Tag archive for "Celebrities"

SEXY AND SULTRY AT FORTY(+)

Entertainment

SEXY AND SULTRY AT FORTY(+)

No Comments 08 November 2011

By Pepper Marcelo

People call them “cougar” – women over 40 that remain desirable and sexy even in middle age. Former President Joseph Estrada puts it more colorfully in street lingo: May asim pa. With exercise, diet, and the wonders of cosmetic surgery (read: botox, liposuction, boob job, noselift, facelift), women are now are able to mature with style, elegance and oomph. (Author’s note: This is not to imply that all the women featured in this piece have resorted to the cosmetic procedures.) The marvelous makeover must be well worth every peso (lots of ‘em to be sure), the physical ache and medical risk. Suddenly the gallivanting husband comes home early and takes a renewed interest in the wife. And for the separadas, hooking up with younger men now isn’t as difficult and distasteful as it used to be.

In the following piece Planet Philippines goes cougar-hunting in the glittery world of showbiz in search of celebrities who live by the mantra “50 is the new 40.” To avoid a catfight, we have listed in alphabetical order our top ten female cougars.

Gretchen Barretto – “La Greta,” as she’s known for her diva status and sassy attitude, is undisputedly one of the most beautiful faces in local showbiz. For three decades she has been a fixture on film and television, the ramp, and, much to her chagrin (says she), the gossip pages. A fashion icon and a certified bon vivant, courtesy of long-time partner, tycoon Tonyboy Cojuangco, she has graced the cover of every glossy magazine in town. Whether in a luxuriant Inno Sotto gown or in faded denim pants, La Greta is the embodiment of style and class.

Dina Bonnevie – Now a grandmother (!) at 50, the former Regal Baby still makes heads turns with her sultry persona and voluptuous figure. Introduced in 1980 in the film Underage, she cemented her nymphet image in her breakout movie Katorse, also in 1980. She has had two failed marriages – first to Vic Sotto, with whom she has two children, and later to a businessman, which lasted only a few years. Miss D was 39 and a mother of two teenagers when she agreed to strip for the cover of the December 2001 issue of the men’s magazine FHM. Of her numerous male admirers, she says, “Even naman before, they’ve always been there. That’s why I always say, ‘Where the boys are, someone waits for me.’”

Pops Fernandez – The erstwhile Concert Queen is deceptively quiet about her love life after her failed marriage to singer Martin Nievera, who bore her two sons, and brief romance with actor Jomari Yllana. Turning 45 in December, she says she’d rather have another child than a new husband. In 2006 she caused a stir when she appeared on the cover of FHM. Asked why she did it, she replied, “I wanted to do so something I’ve never done before, and agree to do it before I cannot do it anymore. It’s something I can do now so I might as well do it now.”

Jean Garcia – Housewives may hate her for her kontrabida roles in teleseryes but the men are in awe of her alluring and scintillating beauty. Behind the virginal smile and delicate demeanor is sex appeal personified. Obliging the macho crowd, she consented to bare skin on the cover of FHM (October 2008 issue), the first and only time that she allowed the adoring macho horde to have a peek at her physical assets. But the 42-year-old temptress says her proudest achievement is her two children – aspiring actress Jennica (with estranged husband, actor Jigo Garcia) and Kotaro (with a Japanese businessman). Happily single for three years now, her last publicly known boyfriend was actor Polo Ravales, who is 13 years her junior.

Cherie Gil – There is no more apt description for this alluring, versatile actress than the moniker “Sexy Kontrabida.” Sexy and mean, the 48-year-old mother of three is known for uttering the famous movie line, “You are nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copy cat!” Confidence, sophistication and class are what make a woman sexy, she says. And when does she feel most sexy? “When I am perfectly groomed and wearing my sexiest underwear, yet no one can see. Oh, and when I am wearing great four-inch heels.” In June 2008, she and her husband of 20 years, Israeli violinist Roni Rogoff, parted ways.

