actress Heart Evangelista and Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero -- Photos courtesy of Evangelista's Instagram page
MANILA – A month after Heart Evangelista’s parents Cecille and Rey Ongpauco called for a press conference to express their disapproval of their daughter’s relationship with Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, the lawmaker finally took time to answer the accusations point by point.
In an exclusive interview with YES magazine for its May 2013 issue, Escudero, together with Evangelista, directly shot down allegations that he is an alcoholic.
“I drink. But do I like it? I’d rather drink Coke Zero. Mas masarap. Bigyan niyo ako ng alkohol na masarap. May masarap ba na alkohol? Nagpapanggap lang tayo na pag sinabi nating masarap yung wine, masarap yung whiskey, masarap yung cognac, sa totoo lang, ang sama. Masama eh... I have yet to taste an alcoholic beverage that actually tastes good,” he said.
Evangelista also defended Escudero regarding a rumor that he got so drunk and angry that he shouted at her.
“We’ve never really fought about anything. We are so happy, it should be contagious,” she said.
Escudero said he also does not see the need to court Evangelista’s parents anew the old-fashioned way because it has already been done.
It was Senator Miriam Defensor-Santigao’s advice to Escudero that he pursue Evangelista’s parents again to iron things out. Santiago is close to the Ongpaucos and she considers the actress her "surrogate daughter."
“It was done already. Yung sinasabi ni Miriam na pag-iipon ng tubig, pag-iipon ng kahoy – figuratively, not literally. Really there was nothing to be done. To begin with, again, we didn’t see this coming. There was no problem, no issue,” Escudero said.
With regards to the issue of not being well-mannered every time Escudero is around the Ongpaucos, the actress said she does not know where this came from.
The actress described her boyfriend’s relationship with her parents before as “good” and “fine.”
Evangelista stressed she also makes her own decisions, contrary to her parents’ claim that Escudero is manipulating her.
“I can express myself. And that’s what I want. I always want to express myself. I always want to just to just stop proving that I’m like this. Or that I have to be like this. Or I have to follow this person—if I don’t, I’ll get in trouble. Now it’s like I’ve claimed the field. I can run as far as I can, and I can do cartwheels and do whatever I want without getting into trouble,” Evangelista said.
After all that’s been said and done, Evangelista told YES magazine that she has chosen to distance herself from her parents for now, in the hope that they will come to realize that she and Escudero did not do anything wrong.
“Ayaw kong madala sa sitwasyon dahil natakot ako o nami-miss ko sila. I also need to figure out stuff. Even with Chiz, I think that I need this peace first to enjoy what we have,” she said.
Escudero said he is willing to make amends with Evangelista’s parents but he doesn’t know how and where to start.
“I would want that, if I know what to do. But you tell me, after everything said, after everything that has been done, how do you go about it? Again, you’re caught flat-footed, completely by surprise, about the things that are being said. You can’t even answer and defend yourself sufficiently because you don’t want to hurt them or other people. What would you do?” Escudero said.
Despite finding herself in a collision course with her parents, Evangelista said she still loves her mom and dad dearly and will never get mad at them.
“I’m not angry at them. And if I live my life, I continue with what I’m doing, I’m sure naman one day—if they are not ready to see me even from afar—one day they’ll be proud of me. I’ll make sure of that,” she said.