Over the past few months, Paolo Contis and Yen Santos have been embroiled in controversy—but Paolo's last statement about their relationship is that they're just friends. A lot of people, aka Marites, don't believe this though. Why? Let's dig in and trace the root of the issue.
Here's what you need to know about Paolo Contis and Yen Santos's friendship:
August 19, 2021: Yen and Paolo's Netflix film A Faraway Land is released.
The film's offish synopsis reads: "In the Faroe Islands, a married woman meets a reporter filming a documentary on overseas Filipino workers, which soon sparks a complicated love story."
August to September 2021: Photos of Paolo and a woman circulate on social media.
Amid Paolo's rumored breakup with his partner of six years, LJ Reyes, netizens spotted photos of him and a woman, which were taken in Baguio.
September 2021: A video, reportedly of Paolo and Yen, goes viral.
At that time, netizens were ~only~ speculating that it was Yen and Paolo and guessed that she was also the woman in the photos from Baguio. In the vid, which was reportedly taken on August 27, we saw a pair walking. Both were wearing a face mask and a face shield. While the angle was mostly from the side and behind, they appeared to resemble Paolo and Yen.
September 8, 2021: Paolo says Yen was only with him in Baguio "as a friend."
When Paolo addressed issues surrounding his breakup with LJ, one part of his statement was about Yen. Paolo wrote: "She was never the reason of our break up. I was. Kung matagal na kaming hindi okay ni LJ, it was mainly because of me. Masyado niyo siyang diniin sa issue na 'to. Pati pag-promote namin ng movie nabahiran na ng kung anu-ano."
He added that after LJ and the children flew to the US, he went to Baguio..."Dahil ayaw ko sa Manila at gusto kong makapag-isip-isip. Naging insensitive ako about the possible effects nung issue and I invited Yen for a day para may makausap since malapit lang siya sa North din. She went there as a friend. Hindi ko naisip na madadamay siya ng ganito. I'm sorry for this."
The "as a friend" phrase gave birth to memes and drew witty reactions from Netizens, and Baguio even became a trending Twitter topic that night. You can read Paolo's full statement below:
September 12, 2021: Paolo denies rumors he was with Yen in Baguio for more than a day.
In a text message to talent manager Ogie Diaz, Paolo said: "Ang sabi nila, five days daw kami sa Baguio ni Yen. May nasulat naman na 10 days daw kami. Paano mangyayari iyon? August 28, nagpabakuna ako sa Caloocan. August 30, nag-taping ako ng Bubble Gang. September 3, nag-taping ako ng Dear Uge," Paolo's message reads. "So ano 'yon, inaaraw-araw ko ang akyat-panaog sa Baguio? Ano ito, road trip every other day?"
Paolo urged people who were at the Caloocan vaccination site to share the pictures they took of him on August 28. "Bakit walang nag-post? Now is the best time. I-post niyo 'yon dahil pinagbibintangan akong lima o 10 araw sa Baguio."
September 23, 2021: Yen deletes (or archives) all her photos on Instagram.
It wasn't clear why she deleted all her IG pics, but netizens speculated it had something to do with the Paolo issue. As of this writing, Yen still has zero posts on the platform.
November 2021: Netizens think Paolo and Yen are exchanging *cryptic* messages on Instagram.
People, aka the "Marites," noticed that Paolo was tagging Yen on his Instagram Stories. PEP reports that earlier in the month, Yen posted a selfie and wrote in the caption: "Do you floss though?" A few days later, Paolo also posted a selfie with a caption that seemingly answered Yen's post: "Nag-suklay, pero 'di nag-floss..."
On November 15, he posted a "good morning" selfie and tagged Yen:
November 20, 2021: It looks like Yen and Paolo celebrated her birthday together.
The two posted very similar photos on social media. Yen, who turned 29, took to IG Stories to share a clip of her birthday celebration which featured a romantic set up at the beach. Around the same time, Paolo shared an IG Story too, writing: "Dinner time..." He also added some birthday cake emojis and his photo featured similar fairy lights in the background.
According to PEP, Paolo also tagged Yen in the Instagram Story! When asked by PEP for his response to the latest rumors and bashing, Paolo neither confirmed nor denied anything.
January 2022: Paolo and Yen were spotted in Boracay.
Eagle-eyed netizens spotted the rumored couple having a vacation in Boracay. Photos of them surfaced online with Yen appearing to have a "baby bump." Paolo denied the rumors and said it was just a badly angled photo.
Showbiz columnist and host Ogie Diaz shares, “Yung tungkol doon sa kung buntis ba si Yen Santos, as per Paolo, hindi buntis si Yen Santos. Ang payat nga raw ni Yen Santos. Ang nakunan daw ay ‘yung paglipad ng damit ni Yen Santos kaya nagmukha siyang mataba kasi ang hangin that time.”
July 7, 2022: Yen is back!
Yen broke her social media hiatus when she posted her new hair color, and Paolo liked the pic! ;)
July 20, 2022: "Thanks to my chef."
Paolo proudly flexed his baon, which included Pinoy favorites adobo and chicken curry. He thanked “[his] chef” for making sure he was happy and full despite his busy schedule. He wrote in his caption: “Everyday shoot…Everyday baon…thanks to my chef!”
He didn't explicitly mention who the chef was but in a previous post, he tagged Lilieyen Santos (Yen's real name) for cooking kaldereta for him.
What's next for these two? It looks like we'll just have to wait and see.