'He will always have a special place in my heart'
MANILA - Kris Aquino could not hold back her tears on Tuesday as she faced former husband James Yap and thanked him for being a good father not only to their son, Bimby, but also to her eldest child, Joshua.
The actress and TV host shared a video of the emotional moment, which happened at Bimby's 7th birthday celebration earlier in the day, during the live telecast of "Aquino & Abunda Tonight."
(Users of the ABS-CBN News mobile app can view this video via an Internet browser.)
The interview, according to Aquino, was originally planned as an on-camera greeting for Bimby for telecast during the April 11 episode of her morning talk show "Kris TV," which will be dedicated to the birthday party.
Aquino said she became emotional when she came face-to-face with Yap, having just seen an old photo of the basketball star with Joshua in his younger years.
"I want to say thank you to you dahil hindi ka rin naman sumuko," Aquino told Yap in a preview of the interview. "Ang ibang mga lalaki, puwedeng-puwedeng sumuko na at sabihing, 'Bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo dahil ayoko na ng gulo.' Pero hindi ka rin bumitaw, kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa'yo."
"Aamin ako, ah. I also kept a few pictures. Tiningnan ko 'yung ang liit pa ni Josh nung pumasok ka sa buhay namin... You stepped up for Josh. Hindi naging madali, pero naging mabuti ka sa someone na hindi mo naman kadugo, and never mo siyang trinato na iba sa'yo. Pati 'yung family mo, they were always good to my son," she said.
Joshua, who is turning 19 in June, is Aquino's only child with actor Phillip Salvador. Over the years, Aquino has been open about Joshua's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.
Aquino and Yap were married in civil rites in July 2005. Their marriage was declared null in February 2012, following allegations of infidelity on Yap's part.
In early March this year, the two finally reconciled and settled in court the visitation of Bimby, who is under the custody of Aquino.
The agreement followed a tumultuous three years for the former couple, who faced each other in court several times over allegations that Yap "made amorous advances" on Aquino in front of their son, which he denied.
Referring to Yap's relationship with Joshua and his resolve regarding his visitation to Bimby, Aquino said, "Those are the things na nari-realize ko ngayon. Gusto ko lang ipaabot. Kasi for so long, puro galit lang. Nakalimutan ko kung ano dapat 'yung mga ipagpasalamat ko."
"Looking back, nine years of our lives naman ito. For the time we met to everything, parang it's been nine years. Kung tutuusin, nine years old si Josh nung nakilala mo siya... Sobrang naa-appreciate ko na you also opened up your heart to him. I think also with my family, appreciative sila doon," she said.
"I'm very sorry din sa mga heartache na binigay ko," Aquino added.
"Sorry din," Yap answered. "Sorry din sa'yo kung hindi man ako naging perfect na partner mo. Thank you sa'yo dahil natanggap mo pa rin ako ngayon na okay na tayo. Thank you. Love, love, love!"
'A lot of regret'
After the airing of the interview, which will air in full on "Kris TV" Friday, Aquino was asked by co-host Boy Abunda to clarify whether her turning emotional has anything to with still having feelings for Yap.
Initially laughing at the question, Aquino turned serious as she admitted that she regrets not forgiving Yap during their marriage.
"There's a lot of regret. That's the truth. Maraming panghihinayang," she said. "Nagsisisi ako na noong dapat nagpatawad ako, sana nagpatawad ako. But it is what it is and we have moved on."
She added: "I will repeat it -- binigay ni James Yap sa akin ang isang bagay na no other man gave me. Binigay niya 'yung pangalan niya sa akin. Nawala man 'yon, nabura man 'yon, meron kaming matinding pinagsamahan -- the fact na at one point in our lives, we loved each other enough."
"Pero 'yung if I love him now? He will always have a place in my heart, but I'm at a point already na meron na akong ibang gustong makasama panghabang-buhay," Aquino said, to audible shrieks in the studio.
In the live episode of the "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" on Monday, Aquino admitted dating Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista. In the joint statement read by Aquino on the program, the couple expressed hopes of having a "chance at forever."
Yap, meanwhile, has been open about his relationship with an Italian national, Michela Cazzola, who was recently seen with Bimby during one of the star cager's games.