Zsa Zsa Padilla – Years ago her partner, Dolphy, used to say she was his natural Viagra. Going by the Comedy King’s reputation as a connoisseur of women, the accolade speaks volume about Zsa Zsa’s animal appeal and magnetic personality. Asked what’s the sexiest item in her closet, she teased, “Uh, probably a lace camisole that I don’t wear underwear with, hahaha. You get the picture.” The 47-year-old mother of three isn’t ashamed to admit that “a little part” of her body is no longer original (though she would not say which). She is one of our most seductive chanteuses in the mold of Carmen Soriano in the ‘60s and Didith Reyes in the ‘70s.

Lorna Tolentino – Even at 49, the acclaimed actress remains luminous and beguiling. Beginning as a child actress in 1969, LT metamorphosed into a lovely and scintillating beauty, which landed her in “bold” flicks in the ‘70s. After she married action star Rudy Fernandez in 1983 and later bore him two sons, LT shed her sex siren image and built a solid reputation as a top-caliber dramatic actress. Even with her husband’s approval, she declined an offer to appear on FHM, “kasi pinagdaanan ko na ang pa-sexy-sexy.” Still reeling from Rudy’s death in 2008, she can’t say if she’ll fall in love again.

Eula Valdez – Like fellow cougar Jean Garcia, Eula is an alumna of FMA, a popular character actress, separated with two children, and involved with a man 13 years her junior. It was in 2008 that she hooked up with ramp model Rocky Salumbides. Their May-December affair set tongues wagging but the couple has managed to survive the nasty whispers and mischievous stares. The 43-year old enchantress, says FHM, has an appeal that can put many women half her age to shame. “Her doe-shaped eyes and the interesting curve of her mouth emanate the mysterious allure of a woman who has been there and done that.”

Regine Velasquez – Asia’s Songbird is known not only for her powerful voice but also for her alluring charm and magnetic beauty. She has not posed for any men’s magazine or appeared in a sexy role but audiences are well aware of her physical assets (thanks to those plunging necklines and body-hugging outfits). Just ask the fans who voted her No. 7 in FHM’s Sexiest Women for 2010. Surprisingly for a single and attractive celebrity, she had only one boyfriend – singer Ariel Rivera – before her husband, Oge Alcasid. At 41, she is set to deliver her first ever baby in November. One hopes that motherhood would not turn the cougar into a lioness.

Dawn Zulueta – This 42-year-old doe-eyed mestiza is demure by showbiz standards when it comes to flaunting her physical assets. Ex-boyfriend Richard Gomez, who knows a thing or two about women, can attest to her stunning beauty and sex appeal. Entertainment columnist Ricky Lo writes: “She can look expensive without even trying to. Even if unadorned with expensive jewelry and accessories, she manages to look classy.” When not in front of the camera – which has become less frequent after her marriage to businessman-politician Anton Lagdameo – Dawn dotes on her two children, five-year-old Jacobo and two-year-old Ayisha.

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NAUGHTY GIRL, GOOD GIRL

Entertainment

NAUGHTY GIRL, GOOD GIRL

No Comments 18 July 2010

By Pepper Marcelo

Considered as one of the great beauties in local showbiz, Gretchen Barretto has been in the public eye since her early teens as a model and later on as an actress. She is not only one of the most fashionable and glamorous celebrities today, she is also one of the more colorful personalities in showbiz, thanks to her candid and sometimes over-the-top comments and behavior that have become regular fodder for the tabloids.

In the trailer of ABS-CBN’s recently launched fashionserye, Magkaribal, Derek Ramsay pushed Gretchen down on a table, suggesting a wild session for their characters Louie and Victoria.

First day namin na-shoot yun,” recalls Gretchen during the press conference of Magkaribal. Matagal akong hindi nakapag-love scene na kahit kanino—sa pelikula or telebisyon—so medyo nahirapan kami at hindi ko dapat aminin ito, pero kinailangan naming mag-shot ng brandy bago makunan ang scene na ‘yon. Kasi siyempre nakakanerbiyos. ‘Saka mainit kasi maraming ilaw.”

During the press con, Gretchen refused to talk about her leading man, who was then in South Africa with girlfriend Angelica Panganiban. It will be recalled that Gretchen asked Derek to send her solo pictures from his vacation. In response, Angelica posted an intriguing message in her Twitter account that led some people to believe that she was slighted by the “naughty statement” of Gretchen.

