EXCLUSIVE: Maymay Entrata And Edward Barber On The Cover Of Metro.Style: Why MayWard Is The Next Big Thing
Big breaks don’t come fast for a lot of celebrities in local showbiz. Oftentimes, you’d be lucky if your career’s pace is slow and steady. Sometimes, it even takes years to find the right project that will make an artist a household name. And let’s not even talk about building a fan base. That in itself is like an uphill battle towards relevance and stardom.
It’s hard to imagine now, but when social media wasn’t a thing yet, becoming a trending topic was close to impossible. Back then, popularity was primarily measured by an artista’s TV show ratings or their box-office success. Today, the story is a bit different. Social media makes it possible for artists to reach more people, local and abroad. Not that it makes things easier, of course. It’s actually more complicated.
Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber just make it look easy.
“Sa sobrang bilis po ng panahon, ang daming blessings na dumarating, minsan sa sobrang bilis, parang blur na s’ya sa sobrang dami,” she said in utter disbelief as she looked back on the year that was for her in showbiz.
Her hair and face were all glammed up but her petite, model-esque body was already garbed in her usual outfit of laid-back shirt and jeans. This cover shoot had just ended, and she was settling on the makeup chair for the interview, where she showed the same simplicity and humility she had about a year ago when this writer interviewed her a few weeks after she was named the Big Winner of the reality show Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Lucky Season 7.
Earlier, in that same makeup chair, she was peacefully asleep while her makeup artist and hairstylist were fixing her up. She likes to squeeze in time for naps, to recharge, whenever possible. Her glam team is already used to this setup, and they are always happy to give her a beautiful surprise every time she opens her eyes.
But then, it wouldn’t be surprising if there had been many times when she felt like she didn’t want to open her eyes just yet, for fear that this beautiful dream would come to an end.
But no, she is not in a dream. This is reality. And the moment she opens her eyes, she’d find that she’s actually living her dreams.
Meanwhile, this young British-Filipino guy commanded attention with his good looks even when he was quietly sitting in a corner, tinkering with his mobile phone as he was patiently waiting for things to unfold in the shoot. He stood up for a moment to walk around the studio and talk to people at the shoot. I politely interrupted him and requested for an interview, while I motioned for him to sit on the other makeup chair behind hers.
“I can’t believe it’s been one year,” he said, beaming, as his smile gave a peek on the charming personality he has become known for. Like her, he also cannot believe how much of a thrilling ride their 2017 was, and how their 2018 is shaping up to take them to another wonderful journey.
From ordinary teenagers…
He is Edward Barber, 17, and she is Maymay Entrata, 20. He was born and raised in Germany, while she was born in Camiguin and raised in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. They were two young individuals who lived miles apart, led different lives, and had different dreams. Pinoy Big Brother served as the bridge that led the way for them to meet and eventually form a solid friendship.
They’ve been inseparable since. Suddenly, these two individuals have come together to work with the common goal.
Even when they were inside the Big Brother house, they had an obvious connection. That simple connection got deeper and deeper with each and every day they got to spend together—until what they had was soon established as a natural and effortlessly sweet chemistry that quickly endeared them to the Filipino audience.
The fans they have amassed throughout their stay in the Big Brother house were very supportive of whatever it was that was starting to brew between these two. They’ve been so vocal about rooting for Maymay and Edward that the two up-and-comers were already social media stars even before they were officially introduced into the world of showbiz. Fans immediately christened them with a love team name: MayWard—a catchy and easily memorable combination of their names, and one that would constantly be the talk of the town and a trending topic on social media.
When it came down to choosing the Big 4 (or top four housemates) on PBB, the fans of Maymay and Edward made sure to vote relentlessly to secure them their spots on the top.
…to fast-rising stars
March 5, 2017 marked the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, more so for Maymay who was named the Big Winner with a whopping 42.7% of the total votes.
That moment changed their lives forever, and they woke up the following day living in a dream-like world where they were suddenly up-and-coming celebrities. It was not long after the Big Night that they reached in-demand status.
While some celebrities wait a fairly long time for their stars to shine, Maymay’s and Edward’s stars were already shining brightly, so bright it was hard to ignore their meteoric rise to showbiz prominence.
