​​Heart Evangelista: Beyond fashion-forward

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Her name is synonymous with beauty, elegance, and the limelight. 

Heart Evangelista—or Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero in real life—started her career in showbiz at 13, as a commercial model and as the kikay character Missy in ABS-CBN’s youth-oriented show G-mik

Since then, the actress has bagged several acting awards, attended the biggest fashion shows, and graced local and international magazines as a fashion icon, visual media artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.

But despite slaying major #feedgoals with her Diors, Chanels, and Hermès on her 8.9 million-strong Instagram account, Heart remains smart about her money. 

“Aside from wanting to live a really good lifestyle, we also want to be smart about our money,” Heart said. “We are all [working hard], we all have to pay our bills. I am just so for being smart about your purchases and really [making] sure that everything is quality.”

This money-smart mindset, combined with her elegant fashion sense, has made Heart the ideal brand ambassador of local brand XTREME Appliances.

Since its debut in 2016, XTREME Appliances has been known for providing affordable home and commercial appliances to the evolving demands of the market. This year, the company is elevating its game by introducing Heart as its ambassadress who truly embodies the modern Filipino lifestyle.

“I am so excited with my endorsement with XTREME Appliances. It is such a good collaboration because, you know, I am in the stage of my life where I like to invest and flip places that I invest in,” the actress remarked during her endorsement shoot.

“you need quality and you also want to make sure that it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.”

Despite growing up in a well-off family, Heart has always been mindful of where she puts her money. 

In an interview with Dr. Aivee Teo last February, Heart said that she had to take on difficult projects, particularly ABS-CBN’s 2007 telenovela Hiram na Mukha, just to make ends meet.

“Grabe ‘yan, tinawagan ko manager ko, ‘I can’t do this anymore’ because I had to keep the prosthetics until 3 a.m. until the next day, and the hole of my nose is on top,” Heart recalled.

“And I had to do this because I had no money at that time. It was super torture,” she said. “That was when I left my parents. It was my first time around so I had to start from scratch. Change lifestyle din ako.”

There even came a time when she barely had anything in her ATM account. And because she couldn’t even afford a meal, her assistant treated her to dinner. “Ate Resty treated me in a restaurant because I had no money… From all the comfort to nothing,” the actress recounted.

Heart has clearly come a long way since then. People now look up to her as one of the most influential Pinoy celebrities, who gets to strut out her jet-setting lifestyle in New York, Paris, Milan, Japan, and Singapore.

She has also become the first lady of Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who she married in Balesin back in 2015.

Despite all of these, Heart stays practical when it comes to purchasing appliances for their house. She considers quality as the key factor in her buying decision. 

“If it will save you electricity or make my bills lower—I think that is what everybody is afraid of, especially because lahat ng tao nasa bahay lang ngayon, and you wanna make sure kumportable lahat,” she said in her interview with XTREME Appliances. “Of course, aside from that, I want products that will last for a very long time.”

“You know, at the end of the day, you need quality and you also want to make sure that it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg,” she said. “[XTREME Appliances] are pasok sa budget and at the same time, it’s classy, luxe, and beautiful.”

Heart has always manifested her bold spirit and unyielding passion for everything that comes her way. It is with the same never-say-die attitude that the ultimate style icon was able to explore the extremes and overcome the obstacles of her 23 year-long showbiz career. 

Today, Heart is still out to reach even greater heights. And she wishes for today’s young adults to do the same while keeping a hopeful outlook in life. 

“The greatest lesson is for you to not question everything that is happening in your life. It is all for good reason,” she said.


”Struggles are really [necessary] in life for you to be able to work harder,” Heart continued. “It is normal to feel anxiety or feel depressed, or to be discouraged—[these are] actually part of the plan. You really have to feel that way so you can actually get over it and go ahead and reach your dreams.”

“I’ve never really had it perfect. I always had a hard time with a lot of things. I mean, not a lot of people know my struggles in life,” Heart added. “And I feel I am more appreciative and grounded because of my hardships and the many mountains I had to cross to be where I am.”

Photos courtesy of XTREME Appliances
This story was originally published in Speed Magazine’s September-October 2021 issue.

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