PBB teen stars Maris Racal and Loisa Andalio are pursuing their showbiz dreams and are discovering that having a friend by your side is the best way to go at it.
Maris Racal and Loisa Andalio are the new trending duo in the limelight. The two teenage girls are fast growing into two of the industry’s cutest sweethearts. Both PBB discoveries now called together Team #LoiRis have struck up an unbelievably close friendship as they find their place outside the PBB House.
“We really are best friends,” the two gals chorus sincerely. Maris says, “Even when we were in PBB up to now, we are still close.” Loisa echoes, “I really treasure our friendship.”
Maris and Loisa cut in on each other in interviews, excited to complete the thought of what the other is trying to say. They listen intently to each other and practically finish each other’s sentences. That’s how close they are!
Maris is Mariestella C. Racal. The young lady who turns 19 this September grew up in Davao del Norte and graduated high school from St. Mary’s College in Tagum City. Maris relates, “I am the 5th of 6 siblings. In the family, there are 4 girls and 2 boys. We are all musically-inclined. All of us sing in the family. My mom and my dad taught me about art, how to sing, how to dance, how to perform.”
Josefina Loisa F. Andalio goes by Loisa. The 17-year old beauty is from Parañaque. “Doon na po ako lumaki. Pangatlo ako sa magkakapatid. There are four of us — two boys and two girls. Before PBB, I belonged to an all-girl, sing-and-dance group called 3G.”
While the two girls share a strong bond almost like sisterhood, they have differences that only serve to complement their personalities. Loisa is your street-smart, foxy beauty while Maris is your southern gal. Loisa grew up in Metro Manila and was exposed to showbiz as she took workshops at ABS-CBN as early as 10 years old. Maris, on the other hand, is more reserved but would get tapped to perform in school.
Both are like regular teenagers, really. Maris enjoys cookies and milk. Loisa likes fried chicken and popcorn. Maris is always dressed-up. Her style is conservative but sophisticated. Loisa’s signature look would be sneakers, jogger pants, sunnies, a hoody and a top-knot hairstyle.
Loisa confides Maris’ showbiz crush is Gerald Anderson. To which Maris dreamily acknowledges, “We have the same handler (ni Gerald) so I think that’s a sign that we are meant to be.” Maris divulges that Loisa’s crush is young heartthrob Khalil Ramos. Loisa shares, “I wasn’t doing showbiz yet and he was in Pilipinas Got Talent. I would tweet Khalil to show my support as a fan back then. Now that I’m in showbiz, feeling ko alam nyang ako ‘yung tweet nang tweet dati. Kasi may mga fans na nag-take ng screenshots!” Their revelations are peppered with girlish teasing and teenage screams from the two young stars. Both of them couldn’t contain their kilig as they imagine their crushes during the interview.
How did you two become friends, we ask. “Because of PBB. We were given a secret task,” relates Loisa. “It was the second week off PBB. Dun na kami naging close ni Loisa,” confirms Maris. What was their first meeting like? Loisa confides, “Nakita ko talaga na makakasundo ko si Maris.” As for Maris, she says of Loisa: “Sobrang cute, chubby, maputi, ‘yung sosyal na girl. Baka ‘di niya ako pansinin. The following day, she started kidding with me. Mali ‘yung judgment ko sa kanya. Doon na kami nagkasundo. We have similarities. Pareho kaming kalog. We have the same sense of humor. But our personalities are really opposites.”
Life for both was a little different before they entered ABS-CBN’s reality show Pinoy Big Brother. Maris has this to say of that fateful day she went to the PBB audition in Davao. “I came from school that day. It was hell week — the Saturday after exams. I was exhausted. It was my mom who saw the billboard for the auditions. And she asked me to go.”
Maris relates she was so tired and didn’t even think of auditioning. “I consider it a miracle. My ate asked me to go. “Maris, pagbigyan mo na si Mama. Kasi naka ilang auditions ka nang di mo napuntahan.” My brother made me bring a guitar. Hindi ako nag-effort. ‘Di ako nagkulot. I was just in normal clothes — the normal me. Mahaba ‘yung pila. Pinagpaguran talaga yun. Walang connections, as in. Wala talagang someone from PBB ‘yung tumulong.”
Loisa’s story is a little different but just as interesting. “I was 10 years old when I had workshops at Star Magic. My aunt really wanted me to be in showbiz and gusto ko din. Nag-workshop ako para mahasa din ‘yung talent ko in acting, singing, dancing. Every time nagko-commute lang kami ng mom ko. Every time dumadaan ako sa PBB house, sinasabi ko na papasok ako doon balang araw. May ganon talaga akong dream.”
According to Maris, “Growing up, hindi ako ma-TV na tao. Nanunuod ako ng series, ng Koreanovelas, chick flicks on Star Movies. In school, I would be asked to sing the responsorial psalm — sing in mass, sing intermission numbers. I also did cover songs on Soundcloud.” For Loisa, it was the plugs for the talent workshop on TV that she would see growing up. “My aunt would encourage me to audition, to enroll. My Tita was the one who paid for my workshop fees.”
Both share that up until the last minute, they didn’t know if they were going to make it to PBB. Loisa shares her thoughts when news became official. “Ito na ‘yun. Magiging part na ako ng PBB. Sobrang kaba at saya. Kaba kasi mahihiwalay ka sa family mo. Saya dahil natupad ang dream mo na makapasok.” Loisa describes her excitement, “Eto na papasok na kami sa bahay ni Kuya. Sobrang iba ‘yung feeling. Parang gusto mo nang umuwi pero pagpasok ko ng PBB… wow, ang ganda, ang saya.”
