Over the course of her 20-year tenure in the industry, Heart Evangelista-Escudero has managed to not only stay relevant, but she has also successfully been able to seek out and create opportunities for herself beyond the limits of the TV and movie spotlights.
High-shine metallic dress with slit by MARK BUMGARNER
Fresh from her 7th solo exhibit as the full-fledged artist Love Marie, there is a sense of glow and contentment to her as our conversation danced in the lowlight of the hotel room lounge we were billeted at that day. However, as successful and thriving as her art career is, it comes as a surprise that not only does she still get nervous before every showing, but that she also was almost too scared to even show the world the incredible gift and passion she has kept tucked within her since childhood. “I love being an artista, but sometimes when you’re doing something for so long, you kind of fall out of love,” she explains. “So, it saved me and made me do something, and in a way, kind of took me out of the artista box.
Since then, she has exhibited in Singapore and Hawaii, trickling down her art to custom-made gowns and of course, Birkins. “I get nervous with Birkins, because you cannot take it back. And I don’t plan to pay the person back with how much I damaged her bag,” she says with laugh. “That always gets me, so I always say a short prayer before I paint, because I don’t want to make a mistake.”
Metallic halter dress by YEYE PANTALEON
People think they know who Heart Evangelista Escudero is. Sure, lengthy and in-depth narratives have been written about her time and time again, snippets of her are flashed on television and she is regularly seen draped and dripping in the finest of fashion, but there is more to her than the surface level. The woman of grace, poise and elegance has been broken down and hankered by life’s many curveballs and dizzying turns one too many times, and yet she has the humility to admit that she had to go through all this to transcend what she was initially accustomed to, becoming an even better person in the process. “I didn’t know anything, I felt like I needed to do things on my own—to really have a hard time, I needed to panic, I needed to break. Going through all that for me to be really transformed as a woman,” she relates. “Now, no one can screw me over and I know how to do things on my own.”
“I’ve gotten my heart broken so many times in showbiz and I felt that I couldn’t do it anymore,” she confirms. “There’s more to life than taping, that’s why I decided to do other things. I mean, I’ve gone through all the ups and downs, and you know, that’s why I needed to do something else. I needed to hold on to something that wouldn’t break my heart.” When this realization started to take root and germinate in her system, it all became clear to her that she was meant to do greater things with the opportune situation she was in. “As artistas, we’re given a certain platform to influence and inspire people. Not a lot of people get that opportunity, so it’s always important to innovate, make yourself better because you inspire people. God didn’t put you here just to be pretty. We all have a role to play in this world to actually make a difference and relate to people,” she explains.
Without so much as an inflection of self-appointed hubris, Heart Evangelista-Escudero is a realization of a woman who has painted herself on her own time and terms to what she is ultimately today—a woman of grace, power and unmatched influence and inspiration. Definitely more than what she is assumed or presumably judged to be.
“As a woman today, I feel so good. 7 or 8 years ago, when I was faced with something troublesome or scary, I would just sit there and cry. I wouldn’t have been able to stand up for myself and say something. But now I can. Now I’m not afraid,” she mulls. “Like, I know my worth and I‘m willing to take a hit. But, if I know if it’s not good for me then it isn’t. I’m just not going to sacrifice my life because I can’t say no. I love that feeling, I love being able to be assertive.” A clear indication of where she stands and where she intends to take the rest of her life, Heart is totally in control now.
With a clutch and home line in the foreseeable future, we will still be a lot more of the woman of influence. “And I’m not even a mom yet,” she teases. Taking her up on her cue, we ask her if she’s ready to take on this life-changing role? “Yes, I think I’m ready,” she beams.
“No, wait. I’m ready. It’s time.”