What Gerald’s first impressions were of Kim, Sarah and Bea

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Gerald Anderson: “I swim, bike and run every day.”

Every romantic relationship starts somewhere—and that’s true whether you’re a simple Joe, or a fan-fave star like Gerald Anderson.

So, when we met the dashing 28-year-old actor for this one-on-one interview before he “officially” renewed his commitment to endorse vitamin brand CosmoCee at Raffles Makati on Thursday, we decided to go light and easy on the intriga and chitchat instead about issues that would tickle his avid followers’ fancy—like his past and present “leading ladies,” onscreen and off.

Was it “like at first sight” when he was introduced to former flames Kim Chiu and Sarah Geronimo and current squeeze Bea Alonzo?

“I first met Kim inside the ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ (PBB) house 11 years ago, when I was only 16,” he recalled. “She was boyish then, at medyo mahirap kausapin (she wasn’t easy to approach). So, for the first few days until the end of our first week there, nobody was talking to her because we were all sizing her up. Nagtatantyahan kami. But, Kim and I got along eventually, because we both spoke Bisaya, our common denominator. That was how our closeness began.”

“In Sarah’s case, she was already a teenage singer long before I joined show biz. So, when I met her, it was like meeting the Popstar I’ve always known her to be.

“But, meeting Bea was something else, because I had a crush on her when I came home from the United States. It’s easy to get smitten by Bea beyond her beauty because her personality is just as striking.”

The actor is as proud of his critically acclaimed rom-com with Arci Muñoz, Prime Cruz’s “Can We Still Be Friends?,” as he is of his Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino entry, Enzo Williams’ “AWOL,” which pays tribute to the courage and bravery of Pinoy soldiers.

“Learning about the soldiers’ heroic exploits, in Marawi and elsewhere, makes me want to be a hero to others, too. I understand the difficulties they go through because I grew up in a military family. It’s a great motivation to always do better,” Gerald said.

Gerald Anderson (right) and Bea Alonzo

Our chat with Gerald:

You’re in great shape. How committed are you to sports and fitness? Physical fitness training completes my day. It makes me feel healthy and productive. I’m into triathlon these days, so I swim, bike and run every day. But it takes up most of my time.

The fulfillment I get out of it is hard to put into words—you have to experience it yourself to fully understand its benefits. The first time I joined a triathlon and crossed the finish line, I wanted to share the exhilarating feeling I felt with everybody I knew. It was like achieving something I thought I could never do.

I joined my first triathlon three years ago, but my busy schedule got in the way. I got back into the swing of things after I was offered the role of triathlete Gabriel in “Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin,” my reunion project with Kim. Now, I have a valid excuse to train (laughs). Ang dami ko nang racing events this year.

Now, I’m thinking of going biking from my hometown in General Santos to Davao City (approximately 150 kilometers apart). It’s a three-hour trip by bus, but probably double that time by bike.

The longest distance I’ve traveled so far has been about 100 km, when I rode to Clark as part of my preparation for this year’s Ironman race in Cebu last August. But, that’s nothing compared to those undertaken by some people I know, who went all the way to Baguio, which is about 250 kms up north. I’m sure that’s painful … parang sobrang sakit sa singit (laughs).

If you knew then what you know now, what would you change differently about your stint in “Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition” in 2006? I don’t really regret the decisions I make in life, because that’s how I learn from my mistakes. Yes, I’ve made some wrong decisions, and I will continue to make more—but, they aren’t deliberate.

If there’s anything I could tell my younger self then, it would be this: Be happy, because you know you’re just trying to do something good. I was very young then, so when I got out of the PBB house, it was overwhelming. “Whoa, what’s all this?” I tended to overthink things.

Were you ever like Diego, your character in “Can We Still Be Friends?,” who’s idealistic but could use a little more drive in life? Diego is happy-go-lucky and laid-back, perhaps even a little lazy—which was what Sam (Arci’s character) didn’t like about him.

I saw myself in him, pero hindi naman ganun kalala. I’m more driven. But, in every character I portray, there’s always a piece of me in there.

For you, what’s the ultimate deal-breaker in a romantic relationship? Ang pinakamalalang deal-breaker? Cheating is the worst mistake a partner could make, although I must say that none of my past relationships was that “complicated.” Wala pa namang nangyaring ganyan sa akin. We also learn from breakups, because every partner brings a different dynamic to what we know about relationships.

Do you see yourself settling down anytime soon? It’s hard to set a deadline for that. It isn’t easy to fully commit to someone if you still have  dreams that need pursuing.

I think when the right time comes, you’ll just know. Ang dami ko pang kailangang gawin—so, I’ll just take it one step at a time.

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