How they sustain LDR

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
How they sustain LDR

Yesterday was officially the special Day of the Hearts but as far as Lovi Poe and Benjamin Alves are concerned, every day is Valentine’s Day even if at the moment they are on LDR (Long-Distance Romance) mode with their respective “significant others” Lovi with her boyfriend Montgomery “Monty” Blencowe (who is in the US) and Benjamin with his non-showbiz girlfriend (who is by her lonesome somewhere in Taguig City).

For several weeks now (November to December 2020/January to March), Lovi and Benjamin have been in a lock-in shoot in Bulacan for Owe My Love, from the GMA Public Affairs Team which was also behind Naku, Boss Ko; Inday Will Always Love You; TODA One I Love; and One of the Baes.

How do they bridge the miles (in Lovi’s case, hundreds; and in Benjamin’s just a few) between their beloved? How do they keep the love burning?

“Because Monty and I are both very busy people, when we are together, we enjoy each other’s company and we make the most of our time together. The moment I set foot sa airport (LAX) for my flight home, we always remind each other, ‘Okay, work really hard, do your best in your work.’ Until we see each other again although we don’t know when, maybe in a few months or longer. He’s got his own thing and I also have my own. It’s actually a good set-up, not as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve been coming back and forth between LA and Manila when I have no work. Last time I was there was during the holidays. This time, I might be home longer because aside from Owe My Love, I’m starting work on a movie.”

Owe My Love stars Lovi Poe & Benjamin Alves open up on more romantic topics

Describing the state of his heart as “healthy, bountiful, blessed and really good” even if he’s locked in, Benjamin said that he’s adjusting to the situation very well.

“We are not allowed visitors on the set since we have to maintain the protocols, so it’s really a challenge. My girlfriend and I stay in McKinley and although it’s not far (compared to Lovi and Monty’s situation), the fact that we are apart is hard to cope with. It needs a lot of time management and making sure that you keep constant communication. It needs a lot of understanding from your partner that you are doing something you are passionate about, that you have each other’s full support and you are working together. It’s a struggle, but then Lovi and I are not alone. Other people in the production are also on LDR mode because they are also away from their families.”

Directed by Rember Gelera and Ray Gibraltar from a story by Volta delos Santos (based on the original concept by Joseph Conrad Rubio), Owe My Love starts airing at 9:30 tonight (Feb. 15) on GMA Telebabad. Lovi plays nursing undergraduate Pacencia “Sensen” Guipit who strives to keep her family afloat while deep in debt and Benjamin is Dr. Miguel “Migs” Alcancia who hosts an online show called Alcancia ng Bayan.

“Every family has a Sensen, the breadwinner,” noted Lovi. “It’s so different from my previous roles. Sensen is very jolly, masayahin even if she’s subsob sa problema at sa utang. It shows one quality of Filipinos na kahit may pinagdadaanan, napaka-tibay ng loob at hindi sumusuko.

Benjamin’s peg for his character is Han Suk-kyu, the lead actor of the Korean drama Dr. Romantic.

“Dr. Migs is doctor of medicine at duktor din ng inyong bulsa,” shared Benjamin who first worked with Lovi in the GMA soap Beautiful Strangers a decade ago. “Even if he is financially stable, Dr. Migs still has to work hard to help his grandpa (played by Leo Martinez) who has raised him. The story shows that money, although everybody needs it, is not the answer to everything.”

During this one-on-one phoner last Thursday, Feb. 11, Lovi’s birthday, she praised Benjamin for being “generous with his time, magaan ka-trabaho.” Lovi’s manager Leo Dominguez happily announced that Lovi is set to launch (in the US) her singing career with the release of her debut single Under by the LA-based record label VIM Entertainment on various platforms on Feb. 25 coinciding with the premiere of her YouTube Channel on Feb. 26. In May, Lovi is set to follow it up with an EP (Extended Play) album in May.

Lovi’s birthday fell a day before Chinese New Year (Feb. 12, start of the Year of the Ox). She said that she’s a Snake (in the Chinese Lunar Calendar). According to the Chinese horoscope, in store for those born in the Year of the Snake (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) are “good fortune and luck. The 2021 Snake horoscope claims that Year of the Ox is one for building, anchoring and concretizing some older wishes and ideas that couldn’t be put in practice until now. In 2021, the most valuable advantage is communication, through which you can improve relationships, you can solve older conflicts with your family and relatives and you can obtain contractual benefits. Lucky colors for Snakes: bright yellow, sky blue and peach. Color to avoid: red.” (Take note, Lovi!)

Incidentally, asked how many hearts has she broken, Lovi blushed and laughed. “Ang hirap naman,” she complained and begged off from revealing the names (plural!).

Benjamin said yes, he has been broken-hearted. (Aside: According to rumors, it was a Kapuso actress who broke Benjamin’s heart. Her family didn’t approve of the budding romance. The actress also broke the heart of another Kapuso actor who was frowned upon by her family because, well, he was “a nobody” at that time. The actress is said to be now going steady with an “imported” actor-dancer, also a Kapuso.)

Said Benjamin, “In order to be strong, you have to be broken. What doesn’t destroy you makes you stronger. Whatever it was, I would say that I am stronger now and moving happily forward.”

Sexy Talk with Lovi

• What is sexy to you?

“Sexy is a state of mind. It’s the way a person handles herself/himself with grace.”

• When do you feel sexy?

“When I have accomplished everything for the day.”

• Sexiest time of day?

“Lunch time.”

• Sexiest part of the house?

“Of course, my bedroom...and the kitchen.”

• Sexiest part of your body?

“My eyes.”

• Sexiest part of a man’s body?

“His smile. It’s part of him, right?”

• Sexiest sleepwear?

“Silk pajamas.”

• Sexiest animal?


• Sexiest musical instrument?


• Sexiest movie?

“50 Shades of Grey.”

• Sexiest food?


• Sexiest city?

“Paris. It’s also the most romantic.”

• Three men that she finds sexy?

“Of course, No. 1 is my boyfriend Monty Blencowe. No. 2 is Benjamin Alves. And No. 3 are my favorite Korean actors (including Song Joong Ki, Lee Jong Suk, Ji Chang Wook and Jung Hae In).”

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with