Heart still ‘sweet,’ but won’t take bullies sitting down | Inquirer Entertainment

Heart still ‘sweet,’ but won’t take bullies sitting down

By: - Reporter
/ 12:25 AM May 24, 2023

Heart Evangelista

Heart Evangelista

Heart Evangelista is a self-confessed “late bloomer.” Now in her late 30s, she feels that she has finally come into her own. Yes, she’s still the “sweet” girl fans have always known her to be. But all the personal hardships she has faced—especially in the last 10 years—have also made her tougher.

“I’m still sweet, but now I know when to put my foot down. I will fight for myself this time around—hindi na ako makakawawa ng kahit na sino. And I love that!” she told reporters at her recent launch as the first celebrity endorser of Zion Philippines, a wellness brand that specializes in relaxation products like massage chairs and saunas.


While she has always worn her heart on her sleeve, it wasn’t until recently that the 38-year-old star became confident about actually communicating her thoughts, sentiments and needs.


“I have always been frank and honest about my emotions. But I didn’t know how to put them into words because I was afraid of what people would think of me. As an actress, you’re expected to follow a certain mold. So being able to put my message across is already very empowering, having a voice,” she said.

That’s why she couldn’t help but laugh when she recalled her younger days, back when she couldn’t travel alone and figuring out connecting flights was enough to make her cry. “The train transfers in Dubai—iniiyakan ko ‘yun, tapos puro na ako pantal!” she recalled, laughing.

Being more independent

But now she’s confident that you can leave her anywhere and she’ll survive. “I have had a lot of learnings about my job, personal things, responsibilities. I’m on top of everything … I love that feeling that I can be dropped anywhere and know that I will be able to survive,” she said. “Now, I can do anything I want. I don’t have to rely on others all the time.”

Her husband, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, was one of the biggest catalysts for her growth. “I appreciate my husband for being supportive of my being a late bloomer and being more independent,” he said.

While she’s mostly known these days as an international celebrity and a jet-setting fashionista who collaborates with different luxury brands and houses, Heart’s life hasn’t always been all glitter.

Ten years ago, the controversial falling out and “family feud” with her parents over her relationship with Chiz made the headlines of evening newscasts and the front pages of broadsheets. More recently, she suffered a miscarriage that left her traumatized.


“I had to go through a lot of things just to be where I am now,” she pointed out. “I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to enjoy what they do [for a living]. I have been working for more than two decades now. Even if it’s tiring, gratefulness prevails.”

Heart doesn’t really dread the idea of aging and maturing. She does worry, though, about “getting aches and pains,” she joked. “Health is wealth. No matter how successful you are … it’s hard when you’re sick,” she said.

So while she has always been a hard worker who thrives on being on the go, Heart always makes time for “self-love and self-care.” It may sound “vain,” but it’s important that people take care of themselves. After all, she said, one can’t pour from an empty cup.

‘Invest in ourselves’

“You have to take care of yourself before you do anything for other people. A lot of us tend to put others’ needs first. But we also have to invest in ourselves—may balik siya. Because the healthier you are, the more things you can give and the more things you can do,” she said.

Heart makes sure she eats healthy. Six to eight hours of sleep is ideal, she said, but not always possible. To compensate, Heart takes power naps and goes for massages. “I’m always working, but I take naps to recover. I’m what you call a ‘masandal tulog,” said Heart, who endorses the Executive Pro massage chair.

“I always have my legs massaged because super rampa ako everywhere in heels!” Heart said laughing. “I also wake up early for a bit of quiet time. I write down the things I’m grateful for in a journal. I listen to music and spend time with my dogs. Those are also my ideas of self-care.”

Asked what piece of advice she could give to women who look up to her but are struggling and losing hope, Heart, who spoke from experience, said it pays to be patient and avoid being impulsive.

“When you don’t understand what’s happening, when you feel trapped and suffocated by your job and the people around you, you don’t just go on a warpath. Take time to assess things and try to understand how you can grow from the situation. And at times, you just have to roll with the punches,” she said.

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“When something doesn’t turn out the way you want it to be, it’s OK to feel frustrated. But don’t let the world turn you into a meanie. Everything happens for a reason. Sooner or later, you will find the answer,” she said. INQ

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