11 years as a love team. 10 years as boyfriend and girlfriend. In an industry where onscreen pairs come and go, the portmanteau KathNiel has remained relevant for more than a decade. Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla have undoubtedly stood the test of time as a reel and real couple. And that deserves a celebration.
True enough, on September 26, while filming the hit ABS-CBN series 2 Good 2 Be True, Kathryn and Daniel squeezed in some time to give back to their long-time supporters. The power couple threw a grand celebration for their loyal fans at the Microtel by Wyndham in Quezon City. The two humbly attributed their success for more than a decade to those who lined up to watch their movies, purchased the products they endorse, and cheered at their mall shows. Grateful was the night’s buzzword.
Aside from letting us into how they stayed together for more than a decade in entertainment, Kathryn and Daniel also let their guards down during a mini Q&A to give us a glimpse of their relationship. There were no cookie-cutter answers to make us swoon and sigh but kilig effortlessly came from the couple’s banter and candid responses.
Here are some love lessons Kathryn and Daniel unpacked during the conversation:
Honor me-time and be each other’s safe space
“We may be public figures but we are also boyfriend and girlfriend like ordinary people,” Kathryn explained. “We plan trips, dinners, and movies to watch together.”
She emphasized the need for a sense of normalcy in the relationship and admitted that it is what they have been working on for years. “When we have time to do things that are unrelated to work, we do that. Then, he has time alone and I also have time alone.”
Both Kathryn and Daniel expressed how challenging being in a lock-in taping is. While they love being with each other, the couple indirectly validated the saying that “Familiarity breeds contempt.”
“It gets to you,” Daniel talked about how mood swings are unavoidable given the emotional demands of their acting jobs. “So, sometimes, we tell each other ‘Okay, Bal, let’s move away for a bit!’ when we clash. We already know that and we give each other space for a time.”
“It’s not fun and games every day. We also fight,” Daniel admitted. “That’s part of the package, and it’s a good ingredient in a relationship. Without conflicts, there will be no depth in the relationship and you won’t learn from each other.”
“Aside from adjusting to each other, communication is very important,” Kathryn chimed in. “When I am in a bad mood, who else will I run to to make me feel better? So, when he needs me, I also try to be there. It feels different to know you have someone you can run to without fear of being judged and you know will put you back in a good place.”
Make room for each other’s growth
In ten years, there was not a time Kathryn and Daniel found themselves wanting to break up. They give credit to having time for themselves and their other relationships. “Take your time. Mama tells me that all the time. Tita Karla [Estrada] also reminds us of that,” Kathryn said. “We did not rush into things and always had something to look forward to as a couple.”
“She has her own trips with her friends, and I get to spend time with my family and friends during Christmas. We have individual activities so we never reached the point to need a cool-off,” Daniel explained.
“We get to gauge each other’s feelings by now and give each other the necessary space when needed,” Kathryn added.
Acknowledge each other’s shortcomings
When asked who says sorry first, Daniel volunteered, “There’s a balance.” To which Kathryn nodded in agreement. “There are days she is the tiger. On some days, I am the lion,” Daniel laughingly quipped. “It won’t work if I always get my way because she has her own mind. Sometimes, when I suggest something and she contradicts it, okay. Let’s see what happens. If things turn out okay, then very good. If not, then [I’ll tell her] ‘I told you so!’” The guests burst into laughter.
A little later in the conversation, Daniel revealed that it takes a little more for his girlfriend to apologize. “For her to say sorry, there has to be a specific reason for it,” he spilled. Kathryn sweetly asked, “But isn’t that right? Why am I going to say sorry if I don’t know the reason, right?” Daniel quickly yet carefully crafted his reply, “The main reason is, ‘I’m sorry because I made you feel bad,’ right? That’s just it.”
For Daniel, addressing the problem on a macro level is more important. “The point is, you made me feel bad, and that’s why you say sorry. If you don’t know, now, you know,” he said, holding Kathryn’s shoulder to appease her jokingly.
Kathryn told the crowd, “I think you’re about to witness the kind of fight we were talking about.” The room was filled withlaughter once again.
Choose the other person every single day
“We are just like others in a relationship. We fight, we have fun. Love is a choice every day,” Daniel stated. He shared, this was something he picked up from an interview with basketball player Doug Kramer. “Every time you wake up, you have the option to leave [a relationship] or stay.”
“As they say, love is always just fun at the start. But when you reach something like this, we’ve been together for ten years, oh my goodness, we’ve been through a lot. But still, we choose each other all the time,” Daniel ended.
That was our cue to go, “Aww!”