Krissha Viaje and Jerome Ponce: A Love Team On The Rise

revised krisshrome freebiemnl spotlight final

Krissha Viaje and Jerome Ponce: A Love Team On The Rise

It can easily be said that the team-up of Krissha Viaje and Jerome Ponce is one of the breakout love teams of 2023. Both have been in the industry for years now, but it was their VivaOne series, “Safe Skies, Archer,” that skyrocketed their careers and gave birth to their love team, KrisshRome.

This claim does not come without proof. It’s not just that their episodes trend on social media and that their content garner huge engagement; it even came to a point where the VIVA One app crashed on the last episode of “Safe Skies, Archer.”

Now, Krissha and Jerome are busy promoting their follow-up project, “Sem Break,” a horror barkada series on VIVA One. It was VIVA’s gift to them after their series broke records on the streaming app. It is because of their success that VIVA has touted KrisshRome as one of its promising love teams that viewers should watch for this year.

Nakaka-touch,” says Krissha in an exclusive interview with FreebieMNL Spotlight.

After all, everything that she experienced in “Safe Skies, Archer” was new to her. She explains, “Hindi ko naman talaga nai-imagine ang sarili ko sa ganito. Parang hindi ko na-picture ang sarili ko before. Actually, sa acting pa lang, tapos may love team pa ako, Jerome Ponce pa? Kumbaga, hindi ko talaga na-imagine before na mapupunta pa ako sa ganun.”

As for Jerome, he believes that what they have now is a product of their hard work and their attitude towards their projects. He says, “Ever since, lahat ng dumadating na work sa akin, ginagawa ko yung best ko. Ina-apply ko talaga yung dati pang sinasabi nilang ‘You’re as good as your last project.’

Dati, hindi ko naiintindihan yung mga ganun. Ngayon, totoo pala, na-apply ko na lang yun kapag may dumating. Lahat kami, ginagawa namin best namin, pero siguro, being promising, yun yung more on nakaka-inspire ka ng tao, mas marami kang naaabot.”

Indeed, they were able to reach a bigger audience through their craft, with fans idolizing them and showering them with love on social media. But this did not come easy, as both Krissha and Jerome had to strive hard and prove themselves before getting to where they are now.

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On Jerome and Krissha: Baro Label Blazer and Pants, LVNA by Drake Dustin Jewelry

Struggles, rejections, and success

Krissha and Jerome often talk about their humble beginnings in the industry. From this, they were able to find common ground—a place where they were each looking for the right path within the industry to almost quitting showbiz before “Safe Skies, Archer” came around.

Krissha, for one, used to be a Star Magic talent as a member of “It’s Showtime”’s GirlTrends, which she was part of for a year. But prior to this, Krissha had joined reality shows and singing competitions, such as ABS-CBN’s “Little Big Star” in 2005 and TV5’s “Star Factor” in 2010.

In the middle of these opportunities, Krissha received an offer to migrate to and study in Australia, which happened while she was still part of GirlTrends. Krissha almost gave in to the offer, considering how tough the competition was and that she was with ladies who already had their own following, making it hard for her to stand out.

But then, she would always choose to stay and pursue the business, and the latest risk she took was saying yes to “Safe Skies, Archer.”

Krissha recalls, “Ito yung first time na in-accept ko sa sarili ko na to go out of my shell, to learn to [get out] sa comfort zone ko. Ito, at least, kung hindi ka pala komportable sa isang bagay tapos nagawa mo siya, it’s very fulfilling.”

Now, Krissha can say the risk was worth it, seeing the positive reception of her love team with Jerome. With this, she wants to take more risks and to try new things.

The VIVA artist admits, “Kaya parang ang tagal ko sa showbiz because I’m too safe, parang takot ako, ang dami kong fears. So, now, yun yung gusto kong gawin. Ngayon, mas free ako. Mas madaming opportunities ang dumarating kasi mas open ako.

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On Jerome: Baro Label Trench Coat, H&M White Inner, Loewe Pants

Meanwhile, people might think Jerome had it easy since he immediately got a big role on his first TV show, “Be Careful With My Heart” in 2012. This was then followed by several leading man roles in TV shows and movies. But in reality, Jerome had to endure failed attempts and rejections before getting his break in showbiz.

