celebrity couples

KathNiel: A timeline


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KathNiel: A timeline

KATHNIEL NO MORE. Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla's famed loveteam KathNiel is no more after the real-life couple parts ways after 11 years.

The former love team’s story spanned for over a decade on and off screen

MANILA, Philippines – After more than 12 years in the public eye together, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla officially called it quits on Thursday, November 30, via their personal Instagram posts.

“Our love story began with respect and ended with respect,” wrote Bernardo, as the first to confirm the breakup. She penned the statement with the intention of confirming her mutual decision with Padilla to part ways.

“We were genuinely in love. We grew up together, dreamed together, and saw many of those dreams become a reality – still together,” she said as she reminisced half of her life she would “never regret.”

Meanwhile, Padilla made a separate post addressing the breakup. 

“Thank you for dancing with me during my highs and thank you for singing with me during my lows. Our lives may drift away, but our love will still ride that tide,” Daniel wrote. 

While the mutual confirmation has shocked many, fans and Filipino showbiz onlookers alike have expected the dreadful news after a slew of rumors about potential reasons for the falling out.

Despite the “chapter closed,” it’s clear that KathNiel has left an irreplaceable mark on the Filipino entertainment industry as one of the most popular and acclaimed celebrity couples in the country.

Let’s look back on their relationship as documented in the media, which has spanned over a decade:

2011: ‘Growing Up’

KathNiel’s first project together came in the form of afternoon series Growing Up in 2011. Kathryn took on the role of volleyball player Ella, while Daniel played the role of her teammate Patrick.

While this was the first time the pair acted together, they already had other projects separately. Kathryn had her start as a child actress on Goin’ Bulilit and scored her first main role in 2010 TV series Mara Clara. Meanwhile, Daniel had his first showbiz appearance via Gimik: The Series in 2010 as well.

April 2012: ‘Princess and I’ and ’24/7 in Love’
KathNiel: A timeline

After the warm reception towards their tandem, Kathryn and Daniel got their first primetime TV series as a “love team” with Princess and I in 2012. Kathryn’s character Mikay had to choose from other leading men played by Enrique Gil and Khalil Ramos but ultimately ended up with Padilla’s Gino. The series was a hit, topping ratings over a successful 10-month run.

KathNiel: A timeline

They also had their first movie together, 24/7 in Love, joining an ensemble cast of more senior Star Magic artists and love teams. Daniel played the role of celebrity Billy, of which Kathryn’s character Jane was a superfan of.

Among KathNiel fans, it is widely believed that the two became a couple on May 25 of that year.

2013: ‘Must Be… Love’ and ‘Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay’
KathNiel: A timeline

In March 2013, Must Be…Love was released, marking KathNiel’s first top-billed movie together, where they played best friends Patchot and Ivan who gradually realize their feelings for each other. 

Later that year, they made their MMFF debut in December through horror movie Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay, where they starred alongside Paulo Avelino and Shaina Magdayao.

KathNiel: A timeline
2014: ‘She’s Dating the Gangster’
KathNiel: A timeline

The following year, the tandem had their breakthrough film She’s Dating the Gangster, directed by famed rom-com director Cathy Garcia-Molina. Kathryn and Daniel played nerdy Athena and gangster Kenji, who arranged a fake relationship that eventually became real. The emotional romantic comedy adapted from the hit Wattpad book of the same name was a box office success, grossing P296 million – with the movie earning over P100 million in just five days.

2015: ‘Crazy Beautiful You’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’

KathNiel continued venturing into more dramatic and emotional roles both on the big and small screens with 2015 movie Crazy Beautiful You and the remake of hit teleserye Pangako Sa ‘Yo. 

KathNiel: A timeline

In February, Crazy Beautiful You saw Kathryn take on the role of rebellious Jackie and Daniel play the nice, charming role of Kiko. The movie went on to gross P225 million in local theaters.

KathNiel: A timeline

Later into the year, KathNiel came back to primetime screens with Pangako Sa ‘Yo in May, with Bernardo playing Yna Macaspac and Padilla playing Angelo Buenavista.

July 2016: Exclusively dating 

The year 2016 was also special for eagle-eyed KathNiel fans, who started to notice the use of pet name “Bal” on Kathryn’s 20th birthday, as documented by a post from Padilla’s mother, Karla Estrada. Padilla also shared to ABS-CBN news journalist Marie Lozano that he and Bernardo were exclusively dating, albeit with no labels that same year.

“‘Yun na ‘yun. ‘Di pupuwedeng may iba (That’s it. There can’t be anyone else),” the actor said.

Their meteoric rise in the Filipino entertainment industry can be largely attributed to their legion of loyal KathNiel fans, affectionately known as KathNiels and KaDreamers by Kathryn and Daniel themselves. 

September 2016: ‘Barcelona, A Love Untold’
KathNiel: A timeline

The duo’s pursuit of more mature themes continued on through the 2016 with the film Barcelona: A Love Untold, where they had their much-awaited first onscreen kiss.

Following their immense success across film and television, KathNiel cemented their status as one of the top love teams in the Philippines, which also included James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s JaDine as well as Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil’s LizQuen.

2017: ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and ‘La Luna Sangre’
KathNiel: A timeline

Lines between reel and real continued to blur upon the pair’s following releases in 2017, with the Mae Cruz-Alviar-directed film Can’t Help Falling in Love and fantasy series La Luna Sangre. 

