Weathering a Twitter storm
Netizens criticized Valerie Concepcion for ‘partying’ with the President during a national tragedyBy Bayani San Diego Jr. | Philippine Daily Inquirer
It has almost been a year since TV host-actress Valerie Concepcion faced a daunting controversy, sparked by a simple message on Twitter.
As the country reeled from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm “Sendong,” Concepcion tweeted that she had attended a Christmas party with President Aquino and the Presidential Security Group in December 2011.
Netizens criticized her insensitivity while the President was put to task for “partying” during a national tragedy.
“I stopped visiting Twitter for two weeks,” she recalled. “A lot of people got mad at me. There were even accusations that I was working with the opposition to put the President in a bad light.”
TV host Kris Aquino, the President’s sister, reached out to her. “She wanted to know what happened. I was so embarrassed since Kris and I had worked together on [the defunct noontime show] ‘Pilipinas Win na Win.’ I asked Kris to relay my apologies to the President.”
It was pretty stressful, she recounted. “I wanted to explain that I meant no harm. If you check my Twitter page, you’d see that I would usually talk about where I had been, where I had just performed.”
As a result of the boo-boo, she became a hot trending topic on the social networking site and received her fair share of haters.
She quickly apologized, she recalled, confessing that she was clueless about current events at that time. “I was so busy … I hadn’t been watching TV.”
Until now she can be quite oblivious, she admitted. “I didn’t even know that a costar was dating a certain actor. By the time I found out, they had already split up.”
As a result of the brouhaha, she has become more careful about tweeting.
She has refrained from discussing her love life on Twitter, too, she pointed out. She had just broken up with basketball player Dondon Hontiveros.
They were a couple for four years and were on the verge of tying the knot earlier this year.
“We’ve remained good friends. We still love and respect each other,” she said. “We still have a business together. I invested in one of his farming ventures in Cebu. I trust him so much.”
She willingly slowed down in the biz as she was preparing to get married. “Now, I want to focus on work.”
She stars in “Flames of Love,” an indie film directed by Gigi Alfonso and Baby Nebrida, which opens today.
Since it was a smaller production, she didn’t mind adjusting her talent fee.
“I look at the bright side,” she said. “It was my first indie film, but I got to work with good actors like Christopher de Leon, Dina Bonnevie, Jaclyn Jose, Lani Mercado.”
Since she was away from the big screen for awhile, the film would serve as a comeback vehicle, too, she said. “The role was too meaty to pass up. I wanted to try something different.”
She plays a troubled woman, a coed-by-day/GRO-by-night, who gets entangled in dysfunctional affairs with four different men.
“At first, I was worried because I didn’t want to do sexy roles,” she related. “But after I read the script [by Nebrida], I was convinced.”
It also helped that she had two women directors who, she said, made her “feel safe on the set.”
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