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Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber Believe That True Love Waits

As the loveteam prepares for their first top-billed primetime teleserye together, Maymay and Edward are in no rush to prove their star power.

by leah puyat | Feb 14, 2020

Opposites do attract as far as Maymay and Edward are concerned. Their differences are what make this dynamic duo a firecracker full of chemistry and kilig—and they still have a lot up their sleeve this 2020. 

“YOU AGAIN!” declares Maymay Entrata as she enters the narrow foyer of Summit Studios. Coincidentally, she did so at the exact moment when Preview Associate Social Media Editor Maura Rodriguez and I were talking about #MayWard's first Preview cover shoot and wondering if they still remembered. The phrase “you again” may come off as annoyed or even a tad arrogant, but with Maymay, it feels affectionate and authentic. She and her love team partner Edward Barber have arrived a full 15 minutes before their call time. I’m in a state of incredulity; stars who arrive early are as rare as clean air and honest politicians.

More than just mere punctuality, however, what truly sets Maymay and Edward apart is that they are unguarded. Having played both lead supporting roles in movies (the teen rom-com Loving in Tandem launched their love team; Maymay played Kathryn Bernardo’s cousin in last year’s monster hit Hello, Love, Goodbye; Edward was Aga Muhlach’s godson in his starrer with Bea Alonzo, First Love); and being the secondary leads in La Luna Sangre, they are not quite newbies. That being said, they have kept a part of their “civilian” normality and openness. When being interviewed by Boy Abunda on the status of their relationship, Edward said, “I understand why Maymay still doesn’t want to have a relationship. I know that her family is still her priority and I accept and understand that.” Maymay also revealed, “Kahit hindi kami, hindi ko kakayanin kung may iba siyang maka pareha.”

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Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber for Preview.ph

Maymay and Edward exemplify the old adage: Opposites attract. Interviewing Maymay is actually more like watching performance art. She gesticulates almost with every word and uses her eyes often to make a point, making them go round as saucers. Edward reflects before he answers, sometimes even correcting himself, and though he may not join the on-set banter as much, there is an endearing thoughtfulness and a real kindness in his manner.

Maymay and Edward exemplify the old adage: Opposites attract. 

Their respective nicknames while they were inside the Big Brother house were "Miss Wacky Go Lucky ng Cagayan" and "Cheerful Charmer ng Germany," and both still ring true even after all that show biz experience. Maymay had long dreamed of becoming a star so that she could save enough money to bring her OFW mother and brother back from Japan. She wasn’t sure if it was through music, acting, or modeling because she had started auditioning for reality shows as early as the age of 14. She had been rebuffed from Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash 2010 and Big Brother 737, The Voice, and Pilipinas Got Talent. So she decided to watch America’s Next Top Model at internet cafes so that she would get the basics of modeling, thinking that her destiny was to become a model, albeit she wasn’t able to make any inroads into that field either. However, it seems that she was really destined to join Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 in 2016...because that was the year that Edward Barber joined, who went in just to see what it would be like.

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Edward never harbored thoughts of fame and fortune. He was an introvert student with an affinity for the classics and was already thinking of his college applications. His mom was a big #LizQuen fan and so was his sister. They didn’t want Edward to be alone and he had also been watching their show so he tagged along to their concert and fan meeting and was scouted while he was in line. He sent his online application to Big Brother and was accepted on his first try. Despite his lack of experience, when renowned movie director Rory Quintos oversaw their acting challenges, she was moved by his instinctive acting chops and called him "the next big superstar."

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Pinstriped suit, prince upon request, CHYNNA MAWAWAL, cel. no. 0917 577 3150


At their first Preview shoot, a large inflatable castle was brought into the studio as the backdrop for the fashion photos. When asked if she enjoyed playing on inflatables as a child, Maymay just said that she had never been on one because her family couldn’t afford to go to the mall often when she was growing up. When she was asked about the Mark Bumgarner princess ballgown that landed her on several Best Dressed Lists for what was then still called the Star Magic Ball, she admitted that she was in awe and disbelief that she could have a gown measured and made just for her. She then gamely shared the story of how she had to wear an ill-fitting ukay gown for her junior prom, which then slipped off when she tried to dance in it. She was so traumatized that she didn’t go to her senior prom.  

