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Reel- and Real-Life Partners

Words by Mariel Abanes

It’s fitting, like great timing dictated by fate, that Carlo Aquino and Charlie Dizon finally came together to star in a film. Both recognized in the world of show business thanks to their superior acting skills, it’s safe to expect all good things from “Third World Romance”—the Dwein Baltazar-helmed project that depicts romance between a couple in the underprivileged sector. It could be far from what it’s actually like for them as a real-life couple, but this exactly is why they said yes to doing the film.

More than the love story, it’s the reflection of the normal day to day lives of fellow Filipinos “na nasa laylayan”, as the two describe, that the artists want to highlight.

“Kaya ko gustong gawin ‘tong movie na ‘to is para maraming maka-relate na mga mamamayang Pilipino,” the lead actress points out.

Her partner agrees, adding how today’s social status has significantly changed—for the worse. “Ang gustong iparating ng pelikula is kung hindi maayos ‘yung istado ng mga Pilipino, kailangan gawan naman natin ‘to ng paraan. Hindi pwede ‘yung ganito lang tayo palagi,” Carlo presses. It’s a message that calls to action—and not only in an individual sense. Collectively as a community, as a nation, the film shows a reflection of our reality, and it prompts questions and—hopefully—urgent measures that should be taken.

On the flip side, “Third World Romance” is also a portrayal of hope. “Ang key takeaway, mas masaya ang buhay kung may kakampi ka,” Charlie notes. Within and outside the script, it’s one thing that made this pair succeed in this project, citing how this team up allowed them to be more comfortable as well as bring out their best foot forward.

“Charlie Dizon is the challenge,” Carlo reveals, but is grateful for when moments when he needs a breather comes, he has his girlfriend on the set to put him back on track. And Charlie feels the same, with the young actress feeling more motivated than ever. She says, “Ayokong magkamali. Mas on my toes ako.”

Personally, what did they learn from shooting the film? Apart from the realities that need checking and raising issues that matter, it also goes inward—a check up on one’s mindset in threading this thing we call life. Charlie emphasizes on the importance of being “palaban” and embracing oneself despite our mistakes and shortcomings. Carlo, on the other hand, highlights having someone by your side as essential in keeping your head above the water.

“Ang importante, ‘yung may kinakapitan ka, saka ‘yung failure kasama talaga sa buhay—at dapat hindi ka susuko do’n. Okay lang mag-fail ka, pero dapat matutunan mo kung paano bumangon at lumaban ulit.” he muses.

photography by Stephen Capuchino @stephencapuchino

art direction by Jobo Nacpil @jobonacpil

cover art by Matt Pingkian

For Charlie

Makeup: Janell Capuchino @janellcapuchino

Hair: Christian Bojo

Styling: Drew Lacia @drewlacia

For Carlo:

Grooming Hernan Soriano @hernansoriano_

Styling: Abby Paulino @styledbyabbypaulino

Special Thanks:

Star Cinema @starcinema, Blacksheep @black_sheepph, @keiaamielle


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