August 2018: Confirming their long-term relationship

The couple finally revealed their more than five-year relationship to the media during the press conference for their hit 2018 movie The Hows of Us, which was the first Filipino film to gross over P600 million in the box office.

“Kailangan sa isang relationship to work may nabibigay kang iba or mas nagma-mature kayo together…. Ang secret lang talaga is you grow together and basta ‘wag lang talaga too much sa lahat,” said Kathryn. 

(For a relationship to work, you need to bring something new to the table so you mature together…. The secret is growing together and never doing things too much.)

KathNiel: A timeline

At the time, they also shared their hopes of settling down and getting married once they hit 30. Kathryn herself said that she and Daniel remained together for so long because there’s still a lot they would like to accomplish as a tandem in the future. The pair had even discussed their dream wedding and their ideal home. 

March 2019: Individual career growth 

After a consecutive roster of successful projects together, KathNiel mutually agreed not to take any movies or TV series together in 2019 to focus on individual career pursuits. 

“We both know it’s going to be tough for both of us and maybe even tougher for our fans, but we really gave it some thought, and while there’s nothing we want more than to make you happy, we’d appreciate it if you can give us this year to pursue our individual growth this time around,” Kathryn said in an open letter published on Preview.

July 2019: Kathryn teams up with Alden Richards 
KathNiel: A timeline

Kathryn then starred in Hello, Love, Goodbye with a new male co-star, Alden Richards. In spite of the divergence from the famed tandem, which she saw as “a risk,” Hello, Love, Goodbye still holds the record of being the highest-grossing Filipino film of all time.

October 2019: Business partners

Despite their mutual decision to pursue individual projects for the time being, they established their barber shop, Barbero Blues, that same year as their first business venture as a couple.

May 2020: KathNiel fans start #WeBlockAsOne movement

When ABS-CBN went off-air in May 2020 following the National Telecommunications Commission’s order, many Kapamilya stars – including Kathryn and Daniel – were quick to speak out against the government’s decision. 

YouTuber Banat By criticized the couple’s views on the ABS-CBN shutdown in a Facebook video, and KathNiel fans wasted no time mass reporting it – even forming a movement called #WeBlockAsOne. The fanbase later took to X (formerly Twitter) to launch their #WeAppealAsOne campaign, where they urged lawmakers to approve the network’s franchise. 

October 2020: ‘The House Arrest of Us’

A reunion was promised in February 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the ABS-CBN shutdown caused these plans to fall through until later into that year. KathNiel fans saw their beloved tandem in the mini-series The House Arrest of Us, which ran from October 2020 to February 2021.

December 2020: Music video stars  
KathNiel: A timeline

The couple starred as lovers once more in Ben&Ben’s Sa Susunod Na Habang Buhay music video, with the screenplay being written by their real-life friend, Juan Miguel Severo. 

February 2021: KathNiel’s first joint vlog
KathNiel: A timeline

Valentine’s 2021 saw KathNiel’s first joint vlog together on Kathryn’s YouTube channel. “Questions I’ve Never Asked My Boyfriend,” which has amassed over 9 million views thus far. 

In the vlog, the couple shared the secrets to their happy relationship: love each other, include each other in all future plans, and make an effort to make each other feel special and loved like a never-ending courtship.

August 2021: Daniel’s solo indie film 
KathNiel: A timeline

Daniel headlined the Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)-based movie Whether the Weather is Fine with industry heavyweight Charo Santos-Concio. 

May 2022: 10 years of KathNiel 
KathNiel: A timeline

Their comeback as a loveteam came in the form of TV series 2 Good 2 Be True, which had a simultaneous release on the Kapamilya channel and streaming giant Netflix. Directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar, Kathryn and Daniel played nurse Ali and car mechanic Eloy, respectively.

The pair also celebrated their 10-year anniversary as a real-life couple in 2022.

December 2022: News of a big-screen reunion
KathNiel: A timeline

Director Cathy Garcia-Molina, who has worked with the couple in numerous films, revealed minor details about the couple’s supposed reunion film, which will stray away from KathNiel’s usual romantic comedy projects together. 

March 2023: Kathryn celebrates her 27th with her loved ones 

Kathryn celebrated her 27th birthday with her family and Daniel. She opted for a more intimate celebration, forgoing her usual birthday shoots and big blowouts to instead spend time with “the people that mean the world to [her].” 

September 2023: A trip to Switzerland, release of ‘A Very Good Girl’

The couple also flew to Switzerland together to tour around the country and to watch the Omega European Masters golf tournament. 

Later that month, Kathryn’s film A Very Good Girl with Dolly de Leon premiered on September 27 in Philippine cinemas. 

November 2023: A ‘chapter closed’

KathNiel still had public appearances in 2023 such as the ABS-CBN Ball. However, the love team’s defining moment this year is their breakup after a decade-long relationship.

While Kathryn and Daniel are no longer dating in real life, they urged their fans to heal alongside each other and to ensure that the precious memories they shared over the years would not go to waste.

“KathNiels, we know you are hurting, and trust me, this also hurts us both more than you can imagine…. We hope you understand that this is something we really need. We hope you can join us in this healing process and not let those precious moments go to waste. Kaya natin ‘to (We can do this).” – Rappler.com

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