MANILA, Philippines – Before his headline-grabbing relationship with actress Heart Evangelista, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero had a quiet marriage with lounge singer Christine Flores.
|Actress Heart Evangelista and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero
In his autobiography “Say ni Chiz” published in 2009, the senator told writer Bibeth Orteza how he is like when it comes to relationships – serious, secure and not a hopeless romantic.
“Hindi ako seloso na tao, hindi ako seloso sa oras, hindi rin ako nagseselos o naiinggit sa anumang kayang gawin ng iba,” the autobiography read.
“Malaki ang ipinagbago ko no’ng pumasok si Christine sa buhay ko. Hindi lang siya singer. Stage actor din with Repertory Philippines at mas in touch sa kanyang emotions. Sabi ko nga, hindi karinyoso ang mga Escudero, pero sa ugali ni Christine na naghahalik ‘pag bumabati, hindi nagtagal at biglang beso-beso na rin kaming lahat. Sa kanya namin natutunan ‘yon, ang maglabas ng emosyon nang hindi nahihiya, hindi nagtatago.”
Escudero shared that even his marriage proposal to Flores did not turn out to be romantic.
“Nagbalak ako ng romantic proposal. Sinubukan kong gawin ‘yong isang napanood ko sa pelikula na may ‘tinaling sinulid sa daliri, tapos, nag-slide na lang ‘yong singsing. But there was a hitch somewhere and it didn’t turn out anything close to that.
“Walang pagluhod, walang magandang tugtog, walang mga bituin sa langit. I brought her to the townhouse kung saan kami nakatira ngayon. I guess I was being old-fashioned. Nag-propose ako at sinabi kong isang buwan ko nang inuupahan ang naturang lugar para ipakitang ‘pag kinasal kami, meron na kaming titirahan. Hindi kami makikisuno sa mga magulang ko o sa kanya.
“Looking back, I would have wanted that night to be romantic. Kaya pagdating ng panahon at hingian ako ng advise ni Quino, sasabihin ko talaga sa anak ko na, ‘Anak, minsan ka lang puwedeng mag-propose sa babaeng pakakasalan mo; ayusin mo, at utang na loob, huwag mong gayahin ang tatay mo!’”
Escudero’s very private marriage to Flores was annulled in 2012, after seven years of being together. They have two children.
How Escudero was presented in his autobiography is quite different from what Evangelista’s parents are now saying about the reelectionist senator.
In a recently held press conference, Rey and Cecile Ongpauco claimed that Escudero, 43, is a “braggart” and an “alcoholic” who is just "manipulating" their 28-year-old daughter to achieve his political goals.
It was October of last year when Escudero admitted his relationship with Evangelista – during his last co-hosting stint on the ABS-CBN morning talk show “Kris TV” hosted by Kris Aquino, the youngest sister of President Benigno Aquino III, who happens to be his close friend.
The senator, who is usually private about his love life, also said on national television that he hopes he and Evangelista could celebrate “anniversaries” in the future.
They made their first public appearance as a couple during the Rotary Golden Wheel Awards, also in October 2012.
Heart gets cozy
Shortly after their relationship was made public, Evangelista has taken to social media to share private moments of their romance.
On Twitter and Instagram, the actress has been posting photos of herself with the lawmaker during their trips.
Just recently, Evangelista uploaded two photos showing her kissing Escudero on the cheek. One of the photos is captioned, “I love you! Thank you for being the best.”
The former ABS-CBN talent has often made the news for her relationships and breakups. Among her former boyfriends are Japanese-Brazilian model Daniel Matsunaga, and actors Jericho Rosales and John Prats.
Like Escudero, Evangelista has denied that the senator is using her to boost his popularity among the masses.
The actress also defended him from her own parents, saying that she has no plans of “cooling off” with the 43-year-old lawmaker.
Chiz’s ex-wife asks for privacy
Flores, meanwhile, has appealed to the public to respect her privacy and that of her children amid the ongoing spat between her former husband and Evangelista’s parents.
She said whatever differences she and Escudero had in the past have nothing to do with the controversies that the senator is currently embroiled in.
Flores also denied that Escudero physically abused her, saying she does not think that her former husband could ever do that to anyone.