Does she feel sorry for being playful?

“Of course, I have to apologize for being playful kaya ngayon mas guarded ako. Hindi na ako masyadong exciting. Boring na ako. Bahala na kayo [press] kasi kayo lang ang nagpapalaki ng mga sinasabi ko,” she said.

She promised to focus on her acting career, which has been on an upturn since her appearance last year on the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK). This was followed by her ongoing soap, Magkaribal, co-starring Bea Alonzo, Angel Aquino and Derek.

Gretchen is excited to once again showcase her talents on a regular basis in front of the camera. “Parang feeling ko andito lang ako sa show business pero wala talagang anything na solid para sabihing artista ako or talagang singer dahil paga-nun-ganon lang  ako. Ngayon artista na po ako.”

She said she was inspired to work harder when she was bestowed the Best Single Performance by an Actress citation last year by the Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards for the episode Salamin in MMK.

Gusto ko kasi makita ng tao kung paano ako magtrabaho, kung gaano ako kasipag at kung gaano ako ka-excited na bumalik sa show business,” she says. “After all, I’ve been here for like half of my life, so gusto kong bumalik at paligayahin ang mga tao na naghintay nang matagal para sa teleserye na ito.”

Set in the fashion world, Magkaribal finds Gretchen in her natural environment, essaying the role of a successful model-cum-socialite. While some may feel that Gretchen is merely being typecast in the soap, the actress promises to bring an unexpected emotional complexity to the role.

Ang kakaiba lang makikita nila ‘yung emotions ni Gretchen Barretto, na ang isang socialite, ang isang model at isang mayaman ay tao rin na nagkakaproblema, umiiyak rin at may issues din sa buhay. Hindi porke’t mayaman ‘yung tao o maganda, ibig sabihin wala na siyang problema sa buhay, wala na siyang pinagdadaanan na sitwasyon.”

Originally, Gretchen was to appear on the soap alongside younger sister Claudine, but after the latter moved to rival network GMA-7, the project was shelved. Claudine’s role eventually went to Bea.

Gretchen is happy that ABS-CBN kept its word to produce the teleserye despite some drastic changes.  “Habang nag-uusap kami tungkol sa kontrata at tungkol sa teleserye na dapat si Claudine ang kasama ko, sinabi nila na, ‘Baka hindi matuloy si Claud. Kung mangyari ba yun, matutuloy ka pa rin ba, because we still want you.’”

She says that she and Claudine have never discussed the latter’s abrupt transfer to GMA-7 but she respects her sister’s decision. “Nanghinayang ako na hindi na si Claud, pero siyempre, hindi naman ibig sabihin nun hindi na kami magkakatrabaho sa isang teleserye, na hindi na magkikita. Again, maliit lang ang mundo ng show business.”

Nonetheless, Gretchen is excited to be working Bea. “Unang-una, that’s Bea Alonzo. She’s one of the biggest stars of ABS-CBN, box-office princess. It’s inspiring to know I’ll be working with somebody as good and as famous as she is, so inspiring talaga for me.”

For her part, Bea admits she was initially intimidated at the thought of working with the model-actress nicknamed “La Greta.” (The moniker stems from her diva-esque attitude.) “Kahit naman sinong tao ‘di ba when you hear na si Gretchen ang makakatrabaho mo, dyosa lang, tapos ang ganda-ganda niya, e ako panay effort bago gumanda. Ang tagal [kong] magpapapayat, ganyan. Nai-intimidate ako.”

Before taping started, the two attended acting workshops where they got to know each other. “Nakita ko ‘yung vulnerable side of her. Parang doon ko nasabing tao naman itong tao na ‘to. Hindi siya showbiz, tao naman siya. So, excited ako. Nag-connect kami doon sa workshop,” adds Bea.

Gretchen is likewise excited to work with Derek, who, like her, is a model too. She admits to having a “showbiz crush” on him before. There were reports that she had asked him to co-star with her in the soap. Notorious for getting involved with her leading men in the past, the rumor did not escape the attention of the gossip mills.

