Kris, Claudine, Kim, Iza, Cheena share why they’re in favor of divorce

Vernise Tantuco

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Kris, Claudine, Kim, Iza, Cheena share why they’re in favor of divorce
Kris Aquino, Claudine Barretto, Kim Chiu, Cheena Crab, and Iza Calzado weigh in on why divorce should be legalized in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Kris Aquino, Claudine Barretto, Iza Calzado, Kim Chiu, and Cheena Crab all said that they are all in favor of divorce, at the press conference for their movie, Etiquette for Mistresses, on September 16.

Kris and Claudine had the most to say about the issue, having gone through the country’s annulment process. Kris’ marriage to professional basketball player James Yap was annulled in March 2014, while Claudine is currently in the process of getting an annullment when it comes to her marriage to Raymart Santiago.

Kris said that it would be “less painful” to be divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, rather than go through the process of annulment. “Mahal, mahirap, masakit, at kailangan mong balikan lahat ng issue na nagpasakit at nagpasira sa inyong dalawa. (It’s expensive, difficult, painful, at you have to go back to all the issues that hurt and ruined the both of you.) And in the end, the truth: the children pay for it. Because all the dirty laundry is there in the court papers for them to read,” she said.

The annulment process in the Philippines requires a detailed marital history and a psychological evaluation before the couple can petition for the annulment. The process can take years and cost thousands of pesos.

Claudine agreed with Kris, saying, “Ako din, talaga, mas okay din yung divorce, kahit na Christian ako... It’s very painful. Gaya ng sinabi ni Kris, pinagdadaanan ko ngayon, so mahirap. Yun lang po.”

(Me too, really, I find divorce better, even though I’m a Christian… It’s very painful. Like Kris said, I’m going though it now, so it’s difficult. That’s it.)


Cheena Crab, who is happily married and is based in California, said that she’s totally fine with divorce. “Oo naman, legal na legal ‘yan dito (Yes, that’s very legal here),” she said when asked if she was in favor of divorce.

Cheena, who was at the press conference via Skype, added, “‘Pag… di na kayo nagmamahalan, nagsasakitan lang kayo eh, so bakit niyo iaanuhin yung sarili ninyo doon sa isang relasyon na hindi na masaya diba?” (If you don’t love each other anymore, you’re just hurting each other, so why would you stay in a relationship that isn’t happy anymore, right?)


As a child whose parents got an annulment, Iza said that she agreed with Kris, and that she wished that her parents had ended their relationship sooner. “If only we had divorce in this country, I think it would have been easier for them. Katulad ng sinabi ni ate Kris, in the end, it is the child who suffers… mas maganda siguro kung may law nalang para di kami (yung anak) madamay doon. Parang masmadali ang magiging decision-making process ng mga magulang para i-end yung relationship.

(Like what Kris said, in the end, it is the child who suffers… It would be better, I guess, if there were a law so that we (the children) don’t get implicated. It seems that the decision-making process to end the relationship would be easier.)

Iza said that her parents, Maria Antonia Ussher and the late Lito Calzado, were married for 22 years.

#EtiquetteForMistresses showing na this sept30 worldwide!!!#grandpresscon miss you mama @cheenacrab

A photo posted by Kim chiu (@chinitaprincess) on


Kim Chiu, whose parents separated when she was 9 years old, agreed with her older co-stars. “Kung hindi na sila masaya bakit pa sila magsasama? Kung hindi na sila nagmamahalan bakit pa sila nagsasama?” she asked. (If they’re not happy anymore, why would they still be together? If they don’t love each other anymore, why would they still be together?)

“Parang mas maganda na lang na silang maghiwalay para mas malinaw sa anak na ‘Anak, wala na kami ng tatay mo,” she added. (It seems like it would be better for them to split so that it’s clear to their kids that ‘Your dad and I aren’t together anymore.’)

Kim and her siblings were raised by their paternal grandmother, and she was reunited with her father in 2013. Unfortunately, her mother passed away that same year, and the two weren’t able to reunite.

Lasting marriage

Kris added, after each actress had her turn to speak, that it’s possible to be in a lasting and loving marriage.

“It’s not about being happy kasi nakita ko naman from what i’ve witnessed my mom and dad went through hell but they stuck it out with each other,” said Kris. “I think it’s about respect, about commitment, and about love.”

Kris’ parents, political icons Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino, were married for 29 years before Ninoy’s assassination in 1983. 

Kris’ 3 older sisters, Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada, and Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee, are all happily married, too. 

Based on what she observed with her family members, Kris said willingness to keep your partner happy is important. “Kasi kung mahal mo yung tao, kahit naghihirap kayo, kahit may mga pagsubok na pinagdadaanan (because if you love a person, even if you’re having trouble, even if you’re going through trials), you’d still choose that person. So I think marriage is a day-to-day choice.

“And pinakaimportante doon (the most important thing) is the desire na paligayahin mo yung partner mo (to make your partner happy). Paano mo ba mapapaligaya yung partner mo (How do you make your partner happy)? Be a good provider, be a good nurturer, be there, be supportive, and have fidelity.”

The secret to her siblings’ and friends’ marriages, she said, is that they are all best friends with their spouses. “Kasi ang dali magmaintain ng best friend, kasi inuunawa mo yung best friend mo.” (Because it’s so easy to maintain a best friend, because your best friend understands you.)

“So ako I still really believe in the institution of marriage,” Kris said, adding that she and Claudine are still praying that the Lord will still bless them with “the one” in the future.

She ended by quoting Claudine: “Kailangan buuin mo yung sarili mo, para maging buo ka sa pagmamahal na mabibigay mo.” (You have to complete yourself, so that you can love completely.) –

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Mayuko Yamamoto


Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.