Karina Bautista and Aljon Mendoza on Inside Showbiz: The KarJon Story



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Several months ago, Karina Bautista and Aljon Mendoza wowed when they topped the Inside Showbiz poll on the next love team cover stars. Their KarJon tandem was up against the esteemed and established reel and real pairings of KathNiel, JaDine, LizQuen, and JoshLia as well as budding love teams like MayWard, BiGuel, LoiNie, MarNigo, DonKiss, KierVi,  KarSeth, and KhaoRhys. But they emerged on top backed by a strong following despite being a new pairing that was formed inside the Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) House during the Otso season. 

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KarJon on their unexpected tandem

They are still overwhelmed by the poll result to this day because they got to beat the love teams they look up to. They are also unable to explain why and how they beat the other love teams. When asked what makes KarJon stand out, Karina has this to say: “KarJon is unexpected, never planned. It’s one-of-a-kind for me. It’s twisted in some ways but beautiful in its own way. For me, it’s just so real and genuine that you could see that it’s not perfect, it has problems and difficulties, it’s real life.”

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The 17-year-old dubbed as Miss Independent of Isabela continues, “Karjon is different ‘cause I could see how we fought for it. Alam ko kung ano ‘yung pinagdaanan naming dalawa, how we were against the world. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to do that.” Aljon, the Shy Charmer of Pampanga, agrees with her. 

“Kami ni Karina ay nakabuo talaga ng strong foundation ng pagkakaibigan na nagsimula sa loob ng Bahay ni Kuya, kaya masasabi kong iba ‘yung connection naming dalawa, na alam na namin ‘yung mga galaw at kilos ng isa’t-isa. Kung malungkot man siya o masaya o kaya naman may problema, timplado na namin ‘yung mga ugali namin kaya naging kumportable din kami sa isa’t-isa,” states the 18-year-old.

Worth the wait

Scheduling conflicts arose following their Inside Showbiz poll win, but here they are as cover stars, finally ticking off an entry in their bucket list. Karina reacts, “I’m thankful especially to our supporters, of course, kasi talagang binigyan nila ito ng panahon at pinagsikapan. Nakita ko kung gaano sila ka-effort. I’m happy because I’m with Aljon and we will be doing this shoot together for the first time in so long.”

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Aljon says, “Masaya at napaka-overwhelming na sa dinami-rami ng love teams na kasama sa listahan ng mga pagpipilian, kami ang binoto ng nakararami. Na-excite din ako dahil first time kong mag-cover sa isang magazine at kasama ko pa si Karina. Kaya gusto kong magpasalamat sa mga taong walang sawang sumusuporta sa amin na tinulungan din kami na matupad ang isa sa mga pangarap namin na makapag-cover sa magazine.” 

Karina then gushes about their magazine cover opportunity. “Excited na rin ako sa kung ano ang kalalabasan ng work namin, hindi ko rin kasi ine-expect na we will be given the chance to do this. Lastly, I’m very much honored to be part of this, kaya medyo kinabahan ako kasi I really want it to be perfect so it would be worth the wait ng lahat.”

Strong and special friendship

They made headlines in 2018 as PBB teen housemates who developed feelings for each other even if Karina had a boyfriend (who is now her ex). Things have been ironed out and Karina attests to having a great partnership with Aljon. “The friendship is good, since we’re starting to know each other more. We’re still in the process of taking it slowly but surely. I think it’s great that we start off as friends and maybe grow together soon.”

Aljon shares that they are, “Special friends. Siya ‘yung nakasama ko sa ups and downs at sa simula palang hanggang ngayon, malaki ang tiwala at respeto namin sa isa’t-isa. Malalim na ‘yung pagkakaibigan namin at alam naming masasandalan namin ang isa’t-isa, na magtutulungan kami at hindi mawawala ang pagpapahalaga sa friendship namin.”

They admire each other, with Karina revealing the things she likes about Aljon: “He’s respectful, he never takes advantage. He loves his mom so much. I know how close they are and I admire him for that–how he takes care of her, surprises her, and says the words ‘Wala ng mas gaganda pa sa Mama ko.’ He may be shy but he’s fun to be with.”

Aljon returns the compliments. “Ang gusto ko kay Karina ay ‘yung pagiging positibo at palaban niya. Siya ‘yung tipo ng tao na kahit anong ibato mo sa kaniya, ‘di siya papatalo or susuko. Personally naman, ‘pag may problema ako o malungkot, lalapitan niya ako o ite-text niya kung okay lang ako o kaya sasabihin niya na ‘Bakit ka malungkot kanina?’ ‘Pag nalaman niya talagang may problema ka, papasayahin ka niya at lilibangin para makalimot sa problema. Isa siyang totoong kaibigan na maaasahan mo talaga.”

