Aga is the ultimate Filipino heartthrob. Without even appearing in a syrupy rom-com, he’s taking the of Filipinas (and Filipinos!) by the millions. The James Reids and the Alden Richards of our times might want to take note.
This, of course, doesn’t feel like a stoic attempt at winning people over. More than anything, Aga’s confessional is a genuine and vulnerable gesture highlighting the best things about his ex-“love team” partner, Lea Salonga.
To the uninitiated, a “love letter”, written as part of a 2013 book published in celebration of Lea’s 35th anniversary in showbiz, has recently gone viral. In it, Aga reveals that Lea is “the one that got away. And she never knew.” The letter reads:
“She never knew how she saved me. It was 1992, and I was at the very bottom of the industry. Walang-wala ako noon. Wala akong pera, wala akong (I had nothing. I had no money. I had no career) career, but with ‘Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal’ I made my comeback,” confesses Aga.
Aga and Lea appeared in two blockbuster movies: Jose Javier Reyes’ Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal in 1992; and Olivia Lamasan’s Sana Maulit Muli in 1995.
“She never knew how much I loved her. It was a lifetime ago, I was a young man on fire with passion, as all young men of a certain age are. I wooed fair ladies and dreamed of shaping the world. And, to me Lea was Sandy—ethereal, aloof, unattainable; my very heart’s desire,” he continues. “Lea was Agnes—vulnerable yet remote, kind yet callous, constantly engaged in a battle of wills. And I loved Andy and Agnes and Lea in equal measure.
I love her still, but perhaps because she got away. I have her as a friend now, and so I will always have her. Anytime she needs me, andyan ako, anytime I need her, she’s there.”
Of course, Aga and Lea didn’t end up together. The former is married to beauty queen Charlene Gonzales, the latter to businessman Rob Chien. The two remain friends over the years. To say that this changes the effect of the letter, however, is barely accurate: words unfurl the most earnest of affections, romantic and otherwise.
If anything, though, there’s hope for a third film. In fact, there have been talks about it since 2016. Recent reports, however, tell that it might not be happening this year either.