[EXCLUSIVE] Yael & Karylle: Adventures of a Happy Couple

Celebrity couple Yael Yuzon and Karylle went viral on social media when they posted a video of them together singing “A Whole New World” from the 1992 movie “Aladdin” while exploring Tokyo DisneySea.

As of press time, the video has garnered 4.8 million views, 300,000 reactions and 57,000 shares on Sponge Cola’s (Yael’s band) Facebook page. Netizens are one in saying how they are couple goals and how they make good music together even if Karylle is known for belting pop tunes while Yael is into rock songs.

The viral video somehow gave a glimpse of the couple’s cheerful demeanor and palpable chemistry four years into the marriage. In an exclusive interview with Filipino-Japanese Journal (FJJ) in Tokyo, the two shared the adjustments that they have to make after getting married.

“Now we are renovating a new place that we got so it’s a bit challenging because we have a budget to consider. When you’re renovating, you tend to go over budget, but we are both working hard so we still do the balance. We tried to get a lot of advice from people and see what works for us. Real-life adjustments,” shares Karylle.

“I am a huge Disney fan and K [Karylle’s nickname] is an average Disney fan. I am a superb Disney fan so for me waiting in line for three hours is just fine, but for K that might be a bit much. For me, that says a lot,” Yael enthuses.

Together, they paint a fun, happy couple who can banter around and finish off each other’s sentences at the same time. Staying married for four years has allow them to discover a lot more about each other.

“Si K kasundo niya ang mga bandmates ko, which makes things easier. Magaling siyang mag-diffuse ng any kind of situation,” says Yael.

“Sa akin naman, Yael’s recent new thing is he’s good in making ihaw. He’s talented in cooking so I have to level up in the kitchen,” Karylle adds.

Karylle admits that being married is one of the best things that happened in her life.

“Not every day will be like ‘Oh my God, it’s the best day ever’ so those days are nice to be shared with somebody; that at the end of the spectrum it’s nice to know that there’s someone you can run to also to make sure that you’re okay.”

New Releases and Projects

Yael and Karylle are busy with different projects. Sponge Cola has released two new songs: “Tempura” and “Kunwari,” which are available in all digital platforms. The band is busy with gigs and is currently finishing their new album.

“Tempura,” which was released November last year, is getting rave reviews from fans and avid listeners who have varying opinions about the song lyrics and its title. The band has released the music video featuring TV host and athlete Gretchen Ho.

Yael confesses that the song was inspired by his friend’s story who called him one day to confide about what he was going through.

“It’s just really a friend’s love story. Umiiyak siya akin, kasi ako iyong tipong guy na tinatawagan ng mga tao para mag-rant about work or love. So parang there’s this one time na naka-voice rest ako tumawag sa akin iyong friend ko na umiiyak, sabi ko i-text niya na lang lahat.

“Gagawin kong kanta iyong pain mo ha, sabi ko. Gumawa ako ng demo and I sent it to him and sabi niya that it is ‘catchy, dramatic, captures everything I want to say.’

“May ibang tao ang analysis nila sa song is kasi raw temporary. Pwede rin naman. Lahat naman ng analysis is parang based from your own context and own ideas so lahat naman iyan acceptable e,” Yael explains about the fans’ theories about the title.

Karylle also proudly shares that Yael is now a book author and has launched a children’s book entitled “Watership and Joi” at the ComicCon Asia 2018 held last March at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

It was the book that Yael penned for Karylle as a gift, which also became their souvenir at their Tagaytay wedding in 2014.

Karylle, on the other hand, will be coming out with a new album and will be working on other undisclosed projects aside from being a regular host of “It’s Showtime.”

Japan Adventure

Yael and Karylle made a recent trip to Tokyo mainly to see the cherry blossoms and to visit DisneySea. The trip was Karylle’s second time while it was a first for Yael.

“Sobrang tagal ko nang ‘di nakapunta so parang first time ko rin talaga. Maganda kasi iyong pacing namin ngayon kasi mabagal lang tapos nae-enjoy mo talaga. First time ko makakita ng flowers in bloom so sobra akong nagfi-freak out kaya kahit tatlong beses kami bumalik ng park okay lang,” shares Karylle.

She divulges that at first Yael wanted to go to Los Angeles but she made him watch Erwan Heussaff’s videos of Japan to convince him to go to Tokyo instead.

“I like how everyone here is disciplined. It manifests in the design of things, in the way traffic flows, in the way new meets old, it meets adventures, and it meets crazy. I like how a store can be selling an item for 400 yen and then next to it is worth 1.1 million yen. Sa Tokyo, parang you’re going to walk in a lot of expectations pero parang iba pa rin talaga e,” says Yael.

“It’s really nice. You can walk around and end up anywhere. The food is super yummy. First day namin ay sobrang perfect! As in lahat ng kinain namin, ang sarap,” Karylle adds.

Yael recommends Japan as a must-visit country for Filipinos.

“Alam kong may mga Pinoy na nasisindak doon sa visa kasi parang ‘may visa pa, mag-Hong Kong na lang tayo.’ If you want to try something new and para ma-experience mo rin, keep in mind, Japan is not that big a country tapos it’s first world and makikita mo kung ano iyong mga ginagawa nilang tama, may matutuhan ka rin.

“Japan is a place where you think you’ll get to know well but you’ll leave thinking that you know less of it.”

This article was originally published in Filipino-Japanese Journal April 2018 issue.

(Karylle's clothes by PIOPIO, styled by Sidney Yap; Tokyo tour courtesy of Omakase)

(Interview by Florenda Corpuz, Words by Nel Salvador, Photographs by Din Eugenio)