MANILA, Philippines -- For actress Heart Evangelista, her current boyfriend's public admission of their relationship comes as an affirmation that she isn't so "difficult to love" after all.
"Actually masaya ako. Natutuwa rin ako dahil hindi pala ako ang klaseng tao na mahirap mahalin," Evangelista told newscast "24 Oras", referring to the confirmation of Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero that he and the former teen star are now a couple.
On Friday morning, the senator was quizzed by his co-host Kris Aquino on the morning talk show "KrisTV" on his romance with Evangelista. When asked if the former Kapamilya star is his "girlfriend," the senator said: "I'd like to think so, yes."
Escudero's admission of his romance with Evangelista comes after months of speculation on the real score between the two. Neither of them had directly answered whether they were a couple, opting to say instead that they continue to have "meetings," until Escudero's "KrisTV" revelation.
Following the lawmaker's confirmation, Evangelista said she and Escudero continue to "enjoy each other's company, and we're getting to know each other."
The former Kapamilya actress, however, said she is intent on keeping private her new romance with the senator since being under the limelight had spelled the end of her earlier relationships.
"Natutunan ko sa nakaraan ko na in any kind of relationship, na pag naging publiko siya, maraming nauunang mga intriga, and so maganda na 'yung ganito, na I'm a bit private," she said.
Before Escudero, Evangelista was in a relationship with Brazilian-Japanese model Daniel Matsunaga, a TV personality based in the Philippines. Of her split with Matsunaga, which she confirmed in April, Evangelista pointed to "cultural differences" as the reason.
No more than a month after her publicized breakup with Matsunaga, rumors romantically linking Evangelista and Escudero surfaced. At the time, the senator's marriage with his former wife Christine Flores had already been annulled.
When asked in a separate interview on Evangelista's then-blooming romance with the lawmaker, Matsunaga merely said he and the actress remain friends: "We are still in touch. There is no problem with me. I loved her before, and I still love her now as a friend."
Actor Jericho Rosales, meanwhile, preferred to keep a safe distance from his ex-girlfriend's new relationship. The two separated in 2008 after her parents' alleged disapproval of their relationship was made public.
Rosales, who Evangelista had referred to as her "one true love" in an ealier interview, simply said he is happy for his former flame and her new "love." "It's their time. I'm happy for them," he said.
In a separate interview, the Kapamilya actor maintained, however, that he is no longer in touch with Evangelista.
"No na, it’s not going to be nice. It’s unethical for me to answer that. I have a girlfriend na and I love her so much. I don’t wanna disrespect anyone," Rosales said, referring to his current flame Australian TV host Kim Jones.