Manila, September 29, 2003  (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo  - Ask even the most amateur astrologer and he/she’ll tell you that the stars were "not aligned" in favor of Kris Aquino and Joey Marquez on that fateful Monday night, Sept. 22, when they had a violent fight over a text message from a certain "Mariz" (suspected to be one of Joey’s "secret" girlfriends).

As the whole world knows by now, that fight brought to an abrupt end Kris and Joey’s romance that started in March (beware the "ides of March"?) last year after Kris interviewed Joey on his break-up with his wife Alma Moreno for her ABS-CBN talk show The Buzz. It was a tumultuous romance, punctuated by controversies, including Kris and Alma’s encounter at a hospital where Joey was confined last year for a heart ailment.

Only Sunday last week on The Buzz, Kris was professing her "undying love" for Joey (notorious for being a womanizer) whose nose, injured in a basketball practice 15 years ago, she had had fixed and to whom she gave a BMW. Kris even announced that she would campaign for Joey if he ran for Congressman of Parañaque City which he’s serving on his third and last term as Mayor.

The rest from then on is bittersweet showbiz history witnessed "live" by millions around the world (thanks to The Filipino Channel, ABS-CBN’s sister company which beams local shows to Filipino communities in various parts of the globe) when Kris made an unsettling true confession in which she said that she was a battered partner and she contacted STD (Sexually-Transmitted Disease) from Joey who, she added, did point a gun at her and then cock it before releasing its magazine.

As I was saying, it was a bad day for Kris and Joey whose biorhythms certainly didn’t jibe. As manghuhula would say, it was bound to happen; it was written in the stars.

On the morning of that day, according to a Funfare DPA, Joey was in a bad mood because he just received word that his party, the Lakas-NUCD, was dropping him as official congressional candidate in favor of the incumbent, Ed Zialcita, and possibly relegating Joey (would he agree?) to be the running-mate (as Vice Mayor) of incumbent Parañaque City Vice-Mayor Jun Bernabe who’s being groomed as the party’s mayoralty candidate.

As the "stars" would have it, afternoon of that same day, Kris was also in a foul mood. She was taping for her reformatted ABS-CBN show Next Level Na, Game Ka Na Ba? and four of the klieg lights exploded, prompting Kris to go to Essensa (a condo where Joey lives, owned by his sister Via Marquez-Hoffman, scene of the un-couple’s violent fight) with her son Joshua and make-up artist Bambi Fuentes to kill time.

And then, that text message from "Mariz" came at around 9:30 p.m., triggering the violent fight that shattered more than just the sweethearts’ romance.

In the aftermath of the Kris-Joey brouhaha, several "hangers-on" have surfaced, politicians included, trying desperately to get a slice of the publicity that has eased out of the headlines the now-boring Jose Pidal issue.

There’s Joey’s half-sister Melanie Marquez (herself once involved with a married action star by whom she has a son) who has been spewing her classic quotable one-liners, such as "We are lovers; we are not fighters" (to describe her siblings as people who’d rather love than fight) and "‘Yang STD naman ay nakukuha sa maruruming toilets." (Ay naku, iha, kaya nga sexually-transmitted disease dahil nakukuha ‘yan sa pakikipag -sex).

And there’s the obscure starlet washing her hands off the controversy by saying she wasn’t the mysterious "Mariz" and yet another equally publicity-starved starlet who is basking in the glare of the now-circus-y issue.

The latest word has it that Kris has taken back her things (the BMW included from Essensa) as her lawyers (Raymund Fortun, among them) are getting ready to file charges against Joey for grave threats, physical injuries, possible possession of an unlicensed gun and infecting a partner with STD.

Funfare has been swamped with letters/e-mails from around the world. Most of the senders sympathize with Kris. I’ve chosen the best letter from the batch, which came from Maria "Bootsie" Lagdameo of 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, New York, New York 10005-1413. Here it is:

Dear Kris,

It’s easy to say let your head rule and not your heart. But it's difficult because you are basically a loving, giving, and honest person. Do not be scared of what others will say about that "bad" incident with your ex-lover (keep him as an ex this time around!). Do not be scared of losing your fans (I bet they will always be there, least you expect it). Just stand up and tell the truth. And I know that you are telling the truth. I have been in your shoes years back. And as they say – been there, done that!!

Years ago (25 to be exact), I kept searching and searching for the right man to come along, and ended up with children by different fathers. I was in different types of relationships (verbal abuse was an everyday occurrence). My family was in a state of shock. They were not only embarrassed, but also scared for my soul to end up in hell. I know that I hurt my family and ruined our name, but I hang on for their sake and my children. Years from now you'll look back and tell yourself, what a crazy person you were, but you were honest to yourself. Trust me – YOU WILL SURVIVE THIS! It's a cycle, sometimes you're down, but most often, you're way up there!

Today, I have someone great in my life, and my beautiful children have erased those bad memories. They are achievers and growing up graciously and wonderfully with the help of my family (their grandparents, aunts and uncle). Trust the Lord and lean on Him, because I know that despite our weaknesses and shortcomings, HE always comes through for us. And remember, your son, Josh, will never hurt you the way these men in your lives do.

I will pray for you and your family for strength. I know that your fans are praying, too! – MARIA "BOOTSIE" LAGDAMEO

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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