MANILA, OCTOBER 19, 2011 (MALAYA) Kris Aquino yesterday dashed the hopes of those planning to make her run as Tarlac governor in 2013, saying she wants to help her province only in a private capacity and that an upcoming post as ambassador of goodwill will prevent her from holding public office for the next three years.

Aquino, in her Twitter account, said: "I’m a Makati resident and voter. I want to help Tarlac in a private capacity."

She also said she will meet officials of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday night about its offer for her to be an ambassador of goodwill for Asia.

"The appointment is for three years and part of the agreement is that I won’t seek any political office for the duration of my United Nations involvement. So definitely no seeking elective office in 2013," she said.

Once Aquino formalizes her agreement with the UNHCR, she will join the ranks of the other ambassadors of goodwill like Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, designer Giorgio Armani, singers Barbara Hendricks, Julien Clerc and Muazzez Ersoy, musician George Dalaras, actors Adel Imam and Osvaldo Laport and television personality Jesús Vázquez Martínez.

Reports said some Tarlac residents are conducting a signature drive to convince Aquino to run for Tarlac governor in 2013. The group aims to gather one million signatures by including the youth or the "future voters" because the province’s voting population is less than a million.

Although Aquino is a resident and voter of Makati City, she could transfer her residency in time for the 2013 polls. – Regina Bengco




Kris Aquino's place is Penthouse No. 5 one of Makati 's newest high-rise condominiums. There are only two units on her floor.

What immediately catches your attention when you enter her living room—besides the vastness of the space—are the vibrant colors. “I love it!” says Kris. “It's a reflection of me.”

Her interior designers, Ivy and Cynthia Almarin, helped her achieve this look, which Kris calls the Shanghai Tang look. “Basta sabi ko, I like my place to look like Shanghai Tang, ‘yong stores in Hong Kong . Diba, that's the perfect description? And those are the colors that I want. I really like chartreuse [a bright yellowish-green color], orange, and fuchsia pink.”

The sofa has nine pillows on them, plus two stuffed toy frogs. “'Yong maliit is gift sa akin ni Joshua,” says Kris, making sure we take note. Joshua frog came with a handwritten note that said: “Mama, I love you, Joshua.”

Kris Aquino moved into her rented penthouse unit at the posh One Roxas Place in Makati last January. “January 26, I think,” she says. The move, she explains, was made in accordance with what her feng shui adviser Paloma told her.

“I was opting for Rockwell,” Kris recalls. “Because I could have bought it outright cash. But it really wasn't suwerte daw for me. And then our next stop was, we went to Pacific Plaza Towers. It's facing southeast. E, hindi daw ako puwede sa southeast, kailangang facing north.”

One Roxas Place faces north. “And then sinabi ni Paloma sa akin na if you choose a place, it should bring in the luck. Then, the money will pour in. True naman.” She lets out her trademark laugh, then adds: “Ewan ko baka nga totoo.”

Kris, who reportedly earns P3 million a month, says she doesn't intend to stay long in the rented penthouse. “I'm really going to try—after two years—to buy, in cash, a lower unit,” she says.

“I really like this building na,” Kris tells us. “And I'm happy about the location and everything.” But she says she can't afford to buy the penthouse she currently occupies. “Puwede na,” she shrugs. “Kaya ko na ‘yon in two years.”

And she has started saving up. Better put, she has started learning how to save.

“It was my mom who forced me,” she admits. So now Kris doesn't spend her earnings in “Hiram,” her top-rating ABS-CBN teleserye that also stars Dina Bonnevie and Christian Vasquez. What she makes from the drama series goes straight to the bank, and she lives on her income from her talk shows, “The Buzz” and “Good Morning Kris.”

That gives us a clue about how much money still goes out of her hands. And it isn't peanut! Just her household staff—entirely separate from her production staff, which helps her in her artista life—already comprises seven people.

She does a headcount for us: “Si Yaya Ana of Josh. ‘Tapos si Mel, my cook. ‘Tapos si Mary Jane, the housegirl. Then I have three drivers, and then a guard for Josh.”

And then there's her personal production staff: Hannah, Bambbi Fuentes's makeup artist; Imelda, the makeup assistant; Francoise, the production assistant; and Cynch, the schedule and financial matters master. “Not all live here,” Kris points out. “But they're all here all the time. Breakfast pa lang, bago mag-work, dito na sila, kasi dito ang meeting place.”

And Kris is the type who loves feeding people. For the food and grocery items alone, she already spends some P8,000 a week! “They're really spoiled,” she says of her staff. “But it's okay ‘cause I really like to share.”

Electricity and other bills are another story – and Kris literally tells us the story.

“Hay, naku, funny kuwento,” she starts. “Kasi I really freaked.

“Last month, ‘yong June billing na dumating for Meralco was P60,000 bucks! And I wasn't home. I mean that was the time na talagang busy ako. Middle of June to second week of July, I was really taping straight [for Hiram]. As in, I was talaga in [Hacienda] Luisita, in Hong Kong , Joshua naman was in my mom's house.

“So, pina-check ko talaga dahil imposible. It turned out if was only P18,000. Nagkamali talaga sila. So, you really have to complain. It's a lesson.”

These days, her penthouse's average electric bill comes to around P25,000 a month.

It's one expensive life, indeed.

“I'm really used to a certain lifestyle,” she admits. “But at least I afford it for myself. Kaya nga ako nagtatrabaho, diba?”

