by Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBNnews.com | 11/17/2012 4:43 PM
Liz recounts how romance started
MANILA, Philippines – Three years since their breakup, Liz Uy still sees John Lloyd Cruz as the "great love of [her] life."
After her separation from the prized Kapamilya actor in 2009, Uy started "dating" other men, including President Benigno Aquino III and film director Lino Cayetano, the celebrity stylist told women's lifestyle magazine Cosmopolitan in its November 2012 issue.
But none of her relationships after Cruz ever lived up to what she had with the "A Beautiful Affair" star. Uy added, however, that couples do break up for a reason.
"John Lloyd was the great love of my life, and I will always love him, but we had issues, because we were so young," Uy said.
"We lived together and we kind of stunted each other's growth. We grew, but then we grew apart," she added.
Sweet John Lloyd
Even as they "grew apart" at the time, Uy and Cruz are now in good terms, and communicate occasionally. Dubbed as among the "It Girls" of local showbiz, Uy remembers fondly her relationship with the actor, which bloomed and thrived at a time she was still establishing her name in the fashion scene.
"Nu’ng pumasok si John Lloyd sa buhay ko, I was still cautious and elusive. I was very scared of the spotlight. I wanted to protect him and protect me. But I was always jealous, sa family niya, sa free time niya," she said.
|John Lloyd Cruz and Liz Uy|
"But he never really did anything for me to doubt him. Siya 'yung type na so sweet, lagi akong may pasalubong, kahit sa kanto lang siya galing," Uy added.
Before they became a couple, Cruz already had a particularly good memory when it came to Uy. The fashion editor recalled it was at a Hong Kong airport where they first met.
Fast-forward to their second chance meeting in Manila, Cruz made the first move, saying, "I know you."
"He offered me a whisky and I was like, 'I don't drink that.' I was thinking, 'Don't give me that John Lloyd card,'" Uy said.
Hong Kong encounter
At the time, Cruz had already emerged as one of the most bankable leading men of his generation. During his relationship with Uy, the ABS-CBN actor starred in blockbuster films like "One More Chance" and "A Very Special Love".
"That's why some of my friends call me choosy," Uy said. "As in, 'John Lloyd Cruz na, choosy ka pa.' I'm not saying I'm the most beautiful girl, but some artistas are assholes and they think they can get anybody. I didn't want to give him that."
But for Cruz, Uy was very much a sight to behold -- so much so that he had videotaped her when he first saw her in Hong Kong. Not knowing what name to call her by, the actor dubbed Uy "Michiko."
"Parang 'Wicker Park' ang story – ang cute, but creepy in a way. He knows na red 'yung jacket ko, and he knows na Trooper ang sumundo sa amin sa airport. He videotaped it all pala," Uy said.
It wasn't until he made the first move at a bar in Manila that Uy realized Cruz may have really had sincere intentions with her.
"Ang weird nga – nu’ng nanligaw si John Lloyd sa 'kin, tinanong ko sarili ko, 'Why me?' And then the President, 'Really, what do they see in me?' So klini-claim ko nalang," she said, laughing.
Now that she has established a name of her own -- in addition to being a sought-after celebrity stylist, she's a fashion endorser herself -- Uy feels she still owes part of her success to Cruz.
"I told him just recently, 'Hey, I just want to thank you,'" she said. "And he said, 'You know, with or without me, you could have done this on your own.'"