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The Dingdong-Karylle breakup: The whole story

Yes, it’s painful but true: Some good things never last.

Look at the fairy-tale romance between Dingdong Dantes and Karylle. For three years, they were such a sweet, handsome pair. One morning, the lovely bubble burst. Just like that.

For several weeks, amidst all the fuss and the buzz, Dingdong and especially Karylle politely refused to confirm what was already very obvious, keeping their joint promise to “tell the truth and nothing but” only to The STAR because Karylle happens to be one of this paper’s contributors.

Even Karylle’s mom, Zsa Zsa Padilla (who broke up with husband Dr. Modesto Tatlonghari when Karylle was a kid), kept a respectful distance from the persistent rumor.

What busted the beautiful romance predicted to end happily ever after at the altar?

Fingers promptly pointed to Marian Rivera as the “culprit.” Dingdong’s leading lady in the GMA shows Marimar and Dyesebel and now in the GMA Films romance-drama One True Love, she was a credible “principal suspect” because, just weeks before the Dingdong-Karylle yarn hit the tab headlines (initially reported as a “blind item” in this paper’s Funfare column), she broke up with San Sebastian College basketball player Ervic Vejandre, her boyfriend of seven years. Showbiz-watchers put two and two together, and that equals...

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Through it all, while Dingdong was parrying persistent personal questions from the media, Karylle was agonizing in silence, taking comfort in the loving arms of family and friends, shedding quiet tears on their shoulders and, being a pious girl, seeking solace from the Great Comforter.

Now ready to move forward (not just “move on”), Karylle is speaking up for the first and probably last time, pouring out the pain in her heart in a tell-all/no-holds-barred Conversation (that sounded more like a confession).

Many people are wondering if it’s really a breakup, irrevocable; or only a cooling off.

“A, okay. Kelangan clear.”

What’s the real score?

“Breakup. Dati kasi, parang ano lang...cool-off lang.”

When did you decide to break up?

“The breakup happened end of September. Di ba I was telling you before that we were trying to fix things, ganyan. At the time, we were still going out on dates. Actually, that period was...how should I call it? Basta, at that time, I felt that mas sweet pa nga siya sa akin; walang masyadong pressure. Things were easier. We were just ourselves kasi wala kaming masyadong iniisip.”

What caused the breakup? According to Dingdong, it’s “conflict of priorities.”

“Well, for me there were many reasons that can’t be summed up in just one statement. It’s hard to trivialize things na, you know, this is the only reason and it’s up to the people to figure it out, na bahala na kayong intindihin. Maraming rason kasi, eh. You know, even if we keep on explaining or making kuwento, it’s only the two of us who know everything. People won’t get the whole story.”

You’re right. “Conflict of interests” is somewhat broad and vague. Hindi masyadong clear. Very general.

“It involves a lot of different things; it’s hard to explain. You know, whatever happened, I just think of the three years that we went steady and the things I learned from it. And the beautiful memories. I have friends who have broken up with their boyfriends and usually in cases like that, you burn the pictures, sinusunog mo ang whatever will remind you of the good times.”

Oh, did you do that?

“No. What I did was...I put all our pictures together in one album and kept it in a shelf. Alam mo ‘yon...I was treasuring the beautiful memories. I didn’t throw the pictures away; hindi ko naman sila pinunit. Otherwise, it would be like I’m throwing away memories. Ayoko naman gawin ‘yon. Sayang ang memories. ‘Yon na lang ang aalalahanin ko.”

Are you really still in denial? (Her friends said that up to now, Karylle is hurting from her parents’ breakup, that’s why she can’t accept the painful reality that the same thing is happening to her.)

“Not naman in denial. If I took time, it’s because it’s hard to talk if you are not yet ready, baka kung ano pa ang masabi mo. I decided to take the road less traveled. Should I just cry and cry? Iiyak na lang ba ako nang iiyak? I didn’t do that. Instead, I went into counseling and I went on a retreat. It did me a lot of good. I’m thankful to the priest who suggested that I do that. It gave me time to think things over. I was finally able to sleep soundly.”

Was Dingdong your first boyfriend?

“No. He was not.”

How many breakups have you gone through?

“Hmmmm. Three.”

Is the one with Dingdong the most painful?

