Kris Aquino: the Philippine National Empath

kris aquino

Philippine National Empath

Did Star Trek run in the Philippines? Are there any trekkies hereabouts?

Star Trek was a highly popular television series in the US, with the original weekly series running from 1966 through 1968. It spawned four follow-up television series and 12 popular movies, from Star Trek: the Movie (1979) through Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013).

The main character in the original series was Captain James Kirk played by William Shatner. Other characters were the emotionless, ever rational Spock from the planet Vulcan, the doctor “Bones” McCoy, the engineer “Scottie” Scott , and several others who appeared regularly. The follow-up series Next Generation starred noted British actor Sir Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. That series introduced an unusual character, half-Betazoid, half-Human, an “empath” named Deanna Troi.

Deanna Troi had all the emotional attachments that Spock could never find. She was immediately empathetic to other people, able to sense their emotions. No . . . more than just sense. She FELT them, their pains, their happinesses, their deceits. She endured accumulations of pains and joys that we can’t imagine, and was instrumental in helping Captain Picard understand what he was dealing with when facing off against other species.


Star Trek Empath

I believe Kris Aquino is an empath, of the human kind. Very much so, and it is us whom she helps by enduring and translating pains and joys that we can’t even imagine. That indeed is why she is so successful. She “relates” to people. I was struck by this discovery as I watched her crying in response to President Aquino’s heartfelt reflections about their parents at the President’s 2014 State of the Union Address.

Let me step away from this finding and recount a little personal history.

As I roam the discussion threads, I read a lot of childish insults directed at Kris and also serious questions about her “morality”. On several instance when I have been busy offering perspectives on her brother, the statement is fired at me something like,

“Yeah, some morality Kris Aquino represents!”

And I go deeply puzzled because, in the way of cheap shot artists, they seldom explain what they are talking about, only slap out a statement that they think makes a point that I am supposed to be able to understand or else categorize myself as an idiot.

Franky, I don’t know what they are talking about, or how in the world they know anything at all about Kris Aquino’s “morality”.

Are they ardent Catholics who don’t like that she gets out of marriages that are dysfunctional? Even though psychologists would say getting out might be the healthiest thing to do? They don’t like that she lives her life on television? That she has dates and fights with her ex-husband, and is a single working mother, raising a family?

She should have the same morality THEY do? Do they expect me to join them in their idea of what is moral, too? Me, a guy married several times, former hippy and pot smoker, lover of jazz and black culture and guitar, belonging to no organized church, wanderer of the globe and with an unrestrained fictional mind that once penned a 14 page poem about a sexually charged preacher and a buxom maid.

Ach, moralists are too often totalitarians. They are a hair’s breadth away from being like Muslim extremists, forcing everyone else into their wee little box of what is right or wrong at risk of losing a head. They have an uptight, anal retentive definition of what is allowed and what is not.

I prefer a morality of compassion . . . and understanding that we all come through life on a different path.

Kris Aquino lives her life on television, weeping today, bubbly tomorrow, in love now, pragmatic then, critical here and supportive there. She is, what, supposed to be a monotone entertainer? A drab, unexpressive, dull-witted slug of no inspiration whatsoever?

She’s an EMPATH for goodness sake. It is rare. It is precious.

Do people think she is greedy because every time she turns around, another food or cosmetics company wants her to represent their product? Because she comes across as GENUINE? They don’t like THAT morality? Genuine?

To tell you the truth, I have no idea what Kris Aquino’s “morality” is. Does she go to church, pray, do family things, help people out, give to charity, lie, cheat, steal? Smoke dope? Well, I doubt it. But I don’t know. Only a few people do.

I know she connects with other people, and for the business she is in, that is called “credentials”, or “skill” or “talent”. She relates to people. She does it both intellectually and emotionally.

