Heart Evangelista is at a major crossroads in her life.
With a single Instagram story in early September, she showed her vulnerability and welcomed it with open arms. Filled with a tide of emotion, the actress was seen shedding tears as a Bulgari necklace was placed around her neck for her cover shoot with L’Officiel Philippines.
The actress provided a glimpse into her life in an exclusive interview with L'Officiel PH's Fall cover story for September, titled The Next Chapter.
It was “Emerald Glory” from the luxury brand’s new collection Eden, The Garden of Wonders. The regal design, which took almost 3,000 hours to create, combines the captivating beauty of 11 pear-shaped emeralds from Colombia (42.02 carats) with white gold elements, each “individually molded to best frame the 73 pear-shaped brilliant-cut diamonds (110.39 carats) and exalt their exquisite radiance and delicate grace,” in the words of the Italian name.
Naysayers were quick to downplay the local star’s stirring minute. For someone who seems to have it all, it’s easy for detractors to see tearful sessions like this with a lack of depth. But Heart knows herself better than anyone else. Having been in the showbiz industry for over 24 years, she understood that this milestone—which came in the form of enchanting dazzle—signified something more.
“When you’re on a different stage such as that, it’s overwhelming. They made me wear iconic pieces that you can’t even touch because there’s security hovering about. You have to wait for the necklace to be available because everybody wants to wear it on that day, or there’s somebody that’s looking at it that wants to buy it,” she told the magazine.
“But when they actually gave time for you to wear it, it was a real princess moment. It may be a little pompous or shallow for some people, but for the career path that I chose, it’s quite overwhelming,” she added.
On welcoming change
Like her art, things have been in vivid hues for Heart, also known as Love Marie. She said it’s much like the song Last Train by The Midnight, which talks about how missing the train can yield significant shifts in one’s life and way of thinking.
Lately, her changes have been evident not just in her fashion choices that now go beyond her white aesthetic, but also in growth opportunities she says hello to with bravery and pure enthusiasm, nothing less.
She recently bared her plans of buying an apartment for herself in Paris to L'Officiel. Given that she keeps coming back to the City of Love for about ten years now, it’s a no-brainer why she has long referred to it as her “second home.”
She said, “I feel at home when I’m there. I think it has to do a lot with the city being a grand marriage of arts, fashion, and the old world. And I really connect with that a lot.” It gives her a feeling she never got in other places, she said. “There, you can leave me and I feel like I will survive. I’ll survive on croissants and berries, and flowers and painting.”
Change comes in a myriad of shapes and forms. More than fashion and having another home, it could involve being bolder when it comes to womanhood, too. Heart carried twins in 2018 but lost both of them some time after her pregnancy announcement.
It was “the most traumatizing feeling” for the multihyphenate. “I carried my twins four months after because my doctor wanted me to naturally go through the process. It was the most horrible feeling thinking maybe God can bring them back to me… or me thinking I am not a good person for this to happen,” she said in a social media comment in 2020. “Now me trying after a year or so is my choice but not having a baby as of the moment is God’s choice and I wouldn’t want to question that.”
Fast forward two years, she revealed to L’Officiel that she has undergone in-vitro fertilization, which turned out to be “one of the toughest, challenging times” of her life. Her body did not react well to the medicine she was injected with, making her suffer from its side effects even a few weeks later.
“With IVF, they inject you with fertility hormones. It was very difficult and painful. I had three injections a day over a two-week process. After harvesting and the processes that came after, they were able to gather the perfect boy and the perfect girl,” she told the magazine.
Her eye-opening experiences with her previous pregnancy and IVF procedure sparked a strong epiphany about entering motherhood. “It made me realize, am I ready for a child? So, I actually have a baby boy and a baby girl waiting for me, but I’m really at this stage in my life where (I ask myself), ‘Do I want a child because I want a child?’ or ‘Do I want a child because the environment or culture dictates that I should have a child?’”
Noting she’s not in a state of rebellion, Heart opened up about feeling brand new later on. “I feel that this alone is changing me as a person. I’m standing up for myself. It’s liberating to decide according to what I want and not what other people want. That has changed me dramatically.”
Above everything, the actress believes it’s important for women to have the freedom to choose their paths. “I think having a choice is good and I really suggest that women (pursue this option) because it buys them time. Any time they decide on having a child, the embryo is there. Whether you decide immediately or five years from now, there is no deadline. Also, the process is available in the Philippines and not just abroad.”
Is her husband, Senator Chiz Escudero okay with it all? Heart is well aware that marriage includes agreeing on the same things, no matter their impact. Thankfully, the love of her life has been supportive of her and her decisions despite their differences. “Chiz is a really good guy though we’re very different because he’s very conservative and I’m also a little bit more modern. Perhaps it’s because of our age gap. But what I like about him is he tries. He tries to be as supportive as he can be.”
While Heart considers herself as someone who is “very planned” with life, she sees no need for a checklist now in her pursuit of growth and betterment as a person. “I’m gonna enjoy my life and just go with the flow,” she shared.
“And if everything turns out to be great, which I’m sure it will—it may not make sense at this point—it’s still going to be a life well lived, I feel. Everything will fall into place,” Heart said without fear.