How does a person with only one body—but with three top-rating TV shows that drain her energy every day – treat the people in her employ?

“Napapagalitan din sila talaga,” she says truthfully. “Lalo na pag pagod ako or pag may naiiwan silang things and all.”

Then, in typical Kris Aquino fashion, she relates another story to highlight a point.

“I just let go of a yaya who's been with us for twelve years, si Yaya Mida. ‘Cause she fights with the entire household. Lahat inaaway niya. Hindi ko na ma-take. Si Cynch, sinisigaw-sigawan din niya. Ganoong level.”

On August 16, Kris decided to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table.

“Silang lahat, miniting ko. Kaya nawalan na naman ako ng boses. ‘Tapos, sabi pa ni Mida: “Kasi, sa harap n'yo, nagbabait-baitan talaga, kasi ako ang amo n'yo, ‘no!'

“Sabi ko: ‘Alam mo, kaya ka lang naman nandito, kasi loyal ka sa akin. Pero lahat sila, ayaw ka talaga nila.'

“Pinapili ko siya: ‘Can you live with my rules and be harmonious? And dami ko nang problema sa labas, when I get home, lahat kayo ma-aaway-away pa? Mida, you're not the boss. You're not Mida Cojuangco Aquino?'

“And then, sinabi niya sa akin na: ‘Ma'am, hindi ko naman inaarte na ganoon.' And then, she was screaming at me na rin. Naloka ako. Sabi ko: “My God, ‘wag mo ‘kong sigawan! Ako ang boss mo! Out!'

Still, Kris chose to be magnanimous. “I gave her money for a sari-sari store. Para hindi naman niya sabihing mean ako.””

These days, it's Joshua's nanny, Yaya Ana, who can lay claim to being the longest-staying member of Kris Aquino's staff.

“As in, seven months pa lang si Josh in my tummy, nandiyan na siya,” says Kris. “Kaya si Yaya Ana ang I'll die if she leaves. I'm telling her she has to stay. I'll give her a house in the province, if she stays. Sabi ko, hintayin niya si Josh lumaki, kasi masa-sad si Josh.”

All things considered, Kris still thinks herself a good boss. For one thing, her staffers are all well-paid.

“Off the record na the suweldo,” she says. “But I really like to share naman. Plus, lahat sila, they have two days off. Ako nga, I work every day. Pero sila, dalawa ang day off. So, I'm really a good boss naman.”

About life in general, Kris – who earns millions, who lives in a penthouse, who is surrounded by people who are loyal—has no complaints. Even is she has currently no man in her life to make things complete.

“Generally naman talaga, I'm a happy person,” she smiles. “As I keep on telling, what I have now was what I wished for when I was two years old. At two years old, my main mistake was, malay ko ba that you also had to wish for a good husband? Di ko lang na-wish ‘yon. Mali . Sorry.”

After the Joey Marquez and Mark Lapid episodes in her life, Kris Aquino is fine, thank you.

“I'm not bitter na” she smiles. “That's the main thing I can say. I'm not gonna say it's so okay because it's not naman super-perfect. But I'm happy now with what I have.”

To prove this one last point, she tells another story – about her best friend, singer Zsa Zsa Padilla, who went through birthday blues when she turned 40.

“She told me: ‘Ay, nako, Kris, one day I woke up and said” Whey do you keep focusing on what's not there rather than appreciate what is there? ‘So, ngayon talaga every time na magpi-feel-bad ako, sabi ko: ‘Focus on what's here, focus on what's here…'

“And then totoo, it makes you feel okay,” she says. “Saka ngayon, actress na ako, diba?”

Then she laughs.

And such life at the top. Oh, well, just a glimpse.

Just before this photo shoot, Kris attended Joshua's school program. That was at 7 a.m. and she had packed up from her taping of “Hiram” at 4 a.m. only three hours earlier!

“Kasi talagang he made sure na a-attend ako,” she giggles.

“Nanggising siya. ‘Mama wake up.' ‘Tapos, nagbukas na nang curtains. Kasi, I think it's really important for him to be able to show his classmates that his is my mom, diba? it's that factor talaga na showing off my mama. Kanina I was so proud kasi he was introducing me to all his classmates. Sabi niya, ‘Mama, ito si Kuya Kiko, ito si Kuya Hans…”

Kris, beaming, goes on: “His school is really good. Kasi now he's really conversant na.”

Joshua, 9, has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and goes to school that employs the Kumon method of teaching, which is said to be “tailored to suit each individual's needs and abilities.” - -


Kris Aquino had a live-in relationship with married actor Phillip Salvador (photo at left) with whom she has a son named Joshua.

She was married to Philippine Basketball Association professional player James Yap of the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. They had a civil marriage on July 10, 2005. The following year, she announced on The Buzz that she was pregnant. In April, 2007, Aquino gave birth to her first son by Yap in Makati City. Her son with Yap was named James "Bimby" Aquino Yap. In 2006, a former medical clinic receptionist stated that James Yap had an extra-marital affair with her.

Aquino suffered a miscarriage with collapsed gestational sac and blighted ovum on March 25, 2008, a day after she announced that her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer.

On June 27, 2010, Kris Aquino announced that she had separated from Yap, citing personal reasons and stated she is seeking an annulment of their marriage. Aquino and Yap vowed to become good friends after their annulment.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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