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Floral dress, price upon request, RICA RICO, cel. no. 0917 837 7422. Pumps, price unavailable, CHARLES & KEITH, SM Megamall

Fast forward to 2020 and she is the first Filipino star to have walked in Arabian Fashion Week for Filipino designer Furne One. She reveals with equal parts astonishment and glee, “Naging broad talaga ang tingin ko sa fashion.” She considers Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray as her fashion icon because, Maymay explains, “May meaning ang mga sinusuot niya, kahit yung earrings! Talagang pinag-iisipan niya.”  Edward also admits to a fashion awakening of sorts.  “I never looked at magazines or had an awareness of style before. But doing shoots and working with Rain [Dagala] and Em [Millan] (his stylists), I’m really picking up a lot. Like, I’ve never been to Korea, but I see the photos of their street style and how open they are to experimenting and I really admire them."

Maymay gamely shared the story of how she had to wear an ill-fitting ukay gown for her junior prom, which then slipped off when she tried to dance in it. She was so traumatized that she didn’t go to her senior prom. 

IT’S SHOWTIME

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When asked if she felt pressure about her new show, she seemed optimistic and upbeat. They had first been told that they would headline a show on iWantTv, ABS-CBN’s online channel, and they had already done all the pre-prod and story conference meetings, when they were called that they would headline a teleserye instead.  “Talagang, oh my god, look at my butt!” she quotes a cheeky ditty. But she instantly sees the silver lining, much like her idol Catriona. “What’s good is that, 'di ba ang daming problema now? At yung shows ang heavy. Sa show namin, mababalik yung show na light [and] kilig—bagay talaga sa age namin.”

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ON EDWARD: Suit, price unavailable, CHYNNA MAWAWAL, cel. no. 0917 577 3150. Shoes, price unavailable, PEDRO, SM Megamall. ON MAYMAY: Polka dot dress, price unavailable, VANIA ROMOFF, cel. no. 0999 503 1222. Acrylic heeled pumps, price unavailable, CHARLES & KEITH, SM Megamall

Edward admits to having to re-learn dealing with pressure. “For the whole of 2019, I really stayed away from watching shows and movies, both local and international. So yeah, even Netflix, none. I wasn’t enjoying anymore, I was getting too technical about it. With every scene, I would try and break it down, and analyze, how were they able to do that? I would look at the camera shots, the lighting...and it wasn’t fun anymore. So what’s good is that, since I took that break, and then we found out about our show, I can [feel] less pressured, less stressed about it. I do remember there was a scene in Walang Hanggan, it was Kuya Arjo [Atayde] and Sue [Ramirez]. It was a very quiet scene, both of them weren’t screaming, there was no crying until the end, and they both just had tears, but barely seen, like hardly even flowing, in their eyes. I do really want to be able to do a scene like that.”

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Edward then reveals, “I remember what Sir Aga [Muhlach] was telling me for this one scene. It was supposed to be in Tagalog and I was having some difficulty with it. He told me, ‘If you want to say it in English, go ahead. Don’t think of what the script says, or even your management! If you can feel it better when you say it in English, then try it.’  And we got to do the scene in maybe one take, or two? After the movie, he  told me, ‘I want to work with you again when you’re older.’  So at first, I was taking it as, 'Did I not do well?' What was he trying to say? And now, I've realized what he was trying to say. Some things, you really just have to live through them. For example, nowadays, people say a lot of 'love yourself, love yourself.' Even I post it sometimes on my social media because I do like to leave positive messages. But the truth is, you will never know what 'love yourself' means until you’ve suffered a great loss or had to undergo a great change. And that can only happen when time [has gone by].”

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Though they are opposites, what Maymay and Edward do both possess is an innate ability to create camaraderie on set. Maymay admits that though Direk Cathy Garcia Molina had strictly forbidden the whole cast from bonding with Kathryn Bernardo so that she could internalize her isolation and grief, she took pity on her during the filming of Hello, Love, Goodbye and would invite their castmates to hang with her now and then.

"The truth is, you will never know what 'love yourself' means until you’ve suffered a great loss or had to undergo a great change."—Edward Barber

On the day of the cover shoot, Maymay was asking everyone on set for her “word of the day,” the proper pronunciation and usage of the word "recuperate." Edward then turned to her and said, “Maybe recover or getting over is an easier and more common way to express it.” When Edward was asked if he objects to getting his eyebrows trimmed, he looked at his makeup artist and said, “Go ahead. I trust you.” If only his fangirls could have been there at those exact moments, they would have melted into a gooey puddle. 