Maris, on the other hand, had this realization when she got word she was joining PBB: “When I found out, I was amazed with myself because nakaya ko lahat ng stages ng audition. Nakaya ko ‘yun. I felt so proud of myself.” She admits even then she had apprehensions. “Sabi ko ito na ‘yung last day of anonymity ko. Hindi pa ako kilala ngayon pero bukas makikilala na ako ng lahat ng tao. Natuwa ako dun.” Maris remembers her point of no return. “Around early April, my classmates were enrolling for college already. I was nervous because I was torn between college and PBB. Amazing talaga because the same day that I got into PBB was the same day natanggap ako sa university. PBB! PBB talaga yung naisip ko kasi it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. ‘Yung school it will always be there.”
Everyone who follows the reality TV show knows Pinoy Big Brother can be life changing. As for Maris, she shares, “I didn’t have time to say goodbye to my parents. I cried to my ate. I had so many doubts about myself. What if ‘di ko kaya? Kasi make or break ang PBB, eh. It’s either you’ll be loved by many or hated by many. ‘Yun ‘yung worry ko. What if I become one of those housemates who would be hated by all and my life would be miserable.
Form her end, Loisa confesses, “Wala sa isip ko ‘yun if people will hate me. Wala sa isip ko ‘yung baka i-bash ako. Wala talaga. Gusto ko lang ‘yung experience. Kasi sa PBB, walang magulang. Doon ko nalabas ang sarili ko. ‘Yung ako talaga na wala ‘yung parents ko or ‘di ko kausap ‘yung kapatid ko and ibang tao. Buti nalang talaga ‘di ko naisip na baka i-hate ako ng mga tao, i-judge nila ako. So doon ako naging komportable.”
Loisa shares this as the best life lesson she learned from PBB: “It really helped me open up to my family. My parents were not exactly in the best terms then.” Maris would echo this by saying, “Kuya of PBB helped us with our problems in life, helped us deal with our family. Kuya heard us talking about our lives.”
Now, the two girls are carving a name for themselves outside the PBB house. Maris dreams of bagging the female lead role in a war drama ala Descendants of the Sun where she is the heroine who saves lives. She also wishes for Loisa to be a female action star, especially when her friend approaches her twenties.
On the other hand, Loisa dreams of being cast for a mermaid role. She relates she was cast as a mermaid for the soap remake of Dyesebel on ABS-CBN while gleefully reminiscing memories of wearing a mermaid’s tail while in the water. For Maris, Loisa envisions a tomboy role in a rom-com to contrast her friends’ natural lady-like manners.
The friends have dream leading men, of course. Loisa reveals Maris would be perfect with Iñigo Pascual for a love team. Maris dreams of a duet with the young actor. For Loisa working with Daniel Padilla would be a dream come true. Her crush on him aside, Loisa admits she see him as a good actor and would love to work with the heartthrob.
What’s the best thing about your friendship? Loisa is quick to reply, “Minsan lang kami ganito. Usually, chill lang kami. Sa showbiz, si Maris ‘yung talagang pinaka-close ko. As in. Bihira ka lang makahanap ng totoong kaibigan sa industry.”
Maris says, “What makes our friendship unique is we had a bond before we became showbiz stars. And then when we joined showbiz, our friendship became more solid. The challenges to our friendship happened on PBB. Ilang beses na-test but we stuck to each other. Now that we are out of PBB, we got even closer and we are helping each other’s careers. A lot find us adorable; a lot of LoiRis fans like us. This is why we have photoshoots like this, why we have interviews as friends. A lot of projects are coming our way because of our partnership.”
When we ask them if there’s a competition in their friendship, the two young ladies are quick to answer “We support each other in this journey.” They note that there’s no rivalry between them and that they are honest in pointing out each other’s weaknesses. “Ako I tell Maris, “Uy Maris ayusin mo ‘yan, hindi dapat ganyan.” Tapos hindi sya na-ooffend. Sinasabi ko lang ‘yung makakabuti para sakanya,” Loisa frankly exclaims. “Ako naman, parati kong pinapanuod si Loisa kapag sumasayaw sya sa ASAP. Tapos sinasabi ko sakanya na “Loisa next time ayusin mo ‘yung projection mo,” says Maris.
What are the things you love most about each other? Maris animatedly replies “Love ko si Loisa kasi parang nakatingin lang ako sa salamin kapag kaharap ko sya. Kilalang-kilala namin ang isat-isa. Mahal ko sya kasi sa mundo ng showbiz, mahirap makahanap ng isang Loisa. Nag-iisa lang sya.” Emotions pour in when it’s Loisa’s turn to answer, “Naiiyak ako wait lang! Love ko si Maris kasi lagi syang andyan para sa akin. ‘Yung hindi ko na-oopen up sa family ko, sakanya ko nasasabi. Para syang si mama mag-advice, alam nya talaga ‘kung ano ‘yung ikakabuti ko,”
The growing friendship of the newest showbiz sweethearts makes them even more remarkable for the people. The LoiRis team up can definitely be considered as BFF goals – with your BFF right by your side, no showbiz dream can be too small, right?
Text by Rione Palacios, Photography by Yukie Sarto of Studio 100, Art Direction by Mina Cruzada,BTS by Josef Castro and Macky Arquilla