I like that she was kind enough to send me an e-mail to tell me that she had read one of my blogs to the President, and he laughed. Here’s the 2012 blog: “A First Class Philippines: President Benigno S Aquino III“. He was a little put out that I said he acted like a cad by criticizing media at the ABS-CBN birthday party. Evidently Kris had told him the same thing.

You see, that’s another thing.

She stands beside her brother in ways that no one else can. I’d imagine she is a pillar of strength for the President. Keeping him on his toes, giving him sisterly counsel, serving as first lady when visiting guests bring their wives.

Do you realize how alone the President is in the job that we thrust upon him?

His parents are gone. He can’t have dating relationships because the public rides him mercilessly if he is even seen with a woman. The nasties are forever coming out of the woodwork with inventive, insulting names for Mr. Aquino. As if insulting the President of your nation is really clever.

He gets criticized by the leftists, the crooks, the political opposition, the press . . . everyone wants a piece of the President.

Is there any wonder he is loyal to the people who are loyal to him?

You try walking in those shoes, those very important shoes, in everyone’s critical spotlight. Day in, day out.

Well, thank God . . . or whomever your morality allows you to thank . . .

The President is incredibly strong.

And Kris is there.

The Philippine National Empath is there, very much aware of the burdens her brother carries.

And she helps lift them.

I’m curious. I am most curious about one thing.

Are you a part of the load? Or a part of the lifting?


45 Responses to “Kris Aquino: the Philippine National Empath”
  1. manuel buencamino says:

    Among the effete so-called thinking class, Kris-bashing is seen as a sign of sophistication and intelligence. I’m glad you spoke up for her. It’s about time somebody did.

    Kris has connected with people ever since she was 6 years old and campaigning for her imprisoned father who was a candidate for a seat in the 1978 parliament. She feels them, they feel her. No other person in the business can match her popularity and the longevity of her career, her dominance in the profession. People either love her or hate her but obviously an overwhelming number of people love and admire her.

    National empath is the perfect description for her.

    • Joe America says:

      The ease of criticism makes me think about how easily I criticize some people. Take the case of my last blog about Nancy Binay. Is it true that I am criticizing all who voted for her, and are Kris’ critics criticizing those who like her? Hmmm, perhaps. It is like we are criticizing their taste or judgment, rather like saying we don’t like the clothes they picked or style of hair. The distinction is that we can extract a television performer from our lives by changing channels. But a Senator never goes away. 🙂

      • vernon says:

        Kris has a heightened ability to sense. She knows that and uses that well regardless of some missteps in her personal life. This could be a trait inherited from her late senator dad, Ninoy.

        Nancy Binay, on the other hand, is a walking house with an empty attic. I would not use the word dense. Might be inappropriate. But then again……………..

        Again, another nice piece, Joe.


  2. chit navarro says:

    “Empaths are people who don’t “read” the future, or predict it they “read” people, and their energy although sometimes it depends on the person being read, too. They’re often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer.

    They are the psychic sponges of the world, soaking up all the psychic and emotional static that other people give off. Being an Empath is one of the most common and most challenging of all the psychic gifts.” – from the Empath Guide

    When you posted that you will be writing about Kris Aquino as the National Empath, I was intrigued by the word as it was my first time to read it as referring to a person. I know empathy so I presumed it would be something related to this. But today, I googled the word first before I read your article. And yes, indeed, you are very right! This must be Kris’s greatest gift – the ability to read people and their energy; her psychic ability to relate to people. When she interviews her guests, she does it in a spontaneous manner, well, there maybe talking points presented to her but her follow-up questions to the interviewee’s replies are not scripted at all.

    As to her morality and to the people talking about it? Kris should be applauded for her strength in facing all her personal problems… another person in her shoes would have faded a long time ago but she has managed to be always on top. Perhaps it’s her transparency that endears her to her audience; sincere and strong and resilient and honest, to the point that she comes out too honest for comfort….:)

    Some replies I read to her morality issue: 1) Well, at least she pays the correct taxes and contribute greatly to our economy. 2) She earns her own money. 3) She is not hypocrite… she accepts her mistakes and face these head-on.

