• What Does It Mean to Be an Empowered Woman? Ask Kris Aquino

    No matter what you may think of her, you can't deny Kris is a survivor.
    by Arnel Ramos .
  • Love her or hate her, Kris Aquino cannot be ignored. 

    As part of its National Women’s Month campaign, detergent powder brand Ariel released a video featuring Kris, walking tall among a bevy of women. In the said video, mud is slung at her one after the other, staining her immaculately white dress while the former TV host recites the various challenges she has had to face as a public figure, a mother, and a woman. 

    Kris starring in this video makes sense. The woman had had her fair share of bashing even before the word became the term that referred to abusive verbal attacks on social media. (Just recently she revealed her family has had to endure bullying because of Joshua's autism. Read more here.)

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    No matter what you may think of her, you can't deny Kris is a survivor.

    Kris has always been always faulted for being "different" or not behaving the way that befits her role as the youngest daughter of Pinoy martyr Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. and the first woman President of the Philippines, Corazon “Cory” Aquino. While she was naturally precocious as a pre-teener, she never hid the fact that she was an avowed fan of Philippine showbiz. She once professed on national television that she had seen Sharon Cuneta’s “Dear Heart” multiple times. 

    The affair with actor Phillip Salvador, many years her senior, which produced a son, Joshua, caused a scandal, and for a time, created a gap between Kris and her family. But Kris soon reconciled with President Cory and her siblings, among them Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who got elected as president following Cory’s death in 2009. 

    In 2003, television viewers dropped whatever it was they were doing to watch the controversial star reveal that she was involved with a married man, comedian Joey Marquez. The romance ended on a sour note, which prompted Kris to make a public confession, tear-stained and without a trace of makeup at all.

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    In 2005, everything was rosy for Kris, topped by news of her civil wedding to top PBA cager James Yap. The union produced a son, James Carlos Aquino-Yap nicknamed Bimby. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. 

    While her personal life became a constant fodder for gossip, Kris has managed to rise above every fiasco and keep a lucrative career. The naturally loquacious Kris reinvented herself as a TV talk show and game show host.
    Occasionally, she would co-produce and star in her movies, most of which went on to become huge blockbusters like Segunda Mano, Sukob, and Feng Shui.

    In the October 2008 issue of Yes! magazine, she was voted as number one on the list of top celebrity endorsers. Kris would soon be bestowed with a title all her own, the "Queen of All Media."

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    After leaving ABS-CBN, her home network for 20 years, in 2016, everyone was writing her off again. In an October 2017 story on Pep.ph, Kris admitted to going through depression over lack of exposure. That time, she has been absent on TV screens for almost a year, an eternity for stars. Kris took to Instagram to reveal that, “there was a period when I was depressed and scared that all doors were closing. My sisters were worried because I wasn’t me. I shut down, kept to myself, and because I didn’t want to burden them with my insecurities.”

    But you have to hand it to this woman of extraordinary strength and resilience to make a grand comeback. With help from her hardworking team, Kris started producing vlogs on her website. She is, to date, one of the most followed celebrities across all social media platforms. Her Instagram page alone @krisaquino has 3.4 million followers.

    Kris, one of the most hardworking stars out there, juggling her many roles as entrepreneur, digital queen, and devoted mother to her two sons, knows who she is and she takes responsibility for her life. She knows what she wants, she isn't afraid to get it, and we certainly know she is fearless when she speaks her mind. Now that's an empowered woman.

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