But she laughed off the speculations, pointing to her long and strong relationship with her live-in partner of 16 years, millionaire businessman Tonyboy Cojuangco.

Hindi naman siya nagseselos kasi alam naman ni Tony na kahit ano pa ang mangyari, hindi ko naman siya iiwan. Naughty-naughty ako minsan, pero alam din niyang good girl ako ngayon.”

She fully appreciates Tonyboy’s support and encouragement. “Sinasabi niya lagi sa akin, ‘Go, I want you to work, I want you to feel good.’ Kasi siyempre, when I feel good about my career, about myself, I feel happy also. Alam niya na ito ang pinakagusto ko, alam niyang I’m happiest when I’m working.”

As a show of dedication, she has refused other projects for the duration of the teleserye. “Ayoko naman i-overload because I’ll be taping three times a week for 24 hours. Soyun muna. Titingnan namin kung anong gagawin. May namention about a movie project, but hindi pa namin talaga pinagmimeeting-an. Siyempre unahin muna namin ‘yung teleserye.”

With her comeback in full swing, Gretchen is determined to ignore intrigues that will surely come her way. “As long as hindi masisira ang pagtatrabaho ko, focus pa rin sa pagtatrabaho ko, ibibigay ko pa rin para sa publiko at para sa mga bosses ng ABS-CBN ‘ yung Gretchen, the best of Gretchen, and I realize that.”

She says she’s currently where she wants to be, both personally and professionally. “My life is too perfect now! I have Tony. I have [15-year-old daughter] Dominique and I have a career.”

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EDSA: HIGHWAY OF THE STARS

Lifestyle

EDSA: HIGHWAY OF THE STARS

No Comments 30 May 2010

When going down EDSA, try playing the Celebrity Spotting game – point out as many celebrities as you can see on the road. From SM North to the end of the MRT station, it is easy for the gamers to rack up a shared fifty sightings. Fifty, you may think, seems like an exaggerated number. It isn’t. There are celebrities on billboards. There are celebrities on buses. There are celebrities on MRT banners. There are celebrities on roadside store signages. There are celebrities on huge tarpaulins plastered against malls. Since the advertisements that feature the celebrities are often current, you can more or less gauge who’s the hot celebrity of the moment. If Hollywood has its Walk of Fame, Manila has EDSA, the Highway of the Stars! READ FULL STORY

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CELEBRITIES RULE IN PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS

Current Affairs

CELEBRITIES RULE IN PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS

No Comments 07 May 2010

Here in the Philippines, where majority of the population are glued to their TV sets for three to seven hours a day, there’s no question from whom someone seeking election into a public office should ask for help. Says Yes! Magazine editor-in-chief Jo-Ann Maglipon: “If you want instant recall, if you want immediate rapport with a large audience, there is nothing like having a celebrity endorser.”

In an ideal world, of course, celebrity endorsers don’t matter. After all, said Rolando Tolentino, dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications: “What needs to be sold are the platforms of politicians, their ethical positions, where they’re coming from, where they’re planning to deliver the country in the next three or six years — that should be the basis of choice.” READ FULL STORY.

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THE BEAUTY AND THE HERO

Entertainment

THE BEAUTY AND THE HERO

No Comments 04 February 2010

By Leandro Milan

Our hero is star-struck and, apparently, love-struck too.

After bagging the CNN Hero of the Year (2009) award, Efren Peñaflorida finds himself in hot pursuit of a more stunning and elusive trophy. The object of his affections is the gorgeous and alluring actress Angel Locsin.

Efren’s romantic exploits first came to light in late December when he was interviewed by Boy Abunda on the TV show Bottomline. In that interview, the acclaimed kariton educator admitted that he has had a big crush on the the actress for the longest time.

Angel and Efren first became friends on Facebook, drawn by their common interest to help the underprivileged – he, with his Kariton Klassroom project; she, with her numerous charitable undertakings. By sheer coincidence, on November 19, the two found themselves on the same flight to the US. She was on her way to New York to attend the Emmy Awards where she was nominated for Best Performance for an Actress in the teleserye Lobo. He was on his way to Los Angeles to receive an award as one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes and later as CNN Hero of the Year for 2009 for his heroic attempt to bring education to the poor children of Cavite via a mobile classroom. Up on Cloud Nine, our star-struck hero did not pass up the chance to reveal his feelings for Angel.