    Another Aquino with an open heart to serve the Filipino people.

  3. cha says:

    Kris Aquino was barely in her teens when her father was taken away from her by an assassin. Shortly thereafter, her mother was taken away from her, so to speak, by the Filipino people who at first needed her to lead them in the fight for justice against a murderous regime and then eventually to hold their hand as they took their first steps treading down the path of a newly found democratic space.

    That is how I see Kris Aquino, as a young adolescent who probably learned to fend for herself at a time when she most needed the reassuring presence of one parent to see her through the loss of another. It was also a time, when any young girl at that age would have needed the steady guiding hand of a mother to help her navigate the messy often angst ridden stage that should prepare one to face the challenges of adulthood more competently. I know this because I was a young girl once who had a mother that claimed to have eyes at the back of her head and who was there to nag, cajole, reason with me day in day out, to make the right choices in my then young life. And I know this because I have also become a mother myself to a young girl who also needed to be nagged, cajoled and reasoned with to hopefully mature into a confident, levelheaded, and upright adult. That’s really all a mother could hope for. All that Cory Aquino too,would have hoped for, for her own Kris.

    But my mom and I, we both didn’t have to carry the weight of a whole country while doing what we had to do for our young girls at that age.

    Maybe that’s something her bashers, especially the mothers among them, ought to think about. Instead of attacking her for whatever wrong choices she has made and continue to make in her life, I suggest they turn their attention to their own young children and give them a hug, tell them they are loved and that they will be alright. If their offsprings are all grown up, then offer a prayer in their behalf, that life treats them kindly and that they in turn live a life of kindness and generosity.

    To her bashers who are fathers to young girls now or once before, please do the same while also expressing your resolve and commitment to be their protector and defender for as long as you live. And as you do, spare a thought for those like Kris Aquino who were / are unfortunate to not have someone like you anymore in their lives.

    I rest my case.

    • Joe America says:

      And the judge speaketh . . . you win your case.

      I was thinking that if the Almighty stripped us bare for a judgment day, before our final calling . . . like, today . . . and let us know His findings, we would all step forward and be informed of the good and the bad, and the correct tipping of the scale. Everyone would have a certain weighting on the bad side. Most would have a lot more on the good side. Kris Aquino’s scale would tilt sharply to the good.

      • cha says:

        Now that Ms. Aquino has seen we mean her no harm, could I just ask her to please rethink her seemingly supportive stance to her brother’s endorsement of Binay’s run for the presidency?

        Just saw a Rappler report on a recent pronouncement she made in her tv show and I am flabbergasted. I hope she and her sisters would really think this through. Whatever reasons they may have for even considering this option, I would think that the sacrifices made by their parents and their brother all going to naught should be a more compelling reason against it. Let it not be said that the Aquino sisters have been the ones to undo their own parents’ and brother’s noble legacy. Damn shame it would be, if that happens.

  4. josephivo says:

    … and do not underestimate the weight of responsibility. Few people have more influence in the Philippines than Chris. She knows that she can talk Filipinos in healthy or unhealthy ways of living in no time.

    … and she is very professional. She understands her business as no one else. Part of it comes natural I guess, but a large part is also due to people she surrounds herself with. Maybe as an empath she is able to select better? Just as her brother?

    • Joe America says:

      Important point. The greater the freedom, the greater the responsibility. The greater the popularity, the greater the responsibility.

      • chit navarro says:

        Kris always quote that one:
        “To whom much is given, much is expected / required”

        I believe she lives by this rule.

  5. jorel says:

    Damn right indeed!! 😀

  6. I read about the little girl Kris who campaigned for her then imprisoned dad who was running for senator, I observed a teenager Kris who led a group of younger ones who swept Ayala Avenue of confetti showered by sympathetic employees from skyscraper buildings during numerous anti Marcos rallies, I saw a teenager Kris on TV confiding her dream to be a movie star, and while I prayed and silently supported her mom during her presidency and cheered at the 12% growth in our economy, a growth which the military led by Enrile could not tolerate (hence the various coups) I followed her box office successes in her early movies.

