Maris and Iñigo glad to be just friends

In the past, they had been linked romantically, though, recently, Maris Racal and Iñigo Pascual have clarified their status – friends.

At the press conference for I’m Ellenya L the once-romantically-linked pair affirmed that they had mutually agreed to be just friends.

Maris Racal and Iñigo Pascual star in the film  I’m Ellenya L.

Maris Racal and Iñigo Pascual star in the film I’m Ellenya L.

“It’s for the good of both of us,” Maris said. “Now I can focus on my work.”

“And I can also do the things I want,” Iñigo cut, “though, never naman na hindi ko nagawa, kahit noon pa.”

Iñigo said that he is focusing now on creating music. “That’s really what I want to do even before I came home from the US. And when finally I am here with my dad (Piolo Pascual) I am glad that he is very supportive of what I really want to become in show business.”

Does that mean that he is not very keen on carving out a career in acting?

Maris Racal says of her relationship with Iñigp: We’ve never been on officially.

Maris Racal says of her relationship with Iñigp: We’ve never been on officially.

Iñigo quickly quipped, “Not necessarily. But my priority is really music.”

Maris, on the one hand, said that she has become busy to give time to real life romance. “Right now I am shooting a film for Heaven’s Best with Ate Guy and other big names in acting (she plays the young Nora Aunor in Joel Lamangan’s Isa Pang Bahaghari). 

Regretfully she said, “No, I didn’t have the chance to have scenes with Ate Guy. I was playing kasi the young version of the character she plays.”

Apart from Isa Pang Bahaghari, Maris is also in Pamilya Ko,which premieres on ABS-CBN on Monday.

“Yes, I’ll be very busy with the series.” Maris said.

Starting next week, the movie she is starring with Iñigo premieres at the annual Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. I‘m Ellenya L. is a film from Spring Films of which Iñigo’s dad is one of the owners.

The film follows the simple but ambitious 21-year-old Ellenya Lakampati on her quest to become the next big vlogger, 

“This is totally not me,” said Maris who plays the lead role. “I am not ambitious…well, I have ambition…but I am not as driven as Ellenya.”

On most days, Ellenya spends her time patterning her online presence on her celebrity idol (with the special participation of Sue Ramirez playing herself), Luckily her musician father Daddy Toots (Gio Alvarez) is there to support her. Even if it means climbing on a roof to get her that perfect "drone shot." 

Her best friend, talented photographer and literal boy-next-door, Peng (Inigo Pascual) is also always there. Even though, frankly, he has become quite wary of Ellenya's obsession with the image she projects online. 

Iñigo describes the character he plays as someone observant, but not a meddler, a supporter but will not tolerate anything quirkier than what normal people can take.

“I’m not the bad boy here. Perhaps the good boy to some degree, but I am Ellenya’s best friend.

When a chance encounter leads Ellenya to meet Sue Ramirez' star maker and fellow influencer Kyle Quintos (Patrick Sugui), she takes the opportunity to get his help. Quintos can transform her into the big time vlogger she dreams of becoming. He agrees to help her on one condition: she has to prove her potential by becoming viral online within a week. 

In an age where everyone is an influencer, and where everyone is a blogger, what does it take to be "insta­famous?" Are "likes" and "follows" all that really matters nowadays? 

Having come from a similarly simple background as Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) AII-In's "Singing Sunshine of Davao," Maris lends to her role of Ellenya Lakampati much of her own experiences. From dealing with first-time fame to navigating through young adulthood as a "Gen Z'er."  I’m Ellenya L. is not a romcom.

Iñigo says he is focusing on his music first and not love life

Iñigo says he is focusing on his music first and not love life

Boy2 Quizon, the comedian-turned-director of the film said, “I did not direct a a rom-com. Perhaps you can call it comrom, because there is more comedy here than romance. Its a story of a young woman discovering who she is in the age of social media. At the film's core is a balance of comedy and heart. Comedy from the hopes, dreams, and everyday struggles of living an increasingly digital lifestyle; Heart from staying connected to the things that matter –friends, family, and one's true self. 

Boy2 said that Gen Z'ers and even millennials would both laugh and feel for these very relatable themes at the center of the film. 

The film is his directorial debut after being a comedian in Bubble Gangmfor more than 10 years. Quizon previously produced films like 10000 Hours, Camp Sawi, Sid and Aya, andUlan.

"As I come from a family who made their business in this genre, I made sure that laughs will be plenty. We took careful consideration of the classic way of doing gags, but also making sure we injected our own brand of new, organic and subtle humor," Quizon said in a statement. 

The film also stars Nova Villa, Francine Prieto, and the promising character actress and social media sensation, Kat Galang.