Once the one-half of the Philippines’ most-loved television tandems, Maine Mendoza has come such a long way in her life and career—from being the bubbly Yaya Dub whose quest for romance we subscribed to from beginning to end, to now reaching her real-life happy ever after as the soon-to-be-bride of Arjo Atayde.
Let’s take a look back on Maine and Arjo’s relationship for the past three years:
July 28, 2013: “Arjo cutie”
One of the favorite things fans love to bring up when it comes to Maine and Arjo is that Maine had actually tweeted about him way before they even met! “Arjo cutie,” she said at the time.
July 28, 2018: The first meeting
Exactly five years later, Maine and Arjo finally got acquainted with one another.
It had been during the story conference for the movie “Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles” in which she co-starred with Vic Sotto and Coco Martin. Arjo was part of the supporting cast as the leader of the drug syndicate and had one scene with Maine where he had threatened to hurt her in order to escape. Although the two weren’t romantically paired in the movie, it’s apparent that something did blossom between them behind the scenes.
October to December 2018: Frequent dates and public sightings
Beginning October, dating rumors circulated online as the two have been frequently sighted eating out in restaurants, going to clubs, and attending the Mix 3 of 2018 concert. They were even spotted wearing a couple Halloween costume as Fred and Daphne of “Scooby-Doo!” In November, Maine and Arjo were also speculated to have gone to Bali, Indonesia together as the two posted photos separately on their Instagram Stories allegedly from the same location.
Here are some pics of ArMaine last Halloween at Brewery ❤️
Fast shot equivalent to blurds🥰😍 pic.twitter.com/5v64gZkDuX
— 🅰🆁🅼🅰🅸🅽🅴🅸🅰🅽🆂 (@ArMaineians) November 13, 2018
December 2018: “Jack Em Popoy” media conference
Maine wasn’t able to evade questions regarding her growing closeness to Arjo during the “Jack Em Popoy” media conference. However, all she said was that they have just been “going out as friends” and are “getting to know each other first.”
“Siyempre, paano mo makilala ang isang tao kung hindi kayo magsasama at mag-uusap?” she added.
January 2019: Going exclusive
A month later, however, Arjo finally broke his silence and admitted that he and Maine were exclusively dating. In a press conference for his movie “Tol,” he said that he is at his “happiest” and that he likes “everything” about the “Eat Bulaga!” host.
“No [we’re not in a relationship], but we are exclusively dating and I’m the happiest right now. Hanggang doon na lang po muna,” he said at the time.
In response to bashers and die-hard fanatics of Maine’s love team with Alden Richards (called AlDub), Arjo appealed to them not to get his family or Maine involved with all the hate.
“I don’t know how to get mad. I don’t know how to disrespect people. I despise disrespectful people. If they disrespect me, it’s fine, though. But for my family to get affected, for Maine to be disrespected… that’s not okay with me. Do it in front of me, try it. I dare you guys. I dare you!” Arjo said.
A few days later, the two were spotted on a date once more in a mall in Makati City.
February 20, 2019: Instagram official
Fans of Maine were surprised when, for the first time, she posted a picture together with Arjo on her Instagram stories taken during the product launch of Maine’s makeup collaboration with MAC in New York City. The picture, which was black and white, showed her riding on a wrecking ball while Arjo posed wackily behind her. “Uy, may fan,” Maine simply wrote in the caption.
Arjo reportedly was in the US at the time for Maja Salvador’s concert show in Virginia.
March 2, 2019: Confirmed!
The evening prior to her 24th birthday, Maine penned a heartfelt blog post confirming to the public that she and Arjo are dating. She said that Arjo makes her really happy and that he even went out of his way to meet her parents in Bulacan just to tell them that he has “nothing but good intentions for their daughter.”
She then stood firm that she and her loveteam partner Alden were just “good friends and workmates.”
“Sadly, I cannot stay as Yaya Dub forever. This is Maine, the real me. And this is real life. And I cannot go on with my life behind a fictional character,” Maine continued.
“I know how you feel, believe me. I know you invested so much time, effort, and money on us just to show how much you love us and we really do try our best to make you feel that everything you did/do for us is much appreciated and treasured – that we love you dearly and all of you are special to our hearts, too..”
She also assured everyone that she is “making the right decision of making my heart happy this time.”
March 3, 2019: Sweet birthday message
The following day, Arjo posted a sweet birthday greeting for Maine together with a photo of them hugging each other. “My reason for being. Happy birthday to my main,” he wrote.
The two were then spotted flying to Taiwan together where Maine reportedly celebrated her 24th birthday.
March 23, 2019: Alumni Homecoming
Maine decided to bring Arjo as her plus one to the alumni homecoming of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, where Maine graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management (major in Culinary Arts). This was supposedly their first public appearance as a couple after the official announcement of their relationship.
April 6, 2019: Arjo admits he would marry Maine
Despite the couple admitting that they are dating, Arjo still refrained from confirming to host Boy Abunda that Maine was already his girlfriend. “I would love to answer you, Tito Boy. But I’ll leave this with you: I’m happy with whatever we have right now. I’m super contented. I’m not going to mess this up. That’s how happy I am,” he told Tito Boy in an interview on “Tonight With Boy Abunda.”
“I mean no disrespect, but that’s all I can give you. As of now, honestly speaking, we want to keep it to ourselves first. It’s not that we’re not considering to speak out sooner or later on. It might cause more damage if, you know,” Arjo added.
However, when asked by Tito Boy the hypothetical question, “If you were to marry a girl today and this is the last day of the world, the girl would be?” Arjo bashfully smiled to himself before affirming: “Maine.”
June 2019: A weekend trip to Singapore
The couple was spotted enjoying a fun weekend in sunny Singapore!