    She’s very fortunate in her chosen career but less so in her love life… like an ordinary human being, she fell but tried to rise again from her mistakes, she honestly confessed to the public about these mistakes, such confessions now being used by bashers to malign her endlessly as if her mistakes define her as an individual..”I am so much more than my mistakes – Lynda Field Life Coach” should be a good reminder to these bashers. I feel so sorry for her as I read about yesterday’s yahoo news item wherein she tries to get people to support Pnoy in his earnest pursuit of good governance – alas, page after page of dirty messages (almost 98%) followed the news item.. what’s with these people, I ask… I can only think, maybe these people are just envious of her success and could not even credit her for being one of the top taxpayers of this country (from the fruits of her honest work)… pure unadulterated envy can surely color one’s judgement and discernment… Like Cha, I really have a soft spot for this girl, not to mention her parents and of course her brother, my President, PNOY who is also the recipient of unthinking brickbats calling him abnoy, retarded, etc, etc..

    • Joe America says:

      Several things about nasty critics like that. Their comments have little to do with Kris and a lot to do with their own immaturity and neediness. They are crabs that travel in packs, airing their self-presumed cleverness to try to attract attention. My kids did that when they were about two years old, as I recollect. Those critics have no kindness of heart, no graciousness, and for sure don’t know much about Kris Aquino.

  7. Bing Garcia says:

    I am touched.

  8. macspeed says:

    Well, i considered myself a lifter, we need to work positive for each of our lives.
    When one does that, he/she helps the people surrounding his/her proximities
    attending what is require and spend for want and love…In this way, economy
    is lifted by a dimension something something he he he. If 40% of the working
    class do this, they are lifters and helping the President.

    Unlike the Reds, they only did extortions on far away places where there are rich
    hacienderos and others. Too lazy to work for their livelihood and violating the 1st
    law of God told to Adam and Eve…”You shall eat from your strength…” These Reds
    are downers, really bad people.

    The other people, i dont like are those who never stop campaigning though election
    were finished. Critical of the current government to discredit so they can win on the next
    election time.

    The last downer and the worst, are the robbers, especially those who were elected
    and gave an oath to Philippine government…only to lie and rob the peoples money.

    In any religion, fanaticsm destroys its main wisdom of serving God. I am a Muslim
    not by birth but by learning from Al Qur-an, its positive approach to come back to
    God in anytime once one get stock in sins and mistakes. Just offer a sincere prayer
    and then khalaz, you have to feel it, you are forgiven, do the best for the rest of
    one’s life. Not kidnapping and ask ransom, or kill people, this is not good in
    any religion…

    Well, a muslim man can marry up to four but but if the 1st one allows it, if one has
    money so he can support the 1st and the 2nd one, if one is sexually capable,
    these are the rules, beyond that is immoral and not allowed. I only have one wife
    since i cannot afford materially and sexually. Also my wife dont allow me to share
    to any woman he he he.

    Separation is allowed God, if partners dont get along together, they need to agree
    to separate. The man has to give like a separation pay to the woman.
    The Children are to be supported by the man as required by law. Hence, Kris
    Aquino’s action has no immorality. It is a fact of life. It just happened that Laws of
    men or the government has limitation such as divorce is not allowed in Philippine.
    And people around are gossiper and loves gossiping which is a sin, Scandal
    mongering is one of the greatest sin men should avoid as mentioned in the
    Al Qur-an….but people love doing it, the media thrive on it, actually the biggest
    business in any country…most people call it NEWS…one can find it inserted below
    the headline…on page tabloid, showbis and alike…

    • Joe America says:

      A very interesting read on morality, Mac, thanks. Also “in any religion, fanaticism destroys its main wisdom . . .” Very clear and it ought to the the first rule of any religious teaching. Restraint and grace are high values. And, indeed, two huge burdens carried by the rest of us are the Reds, always with thumbs sucking and demanding they be served, and the political players who can’t set politics aside in favor of good works for the nation.

