Eleven years is a long time. When rumors about Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla (collectively known as KathNiel) breaking up came out, I was one of the fans who thought, "No, that's just fake news."
I don't know if I could qualify as one of the fans of their loveteam because I've watched all their movies (when they came out on Netflix, that is), and last year, I marathoned the "2 Good 2 Be True" series with my family (and felt like I lost my purpose in life when it ended).
I seldom follow celebrities on Instagram, but I follow both of them, and I generously double-tap their photos, especially when they are together. I also supported them individually, with "Hello, Love, Goodbye" as one of my top 10 Filipino films, and even convinced my husband to have his haircut at Barbero Blues, saying, "Kina Kathryn and Daniel daw 'yan!" Not to mention that a soft drink brand suddenly became tolerable to drink because Daniel was promoting it, if you know what I mean.
I may not be a fan, but I could say that with the little time left I have as a mother, I gladly invested some of it in supporting KathNiel in whatever way.
Last September 30, I went out with my fellow mom friends to catch the hyped "A Very Good Girl" movie. While the plot didn't tickle my fancy, I was one who would defend Kathryn that she looked nothing short of amazing, and she did well in this film. I was one to proudly share Kathryn's recent Preview cover with my chat groups. I loved them both, and after "2 Good 2 Be True," I couldn't wait for their next movie and series together.
So, imagine the state of my heart when Kathryn finally posted about a chapter that has closed. And in it was a photo of her and Daniel, the hardworking and adorable Eloy Borja in the series that made me and my husband cry buckets. It hasn't completely sunk in, but while reading Kathryn's respectful and kind statement, a familiar feeling came to me.
Masakit, but it's not as mapanakit as when my parents broke up just last year.
What's more disappointing than KathNiel's 11 years? It was my parents' 36 years, all down the drain.
My dad finally found out about my mom's affair, and he had nothing but hatred for her. "'Wag niyong tularan ang nanay niyo, kababaeng tao, may kabit," he told me and my siblings.
I never thought I would ever hear those words from my very own father, about my very own mother. What's worse, I was already a 35-year-old adult then, who's just learning the ropes of parenting and just starting to build my own family when this happened.
Turns out, they knew that this was going to happen, but they just stayed because "Para hindi maapektuhan ang pag-aaral ninyo."
But you know what? Whether they separate when I was in grade school or now that I'm a fully grown adult, it sucks.
It sucks seeing two people bound by love separate. I mean, I've had my fair share of breakups, but it's different when it's two people whom you never expect to separate would call it quits.
It sucks when the first message you read in the morning is from your family group chat, and the two of them are casually throwing expletives, considering you once witnessed them duet to Kenny Rogers' "You And I" and "Through The Years."
It sucks when special occasions and birthdays that you once look forward to suddenly became events that would make you feel anxious because you have to celebrate them separately.
It sucks when you realize you have been blindsided all this time. They said they wanted to protect you, but at what cost? Their happiness? Is that something you sign up for when you become a parent?
Break-up, separation, parting ways. These are words that no one would wish to happen to anyone, yet, these are the things that sometimes, we don't have any control over.
It's less than 24 hours since Kathryn and Daniel broke their silence, and links to rumors about the reason are piling up in chat groups.
Everyone wants to find a truth that they want to believe in.
I say, the truth might be painful, especially for those who were involved in the relationship, but if we really love them, let's stop digging receipts, and just grieve with them for what they've lost.
And when we're done, get back on building ourselves and our relationships because if we don't get good at this right now, x years from now, it could be your child writing this essay, and telling you how it sucks.