FAST FACTS: Barbie Forteza and Jak Roberto

 CO-STARS TURNED COUPLE. Kapuso stars Barbie Forteza and Jak Roberto are currently one of GMA's most prized love teams. Photo from Barbie Forteza's Instagram account

MANILA, Philippines –  The off-screen showbiz couple Barbie Forteza and Jak Roberto, both Kapuso stars, have been the talk of GMA's media town online. Articles on the couple's choice of simply "not having exchange gifts this Christmas" was reported on, much to many netizens' amusement. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on Dec 15, 2018 at 7:34pm PST

However, there's no denying their popularity – with currently 1.5 million Instagram followers to Barbie's name, and 1 million to Jak's, many who aren't familiar with them may wonder: who actually are these two talked-about young stars?

Barbie Forteza

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Sep 4, 2018 at 2:51am PDT

The 21-year-old commercial model and actress born on July 31, 1997 made a TV debut during GMA Network’s remake of Korean TV drama Stairway to Heaven as the young Jodi in 2009.

The young Barbie also appeared in the 2010 TV drama romance First Time. In 2011, she then co-starred with Elmo Magalona, Louise delos Reyes, and Bea Binene in the film Tween Academy: Class of 2012. 

She proceeded with her movie career with The Road, a psychological horror film in 2011.

She also acted as Rosy in 2013's My Little Bossings, starring Vic Sotto, Ryzza Mae Dizon, and Bimby Aquino.

In April 2013, she ventured into music, releasing a self-titled dance pop studio album under MCA Records. Her single "Meron Ba" was even used for GMA Koreanovela Big's theme song.

In 2014, she took a lead role in the TV drama, The Half Sisters.

Barbie has also garnered both local and international recognition for her acting, bagging the New Movie Actress of The Year award for her role in the indie film Puntod at the 26th PMPC Star Awards in 2010, and the 2016 Fantasporto International Best Actress award in Portugal for indie film Laut.

She was also awarded the Cinemalaya Best Supporting Actress for film Mariquina in 2014.

According to Barbie's Instagram bio, she is also the 9th Ani ng Dangal awardee (Harvest of Honors), which is recognition given by the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

She is also an endorser for retail brand BNY. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Dec 2, 2017 at 6:22pm PST

Off-screen, Barbie enjoys sharing her personal passions with her followers, like her love for makeup, food, and traveling.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Aug 18, 2017 at 3:34pm PDT 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Nov 19, 2016 at 5:34am PST

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Aug 23, 2017 at 12:31pm PDT

Jak Roberto

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on Oct 10, 2018 at 9:19pm PDT

25-year-old Jak Roberto, who is the brother of fellow GMA artist Sanya Lopez, is a singer, actor, and model who started his career in showbiz as co-host in the 2011 show, Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman. 

In 2014, he was also part of Barbie's show, The Half Sisters, where he played Ambo.

A year later, he joined pop-acoustic trio 3LOGY with members Jeric Gonzalez and Abel Estanislao. The pop-acoustic band released a self-titled album under GMA Records.  Their single “Maybe It’s You” was the theme song used by GMA's My Name is Kim Sam Soon koreanovela.

In 2017, he played Andoy in Meant To Be, a GMA romantic comedy that also starred Barbie Forteza.

He also played Jong in Contessa, a 2018 TV series starring Glaiza de Castro and Geoff Eigenmann. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on Apr 29, 2018 at 10:52pm PDT

His next project for 2019 is the upcoming February TV series Kara Mia, where he co-stars with off-screen girlfriend Barbie.

Jak, who was born on December 2, 1993, also has his own personal interests that he shares on Instagram – motorbikes, dogs, running, and fitness.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:45pm PST

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on Nov 24, 2018 at 3:23am PST 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on May 21, 2018 at 7:57pm PDT

He is also a brand endorser for local bag brand Michaela and fashion brand Folded and Hung.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on Sep 20, 2018 at 8:03pm PDT

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jak Roberto (@jakroberto) on Dec 21, 2017 at 3:42am PST

 

Couple story

Rumors of the Meant To Be co-stars Barbie and Jak erupted in 2017 when Barbie posted a mysterious teaser post on Instagram about a coffee date.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Jul 30, 2017 at 9:12am PDT

It was only weeks after that they confirmed their off-screen relationship.

"Kasi 'pag maraming nakakaalam, andaming ine-expect sa inyo... Ayaw namin ng gano'n," Jak told Pep.ph when asked why he kept their relationship under wraps. (When a lot of people know about it, a lot is expected from you. We don't want that.)

"Parang gusto namin, chill lang. Parang kahit nasa showbiz kami, parang relax lang." (We want to be chill. Even if we're in showbiz, we just want things to be relaxed.)

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Dec 1, 2018 at 8:07am PST

The pair even flew to Hong Kong together for a couple vacation early 2018. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on Sep 2, 2018 at 8:15am PDT

– Rappler.com