PHILIPPINE TV’s Sweetheart Heart Evangelista-Escudero remains a loyal Kapuso as she renewed last September 19 her exclusive contract with GMA Network, Inc.
Present in the contract signing were GMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, GMA President and Chief Operating Officer Gilberto R. Duavit Jr., GMA Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Felipe S. Yalong, GMA Entertainment TV's Senior Vice President Lilybeth G. Rasonable, GMA Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi Santiago-Lara, Senior Program Manager for ETV Charles Koo and Heart's manager Arnold Mendoza.
Heart is very happy to renew her ties with the Kapuso Network. “To GMA, thank you so much. You gave me a second chance in everything. When I started with them, sobrang hirap ng mga pinagdaanan ko and binigyan nila ako ng pagkakataon. I really became the person I never thought I would be with their help,” she said.
Heart considers being a Kapuso the turning point of her career. “GMA really was a huge help for me. I don’t know what would have happened to me if I didn’t move [to GMA]. It was a good decision,” Heart said.
Heart recently headlined the top-rating primetime series Juan Happy Love Story with Dennis Trillo. Doing the series, she said, reignited her passion and enthusiasm in her craft. “After Juan Happy Love Story, sobrang na in love ako ulit sa ginagawa ko, na-excite ako. Sobrang na-enjoy ko yung soap kasi very refreshing siya,” she explained.
Duavit has nothing but praises for Heart and he is very grateful with the actress’ renewal of contract, “We are proud to have Heart as a Kapuso talent and nagpapasalamat tayo sa patuloy niyang pagtitiwala sa GMA at sa patuloy niyang pagiging Kapuso. Heart is a versatile and professional artist, hindi lamang sa kanyang mga pagganap kundi maski sa kanyang pagpinta. Malaki ang nadadala niyang karangalan sa atin. So we’re very happy and proud,” said Duavit.
Rasonable said the Network will continue to provide quality projects for Heart since she is one of the Network’s versatile artists. “We’re very happy with the turnout of Juan Happy Love Story kasi we’ve seen Heart as the dramatic actress. Dito sa soap na ito, pinakita natin na kaya pala niyang maging light at magpatawa. And 'yung chemistry nila ni Dennis Trillo is undeniable. Ang daming natuwa at tayo rin ay natuwa. It’s just exciting for us that we saw a different side of her so it opens a lot of possibilities for the writers. Hopefully she does something different, not necessarily drama. So we’re expecting na mas marami pang project na ganun para mas maipakita pa natin ang range ni Heart,” Rasonable said.
Meanwhile, having a baby seems to be not in her and husband Sen. Francis 'Chiz' Escudero's priority. Both are so busy with respective jobs, and Heart admits they hardly see each other at home. Or, if at all, the bed is shared for the sole purpose of rest. "Hindi naman," says Heart with a laugh. "Hindi pa lang siguro panahon. But I am ready naman anytime the baby comes."
What isn't ready is a name for the baby. "Wala pa, wala pa," she relates.
What Heart is more focused on now is the new house she is building, where she plans to transfer this year or early next year. "Ang hirap ng finishing touches," she admits. "Mas magastos kaysa sa actual na pagbi-build ng house. I'm so hands on kahit sa maliliit na details."
But she admits the house is built sans a plan for an additional member of the family once it grows. "May room naman for a new baby, pero kung magkakaroon pa ng another, we have to add a new room," she says.
Meanwhile, SVP Rasonable says they have no definite plan for a show Heart would do in the immediate future. "Gusto namin, medyo lighter than what she usually does," she relates. "Baka comedy, or something na hindi heavy drama. 'Yung pwede rin niyang i-enjoy."
Heart, for her part, truly enjoys her life now. Husband Chiz has allowed her to travel abroad without him. "Pinayagan niya akong pumunta ng Paris na wala siya," she relates. "Isang kapatid ko lang ang kasama ko, for security reasons. He just wants me to enjoy life."
The freedom, first from her protective parents, and now, from her loving husband is something she has never had when she was younger. "But I'm not abusing it, for the record," she ends with a guffaw.