That's my wish

Enrique Gil plays Tenten Ibarra in Dolce Amore, in which he reunites with Liza Soberano and the team behind their first teleserye Forevermore. "It's good to be back with them," he says. "So sa mga hindi pa nakaka-get over sa Forevermore, eto na."
I hardly remember the first time I met Enrique Gil. Seriously.

Our first meeting took place in 2008, when Enrique was launched as part of Star Circle Batch 16. I interviewed so many new Star Magic artists at that presscon that I felt like my head was spinning at the end of it. That’s probably why I don’t remember my first meeting with the guy who went on to become Simon Vicente 'Tenten' Ibarra, the charming raketero with a heart of gold in Dolce Amore, Star Creatives’ latest teleserye.

When I try really hard, I vaguely remember being introduced to a towheaded mestizo, shaking his hand and making small talk with him for a bit before he was whisked away to press more flesh. But that’s all. After that night, Enrique and I would run into each other at more industry events, including the presscon of one of his first projects, the sitcom George and Cecil. But we never got time to really bond, which I thought was a shame, as I had begun to wish I could get to know him more.

That wish was granted when I attended an ABS-CBN Publishing trade event at the Rockwell Tent in 2010. By that time, Enrique had joined a boy group called the Gigger Boys, made up of a bunch of up-and-coming Kapamilyas, most of whom were my friends. I went backstage to say hi to them, and the late AJ Perez introduced me to Enrique. Today (February 17) is AJ’s birthday, so I want to emphasize that if it wasn’t for him, photos like the one below—my first Instagram post featuring Enrique and I—probably wouldn’t exist.

AJ made my wish to get to know Enrique more come true. Thank God for that, because Enrique came through for me in a big way when I went through some tough stuff in 2012.

In October of that year, I visited the Princess and I set one night and Enrique noticed that I was down. Despite the lateness of the hour and the fact that he had to get ready for a scene, waved me over and asked me what was wrong. From my perspective, he couldn’t have picked a better time to do that because I really needed someone to talk to at the time—someone who would listen patiently as I spilled my guts and give me great advice afterwards to boot. And that’s exactly what Enrique did. I posted a photo of us taken after that conversation on Instagram. Check it out below.

Looking back, that night marked a turning point in our friendship. It was when I realized that I could trust Enrique with my life. I think it was also after that night that I started calling him “Quen” like his other friends do.

I eventually learned other things about him too, like how much he loves music. He was the one who introduced me to Avicii’s music when he played the song “Levels” for me once. He also borrowed my iPad to listen to music on YouTube when I hung out with him backstage at an SM Accessories event, and continued to give me advice on life and love, as evidenced by this tweet:

If you want to listen to some of the songs Enrique played on my iPad, check out this Spotify playlist I made:

Speaking of levels, I’m excited to see more of Enrique in Dolce Amore, because mukhang nag-level up siya dito in terms of acting. Tonight he made his debut as Tenten, taking over the role from child actor Marc Santiago, and viewers raved about his performance.

Playing a poor guy who has to juggle several jobs just to make ends meet has taught Enrique a lot of things. He realized how blessed he really is, especially when he filmed scenes in certain places. “I realized how easy we have it sometimes,” he told reporters at the Dolce Amore grand presscon. “When I was shooting sa construction sites, nakikita ko yung iba tinuturan mag-welding, ganun. I saw all these establishments and how hard people work for them, and to be in it and do what they do, I realized I have no reason to complain. It just opened my mind. It showed me things I really didn’t know. Iba siya. It was a humbling experience.”

Enrique adds that although Dolce Amore is different from his last teleserye, the closeness he enjoys with his co-stars now reminds him of the bonding moments he shared with everyone on the set of Forevermore. He freely admits that his bond with Liza has deepened, although he still says he has no plans to take things to the next level yet.

“Hindi pa pwede sa ngayon,” he says of possibly courting Liza, who just turned 18 this year. “We have other priorities right now, but we’re in a place na we’re so happy. And as long as you’re happy, nothing else really matters, ‘di ba?”

He has a point. For now, I’d rather they focus on work, because I want to see Enrique become even more successful than he is now—if that’s even possible. That’s my wish for him, and by extension Liza too. More power to LizQuen, I say!

Did you like this post? Sound off in the comments!

All photos (except Instagram posts and tweets) by Allan Sancon for Jules Explains it All.


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


  1. great piece on quen! thanks for supporting him. my wish is to also see him prosper as an actor and get even better at his craft. he deserves all the success. tnx again!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Glad you liked my writeup!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful article sir Julian..

    Mas lalong nakakaproud maging fan ni Enrique Gil.

    1. Thank you for reading my writeup, and for supporting Quen!

  3. Wow,am i glad I found you Julian🙇. What a treasure trove of trivias and heartwarming accounts re Quen,for the kind-hearted person that he is! I will def be checking on your site more often. You have the friendship that many wish they have. TY for the great support on Dolce Amore. This means a lot to us,his supporters.God bless you!

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