These days, the calendar of this love team is filled with daily gigs. Here’s clear proof of how busy they are:
The call time for this shoot was at 9 a.m. Initially, it was at 8 a.m., but the handler of this love team kindly requested to move it to an hour later, so her two young talents can get some more rest. Their showbiz gig prior to this one wrapped up at 2 a.m. If they came in late for this shoot, it would be perfectly understandable, and they won’t expect anyone from the shoot team to complain.
But they were not late. In fact, they were even earlier than most people who were part of the shoot. And we’re not just talking about earlier by a few minutes, but about 30 minutes!
During the cover shoot, we thought, “Okay, let’s move fast and finish on time, so they can catch up on some rest.” But no. Apparently, she had a scheduled rehearsal for Maja Salvador’s “On Stage” concert in Kia Theater, which happened last March 23; he accompanied her for her rehearsal and was present during the concert to support Maja and, of course, Maymay.
This daily grind has become a normal thing for Maymay and Edward, something they continue to adjust to and come to terms with. One day they’re in Manila, the following day they’re in some province in the Philippines, and the next thing they know, they’re out of the country doing shows. At the moment, they’re in Hong Kong for a show.
It’s truly hard to keep up with the schedule of MayWard, but their legions of fans don’t mind all the social media stalking they have to do just to be updated with the goings-on of their idols.
So, why is MayWard a phenomenal love team? Why is MayWard the next big thing in showbiz? Here's proof of their meteoric rise and top reasons why they are on their way to superstardom:
1. Maymay is the teen Big Winner with the most number of total votes at 42.7%. This was a record previously held by PBB: Teen Edition 1 Big Winner Kim Chiu who had 41.4% of the total votes. Shortly after her big win, Maymay’s life story was portrayed on Maalaala Mo Kaya; the episode had a high rating of 31.2%.
Her fans would go out of their way for her. Here's proof of that: she is so well loved by her fans that they even organized a grand party for Maymay in no less than the Conrad Manila Hotel for her 20th birthday. The theme was #MaymayGlamorousAt20, and true to their theme, the party details were, indeed, glamorous; they even had a lavish red ball gown and a multitiered projector cake map made for her.
Maymay gets lots of compliments, too, for how she carries outfits with her tall and slender frame. She is a rising style star. Her biggest fashion moment was at the Star Magic Ball last year, where she donned a white sparkly Mark Bumgarner ball gown—a look so head-turning it even got the attention of supermodel-host Tyra Banks on Twitter. Maymay's fans tagged Tyra to photos of Maymay at the Ball, and it didn't go unnoticed as the America's Next Top Model host gave her a nod of approval by liking two of her photos.
2. Maymay and Edward are staples on television. Following their PBB success, they appeared as guests on several TV shows such as Matanglawin, Tonight With Boy Abunda, Gandang Gabi Vice, Magandang Buhay, Minute to Win It, MYX, Banana Sundae, Goin’ Bulilit, and It’s Showtime.
And barely a year since being part of showbiz, Maymay and Edward were tapped as cast members of the horror-fantasy drama TV series La Luna Sangre, where they worked with one of the country’s top love teams, the King and Queen of Hearts, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo. They became semi-regulars on Sunday noontime musical variety show ASAP as well. Their ASAP performance of the song "Baliw" was posted on ABS-CBN Entertainment's YouTube account, and it currently has close to 1.5M views.
3. Within a few months since stepping out of the PPB house, they made their first big screen debut. It was in May 2017 when it was reported that they were going to have their own film. Immediately, it became a trending topic on social media. The trailer of their rom-com film Loving in Tandem, as of this writing, has 2.1M views on Star Cinema’s YouTube account.
Their movie, which was released in September 2017, had international screenings in Middle East, Saipan, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Italy, United Kingdom, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Kim and Gerald Anderson had a similar career path. Their love team was formed through PBB, and just a few months after the Big Night, they had their film debut, First Day High. If this is any sign of what the future could hold for Maymay and Edward career-wise, the two are definitely in for a wonderful time ahead.
4. They are among the most sought-after endorsers in local showbiz today. As their relevance in the industry is further cemented with every project, they gain the trust of lifestyle brands as well, and are tapped as endorsers whose faces you see on billboards, TVCs, and other advertising materials. Currently, they are endorsers of big brands Bench, McDonald’s, Coke, and Vivo.
