[PHOTO - SHARON CUNETA: They never let up on hurting my family]

MANILA, MARCH 22, 2012 (INQUIRER) By: Bayani San Diego Jr. - Although singer-actress Sharon Cuneta would rather not dwell on it, her rift with aunt Helen Gamboa has made the rounds in media and cyberspace and has become difficult to ignore.

In an exclusive interview with the Inquirer, Sharon described the tension, ongoing for years now, as “painful.”

She would rather not go into details, she said, since she is not inclined to discuss family problems in public—something she learned from her parents and, in fact, her Tita Helen (younger sister of her mom, Elaine).

But she did go as far as to say that it is disheartening, the way politics has driven a wedge between them.

Sharon, also known as “Mega” (for megastar), is married to Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan; Helen is married to Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.

For years, the two senators have been at loggerheads over so many issues—starting with the 2004 presidential elections and culminating in Tito’s failure to support Kiko’s 2010 bid for the Senate presidency.

Two years ago, Sharon and Helen stopped talking to each other, after yet another controversy involving their husbands. In televised and published reports, Tito had harsh words for Kiko, Sharon recounted.

One vote

“The reason we stopped talking was that they never let up on hurting my family,” Sharon said. “How can they say they love me, and yet not give my husband a chance? Tita Helen said that my Uncle Tito’s vote (in the Senate) did not matter. But that one vote would have meant the world to us.”

The incident surfaced again in a print interview that Helen gave last week, where she responded to Sharon saying in another interview: “Yes, politics does divide families, like when my uncle says something bad about Kiko…”

If she expressed dissatisfaction, Sharon said, she was just calling a spade a spade.

“It is not like it did not happen,” she said. “It was reported on television and in newspapers.” She found the situation “sad.”

Sharon lamented: “She is my aunt. She is among the people who taught me… not to wash dirty linen in public. This feud is old news. Now, I have to talk about it again because it has been turned into a spectacle. I am shocked and confused.”

She is also stunned that Helen said she had become “unreachable,” that she had changed because of “wealth and fame.”

Sharon quipped, laughing, “My weight may fluctuate, but I have not changed. What has changed has nothing to do with money. I have been doing well for so long in that department, long before this problem. I just… grew up.”

But she pointed out that she campaigned for Tito in 2010. “I am not asking for anything in return,” she said. “That is what family is about. Sometimes I feel that I am regarded as family only when it is convenient.”

Perhaps, she said, her aunt still saw her as the teenager who would invariably make the first move every time they had a misunderstanding, no matter who was in the right.


“I am no longer 12 years old. I am 46. I have my own life now. I have bigger problems to contend with,” Sharon said. Her priority is her mom, Elaine, her husband and her children, Sharon said. This makes Sharon not just a niece, but also a daughter, wife and mother.

“My heart broke when I saw my daughter Frankie cry over this problem [two years ago],” she said. “I cannot forget [that].”

Yet she considers this as another opportunity to learn and grow. “My eyes are wide open now,” she said. “As you grow older, you become bolder. I cannot just swallow my feelings every time something goes wrong.”


Sharon suspects bashers on Twitter are Piolo fans Posted at 03/21/2012 2:30 PM | Updated as of 03/21/2012 7:22 PM

[PHOTO - KC Concepcion and ex-boyfriend Piolo Pascual. File photo]

MANILA, Philippines – Actress Sharon Cuneta suspects that her bashers on the microblogging site Twitter are die-hard fans of actor Piolo Pascual.

After a Twitter follower suggested to Cuneta that her bashers could be fans of Pascual, the actress replied that she agreed with the comment.

“Kung hindi Kapamilya die-hard, maka-Piolo lang. Wala namang galit sa amin na ibang tao,” Cuneta said in her reply to her follower “Miles Away.”

Over the weekend, Cuneta had been very busy replying to her bashers’ tirades against her and eldest daughter KC Concepcion, Pascual’s ex-girlfriend.