“Siguro naman lahat ng breakup masakit. Pero siempre, with this one the pain is times 10.” (Forced laughter). “Times 10 lang, hindi naman one million. Because you know why, we had good times together; ang ganda rin kasi ng pinagsamahan namin. So mahirap...well, hindi naman talagang mahirap... I just really took my time. You know, it’s hard to fake things, to tell yourself ‘I’m okay, I’m okay’ when you know very well that you’re not okay. ‘Yon ang in denial.”

So you were never in denial, were you?

“I was but not for long. There are stages, di ba?”

They say na ang galing mo raw magtago ng pain. You were appearing in S.O.P. and doing West Side Story at the Meralco Theater and you gave the impression that all was right with you and with your world.

“It could be because in spite of everything, marami ring magagandang nangyayari. Kahit paano, you just have to look at the positive. During the retreat, one of the questions was, ‘What are you most thankful for? Give me seven.’ You know, five of the seven happened just recently, the blessings. One of them is the realization na marami rin pala ang nagmamahal sa akin.”

And what are the other four?

“Huwag na lang. Sa akin na lang ‘yon.”

You were very good in West Side Story (as Maria, the same role played by Natalie Wood in the movie version, with Christian Bautista as Tony, played by Richard Beymer in the movie version).

“It was very successful. It was really my dream to do a musical. Alam mo ‘yon, kahit paano nabawasan naman ang lungkot ko. I was getting good reviews. After every performance, big names in the industry were showering me with praises that I never expected in my wildest dream.”

Back to the breakup...Was it a mutual decision between you and Dingdong?

“Yes, it was. We reached that decision after a long process...”

That was what Dingdong also said...

“...our schedules didn’t jibe. During weekdays, he was busy with tapings and shooting. On weekends naman, when he was free, ako naman ang hindi because I was busy with West Side.”

Were your kissing scenes with Christian a factor in the breakup?

“No.”

In the same way that Dingdong’s kissing scenes with Marian (in Marimar and in Dyesebel) were not? You know, part of the profession lang.

“I look at them that way.”

Did you watch Marimar and Dyesebel?

“Oo, actually.”

How did you feel when Dingdong was kissing Marian?

“You know, kapag may ganoong eksena, he would ask me kung puede o hindi.”

During those trying moments, did you run to your mom for, you know, consolation...moral support?

“My mom has been in the States for weeks now. But I talk to her long-distance every day.”

What does she say about the whole thing?

“Ask her na lang. Better na siya na lang ang magsabi.”

So you are now moving on?

“I won’t say, ‘Moving on.’ I’d rather say, ‘Moving forward’ para mas mabilis, mas visual.”

Isn’t really there any chance of you getting back together again?

“Puede bang huwag ko na lang sagutin ‘yan?”

Was Dingdong faithful?

(Laughs wanly) “Basta ang masasabi ko lang diyan...I asked him and he said...teka, ano ba ang sinabi niya? He said he never cheated on me and I trusted him.”

And you believed him?

“Well, I trusted him.”

Wasn’t there really any “third party involved”?

(Laughs some more) “Basta, allI can say is that I asked him and he said, ‘None.’ Kanino pa ba naman ako magtatanong? So, I trusted him with that answer.”

Are you and Dingdong still friends?

“Well, he said na matapos lang ito, gusto daw niya ako maging best friend. Okay lang ba ‘yon? I’m just quoting him, huh.”

And his confidante?

“I told him, ‘Teka muna, kakayanin ba ‘yan ng mga girls mo?’”

Wow, girls, huh. Plural!

“That was on a lighter note habang nagbibiruan kami. I just wanted to say that.”

And what did he say?

“He said, ‘They will just have to accept it’.”

One crucial question: Are you and Marian okay?

“You know, this is the truth: I always make it a point to say ‘Hi!’ to her. When I see her at S.O.P., kahit hindi niya ako makita nilalapitan ko siya and I say ‘Hi!’ to her.”

Does she say “Hi!” back?

“Well, she does. I really make it a point to approach her. Kahit isang daang tao pa ang nakaharang, nakikipagsiksikan ako just to say ‘Hi!’ to her.”

Marian insisted that she has nothing to do with what happened between you and Dingdong.

(Laughs again) “Ewan ko! I don’t know. Isang tao lang naman ang dapat kong tanungin at ‘yon ang sagot niya. So, ‘yon lang ‘yon. ‘Yung iba pang alam ko, sa ibang tao ko na nalaman.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphilstar@yahoo.com)

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