Pandemic of (alleged) breakups: KimXi, KathNiel, Richard-Sarah

Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati, Xian Lim and Kim Chiu, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo — they’re the objects of frenzied social media attention these days, allegedly because they’re about to, or have, split up.

Break-ups are messy and no one, not even the prettiest stars, are spared from all the drama and hurt. Add the 24/7 gaze of social media and it becomes all the more lurid and unrelenting, as these three showbiz power couples are now experiencing.

Richard x Sarah

Gutierrez and Lahbati were for many years inseparable in their online posts. So netizens quickly began speculating when recent photos appeared where either the husband or the wife was visibly absent. Cryptic posts by Lahbati on her Instagram page added to the rumors, along with her non-appearance in the ball — a grand Gutierrez family event — organized by her husband’s twin brother Raymond.

SARAH Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez. | PHOTOGRAPH courtesy of ig/richardgutz

 Lahbati further titillated fans when she cut off her lustrous locks and unveiled a short, short bob. According to showbiz wisdom, once a celebrity cuts off her crowning glory, it’s a screaming indicator that indeed the relationship boat is sinking.

 As of press time, the Gutierrez alpha male is on vacation with his sons in Boracay — Mommy nowhere in sight in the photos. Per an unimpeachable source, Gutierrez will move to a condominium soon, and the (un?)-couple are working to get separate quality time with their two boys.

As to the why of the alleged separation, nothing public has been declared or explained. That means the Mariteses of the world will continue to have a field day about this pair.

Xian x Kim

Though Kim Chiu already issued a denial during the Linlang thanksgiving presscon — that all is well with her 12-year relationship with Xian Lim — the statement the actress gave was weighed and found wanting by many.

Lim’s four-paragraph official statement on his Instagram, meanwhile, did not help at all to quash the rumors that their relationship has gone kaput, since the longish aria had no crystal-clear denial.

The latest development to this story, according to eagle-eyed fans, is Vice Ganda’s “the best manner of breaking up with someone” topic on the noontime show It’s Showtime, where Chiu is a co-host.

The remarks allegedly alluded to the KimXi split — about a “staff” who received the break-up news via a call, leading to a personal meeting in the residence of one of the parties.

The seeming clincher? The lead star of the soon-to-arrive Filipino adaptation of What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim chirped a different, more loaded answer when asked about her relationship status. Chiu’s evasive retort? “Sa amin na lang ‘yon!

The superstar couple of this generation, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, is generating the biggest break-up headlines and queries.

Since Bernardo became “A Very Good Girl” (the title of her most recent box-office movie hit), the rumors about her having split up with longtime BF Daniel Padilla has reached fever pitch.

Padilla’s mother Karla Estrada has offered a denial — not of the breakup itself, but of reports that she supposedly confirmed the split of the two young stars.

Seen as a loud confirmation was Bernardo’s non-appearance in Karla’s birthday celebration — the first time that happened in over a decade of the KathNiel romance.

Also, Bernardo unfollowed Andrea Brillantes on Instagram, meaning the box-office star believes the scarlet woman in the Kathniel pairing is indeed Brillantes, said wags. The Senior High lead star unfollowed Bernardo as well. 

The man of the moment, on the other hand, appears to be employing the “silence is my best defense” tactic. The only peep from Padilla is allegedly a reassuring post addressed to the KathNiel fandom: “Mahal namin kayo, sagad!

The lesson from this mini-pandemic of breakups: Honesty is still the best policy. Cryptic posts are lame, evasive arias only make you look guilty. For fans, a simple “Yes, we are still together” or “Yes, the relationship has ended” will more than suffice. And yes, fans do have a right to hear the news — they’ve invested time, effort and money on making these celebrities famous and rich, after all.

Lastly, if stars do not want the attention, then they can keep their relationship private. They can’t share every bit and morsel of it on social media, and expect to be left alone by the public.