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EXCLUSIVE: The Hows Of KathNiel—How Kathryn Bernardo And Daniel Padilla Have Maintained Their Superstar Status

Vivo ambassadors Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla are on the cover of Metro.Style. Sharing the spotlight in this cover is the new Vivo X21 smartphone, whose key features include the In-Display Fingerprint Scanning, 19:9 Fullview Display, Dual Rear Camera, and AI Face Access. 


UPDATED- When Kathryn Bernardo was set to topbill the ABS-CBN teleserye The Princess and I, there were three guys who were set to steal her heart onscreen. Enrique Gil was without Liza Soberano back then and was touted to be the favorite, Khalil Ramos was going to play the quirky best friend, and Daniel Padilla, who was able to work with Kathryn back in the TV show Growing Up, was a good addition to the mix. No one was able to foresee that Kath and DJ would have the magnetic chemistry that they did onscreen—and KathNiel was born.

Almost seven years down the road, Kathryn and Daniel have consistently topbilled their own teleseryes, have done a movie or two almost every year, and have reached heights in their career that only a handful of local celebrities have been able to achieve. But beyond their stellar careers, KathNiel wouldn’t have gone for as long as it has without their love, dedication and loyalty to each other.


READ: Kathryn Bernardo And Daniel Padilla Are On The Cover Of Metro Magazine's "Statement" Issue



“The Hows of Us”

Their new film, The Hows of Us (directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina), set to come out soon, mirrors their real love story—and that is perhaps something that was taken into consideration when crafting the movie’s story. Daniel describes the movie as “very, very different from what we’ve done in the past na pelikula. Kasi ngayon, tungkol siya sa dalawang tao na naging on, nag-break, tapos iisipin kung magbabalikan pa ba kayo. I think mae-excite talaga ang tao, kasi ang gaan ng movie, pero at the same time, ang lalim din. Very real.”

Their characters, Primo and George, are high school sweethearts who find themselves growing up together, and figuring out how to stay in love and committed to one another. At the time of this interview, Daniel and Kathryn were set to head to the Netherlands to do some scenes. Kathryn admits that they sometimes jet off to locations and find out what they can bring to the movie only when they arrive. The element of surprise and spontaneity keeps them on their toes and makes their acting fresh and real.


Young love no more

Interestingly, the characters in KathNiel’s upcoming film and the KathNiel love team are both set to hit their 7-year mark in their relationship, also referred to as that 7-year itch. Like their onscreen personas, Kathryn and Daniel’s relationship over the years wasn’t all smooth sailing. While Kathryn and Daniel try their hardest to keep the status of their relationship private, along with the issues or problems that they work on along the way, the public is relentless in knowing all about their private life. Kathryn shares, “I don’t want to be particular or specific about it, but nagka-problem kami ni DJ around three or four years ago. Na-overcome namin ni DJ, and it made us stronger than ever.”

Such challenges cannot be avoided, but nowadays, the two have been with each other for so long, that they have managed to figure out their relationship’s ebb and flow. “Kasi kunyari kung may ugali akong panget, tapos pareho kaming ganu'n, maghihilahan lang kami. Naba-balance namin ang isa’t-isa. Siya 'yung taong pinupuntahan ko at mawawala lahat ng bigat na nararamdaman ko. Hindi lahat ng tao ganu'n. She’s like home,” Daniel says.

The comfort that Daniel finds in Kathryn is what she sees in him as well. “He’s very, very caring, very protective. Basta feeling mo you’re safe whenever you’re with DJ. And as a girl, 'yun 'yung importantepapa-feel niya sa’yo na parang ikaw ang pinakamagandang babae sa balat ng lupa, parang ganu'n. And as a girl, the respect that you get from the guy and the way he treats you, it’s something that I really appreciate about him.”



This is KathNiel

The KathNiel fandom is one of the strongest, most loyal there is in local showbiz. Kathryn and Daniel love their fans with as much intensity as their fans love them. When asked about what they think makes their love team click, the duo pauses, to seemingly reflect on what they’ve done to deserve not just the love of their fans, but their rise from young artists to household names.

Kathryn shares, “Pareho kaming very transparent. Kung good mood, yes, you can see it. 'Pag pareho kaming bad mood, kung nag-away kami, kita mo. Gusto din namin na 'yung pinaka-natural, 'yun 'yung papakita namin. We cringe kapag may papagawa na sobrang scripted na kailangan magpaka-sweet—hindi talaga namin gagawin! We want to be as natural as possible.”

As Kathryn and Daniel celebrate the seventh anniversary of their love team, alongside the upcoming release of their latest movie The Hows of Us, these Vivo ambassadors are featured on the covers of Metro magazine and Metro.Style. In an in-depth interview with them, they talk about little known details about them and share their thoughts on topics such as social media, their advocacies, and their personal endeavors.



What do you like doing on your spare time?

Basketball, darts, and Netflix, according to Kathryn. I love conversations, long conversations... about the world. Kung paano 'yung mga tao ngayon. Ako kasi, may lagi akong tanong. Mahilig lang ako to wonder. Pastime ko rin lumayo, kung saan man, out of town. Gusto ko mag-isip-isip doon. 'Yung may makausap na tao na matagal ko nang hindi nakausap. Gusto ko lang talagang humihinga.


Why are you not that active on social media?

Hindi ako fan. Well, don't get me wrong, nakikita ko naman 'yung maganda du'n, lalo na sa mga supporters. I'm not a fan of 'yung magbro-browse. Stressful. Minsan nagtwi-tweet ako. Ayoko kasing nagju-judge ng mga tao.


