Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga ‘stronger’ after ‘Be My Lady’

Reel and real life couple Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga

Reel and real life couple Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga

Airing for more than 10 months now, the top-rating and social media-trending morning series Be My Lady has truly resonated with the Filipino audience. The show’s network, ABS-CBN cannot be happier to see the story of a barrio lass and her handsome prince come to an end on November 25 as one of the most successful TV programs of 2016.

Since January, viewers tuned in to the love story of Phil (Daniel Matsunaga) and Pinang (Erich Gonzales) toward their journey to forever, buoyed by the fact too that the lead stars are also a couple in real life.

Besides the on screen and off screen kilig the pair brings, however, the show further captivated viewers because of its valuable lessons on relationships and family. Indeed, Phil and Pinang’s love proved that culture is not a hindrance to having a long-lasting relationship. The Crisostomo family, meanwhile, exhibited strength and unity during rough times. Pinang, on the other hand, showed that everyone can reach their dreams with perseverance.

Gonzales expressed her gratitude to be part of the show during their Be My Lady’s press confe­rence on Friday. According to the actress, besides becoming a family on the show with the cast members, she also credits the program for the “stronger” bond she now has with Matsunaga.

“I will miss my co-stars and the rest of the team who have all become my second family. Imagine seeing them everyday for taping—so much more than I see my own family,” Gonzales said. “And because of this show, my relationship with him [Matsunaga] is more solid. For better or for worse, we always have each other, supporting each other,” she added.

Known as “DanRich”, the celebrity couple first met when they appeared on special episodes of KrisTV and then were soon paired on primetime via the hit series, Two Wives. The two admitted they got together back in June 2015.

“I agree with Erich. The whole year we have learned so much about each other. We’re so much stronger than we could be. Right now, we are in a stage where we stepped up, not just because of work but because of the time that we spent together—that was the most precious thing,” the 27-year-old Brazilian actor-model explained.

Asked if they wish they would be paired up again for their next TV project, Gonzales said yes without hesitation. “Of course I still want to work with him because it’s so good to work with the one you love. But we also understand that it’s not always possible we get to work together. Honestly, we’re not really a love team, we were together as a couple before we were given this opportunity to have a show together—so we’re just very grateful. Work is work so if the project is good, why would we refuse. It would be a blessing.”

If they do work on other projects, how will she feel if she sees her boyfriend kissing another actress on the screen? Gonzales replied, “It’s not for me to forbid Daniel from all the things he has to do. I will always support him, and as an artist, I understand there are certain things we have to do that are required for scenes.”

The same goes for Matsunaga whoever his girlfriend’s next leading man will be. “I have trust in her. That’s important, I know she’s a professional when it comes to work, even in our own scenes. If it’s work, it’s work, and if your relationship is strong in God and in each other, I think there’s nothing to worry about.”

During the last episode of Be My Lady, Pinang and Phil finally tied the knot after a long courtship. The couple said that although the show previewed a wedding, they are not pressured to get married too even if they do talk about marriage.

“We are not pressured. They saw it, they loved it and they supported us. If it’s the time to get married for us in real life, it’s time. If I think I’m settled and I can afford to raise family, that’s it,” said Matsunaga. “I’m still working hard right now, and we’re focused on our careers. I’m working on my house but I still won’t be able to provide everything. I don’t want to depend on anyone but everything is coming along,” he said.

Meanwhile, the cast and crew also celebrated Be My Lady’s Catholic Mass Media Awards as this year’s Best Drama Series for its positive influence on viewers via the promotion of Filipino values and quality entertainment. They also shared the good news that foreign viewers will soon get to enjoy Pinang and Phil’s feel-good story as Be My Lady is slated to air in Kazakhstan, Myanmar, and Africa in 2017.

“We’re just overwhelmed with the support the fans have given us from the beginning. They are the first ones excited who are always excited about what will happen next. What we always say is that if there is one reward we received from the show, it’s the positive feedback from them—the effect the story had on their lives. Literally they have let us into their homes every morning—even the Filipinos abroad—and words are not enough to thank them, what with the CMMA Award as well,” Gonzales said.

“It’s nice to see people inspired by the show especially the OFWs who miss their families. We know that because we are also in the same situation—my family is in Brazil and her family is in Davao and Japan, so we know how it feels. The show, it’s been amazing because of the values it imparted. It’s not just any other teleserye, we were able to bring positive vibes for the last 10 months,” ended Matsunaga.


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