For Ruru Madrid and Bianca Umali, big life decisions—like getting married or building a house—aren’t something you can just stick an exact date on.
“For us, talks about the future… kusang mararamdaman ng tao ‘yan. If we feel like we’re ready to enter a new chapter in our lives, then we can make those kinds of decisions,” Ruru told select reporters at a recent press conference for his and Bianca’s new primetime series, “The Write One,” which premieres on March 20 on GMA 7.
“Right now, we’re still at a point in our lives where we just want to maximize our careers and continue supporting each other. The right time may come tomorrow, the day after that or the following week—we really can’t say for sure. But we will be waiting for that,” added the actor, who has started working on his dream home for his family.
But if there’s one thing Ruru is sure of, it’s the love he has for Bianca, whom he described as the “the right one” for him. “Wala na akong ibang babaeng hahanapin pa,” he declared.
Ruru came to this realization three years ago after a rift with Bianca led to an eight-month breakup. “When I lost her, that’s when I fully realized her worth as a person and as a woman who gives love so intensely. So I did everything I could to win her back… to make her feel how important she is to me,” he said. The relationship isn’t perfect, the couple admitted, and they still have small misunderstandings once in a while. During the event’s Q&A portion, the show’s director, King Mark Baco, revealed that there was a time during taping when he got worried, because he found out that Bianca and Ruru had unfollowed each other’s social media accounts.
“It was just a small fight; no big deal. We followed each other again shortly thereafter. It’s just that the fans are so quick to notice. It was just spur of the moment,” Bianca said, adding that she and Ruru didn’t let whatever “tampuhan” they had affect the scenes they were shooting then.
“We admit that the relationship is not perfect. There are small misunderstandings— that’s normal,” she added. “But I think it’s a skill to be able to separate your personal life from work. What happens off-cam isn’t a hindrance.”
Still, Ruru and Bianca find it refreshing that they can now show or talk freely about their relationship. While they had long been rumored to be dating, they didn’t explicitly confirm that they were. But eventually, they began dropping hints about the real score between them.
“It’s not easy being in a relationship seen by many. But we do know how much we want to share about our relationship. We never really said, ‘Yes, we’re dating,’ or ‘No, we’re not.’ What people see is what they get. We didn’t feel the need to announce that we’re together. But I guess it’s just about perfect timing. Now people know,” Bianca told reporters.
“It feels good that we don’t have to hide anything. The people who support us know what our real situation is. And we just hope to cherish every single moment we have working together,” Ruru said.
A collaboration between GMA 7 and the video streaming provider Viu Philippines,“The Write One” revolves around a frustrated writer named Liam (Ruru), who gets a chance to revise his love and life story with the help of a mysterious typewriter.
Liam’s goal is to produce a television series. His wife, Joyce (Bianca), on the other hand, gives up her budding acting career to raise their son. As their love for each other diminishes through time rendering their relationship stale, they both wonder: “What would their lives be right now had they pursued their respective dreams instead?”
The magical typewriter transports the two characters into a different timeline. There, Liam is a creative manager of a movie outfit; Joyce, the country’s most in-demand star. There’s one catch, however. In this alternate reality, Liam and Joyce don’t end up together. Liam finds himself in a relationship with fashion icon Via (Mikee Quintos). Joyce, on the other hand, gets wooed by a lawyer, Hans (Paul Salas).
Is there such a thing as destiny? Or do we have full control over our lives? Those are questions Liam seeks to answer.
Should he find himself in the same situation, if there’s anything about his life—or his relationship with Bianca—that he would like to rewrite? “We’re not perfect; we never were. But I won’t rewrite anything. The mistakes we made in the past helped us learn and helped us stick together,” Ruru said.
Pros and cons
Bianca and Ruru are used to being each other’s “respite.” Work is something they don’t really discuss in their private time. This is one reason working on-screen with a real-life partner can be challenging.
“Sanay kami na pahinga ang isa’t isa. But this is a great show and concept, so we couldn’t say no. The story is different from anything we have done in the past. It was challenging, but through time, we learned a lot. Bianca is a talented and professional actress. I won’t tire of working with her,” Ruru said.
Asked by the Inquirer if being too comfortable with her leading man can be a disadvantage, Bianca said there are pros and cons to the setup. “It’s hard in a sense, because you have to step back and remind yourselves that you’re doing this project as coworkers,” she said. “But it’s also easy because you don’t have to make a lot of adjustments because you know each other well. Ruru, on the other hand, had a newfound appreciation for Bianca’s work ethic. “I know how passionate I can be about my work. But there’s a person who can get even more passionate. That’s Bianca. I see how much she loves her craft. She wants to maximize her talent, and we’re inspired by that,” he said. INQ