When it was Angel’s turn to appear on the gossip show The Buzz on January 3, Boy, the self-proclaimed King of Talk, grilled the actress about Efren’s startling disclosure.

An embarrassed Angel was initially at a loss for words.

Paano ba?” she began. “Nakapag-usap kami. Actually, before pa naman magkaroon ng award sa kanya, magkaibigan na kami sa Facebook. Yung mga cause na ginagawa niya, sinusuportahan ko rin. Naniniwala ako sa mga gusto niyang gawin. And nagkita kami bago ako pumuntang New York, sabay kami sa eroplano kasi, e. Doon na kami nagkakilala talaga.”

Angel continued: “Nakapag-usap kami. Hindi ko alam kung paano ko sabihin, e… Yun nga, parang sinabi ko sa kanya na medyo natatakot akong sabihin sa kanya kasi siyempre siya yung nakikitang hope ng bansa natin, e. Para sa akin kasi, ang mas kailangan natin ngayon sa Pilipinas yung hope. At ayoko yung… dahil magulo nga ang buhay ko dahil nasa showbiz ako, ayokong yung hope na maibibigay niya sa mga tao, maapektuhan ng dahil sa akin. Sinabi ko sa kanya kung ready na ba siya na… Ay, nahihiya ako! Kung ready na ba siya na harapin yung mga yun. Ako kasi sinabi ko na, well ako kasi gusto ko friendship muna.”

Pushing the kilig factor several notches higher, Boy commented that he was surprised that the two were able to discuss something so serious in their brief, unplanned in-flight meeting.

And then came more revelations from Angel that elicited shrieks from the audience. Efren had visited her at home and he had talked to her father about his romantic intentions.

Paano ba?” she rambled on. “Kasi pumunta siya sa bahay. Nag-usap sila ng dad ko. Mas una niyang kinausap yung dad ko kesa sa akin. Nagulat ako pagdating ko, ‘Bakit parang nagkukulong sa kuwarto yung dalawa. Ano ang nangyayari dun?’”

Boy pressed on: “So Efren and your dad had a heart-to-heart talk?”

Pero first time lang po yun, Tito Boy. Nahihiya ako. Ano ba ‘yan, nawawala ako! Ang init ng pisngi ko,” confessed Angel, blushing.

She declined to speculate on where the whole thing would lead. Everything will fall into place if it is meant to be, she said.

In another television interview, this time on GMA-7’s 24 Oras, Efren confirmed his intentions to court the actress. He said it was back in 2004 when he developed a big crush on the Angel. What attracted her to him, he said, was not her looks and celebrity status but her character and inner beauty.

He admitted that he had gone to Angel’s house to talk to her father, Angel Colmenares, about his plans to court his daughter.

Sinabi ko sa dad niya kung ano yung intentions ko. In-open up ko sa dad niya. I was able to pray pa nga sa dad niya,” the high school teacher revealed. “Bago ko in-ask, bago ko in-open sa kanya ‘yong mga intentions ko, ready na ako. Prepared ako doon sa kung ano man ang mangyayari.”

Efren says he has not had a single girlfriend in all his 28 years, which explains why he appears so thrilled whenever he talks about his feelings for the actress. On the other hand, Angel, who turns 25 in April, has had three showbiz boyfriends: Mico Sotto, an aspiring actor who fell to his death from a condominium building six years ago; Oyo Sotto, Mico’s first cousin and son of Vic Sotto and Dina Bonnevie; and her latest ex, Luis Manzano, son of Vilma Santos and Edu Manzano. Angel and Luis ended their year-long relationship last August for still undisclosed reasons.

Unfortunately for our hero, But Angel does not appear to be too keen about his romantic intentions. Although she has gone out with Efren, she says all she could offer to him at this point is her friendship.