October 13, 2019: Arjo dedicates his award to Maine
Maine received a sweet shout-out from Arjo at the 33rd Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Television which took place at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo de Manila University.
After thanking the studio, his fellow cast members, and fans during his acceptance speech for Best Drama Supporting Actor for his role in “The General’s Daughter,” Arjo ended the message on a sentimental note, taking the time to give Maine a special toast: “Last but not the least, Maine, thank you so much for being such an inspiration, for being my every day, for keeping up with my weirdness, this one’s for you.”
View this post on Instagram
November 5, 2019: Maine’s simple birthday greeting
For Arjo’s birthday, Maine posted a photo of them together holding hands and wearing matching earth-toned outfits. “happy birthday ♡” she said simply.
November 18, 2019: Maine spends time with Arjo’s family
On this day, Arjo’s mother Sylvia Sanchez posted a picture of Maine spending time with the family. “Fun dinner last Sunday. Sunday is famday. Love you kiddos,” she said.
The post got a lot of attention from critics who accused the actress of posting a “photoshopped” picture. One sleuthing netizen couldn’t believe that the photo really took place during dinnertime because, according to them, “ang liwanag sa labas (it’s bright outside).” They also pointed out that the railing behind Maine seemed edited because of its “zigzag pattern.”
“Huwag mong ipilit ang anak mo para lang sumikat (Don’t force your son [on Maine] just to gain fame),” the netizen added, even going so far as to call Sylvia and her family “users.”
Other Twitter users jumped onto the bandwagon of accusing Sylvia of editing the post, accusing her of “being paid” to “destroy” Maine’s reputation.
Sylvia, however, merely gave a succinct reply to each of them: “Check! Podium Las Flores 8:30pm last Sunday sa taas kami nakapwesto (we were seated upstairs), goodluck.”
View this post on Instagram
December 21, 2019: The first anniversary
Against all odds, the two commemorated their first major milestone as a couple with a romantic beach getaway.
The two posted short but sweet messages to each other on Instagram with pictures taken on a boat in the middle of the sea.
“Happy first,” Maine wrote with a heart emoji. Arjo replied in the comments: “I’m crying.. I love you.”
A few hours later, Arjo made his own post. “Thank you for everything, babs. Happy first anniversary!!! I love you.”
January 2020: #NoToArjoTheUser
It seems that there were still plenty of netizens who couldn’t accept that Maine and Arjo were in a happy relationship and decided to trend the scathing hashtag “#NoToArjoTheUser.” Unfortunately, this didn’t escape the attention of Maine.
But in a classy move, Maine tweeted in defense of her boyfriend with something more positive instead of slamming down the hashtag head-on. “Wow, some “fans” made #NoToArjoTheUser trend today. Congrats! But I say #YesToArjo. ♥️”
— Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) January 6, 2020
February 2020: Maine plans surprise Jo Koy meeting for Arjo
Thanks to Maine, Arjo got to meet Filipino-American stand-up comic Jo Koy! The actor posted a picture of the three of them striking ‘wacky’ poses as he expressed his excitement over the meeting.
“I stumbled upon Jo Koy’s clips on YouTube 14 years ago and I’ve been a fan since. I waited so long for this moment and it truly is such an honour to finally meet him. Thank you so much @jokoy you’re such an inspiration. Please make sure to come back!!” Arjo wrote.
He then referenced Maine in gratitude, saying: “Thank you to this cutie in the middle for the most unbelievable and unexpected surprise ever. I love you.”
March 2020: Maine’s birthday beach getaway
The couple celebrated Maine’s 25th birthday with a getaway to El Nido, Palawan. Maine posted a photo of Arjo watching the sunset by the shore, captioning it with a short yet sweet message: “Grateful for many things.”
Meanwhile, Arjo posted a photo of the two of them, greeting her using his pet name for her: “Happy birthday, Babs.”
November 2020: Arjo’s intimate 30th birthday celebration
For the actor’s 30th birthday, he celebrated with a small gathering at his home surrounded by loved ones, family and friends, and Maine. Sylvia shared a picture of the couple spending time with the family as she wrote, “Masaya ako anak @arjoatayde kasi alam kong masayang masaya ka. Maligayang kaarawan sayo. Love you.”
Maine also posted a cute collage of their wacky photos together on her Instagram to greet him.
December 21, 2020: Second anniversary
The couple commemorated their second anniversary by taking a trip to the beach once again as the pandemic restrictions eased.
“I love you more than you could possibly imagine,” Arjo wrote on his Instagram post, sharing a photo of him and Maine looking goofy while lounging at the beach. “Happy 2nd Anniversary bubs!”
Meanwhile, Maine wrote a simple message: “happy second.”
January 21, 2021: Maine and Arjo look ravishing in red for a Mendoza wedding
Maine channeled her inner “Rosalinda” as she wore a flowing red gown for her brother’s wedding. Arjo was also part of the entourage and wore a simple gray suit and a bold red tie. The couple was assigned as cord sponsors.
December 21, 2021: Third anniversary
The couple continues their tradition of spending their anniversary out at sea and they rang in their third year together by having a picnic on a yacht.
“Life with you just keeps getting better. Happy 3rd Anniversary my bubba pie pie,” Arjo wrote.
May 2022: Mendoza Wedding part 2
The couple once again attends a wedding from Maine’s side of the family. Maine wore a lovely turquoise gown while Arjo wore a Barong Tagalog.
July 28, 2022: “I will marry you cutie”
Three years and seven months together… now, they’re ready to tie the knot!
Maine and Arjo announced their engagement on Instagram exactly 8 years since Maine’s first tweet about Arjo. Seemingly a response to the said tweet, Arjo said: “my turn, I will marry you, cutie.”
Maine really did manifest her own fairytale ending! Congratulations to the newly-engaged couple! We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for updates on their nuptials.
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