To launch them as Bench endorsers, they had a big billboard along EDSA-Balintawak. For their McDo endorsement, on the other hand, they had a TVC, which garnered a current total of 3.2M views when it was uploaded on the fast food chain’s official YouTube account.
They were also featured on the cover of and served as inspirations for the characters on the He’s My Oppastar book, which they collaborated on with ABS-CBN Publishing. The crowd turnout and the number of books sold during the book launch also set a record-breaking number.
Last Saturday, @maymay & @edward_barber launched the book 2 of their #Mangaserye "He's My Oppastar." Over 300 lucky #Mayward fans were able to get their books signed and take pictures with #MayWard. Follow us on Facebook to be the first to see the full album! ?? • • #NoInk #NoInkOfficial #ABSCBNPublishing #MayWard #MayWardMangaserye #booklaunch #booksigning #photos #album #photoalbum #maymayentrata #edwardbarber
#NoInkBookEvents - Para sa mga #TeamBahay, we're sending you the updates from the #MayWardMangaserye book launch event! @maymay & @edward_barber are now signing books 1 & 2 of "He's My Oppastar." For a FREE PREVIEW of the Mangaserye Book 1, download the NoInk app now! ?? • • #NoInk #NoInkOfficial #ABSCBNPublishing #mayward #maymay #maymayentrata #edwardbarber #edward #mangaserye #mangaserye #booklaunch #booksigning #event
5. They make good and chart-topping music together. Maymay and Edward collaborated on a song titled “Baliw” back when they were still inside the Big Brother house. Even months after they went back to the “outside world,” that song remained on top of the daily music chart MOR Pinoy Biga10 list and even topped iTunes Philippines' and Spotify's lists. The acoustic version and official lyric video of “Baliw” on ABS-CBN StarMusic’s YouTube account currently has 3.3M views, while “Mahal Kita Kasi” (which is also with Edward, and is part of the Maymay album) has 536K views as of this writing.
6. Maymay is a best-selling, award-winning recording artist. The tickets to the grand album launch of Maymay in SM City North EDSA Skydome last June were sold out just two hours after selling was announced. On the day of the launch of her self-titled debut album under Star Music, her albums were reportedly sold-out even before the program started. Maymay the album reached gold status in less than a week, and became platinum in September. She won the Best Novelty Singer of the Year award at the Eduk Circle Awards 2017 and was nominated as the Best Female Artist for "Toinks" in the same award-giving body. She was also nominated as the Ultimate Recording Artist at the Star Cinema Awards 2017.
The online reception for her music videos is also overwhelming. Her “Toinks” official lyric video has 2.4M views, while her “Shanawa – Sana S’ya” official lyric video has 988K views as of this writing.
Just last February, Maymay held her first major solo concert titled “The Dream, Maymay in Concert” at the Kia Theater, and again, tickets were reportedly sold out in just a few hours. Her concert was so successful that it will have a repeat on April 13 at Imus Sports Complex, Cavite. Of course, Edward is one of her special guests.
7. MayWard is an award-winning love team. MayWard has been recognized as a promising love team and duo by award-giving bodies such as ASAP Pop Teen Choice, MOR Pinoy Music Awards, Eduk Circle Awards, Push Awards, and Star Cinema Awards. Their fans are also so supportive that their fandom even won the "Ultimate Fan Awards" on Push Awards last year.
8. MayWard’s popularity goes beyond the Philippines. Maymay and Edward currently have a combined Instagram following of 2.4M. With the help of social media, their popularity is not only confined in the Philippines, because there are also overseas Filipino workers and immigrants in places like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan who are enamored by the extraordinary appeal of MayWard, and would pay to see them perform. In just a year, they’ve been to a lot of provinces and countries to perform, including General Santos City, Legazpi, Pangasinan, Cagayan de Oro, Tarlac, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
It’s only been about a year since MayWard was introduced in showbiz, and yet they’ve had such an impressive body of accomplishments already. 2018 is just getting started, and by the looks of it, MayWard is showing no signs of slowing down from their ascent to success.
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz and Judy Arias
Photography by Dookie Ducay
Creative direction by Chookie Cruz and Raff Colmenar
Makeup by Eman de Leon
Hairstyling by Jaymar Lahaylahay
Styling by Team Rain x Em
Shot at Zoomburst Studios
Props from SaSo Greenhouse Design Studio
Special thanks to Love Capulong of Star Magic