ko yan. Two hours away ang Bulacan kung saan kami nagte-taping. Kahit wala siyang call that day, magda-drive siya sa Bulacan, which is nagulat ako; from Manila to Bulacan, ipagda-drive niya ako two hours away kahit wala siyang call.

“So, after, iiwan niya ako doon ‘tapos babalikan niya ako ng gabi. So, parang driver on-call! Kahit hindi ko naman masyadong hinihiling pero alam niya kasing mahirap yung eksena, pagod.”

Derrick says about this gesture, “Alam ko rin kasing kapag service, kailangan mong hintayin lahat bago ka maihatid.

“So, kapag natapos na siya ng maaga, maghihintay siya. So, susunduin ko na lang siya para hindi siya maghintay.”

There are also times when Derrick would become a “personal assistant” to Elle during taping.

Elle narrates, “’Tapos number two, kapag nag-a-absent yung P.A. ko, siya yung sub.

“So, after iyakan, tissue, ‘What do you need? Water?’ Tapos lahat ibinibigay niya.

Tapos siya yung nagre-ready ng kama ko, inu-unfold niya, siya nagsasakay sa kotse, maalaga super.

“Number three, he always makes sure na okay ako sa set na hindi ako masasaktan, na okay pa rin yung pakiramdam ko after and before. Marami pa, it’s a long list.

READ ALSO: Kapuso Network Rebrands GMA Telebabad To GMA Prime; Unveils 2024 Offerings

Time with each other

But while they enjoy working with each other, there are also moments when Elle and Derrick’s relationship as partners is affected by being on the show together, as their personal time is limited.

Derrick says, “Yun yung pinakamahirap para sa akin kasi wala na talaga kaming time, wala na kaming quality time.

Ang pinaka-quality time namin is siguro, kapag nagsi-sleepover kami sa bahay ng isa’t isa, manonood kami ng ‘Friends.’

“Like ngayon, wala kaming taping, nasa presscon kami. The next day, may taping kami. The next day, may promo kami. Hindi na kami nakakanood ng movie, hindi ko na siya nade-date, lagi niyang tinatanong sa akin na kailan ko siya made-date.

Ang sinasabi ko sa kanya, ‘Wala na kasi tayong time, e, kahit gugustuhin ko.

Pero siguro, in small ways, tina-try ko pa rin siyang i-surprise. Pagluluto ko man siya or bibilhan ng coffee, mga ganun kasi yun lang yung kaya kong gawin sa oras.”

Elle adds, “Yung napapansin kong quality time is yung nasa kotse lang talaga, doon lang kami nakakapag-usap.”

Even then, Derrick and Elle both feel happy and blessed that they get to work on their new show.

“Makiling” premiered on Monday, January 8, on GMA Afternoon Prime. It is directed by Conradu Pero, with the original concept by Aeious Asin and the late Reign Loleng. The show’s creative team is helmed by Carlos Palanca Memorial Awardee Clarissa Estuar-Navarro.

Also part of the cast are Thea Tolentino, Myrtle Sarrosa, Kristoffer Martin, Claire Castro, Royce Cabrera, Teejay Marquez, and Lotlot de Leon in a special role.

Banner Art Paulo Correa

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