Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia became the center of controversy in 2019, after certain viral posts on Instagram. Their romance, which lasted from 2017 to 2019, made everyone feel so much kilig and heartache at the same time, and the pair said in multiple interviews that they have remained friends. In February 2021, on ~*freaking Valentine's Day*~, the two starred in a heartbreaking music video by Moira!
Here's a look back at their relationship:
December 2016: Julia and Joshua star in their first film together, Vince And Kath And James.
The teen romantic comedy was also their first big project together, and it was an official entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.
August 20, 2017: Joshua admits that he's courting Julia.
At a press conference for their movie Love You To The Stars And Back, Joshua was asked what the real score was between him and Julia. According to Joshua, he already had a crush on Julia even before they did a look test for a project and he had been courting her since early 2017!
September 30, 2017: They grace the Star Magic Ball red carpet together.
Although unofficial, the pair looked very much like a couple during the event!
December 2017: They spend the holidays in Hokkaido, Japan with Julia's family.
Joshua spent the 2017 holidays with the Barrettos and Julia's BFF, Erich Gonzales. Joshua posted a series of Instagram photos, and the first one showed him and Julia lying in the snow. Erich also posted an adorable Instagram Story of the two, with Joshua carrying Julia.
March 2018: Joshua's Instagram DM sparks controversy and he apologizes to Julia in public.
The couple became the center of attention when news broke of Joshua allegedly messaging a girl on Instagram. Rumors circulated online, saying that he and Julia had broken up because of the private messaging incident. In an interview with Boy Abunda, the 20-year-old actor said, "'Di kasi madali ang nangyaring 'yon e. Ang daming nag-judge."
April 2018: Julia says that Joshua is still trying to regain her trust.
When asked how they fixed the problems in their relationship, Joshua admitted that they spent time apart—him in Bali and Julia in Siargao. They also didn't speak to each other for a few days.
According to Julia, "I have learned important things: self-worth, self-value, things I can tolerate, and what I can't tolerate. I made that clear to him. It was a rough patch but I didn't put whatever we built in our partnership to waste. So up to this day, he's still trying to gain my trust. And that's the truth. He's still trying to gain my trust. But we're okay. Accept, forgive, and move on. Life goes on."
August 20, 2018: Their first teleserye, Ngayon At Kailanman, premieres on ABS-CBN.
The story follows the lives of two soul mates, Eva and Inno, who experience a spiritual connection with each other when they were children. Eva and Inno serendipitously meet again as adults.
March 10, 2019: They celebrate Julia's 22nd birthday.
Photos show Joshua carrying Julia's birthday cake, surrounded by friends and family. Joshua also posted a now-deleted snap of him hugging Julia from behind.
April 2019: The couple celebrate their second anniversary.
They posted Instagram Stories of the two of them in Julia's backyard!
May 2019: Julia stars in the film Between Maybes opposite Gerald Anderson.
Julia and Gerald Anderson's kissing scene for the film was actually her first onscreen ~smooch~! When asked about Joshua's reaction, Julia said, "I think, noong nalaman niya, he accepted it. Actually, sa kanya mismo nanggaling yung ina-acknowledge niya yung fact na pareho kaming artists sa industriya na 'to at alam niya na darating yung time na kakailanganin namin gawin 'yon."
June 3, 2019: Breakup rumors circulate after Julia appears on Erich's vlog.
Erich and Julia did a Q&A for a vlog episode. For Julia's final question, Erich asked, "Julia is in love right now. True or false? Please answer."
Julia, completely taken off-guard, said, "Wow. I would have to say, true. I am very much in love with the peace I gained just recently. It's not with anybody...I'm not trying to say that I'm not in love with anybody. I'm just in love with the peace that I gained."
June 28, 2019: The couple announce that they're now "best friends."