PBB moments and memories

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A highlight of the KarJon tandem was when Karina talked about her feelings for Aljon. “Nasa labas na ako ng Bahay ni Kuya nung napanood ko ‘yung video na nagsabi si Karina kay Kuya about sa nararamdaman niya. Siyempre kinilig ako kasi wala naman akong idea sa loob ng Bahay ni Kuya noon na nag-open up pala siya kay Kuya,” discloses Aljon. As for their favorite PBB moments, they have different answers. 

“Hindi ko masasabing isa lang, for me kasi ang favorite ko ay ‘yung mga simpleng araw lang namin sa loob. When we joke around, wouldn’t know na sobrang close na pala namin, when the world revolved around us nang ‘di namin sinasadya. We were comfortable and just happy,” says Karina.

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Aljon, meanwhile, cited a standout moment. “Para sa akin, ‘yung Otsoyawan Ball. Nag-propose ako sa kaniya kung puwede bang siya ‘yung maging date ko sa ball. Sobrang kabado ako noon baka kasi tumanggi siya. Nung nag-oo naman siya, ang saya-saya ko. Tapos nagsayaw pa kami ng jive parang wala kaming paki sa paligid namin kasi sobrang nag-enjoy kami nung gabing iyun. Nagsayaw lang kami at kumain nang marami hanggang matapos ‘yung gabi.”

Both of them felt sad when the other was evicted, knowing how much they wanted to make it to the Big Four. But they accepted the results wholeheartedly and became happy for the Big Four placers and Big Winner Yamyam Gucong. “Para sa akin nga, kahit sino sa kanila maging Big Winner, okay na okay eh. At masaya rin ako na naging Big Winner si Kuya Yamyam. Nakita ko kung paano niya pinaglaban ‘yung pangarap niya at ‘yung determinasyon niya para manalo. Napaka-inspirational rin kasi ni Kuya Yamyam na sa kabila ng estado niya sa buhay, nagsumikap siya para makaahon para sa pamilya niya,” notes Aljon.

Karina adds, “Deserve po talaga nila lahat. Proud na proud din ako para sa kanila and happy lang para sa achievement nila. They are all talented, smart, and kind at sa pinakita nila sa akin sa mga normal na araw at sa mga challenges ay talaga namang na-earn nila ang trono at ang paghanga ko sa kanila.”

Carving their showbiz paths

They may have just started their journeys in show business, but Karina and Aljon are already clear with what they want to do. Karina says, “I like acting, so I would want to show that on TV or in movies if given the chance. I also love hosting and broadcasting. Dahil kasali na rin ako sa pageants at modelling noon, gusto ko pa sana ito ipagpatuloy. Then gusto ko ma-improve ‘yung dancing and singing ko. I make sure I listen to whoever is teaching me. I observe the past artists, plan ahead of time, and educate myself of what’s happening. I work hard for my goals, I keep fighting and dreaming. I have faith in myself and in God that I’ll make it.”

Aljon, who is part of the upcoming teleserye Sandugo, is eager to take on a variety of roles. “Gusto kong mag-explore at makilala ako sa galing sa pag-arte. Pangarap kong magkaroon ng mga proyekto na kung saan maipapamalas ko na may talent rin ako, at eventually Best Actor awards someday. Kaya sa ngayon ang magagawa ko ay pagtrabahuin talaga ang napili kong tahaking mundo. Kaya mag-aaral ako sa pag-arte. ‘Di ako titigil sa pagsumikap hangga’t ‘di ko natutupad ‘yung pangarap ko para sa sarili ko at sa pamilya ko.”

Karina shares her thoughts on Aljon’s first TV project after PBB. “Happy din ako sa para sa kaniya, para sa family at supporters niya. Siyempre, I hope all the best for him, included na ‘yung pagiging successful ng show. I know he’ll do good, I believe in him naman.” Aljon reacts, “Sobrang grateful ko at nagpasalamat talaga ako nang sobra sa tiwalang ibinigay sa akin ng Sandugo team.”

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With regards to the KarJon love team, they also have their hopes for their tandem. “I hope we get closer, we will learn a lot along the way, and we will help each other grow in this industry. I hope to strengthen what we have right now. And maybe, I hope we get to where we want to be and become successful,” comments Karina. 

“Gusto ko makilala kami sa galing ng pag-arte namin at maging successful din. Gusto ko ring makilala kami sa industriyang pinasok namin dahil sa talent namin, hindi lang sa pagpapakilig sa mga tagasuporta namin. At sana hindi lang rin as a love team, pati na rin as individual artists,” remarks Aljon. It’s good to know that these showbiz dreamers know the importance of hard work and humility, as well as the significance of the acting craft over the love team formula. We will surely be on the lookout for their success as we root for them to reach their goals and achieve their dreams.

Photography by Yukie Sarto
Sittings Editor: Elyse Ilagan
Art Direction by Suzanne Allbabidi
Styling by Aaron Mangsat
Makeup by Eman De Leon
Hair by Mycke Arcano
Publisher: Archie Carrasco