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Exclusive: It’s Raining Romance With Heaven Peralejo and Marco Gallo

"The Rain in España" stars Heaven Peralejo and Marco Gallo talk about their heartwarming, summer romance series that showcases their sizzling chemistry

Heaven Peralejo and Marco Gallo - The Rain in Espana series - feature on Metro
Marco Gallo and Heaven Peralejo | Photography by Dookie Ducay


What’s meant for you will always find its way back to you.


This appears to be true in the case of former Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) housemates Heaven Peralejo and Marco Gallo—fondly known to their shippers and fans as “MarVen.”


Six years after their Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7 stint and brief “crushing on each other” moment there as housemates, Heaven and Marco found themselves reunited anew with the romance-drama series The Rain in España. The 10-episode series, based on the hit Wattpad novel of the same title, authored by Gwy Saludes, will stream on Vivamax starting May 1, 2023. 


The Rain in España tells the story of Luna (Heaven), a UST architecture student, and Kalix (Marco), a legal management major at Ateneo, who are both ambitious but who also fall passionately in love with each other. Falling in love amid the pressure of doing well in studies, family issues, and future plans can certainly be tricky for young lovers, right? We’ll see the two characters meet again after almost 10 years as they interact and meet again as young professionals. The Viva One romance-drama summer series was directed by Theodore Boborol, the creative behind the films Vince and Kath and JamesJust the Way You Are, and Finally Found Someone.




Reunited 

Now that they’re working together, the two couldn’t help but share their excitement and how elated they are that they get to see each other again and much more frequently. In fact, the two now see each other almost everyday because of work and promotions.


Nakakatuwa na, at least, kakilala ko iyong ka-partner ko in The Rain in España, pero hindi ko naman in-expect na parang babalik ulit iyong tension noong nasa loob ng bahay. Habang tumatagal kami, actually, mas deeper pa nga iyong connection namin unlike noong nasa loob kami ng bahay ni Kuya [now] that we’re more mature versions,” Heaven says, adding that since they were given the chance to grow individually first, their relationship today is so much better. After all, when they first met at PBB, Heaven was just 16 years old and Marco was 15.


On the other hand, Marco says he’s happy that there’s an opportunity for the both of them to not just work but also feel like they’re playing. “What’s good about us is that we bring out the kid version in us because habang tumatagal ka in life, the more guarded you are and mature ka na, pero kapag magkasama kami, lumalabas iyong vulnerability namin and pagiging bata namin which is really fun,” explains Heaven who is a newly-launched Viva Artists Agency talent.



Though the two are happy to be reunited, The Rain in España was a project that they did not expect to be an instrument for them to cross paths once again. For Heaven, she came across this project while she was about to do lock-in work for the suspense thriller film Nananahimik Ang Gabi opposite Ian Veneracion. She auditioned for the role but she wasn’t into the story of the romance-drama at the time yet because she was immersed in her role in the other film already. “I’ve never done a Wattpad before so first time iyan and I tried my best. I’m really glad na nakuha ko [iyong role],” Heaven shares. 


Marco learned about the project through a Zoom meeting and he was even auditioning for both the characters of Kalix and Sevi. He ended up landing the role of Kalix, the male lead. “The first thing they told me was ‘Oh, you’re going to be working with Heaven.’ And I was like ‘Heaven? Peralejo?’ They went like, ‘Yeah. You know her, right?’ And I was like… [nervous]” Marco shares, with Heaven interjecting, “I also didn’t know what to feel when I heard about you.”


“I approached her on DMs via Instagram and she was acting all cool. I felt like whatever happened six years ago, it was just six years ago. That’s a long time. I did not forget but it was in the past. When I saw her again, I was like: ‘Okay, who is this person now?’ I know I’ve changed and I didn’t know how she’s been,” the young actor explains. 




Heaven and Marco, Luna and Kalix

Admittedly, part of the initial thoughts Heaven had was how she didn’t see Marco in the past as someone who’s passionate about work, so she was worried if he’s still that same Marco. “But he really surprised me. He really did. Buong script namin, pinag-aralan niya talaga. Ang galing ni Marco talaga ngayon. He’s a different Marco—no joke, though. I can definitely see how he loves acting and that’s really a plus point,” she says, making Marco blush with this sudden shower of praises from his co-star.


To prepare for the series, both stars had to read the Wattpad novel to get acquainted with their characters and the whole story. “I read it twice. Ganoon ako ka-perfectionist. I was so scared to make it wrong and to have a wrong impression,” she admits. Marco also made sure he had a solid grasp of the narrative despite struggling a bit with the Filipino language—he says, “What I did was divide all the pages and divide it by how many days I had, and so I studied it for, like, 35 pages a day and it was all in Tagalog.”