Hindi naman ako nagpapaligaw,” she said on Showbiz Ngayon last Jan. 21. “Right now, we’re good friends lang talaga. . . Minsan pumupunta siya sa bahay kasama yung mga kids. Minsan lumabas kami. Nanoood kami ng sine kasama ang mga bata. ‘Yon naman ‘yong usapan din namin, eh. Ayoko ‘yong kausap ko si Luis [Manzano] tapos may kausap akong iba. Ayoko namang magpaasa ng tao.”

Angel is keener in giving his erstwhile boyfriend another chance. Luis has admitted that he is wooing the actress again and reports say that he is a constant visitor in the Colmenares’ residence nowadays. “I’m trying to win her back and make up for my mistakes in the past. Na-realize ko she’s a good girl worth fighting for,” Luis was quoted in one report.

Angel appreciates Luis’ efforts to win her back. “May effort naman siya [Luis]. Na-appreciate ko naman. Tingnan natin kung ano ang…hindi naman kami nagmamadali. Siyempre, hindi naman ma-i-aalis kung gaano ka-espesyal si Luis.”

In tabloids and social networking sites, fans of Angel and Efren expressed shock, disappointment, even disdain at the news.

“You’re dreaming! Just because you’re a CNN Hero doesn’t mean you can be Angel’s boyfriend,” said one user on social networking site Twitter.

“It was great that he won as CNN Hero. But I was disappointed he wanted to join the celebrity world so quickly,” quipped a Facebook user.

Indeed, many onlookers find the Angel-Efren tandem implausible, even off-beat, because his chosen career and her social milieu are night and day. While both come from poor families, today their lifestyles are worlds apart. Efren is immersed in the harsh reality of the slums of Cavite. Angel inhabits the glittery make-believe world of Tinseltown. Can they defy fate and live happily ever after? Will this romance be nipped in the bud? One would think this unlikely fairy tale could happen only in the movies. Abangan!

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‘LAY OFF MY HUSBAND, SPARE MY BROTHER’

Entertainment

‘LAY OFF MY HUSBAND, SPARE MY BROTHER’

No Comments 24 January 2010

What began as a domestic issue between celebrity couple Kris Aquino and James Yap nearly turned into political fodder in the simmering election campaign season. But about a week after the issue broke out, the controversy has died down and the celebrity couple has reportedly patched up their differences.

The popular TV host/actress and youngest sister of presidential aspirant Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III took offense at critics’ attempts to link her brother to a “domestic issue that does not even involve him directly.”

The “domestic issue” Kris was referring to was an incident on Jan. 13 when she “confronted” an alleged female fan of James and told her to stop bugging her husband about her personal problems.

According to a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Jan. 14, Kris confronted a certain Mayen Austria, 35, outside the latter’s house in Valle Verde 2 Subdivision in Pasig City around 4 p.m. on Jan.13 after learning that Mayen had been calling and sending text messages to her husband.  

Quoting Mayen’s uncle, Gabby Lopez (no relation to the ABS-CBN chair), Inquirer reported that Kris spent about 10 minutes at the gate of the house of the Austrias and allegedly shouted and hurled insults at Mayen and her mother.

The Inquirer also quoted an unnamed witness who said Kris threw invectives at Mayen and her mother.

“(Kris) also shouted at her (Minna): ‘Anong klaseng nanay ka? Anong klase ang palaki mo sa anak mo?’” the source said.

Lopez refused to elaborate on the incident but took a potshot at Kris’ brother, saying, “I now know who I will not vote for.” 

Noynoy Aquino is the Liberal Party standard-bearer in the May elections.

Lopez’s remark incensed Kris. “Why is the issue being used as a political weapon against my brother?” she asked.

In a talk with the Inquirer last Jan. 15, she denied confronting and shouting insults at Mayen and her mother.

“In my 25 years of being in the public eye, nobody can ever say that it is in my nature na magmura or gumawa ng iskandalo,” she said. “I didn’t shout or create a commotion. [Mayen’s mother] graciously came to their gate and we had a peaceful conversation.”

Kris claimed she was “very polite” when she expressed her “discomfort about [Mayen’s] actuations” towards James.