  9. JM says:

    I was only able to watch Star Trek Deep Space 9 and the new current movies. I wish they’d make more series about space. Why compete for territories here when the galaxy is huge? I don’t watch Gossip shows so I don’t know much about kris aquino. From what you wrote, a lot of the people I know are like her. They genuinely care. I’ve seen a lot of comments bashing aquino in other forums. Tried to help defend the president but got mauled.

    Food for thought. I recently watched through the wormhole (scientific documentary). Did you know that a human being’s thoughts can somehow affect the outcome generated by a machine? A nation has a greater effect. This was documented (i.e. 911, Obama winning the election, etc.). It made me think of the value of optimism and unity. What if the country’s crab mentality and pessimism is driving the country downwards?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, it is hard to stand alone in the face of a mob that has lost its civil bearings.

      Thought extension . . . positive or negative. I think it matters. Thus, my current nagging about the press and people who are burdens, and not helping lift the community of Filipinos. T’m thinking there is a blog within that idea, of being influential by attitude . . .

  10. am a recent follower of your blog, joe. like you, am a huge trekkie. A kris-sie? hmmmm… hardly. But definitely am not a nan-cie. as a national empath, kris would be more half-celluloid, half-human? love your articles. more power to you.

    • Joe America says:

      Welcome to our honorable society, Bebot, which tolerates differing views on things. I wonder what the opposite of empath would be? That would seem to be Nancy Binay’s style considering her heavy handed grilling of Administration secretaries at the Senate DAP hearing. I suppose because she has never been in a position of considerable demands and authority herself, she could not relate to what the Secretaries had to deal with. And could not find much respect for what they do.

      • i guess the opposite of an empath would a crossbreed between a klingon and a ferengi? someone should have told her to “bIjatlh ‘e’ yImev” (shut up in klingon) or better, beamed her up during the hearings. jokes aside, nb was trying hard to impress but expressed it in a crude and rude fashion. sad but not hopeless. she has 6 yrs. more to go and perhaps, maybe she will surprise us yet? fare well and live long, joe. and may the force be with you…always.

        • Joe America says:

          Ahahahaha, funny. I was thinking the English translation after a bit. Thanks for the good wishes, Bebot, and may you live long . . . and prosper . . . too. 😉

  11. Jo says:

    You’re always so perceptive, Joe.

    I’m neither a fan nor a hater of Kris–I treat her as one of the things that make us the Philippines.

    She’s brutally frank and in a country that practically values circumlocution, she’s a disgrace. She’s part of the elite but she doesn’t act with the usual ‘class’ usually associated with her ilk, and she comes across as either a hypocrite or ‘trying hard’ to her haters because she acts as she wishes to.

    Her candor I find charming sometimes, especially with how guileless she appears. Sometimes it’s appalling, like in her interview with Andrew Garfield. Sometimes I wish she’d stop over-sharing. Sometimes I just shake my head at how Kris she is.

    But that’s how she is, and she doesn’t really hurt people. She’s never stolen from the People too, as far as I know. She’s the sister of the President and I’ve never heard of her taking advantage of it. She probably didn’t need to, I won’t be surprised if she’s richer than him.

    She’s her own woman and she does as she pleases. And that includes breaking her vows of silence.

    National Empath? I can get behind that.

    Good writing, Joe!

    • Joe America says:

      Very objective look at the good and the things that get her into trouble. “How Kris she is . . .” Yep, one of a kind. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. It will be back to China and politics and culture now. Had to get in my show biz moment.

  12. Jo says:

    Showbiz moment, haha.

    Oh, and the bit where she contacted you and said she showed your blog post to her brother the president? Oh man, I was “Jooooooooe, big time ka na!”

