Sweet beginnings

Photo by Allan Sancon for Jules Explains it All.
Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano star in the teleserye Dolce Amore, which means "sweet love" in Italian. Enrique defines 'dolce amore' as follows: "Something very innocent, natural and real. Pag kasama mo yung taong yun, you will get over your problems. Magaan lang."
It’s very appropriate that I’m starting this new venture on the same day that Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano are having their own sweet beginning—pun intended. Tonight, their new teleserye Dolce Amore (Italian for “sweet love”) will air its pilot episode, and LizQuen fans everywhere are positively beside themselves with excitement.

They’re not the only ones, though. The advance buzz—which has been generally positive, mind you—has also gotten to me. Excited at kinikilig na rin ako. But enough about that. I’m sure the LizQuen fans reading this want to know how Enrique and Liza are feeling about this new chapter in their careers, so let’s get to it.

When they faced the press at the grand presscon for Dolce Amore, Enrique and Liza opened up about their new project. Enrique admitted to feeling pressured to make it a success, especially after the press pointed out that the LizQuen tandem has gone from strength to strength. Forevermore, their first teleserye together, was a huge hit. People of all ages and from different sectors of society became hooked on the love story of Xander and Agnes. And let’s not forget the box-office success of their launching movie Just the Way You Are, which crossed the P100 million mark in just two weeks.

Naturally, Enrique wants the hot streak of his tandem with Liza to continue, so he pushes himself to do his best on the Dolce Amore set. But he tries not to think about it too much, which was exactly what he did during the Forevermore days. He believes that Forevermore became what it was because he didn’t overthink things. He just did his best.

“When we were shooting sa Baguio, wala kaming cell phones kasi walang signal sa location namin, so taping lang kami ng taping. Pag hindi kami nakasalang, nag-bo-bonding lang kami, nagkukuwentuhan. We were in the mountains, so we forgot about everything else,” he explains. “A couple of months later, sinabi sa amin na ang lakas ng Forevermore. We didn’t know. Anyway, siguro nakita lang ng mga tao yung closeness namin ng buong cast kaya nila nagustuhan yung show.”

Spending all that time with the cast, especially Liza, helped Enrique become close to her. Because they became comfortable with each other off-cam, they didn’t have to work very hard to build a rapport when the cameras started rolling.

“We didn’t have to try, and I think the secret to having chemistry is in not trying to have chemistry at all. Na-realize ko na it should just come naturally, kaya that’s what I’m trying to do again dito sa Dolce Amore,” he explains. “Yes, it’s hard not to be hard on myself, pero nagiging mahirap kasi ang isang bagay when you overthink it. So ako, enjoy lang. Siyempre, we’re hoping na ang Dolce Amore maging kasing successful din ng Forevermore. But we’ll just try our best and enjoy the ride. Kapag nag-enjoy kami, the people will see it and sila din mag-e-enjoy.”

It seems like opposites really do attract, because while Enrique is able to adopt a somewhat chill approach to his job, Liza admits that she can’t. Not only is she aware of the high expectations some people have of her now that her star is rising, but she puts a lot of pressure on herself to live up to those expectations.

“Ako kabaligtaran niya. I tend to overthink, so I’m hard on myself. Kasi I’m scared that one day, I won’t be as good as my last show,” she confesses. “Gusto ko every show, may bago. I want to show that I am capable of offering something else to the audience. I also want the management to see that I can do other things, parang ganun po.”

When the show taped some scenes on location in Italy last year, Liza went there ahead of the production team. She wanted to make sure she knew as much as she could about Italy so that her portrayal of a Filipino-Italian ingĂ©nue would be believable. What’s more, she pushed herself to learn Italian for Dolce Amore, which I think is admirable and impressive. Not every actress her age would go to such lengths for a project, so it’s nice that Liza did so. That’s what you call commitment!

Liza had five sessions with an Italian-language instructor, but she wishes she had had more time to really fine-tune her Italian. But immersing herself in everything Italy had to offer helped her too. But she still finds the language somewhat confusing.

“Nakatulong po yung pag-stay namin sa Italy because nakapaglibot po ako. And kapag nakakarinig ka ng nagsasalita ng Italian araw-araw, nahahawa ka, pati sa accent nila. Pero medyo complex po yung language. Isang sentence nila, for each person, iba. Kunyari si Matteo [Guidicelli], dahil kilala ko po siya, I would say something a certain way, pero if it’s my first time meeting him, meron akong dapat gamitin na parang po and opo sa Tagalog, but for Italy. It’s hard to explain,” she says.

Photo by Allan Sancon for Jules Explains it All.
Meanwhile, this is what 'dolce amore' means to Liza: "To me, ‘sweet love’ is the really innocent type of love, na parang like when you’re young, and you have your first crush." So is Enrique your dolce amore, Liza? Haha!
As hard as some things about working on Dolce Amore may be for Enrique and Liza, getting to spend time with each other on set probably makes those things easier to bear for them. Besides, Enrique says that this time around, working with Liza is sweeter because their closeness has deepened.

“I mean, sa tagal ba namin na nag-bonding doon sa Baguio while working on Forevermore, it just goes deeper and better, kaya ngayon may dolce amore or ‘sweet love’ na,” he laughs.

If Enrique says their working relationship has gotten smoother, Liza says that their personal relationship has also improved. “It’s a bad thing pag hindi, you’re working with somebody, it just gets deeper, the friendship, the bonding, so imposibleng hindi,” she adds.

It seems that Dolce Amore will not only mark the sweet beginning of a new chapter in their careers, but in their personal lives as well. Yihee!

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All photos by Allan Sancon for Jules Explains it All.


The old Julian can't come to the phone right now.


  1. Thank you po for loving and supporting our babies :) love love love

    1. You're welcome! Watch out for part two of this series tomorrow!