"Kris, on the other hand, speaks the social media lingua franca more fluently and more naturally than any other celebrity we have, and understands that the currency here is she, herself, and her. You barely see the product, even: you see the quotes, the cheesy bits, the banter with RB and Jack and perhaps even Bincai. You cannot divorce the product from the daily experiences of Kris as the guardian of her household: “This is Josh’s fave,” or “I got this for Bimb.” Like her showbiz career, the Kris Aquino experience on digital is to peek into KCA’s life behind the scenes and see how much of it is driven by excitement, passion, and the occasional maldita-ness that comes from the highs of privilege, and the lows of public scrutiny. A notebook isn’t just a notebook: It’s Kris’s favorite. Papercraft isn’t just a hobby: It’s something Ballsy may like, but not her."
That is a direct quote from the essay written about me by Marck Ronald Rimorin (link at the end of this note). To be called a “social media marketing genius” sure woke me up from my cough medicine haze.
His research was thorough & his insights coming from his subject was spot on.
But I now will reveal more aspects of my life that i’m finally comfortable discussing about.
Marck - may I address you with your first name? You said this:
"Sometimes fortune—good, honest-to-goodness luck—has a lot to do with it. To make sense of Kris’s marketing savvy, we may have to taking her entire work—warts and all—as the basis for all this success. It’s that whole that sells, not the parts: her frailty as a human being, her desire to be the best mother to her kids, her earnestness to succeed despite (not) having a network. Heck, even the last name that has been both blessing and a curse." - apologies I feel the creatives may have forgotten the NOT.
Yes- I am the sum total of more than 30 years of working on TV & the movies. And everything that used to be seen as a “minus”- my open life book, my failed relationships, and the ever changing political winds have given me something that others have never needed to survive. I had to live through the lowest lows but I also experienced the highest highs.
I am a mom’s girl- but there was a time between 2002 & 2003 when Game KNB was at its peak and my wrong decision to fall in love with a separated but as yet un-annulled man really pushed her to the brink- her words made sense then BUT only resonated when I went through my very public annulment with Bimb’s father. My Mom said: "Kristina, stop testing the reservoir of goodwill from the people. At some point you will cross the line & never be forgivable. You asked for this stardom since you were 13 years old- why are you so ready to throw it away? You will only last based on the goodwill & positive perception of the people on you."
On hindsight- I know now why I jumped at the opportunity to marry Bimb’s dad- because I wanted to erase my inner perception that I was damaged goods. But again- this time my sisters were so astute- I was 34 then & he was 23. He was the present embodiment of my first love who never ended up with me, and obviously we all know how that marriage ended.
Marck, and to all of you- the attempt to have a venue for my voice, my creativity was social media because it was my Hail Mary Pass- in other words- BAHALA NA, this was my last shot & if I went down- I went down without giving up.
Which again brings me back to my Mom. Marck I’m again quoting your observation:
"The mother of two who puts so much value on family, her extended family, and everyone else to the point of her losing out—on so many occasions—on what we think to be her own personal joys."
Everything here is correct, except i’m not losing out on my “personal joys”- because my SONS are my completeness. Our Mom never showed us she felt her life lacked for anything, and i’m seeing so much of her in me (except because she’s from a very well off family- she had never been into any branded things. She didn’t like jewelry, no fancy clothes- but she did love Japan and also HawaiI just like me. And going supermarket shopping was her relaxation. ) I am sure you observed from the videos- maluho ako... But I work extremely hard, and in many ways- i’m sure a lot will laugh at this- my mom acknowledged that because of the circumstances of my childhood- I qualify as being self-made because I paid for my entire college education and handled my finances from 15 years old onwards (of course with the help of a team of accountants) because my Mom was so strict in following rules regarding being president that she didn’t want any part in the negotiations for my contracts and in the handling of the money I earned... FACT: I was formally emancipated when I was 15 years old so that no income I received would be under my Mom and to avoid any semblance of her exerting efforts on my behalf.
May I add- Marck, since 2004 my face & my voice have been constants in selling and endorsing products. Because we are such a youthful population- the millennials who are online, and their moms, sometimes their dads as well have gotten so used to me being with products and yes- you hit the nail on the head- doing digital infomercials... But, I am grateful the brands i’m with now just give a few mandatories & just let me be me... And we try our best to have a 2:1 ratio, meaning 2 non branded posts for every 1 branded webisode.
To end this, may I use some Albert Einstein quotes I happened to come across on Pinterest? But because my KCAP online team researched, they realized only 1 is truly attributable to Albert Einstein.
I know there are rules, I broke enough of them & paid the consequences. But I also know I cannot expect something from nothing. So you mentioned: the last name that has been both blessing and a curse- may I briefly expound on this? In public life- it hasn’t been a curse because I have always come armed with the lesson again from my Mom that I will always be expected to give more and do more if only to prove to the world and more importantly to myself that all I have is a product of my hard work. It is only a curse for my sisters who didn’t choose politics or entertainment yet because of their parents and siblings have to read the same lies, fake news, and rewriting of history in order to smear our name. This may sound callous but i’ve always known those million peso paychecks come with the implicit understanding that I must endure the harshest words and the bullying in the digital age. My brother fulfilled his political dreams, and I continue to do the job that allows me to just be me- it is not how the world should be when DNA determines that our siblings must also suffer when they deserve privacy.
I know I am polarizing but this transition has been possible because love me or hate me- you do know it runs contrary to my natural self to not be authentic and true. That is why for so long so many referred to me as being tactless, when in actuality I simply stated truths from my point of view. And when I read the contents of blogs now and the harsh words and cursing on twitter, and the FB rants- the omg gasps I elicited from 15 years ago really seem utterly church and classroom worthy in their lack of mean-spiritedness. And in a world where the “truth” can still be so conveniently distorted- i’ve managed to maintain the what you see is what you get persona (although with good hair, makeup, wardrobe, and lighting)...
Is this a total oxymoron? I’ve actually stayed me but we adapted to the demands of new media, meaning quicker editing, maximum of 15 minute webisodes, more personal anecdotes (this was considered pure narcissism on free tv), and targeting specific markets rather than trying to get everyone watching (again on free tv you wanted to cut across all demographics)... what has really changed is that everyone working with me is young, most are in their mid 20s, only 3 are in their mid to late 30s- but I insisted that my lighting and directing of the branded webisodes had to be helmed by TVC veterans because only true on the ground experience will teach you how things get done in real world scenarios... I learned how to combine the millennials with the Gen Xers and a few from the hippie era. It’s a perfect blending.
None of this would have happened without the correct timing, and all of that I attribute to absolutely surrendering to God’s plan for my life. Thank you for recognizing me- but really this “marketing genius” was just blessed to have been given a new opportunity with a team that reinvigorated my hunger and removed the blinders from my inborn eye of the tiger.
In conclusion, we lead by example. You already know I have an obsession with subject verb agreement and my KCAP staff have gotten reprimanded for pleasing some brands to the detriment of other brands- I have an encyclopedic memory when it comes to my taglines & product highlights- so they now do a great job in really double checking everything before we upload. As I said my Mom raised me not just to be a survivor BUT to be a winner. And guess what- that’s never handed to you nor can you just grab it. Winning is a series of small, day-to-day victories that you nurture and cultivate.
Link to “An Appreciation of the Subtle Genius of Kris Aquino, Once and Future Queen of All Media”article: https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/notes-and-essays/kris-aquino-as-social-media-marketing-genius-a1966-20180202-lfrm2?ref=article_featured