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A JulieVerse filled with love and happiness

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
A JulieVerse filled with love and happiness
Julie Anne San Jose and Rayver Cruz welcomed all and sundry to their recent first concert together and shared a ‘friends in love’ story through duets and solos. The most anticipated and exciting part was when he said ‘I love you, I love you so much’ to her and she reciprocated it with ‘I love you, too.’

MANILA, Philippines — It was exactly a week and a day ago when Julie Anne San Jose and Rayver Cruz, also known as JulieVer, welcomed fans, family and friends to their universe, via the concert JulieVerse. It’s safe to say that the tandem met what everyone had expected to witness that evening. The audiences got to experience first-hand the artists’ converging and complementing singing-and-dancing talents.

The most anticipated and exciting part, however, was when the two expressed their admiration and love for one another. Supporters left the Newport Performing Arts Theater happy and with the thought of a brewing romance between the two, based on friendship. Well, it’s perhaps a case of, you know, friends in love.

“Tonight, it’s all about love,” said Asia’s Limitless Star after she and the Total Heartthrob opened the show through a sing-and-dance number with TikTok choreography. “We will go back to all the reasons why we fall in love (or why we love someone).” She also mentioned some slightly hurtful experiences, which come with the territory of loving. But Rayver said and assured her, “Jules, never kitang sasaktan (I will never hurt you),” and reiterated the night’s theme, which was love.

Then, Julie Anne and Rayver gave everyone a peek into their pastime activities of playing the guitar and having a jam session. JulieVer would do collabs and post cover songs online. They recreated those moments by performing Wherever You Will Go and With or Without You.

To continue the love theme by the love team on stage, as one may put it, the two did a duet and a sample of the classic hits (Say You’ll Never Go, Hold On and Tuloy Pa Rin) of ‘90s band Neocolours, whose member Niño Regalado was JulieVerse musical director.

The first of the video-recorded interviews came in. Julie Anne shared her first impression of Rayver as someone who was “tahimik (quiet)” and she got to know him more when they began doing production numbers together.

“OK siyang kasama, OK siyang ka-trabaho, napaka-professional, tapos magaling (He’s easy to get along with and work with. He’s very professional and very talented),” said she, who besides admiring his talent in performing and dancing, could also attest to Rayver’s singing ability and flexible vocal range.

Their first official hosting project together was The Clash, recalled Julie Anne. “Aside from the fact na napakabuti niyang tao, he listens and he understands kaya ayun, siguro kaya talagang sobrang gumaan yung loob ko sa kanya,” added she. In some tough phases in her life, she found a confidant in Rayver and said he is her constant.

After, Rayver took the center stage and performed Binibini songs, in which he unleashed the crooner and the lover in him. Rayver delivered the goods and was able to handle first-time jitters as a concert artist.

“Nakakataba ng puso, maraming salamat, halo-halo yung emotions na naramdaman ko kanina sa backstage… Every time I come on stage, I would give everything kasi yun ang deserve ninyo, parang ‘pag nagmahal tayo, dapat all-out at mahal na mahal ko kasi kayo,” said he, addressing the audience.

Then, Rayver’s video interview was played and he shared his side of the story. He met Julie Anne the first time in the now-defunct variety show Studio 7. “Aside from her being mabait, she’s very approachable, lagi siyang naka-smile, ang gaan ng personality kaya siguro pasok din agad yung samahan,” said he, who described Julie Anne, the singer, as a “very dedicated, very professional, very brilliant artist because she’s all-around… as a dancer, masasabi ko na energetic din na kagaya ko.”

Rayver added that Julie Anne, as a friend, is dependable. “My feelings for Jules now are very transparent, alam naman ng lahat ng tao, lalo nung birthday niya, totoo naman yung sinabi ko, pati sinabi ko sa parents niya na mahal ko si Jules… siya yung nagpapalakas sa akin every day, lalo na sa trabaho, nag-pa-pa-inspire sa akin… I’m very thankful na nandyan siya para sa akin (She is my source of strength and inspiration every day and in my work. I’m thankful that she’s there for me),” said he.

Aside from singing, Julie Anne and Rayver danced together in the TikTok Hits segment as well as in the collab spot with Kyline Alcantara and Mavy Legaspi as special guests. The young Sparkle love team also had a separate dance spot number.

Julie Anne and Rayver did sing-and-dance and dance solo performances, respectively. Together, they performed in the New Original Pilipino Music ditties segment, which presented the ideas of looking for love, love at first sight and two persons being brought together by destiny.

At some point in the show, after she played the piano and he the guitar for a sad love song that implied the feelings of being heartbroken or falling out of love, Rayver shared, “Ang masasabi ko lang kung ganito man yung sitwasyon ninyo ngayon lagi ninyong tatandaan na (What I can say is, if you’re in that situation, always remember) it’s just a phase in our life, pwede ninyong tambayan yan (you can stay there for a while), feel the pain… and cry. After that, it’s time to choose yourself.”

Julie Anne agreed with him by saying, “You have to choose to love and put yourself first, para buo yung puso, para masaya ka na (so that you have a healed heart and you’re happy) when you’ve found the next person you’re going to love.”

Again, the part that also made the show extra special and more romantic was when Rayver told this to Julie Anne: “Do you remember on your birthday? I told you what I was feeling… Gusto ko lang ding iparinig sa kanila na Julie Anne San Jose, I love you. I love you so much.”

She responded to it with, “What I want to tell is, I’m very thankful to you, that you came into my life, ang daming nagbago sa buhay ko simula ng dumating ka, kaya gusto kong sabihin na I love you, too.” The place was brimming with happiness and love.

Another recorded interview somehow gave everyone a context to their friends-turned-significant others narrative. For Rayver, his realization of how important she was to him happened after the season finale of The Clash. He continued by recalling that he seemed to be looking for her and the following year, “I realized that I really love her.”

For her part, Julie Anne said, “As cliché it may sound, I see myself in him. He seems like my own reflection. If there’s a male version of me, I cannot think of anyone else but Ray. I guess because parehas kami ng upbringing, we both have the same values in life. We both have the same disposition and beliefs.”

She added and assured him by saying, “I want you to know that I’m always here for you, no matter what happens, in any way, basta palagi lang akong nandito for you.”

He also said in the video interview, “I want you to know that I’m willing to wait no matter how long kasi alam mo naman na ikaw lang ang nagmamay-ari ng puso ko (because you are the one who owns my heart).”

Before they took the curtain call and acknowledged everyone’s support, JulieVer did another set of love songs and concluded the show with the BTS-Coldplay song, My Universe. And theirs was one full of love and happiness.

Guest performers are Sparkle artists and rumored couple Kyline Alcantara and Mavy Legaspi in a dance segment.

JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE

RAYVER CRUZ

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