One such attempt was joining “Pinoy Big Brother,” where he had to endure lining up and even meeting business unit head Lauren Dyogi, who now sits as the head of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic. But then, he did not get a callback.

After another batch, Jerome tried again, with Direk Lauren even teasing, “Oh, ikaw ulit?” Jerome made sure he was better equipped, even telling Direk Lauren, “Nakapagpaputi na po ako.” Still, Jerome did not make it to the final cut. That was when he decided to focus on being a student-athlete.

And then in 2012, the right time came when he auditioned for a role in “Be Careful With My Heart.” Jerome recalls, “Sa sobrang naramdaman kong puro rejection, kinukuhanan na pala namin ang teaser, wala akong ka-alam-alam. Siguro, after a week, naliligo lang ako sa bahay, biglang nadinig ko sa TV. Isa lang line ko doon, e, ‘Yaya!’ Yun lang. Sabi ko, ‘Boses ko yun ah!’”

On July 12, 2012, Jerome was introduced on TV for the first time as Luke Lim, the eldest child of Richard Lim (Richard Yap). “Be Careful With My Heart” became an instant hit, running for two years and making Jerome and his co-stars household names on television.

Even then, Jerome wasn’t spared from heartbreaks after the show’s success. There would be times when he experienced being replaced or having to wait long times before his show would air on TV. But Jerome’s biggest battle would be against himself, as he reached a point where he wanted to give up his showbiz career.

He tells FreebieMNL, “Dumating rin yung time na nahirapan ako, sabi ko, ‘Tama na, titigil na ako kapag hindi ko nagawa yung eksena ko sa ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya.’ Kapag hindi ko nagawa, burahin ko na sarili ko sa mundo. Out na ako kasi pagod na ako.”

Needless to say, he was able to overcome these self-doubts, leading to where he is today.

With their newfound enthusiasm for their careers, now particularly as a love team, there are times when Krissha and Jerome talk about how far they’ve come.

Jerome says, “Last time, napag-usapan namin, happy ako [na] nauunti-unti niya na ang goals niya. Like, noong last time, unang pinag-usapan yan, gusto niya muna magkaroon ng sariling OST. Sabi ko, ‘Tabi mo diyan, kalma ka lang. Gawan natin ng paraan yan.’ E, kumakanta naman talaga siya, ayun, pak! E, di siya na agad.

Krissha adds, “Yes, ‘tapos yung na-share ko din sa kanya yung sa movie contract with VIVA, sobrang appreciative niya.Tapos lahat ng milestones na na-achieve ko at this age, ang saya lang na na-experience ko with him, na parang mga special na nangyayari sa akin, napag-uusapan namin yun. We’re happy for each other.”

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A “closer” KrisshRome

“Sem Break” marks KrisshRome’s second project as a love team after the success of “Safe Skies, Archer.”

If there’s one thing that Krissha finds consistent with Jerome, it’s how he continues to give energy and be supportive of their scenes together.

Krissha explains, “Just making sure na okay pa kami pareho kasi especially dito, mas paguran talaga. So, kapag medyo inaantok na para ma-lift din yung [vibe]. At saka ritual namin na hold your hand, nandun pa rin yun kapag kailangan ko ng energy.”

Another thing she really appreciates is how Jerome takes care of her while doing heavy scenes.

Krissha recalls, “Heavy talaga yun, parang, ‘Oh, pahinging water.’ Yun yung pinaka time na nagkaroon na binantayan niya ako. Kasi yung iba, mas madali lang naman yun, magkasama pa sa scene, ito yung… basta, kapag sinabi ko, mang-spoil ako.”

Jerome adds, “We are very comfortable, alam na namin. Tayo, bilang mga tao nakakalimutan natin yung mga bagay. Kapag nasa work itself or lalo na kapag antok na kami pareho or may mga nalilimutan na kaming part or anuman, ipinapaalala niya sa akin yung mga nalilimutan ko. Ako, ganun din sa kanya.”

