Heart Evangelista insists she’s no ‘epal’ wife
Having been part of show biz for the past 17 years, Heart Evangelista is no stranger to pomp and bombast.
Still, the actress said she couldn’t help feeling “overwhelmed” when her husband, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, formally declared on Sept. 17 in front of hundreds of chanting supporters, that he was running for Vice President in next year’s elections alongside Sen. Grace Poe.
“I’ve never really experienced something this huge. I’m excited. I’ll be praying and wishing him and Senator Grace well,” Evangelista told the Inquirer in a phone interview, shortly after her hubby made his announcement at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.
Evangelista, who tied the knot with Escudero in February this year, vowed to give the aspiring Vice President her “100 percent support.”
Just don’t expect her to sing or dance onstage during political sorties.
“I definitely won’t be doing those things,” she said, laughing. “I have to be careful because I’m a celebrity. And we don’t see ourselves as that kind of couple.”
According to the GMA 7 star, she doesn’t want to be a meddling—or, for the lack of a better word— an epal (attention-grabbing) wife.
“I’ve been hearing about his plans for quite some time, but I tried my best not to get too involved… But of course, as his partner, I will be there for him as much as possible,” she pointed out.
“I may attend events he can’t go to,” added the 30-year-old, who top-bills the soap opera “Beautiful Strangers,” with Lovi Poe, the biological daughter of Senator Grace’s father Fernando Poe Jr. “If he needs me, I won’t hesitate to give up my days off.”
Also at the event was Evangelista’s mother and former manager, Cecile Ongpauco, who had a very public and bitter spat two years ago with Escudero. Ongpauco, who was vehemently against the romantic relationship between her daughter and Escudero, then called the senator an “opportunist” and described him as “manipulative.”
As a result of the feud, Evangelista had a falling out with her mother and father, Rey, who both didn’t attend her wedding. Thankfully, she said, fences had already been mended, and Evangelista couldn’t be any happier.
“I really appreciate my mom for being there. My dad was also supposed to go, but he is sick and recuperating at home. Their presence in our lives is a huge thing for us. We feel stronger now because we’re whole,” the actress said. “They saw that we’re genuinely happy, so they eventually accepted us.”
Evangelista is a bit wary of the mudslinging that usually comes with politics.
“Politics is still different from show biz and I still get shocked by a lot of things. I just hope that everyone focuses on his or her platform, and doesn’t resort to bashing,” she said.
Asked about her thoughts on her husband and Senator Grace’s bid, Evangelista said it was refreshing to have a young tandem gunning for the top positions. “I think they’re presenting a fresh option and it’s up to the people to vote wisely,” she said.
And what does she think about her husband’s chances? “That’s yet to be seen, but [what] I’m confident about is that he has the heart and intention to really help and serve the country,” Evangelista related. “You just have to take your chances. And if it’s destined for you, it’s for you. If not, the world has other things to offer.”
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