AJ Perez from A to Z
A: Where did your name Antonello come from?
It came from Antonio, my lolo's name. My dad says Antonello is the fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
B: How long have you been playing basketball?
I started playing at seven years old, and I was part of the varsity team in grade school. I'd play in the NBA if the salary's over a million dollars.
C: Who was your first crush? Kimberly Hart from the Power Rangers.
D: What car would you drive? I want to buy a Lamborghini Gallardo with my own money. But if gas is still expensive by then, I'd settle for a Honda Civic.
E: What kind of food can you eat everyday?
F: What are the dynamics between you and your non-showbiz friends?
They're very supportive of what I'm doing and they understand why I'm always busy, but they're guys, so of course they tease me about being an artista.
G: Are you protective of your little brother, Gello?
I think I'm more of the "cool buddy" type than the "protective kuya" type, but if he gets into trouble, I know I'd come to the rescue.
H: Have you ever had your heart broken?
Not yet, and I'm not looking forward to it!
I: Who's the person you say "I love you" to the most?
My parents. I tell them everyday.
J: Tell us your favorite joke. A Filipino and an American are riding an elevator. It stops on a floor, the doors open, and another Filipino asks, "Bababa ba?" The first Filipino answers, "Bababa." The confused American looks at them and asks, "Did you just have a real conversation?"
K: What's your kryptonite?
Fast food! I try to watch what I eat, but I really can't resist unhealthy food. I eat whatever I want - I'm growing boy!
L: What's the deal with you and actress Lauren Young?
We're really close friends, and she's the only person I'd choose to be in love team with.
M: What type of music do you listen to on rainy days?
Alternative - Daughtry or David Cook.
N: How neat are you when it comes to your personal stuff?
I can be really messy, and I'm not O.C. about my stuff at all. But I do TRY to be neat.
O: What sites do you usually visit when you're online?
Candymag.com, of course! I also love Wikipedia, Friendster, and watching dance videos on Youtube, like the M&M Cru vs. ACDC showdown.
P: What's the most valuable lesson you've learned from your parents?
Never forget to flush the toilet before leaving the bathroom! And despite everything, always stay humble.
Q: When you want to impress someone, how would you treat her like a queen?
I'd simply be myself. Treating girls like queens comes naturally to me.
R: How do you deal with rumors?
What rumors?! Haha!
S: What's a sure sign that you're starting to like a girl?
I pay extra attention to her. I'm not really the type to be shy when my crush is around.
T: What are the coolest things about being a teenager?
Having great friends, going to parties, and constantly learning new things.
U: Which university do you plan to attend?
Probably Ateneo or UP. I want to study film and be a director.
V: How vain are you?
I'm not vain - I only look at myself in the mirror when I see one! I like shopping and fashion, but I don't follow All the trends.
W: As a kid, what was your weirdest habit?
When I was five, I couldn't fall asleep without rubbing the tip of my cloth diaper while drinking milk from my bottle!
X: Can Exes be friends?
Yes, because there's no reason for two people who were once in love to not be able to forgive each other. I don't think you can ever completely forget, though.
Y: What was the last text you receive yesterday?
"AJ, anong assignment bukas?" I'm very responsible kasi.
Z: What's the zaniest thing you've ever done?
Doing a cover shoot for Candy would have to be one of my craziest—but best—experiences ever. Thanks, Candy Girls!
What're you up to today? Submit your OOTD, fanfic, essay, school project, org event, a pic of your latest hobby, or anything you want to be posted on the Candy Bulletin page!
"Today, I Won"
I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.
When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.
For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.
After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.
It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.
To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.
Why our high school barkada is the best?
Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.
Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:
1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.
2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.
3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.
4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.
5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.
6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.
7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.
You're gonna bend and break and then at some point in your life, you feel like you don't want to fall in love again.
Not because you're no longer capable of loving but because you're so afraid to get hurt again that you don't want to take a risk anymore. And you're gonna wake up one day and realize that you're not the same person as you were yesterday. The heart aches, heartbreaks, frustration, you'll see, those will transform your whole being into something better.
Honey, move forward. Let go off all the things that are not meant for you. Let go of all the people who hurt you and take you for granted. Don't be stuck feeling miserable.
And don't turn that love into hate when you resent someone for hurting you or for breaking your heart. Just wish them well and let them go. Welcome the possibility of a beautiful love that will come your way. You're worthy of love that you keep on giving to other people. Keep that in mind.
I wish you well and all the happiness. You deserve it.
Here we are — with rough hands entwined, damned hearts at peace, broken souls resting with ease —savoring each passing moment before we part ways...hoping things will turn out to be okay. Here we are — standing still, keeping our earnest desire and ardent passion for each other at bay — hoping the Universe will finally grant us of the day that we no longer have to pretend... that things will no longer have to end.
Here we are — with crooked smiles, lingering touch that will last for a while -- gathering all the remaining courage to set each other free. Wishing for the day that our hearts will no longer have to worry. Here we are letting each other go. Even though we both know that the future is uncertain. Even though we're unsure if our paths will cross once again.