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Maymay and Edward also revel in being perpetual students. Maymay treasures a nugget of wisdom from Angel Locsin. “Sabi niya, oo lang ng oo, dahil hindi forever ang blessings. At si Tito Gary V, he said, do everything you can and then pray about it.” Edward takes a philosophical view and says, “The really good ones, they don’t really give you advice. They let you make your mistakes and then they will say, what could you have done better? For example, we work a lot with Robi Domingo on ASAP, and he has really taken us under his wing. He doesn’t really give advice per se, but he will point out what are our strengths and when we have doubts and ask him about it, then he will answer us, honestly but methodically.”

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ON EDWARD: Jacket and pants, prices unavailable, both CHYNNA MAWAWAL, cel. no. 0917 577 3150. Shoes, price unavailable, PEDRO. ON MAYMAY: Red lace dress, price unavailable, RICA RICO, cel. no. 0917 837 7422. Black pumps, price unavailable, PEDRO, SM Megamall

When asked if they could see themselves in other fields within show biz, such as directing, writing, or producing, Maymay’s eyes went wide, and she revealed that she loves hanging out in the director’s tent and watching them, looking intently at all the monitors. She again waved her arms around and said, “Bakit yung crew, kahit tignan lang sila ng director, or mag point sa monitor, alam na nila ang gagawin nila? That’s what I want to know, kaya nandoon ako sa tent!” Edward then confesses, “I always wanted to be a writer. Even when I was a kid, I was sensitive. But I’ve always had an awareness, not necessarily control, but I am aware of my emotions. In fact, when WattPad was new, I uploaded a story there. On vampires. It was the thing then."

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ISN'T IT ROMANTIC?

Looking over the pegs of old Hollywood and Philippine cinema’s golden age for this story, we turned to the topic of romance. What does MayWard consider romantic? Maymay quickly pointed to my notebook, and quipped, “Ayan, magsulat sa notebook! Romantic 'yan!” Edward took a minute and then said, “When I was studying in Germany, one of my favorite topics was Latin, because my Latin teacher was the first teacher I had who really wanted to draw out the best in me. And reading Latin texts, I realized that what was romantic or funny during Roman times, is still funny and romantic now." Maymay adds, “Love letters, yun romantic! Kasi, it takes time to do it. Tapos, ang sarap basahin, no?”

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Edward’s solos were the first to be shot. With the old world movie stills pinned to the walls, and the strains of Frank Sinatra filling the air, we could be on the set of the original Ocean’s 11. Edward seemed to be enjoying the music. He shared, “One summer, our car radio was broken and we couldn’t afford to get it fixed. The iPod was new then, so my mom would just play it every time we got in the car and her playlist spanned the '60s 'til the '90s, so I know a lot of old songs.”

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When Maymay came out in her corseted dress with the circle skirt reminiscent of Dior’s New Look, she pointed to her chest and said, “Sorry, sorry, wala talaga, wala!” While she was being styled in her dress, she made funny faces, but as soon as the camera was on her, her posture, her demeanor, and her expressions changed, and she was the coquettish ingenue, and another, a subversively smoldering femme fatale. “May baon talaga siya,” whispered her trusted makeup artist, and everyone on set nodded in agreement.

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The nostalgia of the set and the slow rhythm of the music brought to mind a time when romance meant waiting—waiting for that love letter or call to arrive; waiting for true love’s kiss; waiting for that storybook happy ending. It’s a lost art, waiting. Maymay and Edward may have met in the most millennial fashion, on a reality show set, no less. But the rhythm of their relationship is more akin to an old-fashioned movie. And as that old saying goes, good things come to those who wait.

Produced by Maura Rodriguez

Photographed by Renzo Navarro

Art Direction by Bacs Arcebal

Co-produced by Jamina Nitura

Fashion Direction by Yanna Lopez

Styled by Cath Sobrevega

Beauty Direction by Nicole Arcano

Set Design by Aren Dale Santos of ADSET Production

Makeup by Owen Sarmiento (Maymay) and Aimee Grey (Edward)

Hair by Jaymar Lahaylahay

Words by Leah Puyat

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