“Mrs. Austria said it was all just a misunderstanding. I told her, ‘I’m sorry to be disturbing you, but I just had to come here. It makes me uncomfortable that your daughter is calling my husband,’” Kris continued.

“At this time, [Mayen] came out. She said James called her up to tell her that I’m on my way, and to just say sorry to me. She said, ‘I don’t know why I should. I’ve done nothing wrong.’”

She added: “I told her, ‘As a wife I’m telling you that it’s wrong. Why do you have to cry to my husband about your boyfriend leaving you when the guy is not even a friend of James’?’ I said to the mom, ‘Thank you. I hope your daughter would stop calling James,’ and then I left.”

A day or two after the confrontation, Kris, together with sons Joshua and James Jr., moved out of the home she shares with husband James to have “some space” at her sister Pinky’s house. But two days later, the TV host and her two sons are back in their Valle Verde house.

Magkasama na uli kami ngayon,” she said in a TV interview last Jan. 22.Pero pina-punish ko pa rin siya nang konti,” she chuckled. “Pero maayos naman na. Sinisikap namin na maging maayos ang pagsasama namin.”

While Kris admits that their troubled marriage needs some mending, she says the issue with James’ female friend, Mayen Austria, is over and that the Aquino and Austria families have sorted out the matter.

On Jan. 17, when she announced she was leaving their home temporarily, Kris told co-host Boy Abunda on The Buzz, “I’m not saying that the marriage is over. In my heart, gusto ko the marriage to work for our kids. I’m not putting a period, I’m not saying this is the end of the road. I’m hoping and praying maayos namin lahat pero kailangan ko rin ng space.” 

“I love him and he knows I still love him. I’ve never given him any reason to doubt my fidelity. I just want the same thing in return,” she said. Hindi naman puwedeng ako lang ang nagmamahal… Ako lang umiintindi. It takes two for this marriage to work. I want him to make me feel I’m really (his) wife, that (he’s) a responsible husband and a loving father and that this marriage has a future.”

According to Kris, she explained to her husband that it was not proper for Mayen to be confiding her problems with her boyfriend to a married man. “I told James, ‘You married me. You made this commitment to me. I am your wife. I have my rights as a wife. I will use those rights to protect myself and our children. I will protect my territory.”

In an interview with Philippine Entertainment Portal, the outspoken and controversial TV host said Mayen should instead consult a guidance counselor, a close female friend, sibling or her parents about her personal problems.

She said she told James, “Sa dami ng pinagdaanan natin, sa dami ng gusto kong ilabas noon, noong kailangan ko ng makikinig sa akin, wala akong iniyakan na lalake. Wala. Inisip ko kasi na hindi makabubuti iyon. Maaaring panggalingan lang ng gulo.”

She added: “Tama ba na iyakan ko si Gabby [Concepcion], na kasama ko sa soap ngayon? Hindi, di ba?”

Kris said she apologized to Noynoy for dragging him to the controversy. I told him, “Pasensya ka na that my marital crisis is now being used to attack you.”

Noynoy assured Kris he would always be available for her and James if they need his advice. “Let me reiterate, prioritize your family, never mind the campaign” he told Kris.

Noynoy appealed to the public not to judge the people involved in the issue. “Hintayin po nating makita yung buong picture bago tayo magsabi ng conclusion… Kung meron po tayong malasakit sa kanila, magandang bigyan ng espasyo ang dalawa. Sila ang makaka-solve ng problemang ito,” he said in a radio interview.

In 2007, Kris and James had a big fight after the latter was rumored to have had a romantic liaison with one Hope Centeno, then a receptionist at the Belo Medical Clinic.

Last Jan. 12, a day before the Valle Verde incident, the couple rendered a duet number during the birthday concert of Sharon Cuneta at the Araneta Coliseum. They sang the OPM hit Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo of Rey Valera. Sharon blurted out, “Huwag naman!” when the couple reached the number’s refrain, “Aking nadarama / pagsasama nati’y ‘di magtatagal.”

Kris turns 39 on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14. On Feb. 15 James will mark his 28th birthday. Married in a civil ceremony last July 10, 2005, they have a three-year-old son, James Jr.

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