"I don’t wanna live in fear."
This is now the stance of Dr. Vicki Belo whenever people ask her about her relationship with Hayden Kho.
As she once told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal): "Sobrang manlait ang mga readers. Ayaw nila sa amin, kaya quiet na lang."
Turbulence rocked their relationship in 2009, when the sex videos of the now 33-year-old doctor-turned-businessman, showing him in racy poses with other women, were leaked to the public.
At the time, Dra. Vicki and Hayden were an item.
But the famous and highly successful beauty doctor supported her beau throughout the ordeal.
And she is glad she did.
"He’s really trying his best to prove that he has changed. For me, I don’t wanna live life in fear," the doctor says. "Feeling ko...if I feel though...I really, really know na talaga na matino na siya ngayon, sabi ko, ’I would take him.’
There are many naysayers who cannot understand why she took him back, but the lady behind the multimillion-dollar Belo Medical Group Empire proclaims that both of them have learned their lessons.
"Siguro naman, I’m not a silly person. [I am] more mature, hindi na ako insecure... I mean bahala ka kung... Mukha namang he’s very mabait—morning, evening, lunch," reveals the very frank Dra. Vicki at the launch of Ruffa Gutierrez as the endorser of BodyTite last week.
One of the changes she noticed in Hayden, she says, is that he keeps away from temptation.
"Now, he avoids na lang pag may temptation. [I tell him] ’You can be strong.’ Sabi niya, ’Nagiging mahina naman talaga ako sa temptation.’ [Gusto niya] just avoid kapag may magandang babae na aaligid, kaya aalis na ’yan sa party."
And so far, Doktora—which is how everyone calls the gregarious doctor—can see that he has been succeeding.
She notes, "Sa Paris, anak ng friends ko, mga [in their] 20s [nandiyan, pero] nag-aaral siya. Ayaw lang daw niyang ma-tempt, so avoid na lang."
As a boyfriend, Hayden is "the best," according to Dra. Vicki.
"Minsan, he’s very very ano...ako yong hinahanap. He’s very mabait na boyfriend. He’s very maalaga, thoughtful."
She gives an example, "Kasi mahina ako sa Internet, ’Hayden, paki-download naman ’yong iPod ko.’ [Noon] medyo matagal [bago dumating]. Ngayon, kapag sinabi, within an hour nandito na ’yon, [with] ’I love you.’"
For her part, she’s learning to take "quality time" as a serious matter.
As the doktora tells it, "Ngayon, medyo istrikto na siya. Hindi na ako puwede mag-cellphone, kasi ako naman, lagi [ako] nagti-text. [He would say], ’Honey, puwede ba quality time? When we have dinner, no cellphone?’"
Just like most couples, "we fight and get along," she says.
They have been together for almost four years now, and she says they’re still trying to get it right. "Nag-a-adjust siya, nag-a-adjust din ako. "
HAYDEN’S SCENTS. She mentions that she misses Hayden, who recently flew to the City of Lights to undergo training on perfumes, a field he wants to be an entrepreneur in.
"Talagang dinidibdib niya ’yong pagka-first perfumer [niya] here in the Philippines!" Vicki says, not without a tone of admiration.
"Si Hayden, kapag pumapasok sa kahit na anong bagay, dapat alam na alam niya, so he went to study with the best of the perfumers.
"Diyos ko, ang dami sa bahay... dekorasyon sa bahay niya dedicated to all the scents! Mini-memorize niya kung ano kasi gusto niya [para] mag-create ng perfume.
"Kasi right now, our creator is from Paris. Kasi, kung perfume mo siya talaga, dapat ikaw nagki-create ng sarili mong perfume."
And how is the business venture of her boyfriend?
"It’s doing well, I think. He’s thirty-four already, ang dami [nang nangyari], and people accepted [the scent] well. I’m so happy that a lot of special persons are using it. Like, they go to the branch of Hayden...
"Pumunta kami sa bahay ni David Foster, nandoon talaga ’yong cologne ni Hayden, ginagamit ni David," she says, referring to the impressario who has been taking Charice Pempengco on tour at the behest of Oprah Winfrey.
"Sabi ko, ’Ang bait naman na mga taong ito at ’yon ang ginagamit.’
"You know, people buy it as gift sa weddings, showers, ganun... Nakakatuwa naman," the doktora says.
HOLY WEEK PLANS. She and Hayden will be spending Holy Week in Manila.
She says, "I always believe it’s sacred. I’m not the type who [goes] to the beach. I always feel guilty when I do that.
"I learned kasi at my very young age that it should be very solemn. So on Thursday, we’re taking the Visita Iglesia with the seven churches. Sometimes, just three..."
And who’s going to accompany her?
"If my kids are here...I think it’s him [Hayden]. But my kids usually go out. But I think we’ll all be together because we’re preparing for the Pacquiao [fight]."
On Good Friday and Black Saturday, she will fly to Bangkok to train for BodyTite machines.
Technically, she is working during the break. But as she sees it, "It’s not work for me, it is something I really want to do.
"I wanted to stay here sana because Manila is the best place to be pag Holy Week, walang katao-tao. Ang sarap-sarap, from Makati to Tomas Morato, seven minutes!"
Come Sunday, "Easter is really to remember God and what He did for us, and Jesus... I plan to pray a lot. Dito lang ako talaga.
"The only time that I left the country, I went to Israel. I really did the Way of the Cross on the way they did the Way of the Cross.
"Good Friday, nasa Wailing Wall ako nun, tapos yung Easter Day, resurrection, nandun ako kung saan yung cross nilagay.
"So that’s so meaningful for me kasi, napi-feel ko talaga pag lumalakad ka, dito Siya nadapa..."
After the break, she will fly to the U.S. to support Manny Pacquiao, whose wife Jinkee is also an endorser of BeloTite.
Dra. Vicki adds, "After that, he [Hayden] is going back to Paris. Then after a few days, we’ll be coming back kasi birthday niya on May 20.
"Happy birthday, Manay Lolit [Solis]! Same birth date sila... So, I’ll say stay [here], then he’ll stay there [Paris] for another month."
Before we could ask if long-distance love affairs worry her, the cosmetic surgeon is off and running, bidding us with, "I’m very happy."