When asked about third-party rumors linking Julia to her Between Maybes co-star Gerald Anderson, Julia said, "No, absolutely not." Joshua added, "Hindi naman totoo 'yon. Hindi naman magagawa ni Gerald 'yon. Parang kuya ko na si Gerald."
July 10, 2019: Joshua says that he still loves Julia.
In an interview with ABS-CBN, Joshua said, "Mahal ko pa rin. Ang tagal naming nag-sama e, ang tagal naming magkatrabaho. Hindi nawala ang friendship namin at 'yon ang pinagpapasalamat ko."
July 22, 2019: Julia disables comments on her Instagram account amidst the Bea-Gerald controversy.
A series of Instagram posts went viral after they were "liked" by Gerald's girlfriend Bea Alonzo. The photos are of Julia and Gerald allegedly getting "flirty" with each other at a party. Bea, Gerald, Julia, and Joshua became the top trending topics on Twitter.
July 27, 2019: Joshua says that he is there for Julia ~as a friend~ amidst issues.
He announced, "Kaibigan ko siya, e. So hindi naman siguro masama kung ibigay ko 'yung suporta ko sa kanya." To Julia specifically, he had this message: "Kumbaga kalimutan muna natin 'yung problema, nandito ako bilang kaibigan mo, hindi para kung ano man."
August 6, 2019: Julia clarifies that she didn't cheat on Joshua.
In an explosive Instagram post, Julia wrote that they broke up "four months ago." She then talked about what she endured ever since the issue broke out and added that she had nothing to do with Bea and Gerald's breakup: "I would like to disassociate myself from the breakup of Bea and Gerald. Those issues are entirely their own."
November 2019: The two have a *low-key reunion* for a shoot.
Joshua and Julia were spotted at the annual ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID shoot, where they made small talk. Official photos and clips of them together were also released online.
January 2020: Their zombie film Block Z is released in cinemas.
In the movie, "a pre-med student and her friends encounter the death of a patient that exhibited symptoms of rabies. They are soon faced with an even bigger problem as their patient comes back from the dead and infects the people on campus, causing a lockdown and trapping the students inside." (via iWantTFC)
February 2020: Julia says she would "always be cheering Joshua from afar."
During a press con, Julia said that she was proud of the success of Joshua and Janella Salvador's love team in The Killer Bride. She shared: "We're excited for each other, and up to this day, I always tell him na 'I will always be your cheerleader. I will always be cheering for you from afar.' Wherever he is in his career now, I'm really proud of him because I've seen his growth, I was there to witness the beginning of all that, so I'm very proud."
August 2020: They star in another project called E-Numan.
The show was filmed during the community quarantine! The two became the subject of headlines after they "re-followed" each other on social media. E-Numan was part of a two-part series called Love Unlocked and its "twin drama" called Hook Up starred Arci Munoz and Gerald Anderson.
October 2020: Julia shares how she and Joshua remained friends after their breakup.
In an interview with her new agency, Viva, Julia said: "Siguro, it's just important na kayong dalawa willing to save the friendship. Kasi kung isa lang sa inyo yung may gusto no'n hindi talaga mase-save yung friendship. Pero kung from both ends naman, nagpapakita ng effort na ma-save yung friendship magiging maayos kayo."
"At saka maganda 'yon, 'di ba, while you're moving forward with your life alam mong lahat ng nandoon sa past mo, maayos ang naging ending. So, masaya ako at natutuwa ako na naging maayos naman yung ending naming dalawa at lumabas kami ng breakup namin nang mas mature at mas mabuting tao." She added that they were both eager to move forward and stay friends.
February 14, 2021: The pair stars in Moira's "Paubaya" music video on Valentine's Day.
Julia and Joshua even helped write their scripts for the music video! The MV tells the story of a couple who fall in love and get engaged. However, on their wedding day, the bride leaves the groom at the altar. For many viewers, the six-minute-long ~closure~ scene between the two inside a church was what made the video so heartbreaking!
The two also shared behind-the-scenes photos from their shoot: