Talking about the condition of her mom, former president Corazon "Cory" Aquino, never fails to bring out that caring-daughter side of Kris Aquino.
The former president—who was instrumental in toppling the 21-year rule of Ferdinand Marcos through a bloodless revolution in 1986—is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer. Cory's delicate health condition was first made public on March 24, 2008.
Kris gave the entertainment press an update on her mother's condition at the launching of her "edu-taining" album titled We are 1, held last June 5 at ABS-CBN's 9501 restaurant in Quezon City.
"She had internal radiation therapy done nung Sunday [May 31]. Very strict sila kasi about instructions. Kasi when you have a procedure done, you emit radiation... Kailangan if you are spending more than six hours in her company, two meters dapat 'yong layo," explained Kris.
DUTIFUL DAUGHTER. The loquacious game show host was the one who accompanied her mom at the hospital in time for the radiation therapy until the following day when she was given clearance by her doctors to rest at home.
"But I could not ride in the same car with her kasi, also her driver and her guard had to be in the front row. Tapos, may one row in between tapos dun siya sa last row. Kasi 'yong radiation, your body emits that for ten days after the procedure."
Kris commended her mother for her courage in dealing with the dreaded disease, saying, "She never complains. Siguro 'yon yung talagang nakaka-amaze with everything that she goes through dun sa treatment. Never namin siyang nariringan na 'ayoko na,' 'pagod na ako,' 'ang hirap nito,' walang ganun talaga."
Each and all of the Aquino children devote time to take care of their ailing mother.
"I always take the early shift," said Kris proudly. "Kasi 'yong sinasabi ko sa mga kapatid ko, walang problema sa 'kin 'yong 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sabi ko, 'yon yung benfit ng pagiging artista, kaya mong gumising at any time at kaya mong matulog at any time."
Cory expressed amazement, said Kris, at how she manages to look fresh in front of the camera despite waking up so early to attend to her mom's needs.
"Parang hindi halata na ikaw ang nagbantay sa akin ng buong araw," Cory reportedly told Kris, who replied, "'Mom ano ba, it's my pleasure."
JUGGLING DIFFERENT ROLES. Contrary to popular impression, Kris clarified that her seemingly busy schedule is not as busy as it looks. Despite being seen the entire week on television through Showbiz News Ngayon (SNN), Pinoy Bingo Nights, and The Buzz, Kris proudly relayed that her personal schedule is not being sacrificed because of work and other commitments.
"SNN has been such a blessing kasi with the exception of Tuesdays and Wednesdays—Monday, Thursday, and Friday, I'm able to have lunch with him [Baby James, Kris's son with cager husband James Yap] and I'm able to have dinner with Josh [Kris's first son with action star Phillip Salvador] and with James. Tapos the whole of Saturday is devoted to my mom kasi we have mass together as a family [the Aquinos], tapos we have dinner together, 'yon yung bonding with her [Cory]."
Sunday is once again devoted to James, Josh, and Baby James. "After The Buzz, we eat out. 'Yon yung routine namin as a family, or as long as walang laro si James that night. So it just seems that I'm very busy but in reality, 'yong Monday, Thursday, and Friday, I'm really able to be a mom and a wife."
JOSH AND BABY JAMES. Released under Star Records, We are 1 brought together the mother-and-child tandem of Kris and Baby James.
"The two-disc must-have musical educational and entertaining album features a mother-and-child bonding music that will surely be of help in the brain development of your children. Plus, the album contains facts that will give every mom a deeper understanding on the growing stage of their infants as they become toddlers," Star Records described the project.
There is no sibling rivalry between Josh and Baby James, according to Kris. Josh, who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), even enjoys his role as as kuya to his younger brother.
"'Yong unang labas nito [Baby James] sinasabi niya [Josh] sa 'kin, 'Mama, balik mo siya sa tummy mo.' But now it's such a blessing kasi mararamdaman mo talaga na he matured and it really helped his development when he became a kuya. Kasi 'yong pagsi-share, 'yong behavior ni Josh, ang laki-laki talaga ng na-improve."
Kris added: "I feel that having a sibling really, really helped him become parang more communicative and a lot more giving, although hindi naman selfish ever 'yon. Pero talagang mapagbigay siya bilang kuya."