In the course of studying and breathing like into their characters, both Heaven and Marco found things that are likable and relatable in Luna and Kalix. “I love everything about Luna—how she’s so selfless and I resonate with that,” Heaven begins, and Marco agrees. Heaven also likes how Luna knows how to sort out her priorities in life and is well-balanced when it comes to studies, career, friends, and love life.  “Same din kami na nag-shutdown din iyong heart namin. Dati ’pag nagmahal ako sobra, pero ’pag nasaktan ako, ayoko na. Ganu’n din si Luna. Kahit papaano, nagre-resemble talaga. But I think there’s this one person like Kalix or Marco na parang they just open up your heart and remind you again on how to love,” Heaven opens up.


Heaven Peralejo and Marco Gallo - The Rain in Espana series - feature on Metro


She also loves how Luna is a bright person who just makes everything feel sunny and cheerful. “And how Luna is super fun to be around. She has this energy. Sometimes ako, sobrang introvert ko na may mga times na sobrang ang bilis kong mapagod. Pero kay Luna, as in 100% every scene so kung may 16 sequences, naka-16 100% ako ng energy all the time. So nakakatuwa kapag nalalabas ko na siya and nadadala ko si Luna in real life, parang masaya lahat,” the actress continues. Marco adds, “Sometimes I even ask her: Is this Heaven or is this Luna?” 


In the case of Marco, he admires Kalix’s sense of commitment. “Kalix was just so into her. No matter how…whatever she does, he has this passionate love for Luna no matter what. I like that. That comes in as a reminder for all of us at work that no matter how hard things get, let’s do it!” he says.


Marco admits that similar to Kalix, he’s also quiet and a little aloof. Heaven nods in agreement, saying Marco gives off that initial impression to people until you get to know him better. Marco is loving and thoughtful, but like Kalix, he just doesn’t know how to express it sometimes. “Like the young Kalix, lacking in words but would rather show whatever he’s trying to say through actions,” Marco explains.




Life on the Set

Given that Direk Theodore Boborol has worked on films that deal with lighthearted romance—and The Rain in España is composed of predominantly young cast members—the atmosphere on the set was certainly fun and full of laughter though they have faced challenges, too.


Marco particularly loved the out-of-town trips they had to make for the series. “I love the traveling part about this job. I’ve always hated being in an office and so the most fun part is traveling to places. Boracay was definitely a fun part of me. It didn’t even feel like work because we’re at the beach. How can you feel that it’s work?” Marco smiles.


Heaven opted to share a fun, light moment while shooting at a waiting shed. It was almost 2 a.m. and they couldn’t stop laughing. “Good thing people weren’t pissed. Everyone was having fun. It was one of my favorite moments of us. Nilalabas ko side ko na sobrang kulit,” Heaven shares.


They are grateful that it was also a set that encouraged them to share their thoughts and have creative inputs for their characters. Heaven would suggest certain unique ways and quirks that her character Luna would do and also helped out in bridging the Wattpad version to translate it better on screen.


Marco, on the other hand, would share his thoughts on the way some things could be dubbed or the way his character Kalix could be voiced or how he was supposed to soundThe series had completed its production and is all good and ready for the fans’ viewing pleasure. With streaming platforms in a glut right now, why is The Rain in España a must-watch series?


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“I think iyong emotions na ibinigay ko doon are so real. It came from my heart—everything,” Heaven assures the audience. “I agree. I feel like I didn’t give any performance like it before. I wouldn’t even be telling people to watch it if I know that I didn’t do a good job because I really felt it too. They said study the lines and bring your emotions and do it. But in that moment, it didn’t even feel like a scene. I really did feel the connection with Heaven, with Luna,” Marco says.The two felt like they have embodied their characters so well, gave their best, and hope that people would like the show.


Marco and Heaven also shared messages for each other, encapsulating the whole experience they have from working together again. “I never knew you’re going to come again in my life and I’m very grateful na bumalik ka na ulit sa buhay ko. You were, like, a beautiful turning point in my life. I think you just bring out the child in me, the best version of me, you teach me a lot of things and  you keep me grounded. I really hope we can work together and get to see you. I’m really grateful. No joke, you have a piece of my heart,” Heaven sweetly says to Marco.


Likewise, the usually quiet Marco shares his equally sweet and unfiltered thoughts about Heaven. “In this industry, I’ve met so many people that I’ve trusted and I got burned. I don’t think I want to give up trying and trying because I guess you… I do trust you fully. I do feel safe with you. The message I told you earlier about having somebody right by your side, understanding where you’re coming from… I’ll be that person. I’ll be that person whenever you feel down and whenever it gets hard, whenever you feel like 'it’s impossible to do'... reminding you that we can do it,” Marco concludes beautifully.


The romance-drama cast of The Rain in España also includes Gab Lagman, Bea Binene, Krissha Viaje, Nicole Omillo, Aubrey Caraan, Gabby Padilla, Andre Yllana, Frost Sandoval, and Francis Magundayao.


Stream The Rain in España series on Vivamax now.


Photos courtesy of Viva Artists Agency

Photography by Dookie Ducay

Heaven's makeup artist and hair stylist: Mickey See and Renz Pangilinan

Heaven's styling by Joanna Garcia

Marco's grooming by Aimee Marie Grey

Marco's styling by M Barretto