We can't count how many times Angelica Panganiban and Carlo Aquino made us feel all sorts of ~*feels*~ just through their Instagram Stories and posts. Just this year, the two were involved in a minor car accident, Angelica baby-sat for Carlo's pet cat while he was away, and Carlo's parents actually hung out at Angelica's house!
We got to sit down with the pair—who are exes in real life—to talk about their past, their relationship advice for the younger generation, and how it was like working on their new film, Exes Baggage, under Black Sheep Productions.
All throughout the conversation, there were stolen glances between the two of them that the rest of us in the room weren’t part of. We were aware that there were things that only the two of them understood, things that they would rather keep to themselves—at least for now.
In their teens, Carlo and Angelica starred in the hit TV show G-mik, alongside some of the brightest stars of their generation like Camille Prats, John Prats, Heart Evangelista, Stefano Mori, and Miko Samson.
What do you miss most about the '90s and early 2000s?
Carlo to Angelica: Nung mga time na yun, sumasayaw tayo e.
Angelica: Kasi wala namang social media noon 'di ba, so talagang fan mail yung natatanggap namin. Every Saturday, nakakatanggap kami ng mga malalaking sako ng letters na pinapadala ng fans—galing sa iba't ibang probinsiya. Mahahaba yun, kasi 'yon na lang yung chance nila na magpadala ng letter. Ang surreal nung mga unang moments na nagbabasa ka ng handwritten letter galing sa fan. Sobrang luma talaga ng style dati.
Carlo: Tsaka may mga iba na gumagawa ng mga photo [collage], kino-collect nila, pati mga magazines and albums. Sana nga may mga gumagawa pa rin ng mga ganun e.
"Sana hindi ito yung una at huli." - Carlo
On Working Together After All These Years
The first teaser trailer of their movie Exes Baggage, directed by Dan Villegas, was released on August 4, 2018. In a previous interview, Carlo explained what the movie is about: "Parang magsisimula ang istorya sa aming college life, then magiging kami. Parang yong istorya ay kung ano ang pinagdadaanan ng isang couple sa isang relationship, parang gano'n ang magiging istorya. Medyo light to heavy drama yung dating."
Tell us about your initial reactions when you found out that you'd be acting in a new film together.
Carlo: Kinabahan. Na-excite. Natae (laughs). Nakakapressure, pero syempre excited, lalo na nung may mga nagpipitch, ang daming gustong gumawa ng movie namin.
Angelica: Medyo overwhelming yung pakiramdam na ang daming interesado na makatrabaho kami, na bigyan kami ng project, na mag-invest sa aming dalawa. So, malaki yung pressure sa amin, parang kami pa yung nahirapan, hindi sila, na pumili.
Carlo: Sana hindi ito yung una at huli. Sana may mga sumunod pa.
"Ang gusto lang talaga nila, magkabalikan kami." - Angelica
On Social Media And The CarGel Effect
The online community has been very supportive of CarGel—we all can't seem to get enough of them. We're always on standby for every Instagram post, Instagram story, and interview snippet from the two. All this attention, and yet their film hasn’t even hit theaters yet! Perhaps it’s because they themselves are like characters in a film: Two people who meet, fall in love, are not able to make it work, and eventually reunite.
Now, we're all wondering what comes next.
While they aren't exactly closing the door to the possibility of them becoming a real couple again, both Carlo and Angelica admitted that they are not actually "together."
How do you feel about all the support fans are ~throwing~ your way?
Carlo: Sabi nga ni Angelica kapag nag-popost siya tungkol sa pelikula, tungkol sa amin, parang lahat [ng comments], okay.
Angelica: Confident ako magbasa ng comments, once na tungkol sa amin yung nilalagay ko na picture or video. Tapos masaya siya basahin, i-try niyo. Kasi umaabot sa mga 4,000 to 5,000 comments, hindi ako nagbibiro! Kapag hindi kayo makatulog, basahin niyo yung comments. Or kapag malungkot kayo. Kasi tatawa kayo talaga...Kasi ayaw na nila e, ayaw na nila ng love life nila. Ang gusto lang talaga nila, magkabalikan kami!
"Ang advice ko lang talaga, maghanap sila ng Carlo Aquino ng buhay nila." - Angelica
On The ~Not So Touchy~ Subject Of Exes
Carlo and Angelica were in a six-year relationship before breaking up in 2006. Since then, they have been involved with other people, both in showbiz and outside of it. But the two have remained close friends, and the awkwardness that one would expect from exes is definitely not there—at least not anymore.
Do you think exes should keep in touch? What’s the best way to handle a breakup?
Carlo: Depende 'yon sa kung paano sila naghiwalay. Kung paano yung relationship nila before, kung mutual yung feelings nila.
Angelica: Kailangan ba mutual? I mean, meron naman siguro, pero madalas hindi mutual yung decision ng breakup. Naging mutual na lang yung sa atin nun. Pero usually may naiiwan na in-pain e. "Bakit nangyari, anong ginawa ko?" May naiiwan na feeling victim. Depende sa feeling ng naiwan kung pagbibigyan niya yung maging magkaibigan pa rin sila.
Ang advice ko lang talaga, maghanap sila ng Carlo Aquino ng buhay nila. Kasi hindi naman talaga siya [Carlo] tumigil hangga't hindi niya nakita na kaya ko na'ng maging kaibigan siya ulit. Kaya siguro ganito kami ka-komportable sa isa't isa. Kasi 'di ba, naging kayo e. Hindi niyo puwedeng itapon iyon. Dahil lang sa pain, kakalimutan niyo na lahat? Hindi maganda yun. Mas matagal kayo nagmahalan kaysa dun sa pananakit na nangyari sa breakup niyo.
*Answers edited for clarity.
PRODUCED BY: Jacinda Lopez
ART DIRECTION AND PHOTOGRAPHY: Jico Joson
ART DIRECTION ASSISTED BY: Mixi Ignacio
SITTINGS EDITOR: Retty Contreras
SHOOT COORDINATION: Lou Ferrer
SOCIAL MEDIA: Andie Estella
GROOMING AND HAIR: Joshen Vahn Lee
STYLING: Patty Yap
MAKEUP: Mikka Marcaida for NARS
HAIR: Raven Dizon
STYLING: Myrrh Lao To