    I hope she reads this too. 🙂

  13. brianitus says:

    The lady is entitled to her own opinion. Calling a spade a spade, she is one hell of an endorser, an automatic bonus for anyone she supports openly. I don’t know her personally, so I’ll hold any personal comments on morality or whatever. We all screw up at one point. The difference is we don’t broadcast it. We’re not famous and who gives an F about what we go through.

    Honestly, I do get laughs out of her “frankness” bordering on “tactless.” Somehow, I sort of think that I do get her. I love it when she sticks a point to someone. Not everyone can say what’s on their minds without ending up checking their backs regularly for knives. I know that deep inside, a lot of people would like to be a bit like that–not caring about what people think. .

    Image and covers. If people were judged solely by their covers, I’d look at you as a bearded old man who loves typing up words to fill a page. We all know that you’re not. You’re probably a shaven old man who loves typing up words to fill a page. Hihi. Kidding.

    People could benefit from scratching a bit off the surface and just dig deeper. Another takeaway from her is this: you can’t get people to talk about you or hear your point if you stay quiet in a single-file line awaiting your turn.

    • Joe America says:

      Ahahahahaha, made me spew my noodles on that one, hihi. I intentionally leave the old geezer photo there, in black and white . . . he’s my great grandfather . . . to force people to get past the cover if they want to reach the ideas. I’m amazed at how little that photo matters to people who comment here. They indeed go for the ideas.

      Well, except for you hihi hihi 🙂

      I’m thinking of changing it to when I was a beach bum in California, tan and tall and handsome. Maybe I’ll get more of you young whippersnappers to read the blog.

      Your view on Kris Aquino is very good. Healthy.

      • brianitus says:

        LOL. Just make sure that photo you’ll put up isn’t black and white, too.

        Noodles rule the earth.

        Frankly, you surprised me with this blog on Kris. What happened over the weekend?

        • Joe America says:

          Actually, I drafted it right after the SONA, as I did not want to join the crowd of analysts picking apart the President’s every word. It just struck me that she is very emotionally attuned to people . . . and so I used it to fill up a page or two . . . stay tuned for the one on Korina . . .

  14. Gerardo Vergara says:

    There will always be people who would not like other people for the simple reason, as in Kris’ case, that they could not believe her continuing success in showbiz whatever happened/happens to her personal life. You know, the people who are suffering from ‘idiotitis’ because they would die of envy and anything negative they feel about people they could not emulate however hard they might try.
    And then we know that most ‘moralists’ who could not accept her openness about her lovelife are mostly Catholics who could not think out of the box because they were so contented just following whatever their religion says, even to the point that theirs are miserable lives compared to the materially and intellectually rich life that Kris enjoys.
    This is a pleasant deviation that you must do more often, Joe, to make us forget about the problems besetting the country due to the ‘idiotitis’ around us (just picked up the term from Facebook and thought it might just aptly describe the people who just want to say something because they have to say something, as Plato quoted then).

    • Joe America says:

      Nice application of the term. It is contagious, I know. I’m not sure why we all have this tendency to try to live other peoples’ lives for them, when we are so far removed from what they have to deal with. I guess it helps us enliven our own miserable pits of existence. I dunno. I’m currently trying to live Nancy Binay’s life for her by suggesting she not be such an uneducated, rude senator. 🙂

  15. Gladice S. Belarmino says:

    Hi. My name is Gladice, from Philippines. I’m one of Kris Aquino diehard fans.

    • Joe America says:

      Hi, Gladice. I’m glad you found the article. Kris has character, for sure. It was through her that this blog became known to President Aquino, and it resulted in my family having lunch with the President. So I owe her a big, big favor. Thanks for taking the time to drop off a comment. Made me smile.

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  1. […] “bias” about this is set forth in a prior blog: “Kris Aquino: the Philippine National Empath“. It is also repeated over and over again when I argue that it is best to judge President […]

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