They might have been together only through their team-up in two blockbuster movies, but it looks like Lea Salonga really left a mark on Aga Muhlach’s heart.
He was every woman’s desire and she was the world’s darling songstress. They were a perfect match in every way. Yet despite all the favorable reasons for a lovely union, it just never happened. Even so, she melted the debonair’s heart and made an imprint on him, enough to make him realize that she is “the one that got away. And she never knew.”
Muhlach wrote those words in a letter that was included in the “Playlist Souvenir Book. A Celebration of Lea Salonga’s 35 years” published in 2013 for her 35th showbiz anniversary concert. Today, the letter has been making rounds in social media, as netizens raved about the melt-your-heart words that the actor had for Salonga.
“She never knew how she saved me. It was 1992, and I was at the very bottom of the industry. Walang-wala ako noon. Wala akong pera, wala akong (I had nothing. I had no money. I had no career) career, but with ‘Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal’ I made my comeback.”
It was not until years after, through his letter, that the world knew how special Salonga really is to Muhlach. He looked up to her as a world-class talent. As he very poetically put it, “Her voice is clear as a bell and as breathtaking as the sunrise.”
He also saluted Salonga’s professionalism: “She is always on time.” Meanwhile, he was always the late one: “I will always be the late Aga Muhlach.”
In the 1990s, Muhlach had a much talked-about relationship with no less than Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres.
Yet the second part of his letter confessed his love for Salonga. He said he loved her just as he did all the characters she’s given life to in their movies.
“She never knew how much I loved her. It was a lifetime ago, I was a young man on fire with passion, as all young men of a certain age are. I wooed fair ladies and dreamed of shaping the world. And, to me Lea was Sandy—ethereal, aloof, unattainable; my very heart’s desire.”
“Lea was Agnes—vulnerable yet remote, kind yet callous, constantly engaged in a battle of wills. And I loved Andy and Agnes and Lea in equal measure.”
Realizing that indeed, she “is the one that got away,” she will always have that special place in his heart no matter the paths they’ve crossed and despite the years that passed.
“I love her still, but perhaps because she got away. I have her as a friend now, and so I will always have her. Anytime she needs me, andyan ako, anytime I need her, she’s there.”
As their movie title goes, he asked himself, “Lea, bakit labis kitang mahal?”
And he answered his own question, “It’s because you are and have always been so real. Walang kaplastikan. Walang arte. Walang drama. Pinakita mo sa akin ang totoong pagkatao mo. (Your have no pretensions. No fuss. No drama. You showed me the real you.) You are the real thing.”
As he reached the end, he congratulated his “dear friend” for celebrating a career spanning over three decades: “You make our country proud. You make me proud.”
In his closing, he professed his love for her and congratulated them both in advance on a supposed third movie.
“All good things come in threes, di ba? Kaya… sana maulit muli.” (Right? That’s why I hope [it] happens again.)
Oddly enough, the letter went viral recently as enamored netizens and fans kept reposting it.
A netizen who tagged the singer asked her about the letter.
Before the fans get confused with the letter’s timeline, the singer replied to the netizen and clarified that it came out over four years ago.
Nevertheless, words of love, even between friends, can be timeless. JB
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