Kathryn has the KathNails business, while you have District 8. What are your plans for this resto bar?

Nagbabalak ako magbukas ng music bar na medyo jazzy. Obsessed talaga ako with music. Gusto ko maglagay ng mga talagang legit na bands para merong legit na music na kung pumunta ka, quality talaga maririnig mo.


Speaking of which, which songs or albums resonate with you?

The Cure. Radiohead. Kurt Cobain. Sinatra. Standard. Very wide range... Nakaka-miss lang 'yung music before na kapag maririnig mo, maiiyak ka pa eh.


If you were to capture your life in one album or song, what would it be?

Siguro Oasis album, (Whats the Story?) Morning Glory. Kapag na-play mo na 'yun, hindi mo na puwedeng itigil yan. Konti lang 'yung mga album na ganu'n na wala kang nililipat na kanta. Napansin niyo ba 'yun? Kapag isang album, meron at meron talaga, "ay, hindi ko trip 'to masyado." Pero eto, dire-diretso na siya. Walang tapon.



What has been your greatest achievement to date?

As an actress and an artist, proud ako with all of my movies. Kasi hindi madali gumawa ng movie. More on the creative side. Kasi iba kapag movies, the people will pay for it, so kailangan maging worth watching 'yung pelikula mo. Dapat hindi masayang 'yung two hours nila sa cinema. 'Yung challenge sa amin palagi ni DJ, kaya every movie sobrang proud kami sa isa't-isa, kasi ang dami na naming nagawang movies, so paano mo pa iibahin? 'Yun 'yung nakaka-proud once makita mo, especially kapag premiere night, natapos mo, tapos nakita mo feedback ng tao.


Let's talk about social media. You have millions of followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, what can you say about those platforms?

With social media, I think malaking factor siya sa buhay natin right now. And siguro hanggang gusto lang natin maging responsible user lang lahat, walang problem. 'Yung problem now is minsan too much of everything would be bad, 'yun 'yung masama. 'Yun 'yung nagiging problem, especially the bashing online.

Before [my Instagram] was open to comments, pero parang hindi na siya nagiging healthy sa akin, kita mo lahat ng groups nag-aaway-away sa comment box mo, na parang hindi naman related sa picture na pinost 'yung pinagawayan nila. Ang bilis ko kasi mahawa, so ang ginawa ko, in-off ko nalang, buti may feature na like that. 'Yung Facebook and Snapchat ko, I made sure 'yun 'yung private, 'yung sa akin with my friends. Pero Instagram, since siyempre gusto mo rin naman to interact with your fans, ginawa ko nalang na in-off ko 'yung comments para huwag nang mag-cause ng anything.


In your Twitter, it says, "in order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." What do you like about that particular quote?

Kasi feeling ko, ngayon kasi especially nga because of social media, parang meron kang thinking na you have to be like them to stand out, you have to be part of something para maging okay. That's okay naman pero dapat sana alam, most especially ng young ones, to make their own name, hindi nila kailangan ma-associate sa ganyan para maging ganyan. Kapag sa styling lang, lahat ganyan uso, ganyan na lahat. So why not 'di ba, doon ka sa iba, kasi minsan kapag magkakamukha na kayo, wala nang special sa inyo. You have to make it your own, along with styling, everything. Kung paano ka umaarte, para mag-stand out, 'yun lang 'yung thinking ko. You have to be different to stand out.


On your Instagram, on the other hand, it says "think less, live more." Why that quote?

Kasi before parati kasi akong super shy girl. Takot ako mag-try ng kung anu-ano, and when I turned 18 or 19, doon ko na-realize na mas okay kung mas open sa ganito ganyan. 'Yun 'yung naging to enjoy life more, kailangan mas maging carefree ka, huwag mong isipin 'yung sasabihin ng tao.


What advice would you give to women about expressing themselves through fashion?

It depends on your personality. Wala namang masama if mag-classic girl ka, or gusto mo modern, street style, for as long as hindi mo pilitin. Like, kung hindi ka comfortable, huwag mo pilitin to wear something that you don't like. Kasi important na dapat comfortable ka kasi kailangan mo dalhin. Kung gusto mo girly, yeah, go for it. Nakikita ko 'yung personality ng tao kung paano sila mag-dress up din, so it's good to represent yourself through fashion.


How would you want to be remembered? What legacy would you want to leave in this industry?

I'd like to be remembered as someone who took risks. Ako kasi, personally, I believe kapag artista ka, you always have to take risks. Hindi ka dapat laging nasa safe zone kasi paano ka makaka-explore. Hindi mo alam kung ano'ng kaya mo kung hindi ka aalis sa comfort zone mo. So someone who took risks, gumawa ng iba't-ibang roles, someone na magaan katrabaho, someone you can talk to sa set kahit tapos na serye niyo, puwedeng lapitan anytime. Siguro more on ang naging impact ko hindi as artista, but more as a person, kung ano'ng ginawa mo sa industry, how you treated people. Sana I'm remembered as someone who's kind, someone's who's real—not perfect, but real—someone who worked so hard kaya niya natupad ang dreams n'ya.




Photography by Mark Nicdao

Creative direction by Chookie Cruz

Fashion editor Randz Manucom

Makeup by Justine Claudia

Hair by Chris Rodil

Grooming by Ryan Ko

Nails by KathNails by KCMB

Special thanks to Grand Hyatt Manila