Krissha was honest in saying that there was some awkwardness the first time they worked together, but that in “Sem Break,” they had become more comfortable with each other on and off-cam.

As for Jerome, he explains, “Dito lang namin na-apply kung paano namin nakilala ang isa’t isa, doon namin tinitignan if ito ba talaga ang pagkakakilanlan namin, which turned out na yes. Lalo na ngayon bihira na lang yung taping namin.

“Now, mas open kaming pag-usapan lahat ng bagay lalo na concerning the public. Ang laking bagay namin pinag-usapan yun kasi siyempre, public figure nga kami, hindi lang kami basta yung kami as a love team.”

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On Krissha: Kenneth Cole White Top, H&M Pants, LVNA By Drake Dustin Jewelry

A Love Team On The Rise

Krissha and Jerome are not shy in saying that they inspire each other—not only in work but even with their outlooks on life.

One such case was how Krissha enjoyed hearing Jerome’s stories about his ongoing house renovation. As for Jerome, he lauds Krissha for not giving up on her dreams.

He shares, “Nai-inspire kasi ako sa kanya na it’s never too late to explore, it’s never too late to understand. It’s never too late to appreciate. Before kasi, yung life niya, laging sa bahay lang, sa school lang. E, ako dati, open na agad ako at the age of 12. Gala na ako kahit saan. Nakakapunta na ako kahit jeep lang.

“So, siya naman ayun, na-appreciate ko siya. Walang pinipiling oras, hindi natatapos ang pag-e-explore. So, ngayon, mas marami pa akong na-e-explore outside the craft.”

Definitely, much is still in store for KrisshRome, and they are very much looking forward to improving their skills, doing more projects that will leave a mark on their fans, and supporting each other as they go through the journey with one another.

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But are they open to the possibility that the love team will flourish into a real-life relationship?

Krissha answers, “Ayaw naming magsalita; baka mamaya sabihin naming hindi, oo, you know. So, we are taking things slow, we are going with the flow.”

Jerome adds, “Kasi yung mga nangyayari, sabihin man naming oo tapos hindi kami, maging okay sa social media, may masisira. Sabihin naman naming hindi, kapag nakita naman kami, sinugaling naman, ‘Patago-tago pa kayo!’ You know, some things are meant to be private talaga, I guess.”

But both are open, admitting that they see ideal qualities in each other, with Krissha as the “maalaga” one, and Jerome as the “very thoughtful” one.

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On Jerome: H&M White Longsleeve, Zara Leather Shorts; On Krissha: Zara Leather Jacket, H&M White Top, Zara White Bubble Skirt

Amid all of the success they have been getting, Krissha and Jerome are thankful to their fans who continue to give their all-out support.

Jerome says, “Thankful kami sa inyong lahat, na-a-appreciate namin kayo, as simple as key chain, teddy bear, kahit ano pa yan, abot pa rin sa bahay namin, sa bahay niya, sa bahay ko, sobra-sobrang appreciate namin. Even the letters, and yung mga effort niyo to do something out of work, thank you so much!”

Krissha adds, “At saka hindi naman namin sinusukat sa mga binibigay niyo sa amin o pag-attend sa mga mall shows namin or kung anumang ganap namin, nafi-feel na namin yung support ninyo online. We’re just happy na we’re making you guys happy.”

With a grateful heart, good attitude towards work, and the support they continue to give to each other, KrisshRome will definitely rise as a love team and even as standalone actors. Now, everyone is just waiting to see what they will do next!

Photography Jerick Sanchez assisted by Roniel Sañez, Karl Rimando, Buddy Reyes
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Interview and Cover Story Jimpy Anarcon
Transcription Rod Hagen
Fashion Direction Sarah Santiago
Styling Keith Angelo
Hair and Makeup (Krissha) Aron Guevara
Grooming (Jerome) Jay Salcedo
Production FreebieMNL
Special Thanks Jojo Gabinete
Jean Lander Agor, Caryl Paraico of VIVA Artists Agency
Jennie Navoa and James Sambayon

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