Aside from the negative comments about Concepcion’s controversial break-up with Pascual, Cuneta was apparently ticked off by accusations that she and her daughter are “abortionists.”

“Akusahan kayo ng anak mong abortionista tapos huwag ko patulan? Ano hahayaan ko pang ikalat nila? Sobra mga ‘yan. Mga bastos at walang modo. Dudumi ng bibig at pagkatao. Gawain siguro nila,” an obviously incensed Cuneta tweeted.

‘Attacks’ since last year

In an interview in the April issue YES magazine, Concepcion admitted that there have been “attacks” from Pascual’s camp since her controversial interview with “The Buzz” last November where she confirmed their breakup.

The magazine said it interviewed Concepcion in February.

Concepcion cited Twitter messages daring her to admit that she was only using Pascual and that she was being ungrateful to her ex-boyfriend.

“Parang sabi kasi, ‘Sa lahat ng ‘binibigay sa ‘yo, parang ganyan ang gagawin mo?’” she told YES.

“Ginawa? Wala akong ginagawa. Parang gusto kong sabihin, ‘Wala akong ginagawa sa inyo, okay? Nananahimik lang ako.’ Sabi ko nga, ‘Kung alam n’yo lang kasi talaga, maiintindihan n’yo kung ba’t kinakailangan kong gawin ‘yon.”

Concepcion also hinted that her camp are not about to take the attacks sitting down.

“My camp never starts fights. They don’t start but, you know, hindi rin naman sila magpapaapi,” she told the magazine.

‘Tell the real story’

In her series of tweets, however, Cuneta appeared to be nearing her breaking point.

“Since you won't stop bashing me and my daughter and it's all the same to you -- maybe it's time I talk and tell the whole REAL story. Okay? Tutal pareho lang eh. Tahimik kami bash kayo ng bash. Eh di kami naman kaya!" she said, obviously addressing Pascual’s fans.

“KC never did anything to hurt him. He hurt her. And yes, we KNOW his fans are bashing her. We never start, we just react. Be careful. Nananahimik pa kami sa lagay na yan. Tama na kasi we should all just move on,” she said in another tweet.

In another tweet, referring to Pascual, Cuneta said: “He can't say anything about KC [because] he has nothing he can say. He's a ‘gentleman’ for his image, not necessarily [because] he doesn't want to hurt anybody. Let's be honest and fair here. If no one bashes us, we couldn't care less about his life [because] we've moved on. Kawawa naman ang anak ko. ‘Di nga nagsasalita si Piolo, but his army of bashers do all the dirty work for him. We're not bad people. But neither are we stupid."

An obviously exasperated Cuneta said she’s taking a break from Twitter.

In her last tweet on March 19, she said: “Kahit ano pa ang sabihin nilang mga masasama, pag namatay ako bukas, at least mamamatay akong alam kong may mga natulungan ako at nabagong buhay ng ni walang nakakaalam kung sino o gaano katagal na o ano man yun. Sila? Wala pang nagagawa sa sarili sa kapwa pa? Tapos bababuyin kami ng anak ko ng para kaming walang kwentang mga tao? Maawa naman sila sa amin.

“And I'm sorry. Hindi ako PLASTIC. Pag masaya ako masaya ako. Pag sinabi kong mahal ko mahal ko. Pag ayaw ko ayaw ko. At pag galit ako galit ako.

“Isang iyak lang ito. Hintayin nyo pagbawi ng strength ko at ganyan ako ever since. I love you Sharonians. Maraming salamat sa inyo,” she said.

Kiko’s defense

On Tuesday night, Cuneta’s husband, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, tweeted that his wife is okay.

“She will be fine. Underneath all that, she is one tough woman. Thanks for your concern,” Pangilinan told a follower.

The senator also gave his opinion on the issue of bashing on social media.

“Bashers have nothing better to do with their unaccomplished, meaningless lives. Best to ignore them. Ignoring them affirms their insignificance,” he said.

“What matters is the truth and not the lies from those who have nothing else better to do with their unaccomplished lives,” he added.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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