Heart Writes A Love Letter To Herself: 'Losing everything actually gives you a chance to hit the reset button'

On her 20th year in showbiz, Heart looks back on her past and all that she's learned.

Heart Evangelista has spent 20 years in the public eye. She was 14 when she first made her showbiz debut and has been one of the brightest stars in the industry ever since. In an exclusive interview with Cosmopolitan Philippines, the actress, artist, and Pond's ambassador wrote a love letter to herself and looked back on her past and all that she's learned: from what love really means, hitting rock bottom, losing her career, staying true to herself, and moving forward.

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Jico Joson
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Dear Heart,

This year marks your 20th year of being in showbiz, can you believe it? To say that you've been through a lot is an understatement. You've come a long way from being Missy, to VJ Heart, to your countless teleserye characters, to being a gown-wearing-grocery-shopper you are today. LOL! You're here, you're happy. You can confidently tell yourself that you've somehow made it.

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Remember when you were 21 and it seemed like the world was slowly crumbling down on you? It seemed to be the price you had to pay for a choice you made: picking love over your career. It was a bold move, and a lot of people didn't get you. No brand wanted to renew with you, and some people even went as far saying that you were "done." It was harsh. There was also that specific instance when you checked your ATM account and realized that you only had enough money in there to keep your savings alive. All your jewelry was confiscated. You were sure it was because your mom was teaching you a lesson, so that maybe, soon enough, you'd go back to her.

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You've learned that losing everything actually gives you a chance to hit the reset button, realign, and learn how to love yourself.

Jico Joson

But while it seemed to some that you were drowning in problems, what they didn't know was that you were actually happy and content. It was a chapter in your life that you don't mind looking back on and replaying from time to time. You wouldn't be where you are now if you hadn't gone through all of that. You've learned that losing everything actually gives you a chance to hit the reset button, realign, and learn how to love yourself.

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At 25, you found yourself again at a crossroads. You were all over the place, just trying your hardest to find who you really are. It felt like every step you took had to be calculated, because it would dictate your future—this was your quarter-life crisis. It was at this time when you asked yourself what you wanted to do: A) Take a step back and go back to your past where it is comfortable, or B) Take a leap forward and see what's in store for you.

You chose to move forward, and you're so glad that you did because you soon realized that while it felt like you already had the best of what life had to offer, there was apparently something bigger and greater waiting for you. You only had to take the risk to see for yourself.

You love yourself more now, and everything that life hurled at you now makes sense. Life will not let you down, Heart.

Jico Joson
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I'm proud of you for not being afraid of losing everything to be who you are. I'm proud of you for realizing that you didn't want people to only love you as the characters you play on TV, but as just Heart as well. You will always be the kikay but super chill VJ Heart. Not everyone will understand you, but that is completely okay. Never forget what Tita Miriam Defensor-Santiago once told you: "Tough times don't reveal real friends, because everyone will want to be with you. It's when you're successful that you realize who are real, because it gets lonely."

Take care of your family. They're far from perfect, but as they say, blood really is thicker than water, and their love will always be something special. Dad, your stronghold, your number one fan, the man who taught you how to always look your best. Mom, who taught you endurance and how to stand tall even when faced with the biggest problems. Your sisters, who are your anchors, who will always remind you of your childhood—when things were uncomplicated and you were free to dream. Through all the rough patches you'll go through, they'll always be there, ready to help you.

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God and the universe let those things happen because something greater was coming. You'll be fine.

Jico Joson

Never stop creating art. I'm glad you rediscovered painting during a dark time in your life. Chiz pushed you to paint again, even while you were in pain. And it was in taking time to create art again that you found solace. Chiz is your best friend and your biggest supporter. You found a man who doesn't hold you back—he supports you and allows you to fly and experience the world. His love for you made you bloom.

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You're 34 now and you're truly happy and content. You're not afraid to grow old. When you were younger, growing old seemed like such a terrible concept, because at that time, problems just seemed to keep coming in never-ending waves. Most days, it felt like you were drowning in them and that there was no hope to be rescued. But all that was wrong. You love yourself more now, and everything that life hurled at you now makes sense. Life will not let you down, Heart. You can question God and the universe why you had to go through things, but think of it this way: God and the universe let those things happen because something greater was coming. You'll be fine.

Jico Joson
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I hope you never stop loving to love. That's who you are. You exist because of love—it's what keeps you going! It's love that helped you face everything that's been thrown your way; that's helped you pick yourself up after hitting rock bottom. You've learned that love comes in many, many forms. It comes in relationships (even those that don't work out), in friends who never ask for anything in return, in your imperfect family who will always be there for you, and even in Panda, who just seems to understand you better than other people, haha.

You used to have a blueprint of what your life should be. There was a plan that you wanted to follow so badly. But now, you're free to live your life as you please. No need for strict planning—just live and love.

Love,

Love Marie

Jico Joson
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PRODUCED BY: Jacinda A. Lopez

CO-PRODUCED BY: Lily Tabanera

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART DIRECTION: Jico Joson

ART DIRECTION ASSISTED BY: Mixi Ignacio

SHOOT COORDINATOR: Lou Ferrer

SOCIAL MEDIA: Andie Estella

SITTINGS EDITOR: Retty Contreras

HAIR: Jeck Aguilar

MAKEUP: Memay Francisco

STYLING: John Karunungan

SET STYLING: Dagny Madamba

On Heart:

  • Layout 1: Top: Zimmerman, Pants: Zara, Shoes: Tony Bianco
  • Layout 2: Dress: Zimmerman from DistinqtPH
  • Layout 3: Top: Zara, Dress: Yves Camingue, Skirt: Elisabetta Franchi, Shoes: Christian Louboutin
  • Layout 4: Jacket: Elisabetta Franchi, Dress: Dennis Lustico, Shoes: Rene Caovilla

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