MANILA — In a heart-to-heart conversation released as an interview on Friday, actress-host Kris Aquino assured her son, 14-year-old Bimby, that she accepts him regardless of his gender identity.
The video, released through Aquino’s Facebook page, is the second of two parts where the celebrity mother and son exchanged seven questions each, in light of Bimby turning 14 recently.
“How do you feel, honestly, when you read those comments and they say you’re gay?” Aquino asked her son for her first of seven questions.
Bimby, who was seated across his mother, answered: “Wala, I don’t really feel anything. If you think I’m gay, alright. But you do realize that the gay community sa Philippines is a strong community. And you do realize that I’m 14.”
“I know what I am. I’m straight as an arrow,” he said.
“Are you sure?” Aquino clarified.
“Yes,” Bimby answered.
“I want to bring this out also,” Aquino told her son. “Whatever you are, I’ll accept. I really don’t care, honestly. Whatever you choose to be, it will be fine with me for as long as you excel. Whatever you’re going to be, you better be the best at the profession you choose.”
Born to celebrity parents — Aquino is dubbed local showbiz’s “Queen of All Media,” while his father, basketball player James Yap, is a superstar of the sport — Bimby has grown up before the public eye.
In Aquino’s custody after the separation of his parents, Bimby would often appear alongside his mother in her TV programs, and now, her digital shows. He has also starred in three movies.
In March, Aquino called out “homophobic attitudes” of her detractors, in response to comments about Bimby’s sexual orientation.
“I know my son doesn’t identify as being gay, but in the event he ever does, he will still be my son. The bullying you are doing is a reflection of your homophobic attitudes that are no longer welcome in 2021,” Aquino said at the time.
Aquino, in her conversation with Bimby released on Friday, also asked her son whether he has “questioned” himself, on the topic of gender.
“No, not at all,” Bimby answered.
Turning to face the camera, as prompted by his mother, Bimby emphasized: “Here, I’ll set the record straight. I’m straight. I like women. I don’t like boys.”
Aquino then told him, “You know, Bimb, whatever you choose to be, it’s none of their business.”
Bimby added: “They’re entitled to their opinion on what they think about me, just as long as you don’t attack me. If you say, ‘I think Bimb is gay,’ I’ll respect that. I’ll say, ‘No, I’m not gay.’ But if you say, ‘Beki si Bimb, kadiri!’ That’s wrong.
“As long as you debate with someone at may respeto ka sa tao, okay lang, sure. If you have different opinions, okay lang ‘yan, sure.”
Aquino, whose showbiz career spans 35 years, earlier described her interview with Bimby as a “last hurrah” before they step away from the limelight. She had said the decision stems from the hurtful words directed at her sons, including the older Joshua, who lives with autism, whenever she includes them in her updates on her widely followed social media pages.
In their interview, Aquino’s remaining questions were a mix of light and serious. She asked him whether he is open to having an adopted baby sister (yes), what profession he wants to pursue (given options, a “doctor-businessman”), and about his ideal girl.
Aquino’s last two questions pertained to Yap — whether Bimby feels “resentment” over growing up without a father (no, citing his “awesome mama”), and whether he has forgiven him (yes).
“I’m proud of you,” Aquino told Bimby to end their conversation. “Please remember, honey — I’ve learned na when people have been cruel, the best answer is to be kind, because God sees everything, and God plays fair.”
“We should set that example. You and I are still standing. When everybody has tried to beat us up and kick us and make us suffer, you and I are still here. And we are blessed.”