How cheating partners in showbiz redeem themselves—or not

All the smart, sweet lines in the world cannot hide the cheating.
by Frances Karmel S. Bravo
Jul 31, 2023
How cheating partners (L-R) Jason Hernandez, Aljur Abrenica, Paolo Contis, and Carlo Aquino redeem themselves in Philippine showbiz
Celebrities (L-R) Jason Hernandez, Aljur Abrenica, Paolo Contis, and Carlo Aquino follow different strategies to win back the public after admitting to cheating.
PHOTO/S: Screengrab from Instagram

Spoiler alert: They don’t.

You're reading this for two reasons, and I get it.

Firstly, you might be livid, wondering why we're giving space to cheaters at all.

Secondly, you could be the cheating partner wanting to copy past tactics for wiping your slate clean.

Either way, welcome. In this piece, I am giving my very impassioned review of the tactics used by celebrities who admitted to cheating and then assumed they had been absolved by the mere act of admission.

Another spoiler alert: It' s not happening.

"LeveraGing Trauma" by Jason Hernandez

Hear that? That’s the sweet sound of a breakup turning into profit! Jason Hernandez proved that heartbreak can be a lucrative business venture. With his highly publicized split from wife and fellow singer Moira dela Torre, he managed to rack up thousands of views on his breakup anthem, Ikaw Pa Rin.

We'll give him a generous 100 for exploiting trauma like a pro.


Read: Did Moira dela Torre just confirm Jason Hernandez cheated on her multiple times?

"Remember Me Not" by Skusta Clee

Skusta Clee, the master of timing, graced the Clark Aurora Fest 2022 as if he hadn't been on the social media radar as a serial cheater just one month earlier, after his then partner, Zeinab Harake, made her tearful exposé. The crowd responded to his performance with boos and chants of "Cheater!"

This earns him a -50 on the redemption scale. Nice try, Skusta.

Read: Crowd chants “cheater” during Skusta Clee gig at Clark musicfest

"Bare Minimum Maneuver" by Paolo Contis

Paolo Contis, the shining knight of I'm not sure what, took it upon himself to share his "wisdom" with fellow cheaters. His groundbreaking advice? "Never akong nanisi sa mga mali ko. Kung may ginawa kang masama, be man enough to admit it." How noble! But wait, isn't that the bare minimum for admitting you were unfaithful? Bravo, Paolo, for setting the bar so astonishingly low.

Here’s a grand 0 for you!


Read: Paolo Contis grilled during discussion about “manloloko”: “Wala namang naniniwala sa akin.”

"The Boomerang Tirade" by Aljur Abrenica

When confronted with a cheating allegation, Aljur Abrenica opted for the classic "he said, she said" approach. First, he is said to have pressured ex-wife Kylie Padilla to spill the beans on their dirty laundry. When that failed to garner sympathy from the public, he finally admitted on someone's YouTube channel: "On my part, yes, I made a mistake."

We'll throw him a -5/10 for his twisty-turny tale.

Read: Aljur Abrenica admits cheating on Kylie Padilla: "Totoo naman."


Our very own Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao has had his share of womanizing in the list of celebrity fathers who have cheated. As a global icon in boxing, he admitted in 2015 that it was his tremendous popularity that led him to being unfaithful to wife Jinkee in the past. "The fame goes to my head," is how he put it. However, years later he would call himself a changed man after he said he found God.


His comeback to faith might have just saved him a score of 6.

Read: Manny Pacquiao admits womanizing ways almost led to breakdown of his marriage

"Duck, Cover, Hold On" by Wally Bayola

Wally Bayola, the disappearing act extraordinaire, proved that sometimes hiding in the shadows is the best strategy. After going on a hiatus from TV, and taking accountability by publicly acknowledging his misdeeds in 2014, he focused on rebuilding trust within his family. Kudos to his clever "KalyeSerye" comeback on Eat Bulaga! in 2015.

Now, there’s a solid 3.

Read: Wally Bayola admits to being tempted by other women: "Dumarating ‘yan sa buhay ng ano... pero ang asawa ko, nagpapasalamat ako na naiintindihan niya."

"SORRY, SORRY, SORRY" BY Vhong navarro

Vhong Navarro understood that an upfront, genuine, soul-baring series of apologies could not go wrong. After a 2014 scandal that shook the industry—of which he has been cleared by the courts—he earnestly sought forgiveness from his then-girlfriend, Tanya Bautista, who is now his wife. His constancy to wife and kids eventually detached him from his playboy image.


Since I'm feeling generous about his 360º transformation, here's a 5.5 for him.

Read: Vhong Navarro: "Wala akong kasalanan kay Deniece. Ang kasalanan ko, sa girlfriend ko."

"SYMPATHY VOTE" by martin nievera

Martin Nievera's philandering ways first came to light when ex-wife Pops Fernandez did a tell-all with YES! Magazine in 2007. Despite the pain and shame it caused him, the Concert King admitted he might have deserved the very public exhortation. In 2009, he confessed that he was on his hands and knees begging Pops for a reconciliation, but eventually gave up after realizing Pop could no longer trust him.

He might have failed to win back his ex, but I'll let him pass this evaluation with a 5.

Read: Martin Nievera opens up on failed marriage with Pops Fernandez

"IT'S ME, I'M THE PROBLEM" BY ruru madrid

Ruru Madrid's flirting days seem long gone. After the infamous parking lot spat in 2019 with his current girlfriend, Bianca Umali, he took time to reflect on his actions. He would then admit that his dalliances were fueled by the ego boost he got from having famous girls attracted to him. Realizing Bianca was "the one" prompted him to change his ways. Though his past actions are inexcusable, his young age and the complexities of his first serious relationship leave room for change.


For this, he earns a 4.5.

Read: Ruru Madrid says breakup with Bianca Umali made him realize she's "The One"

"Me First Syndrome" by Carlo Aquino

The very talented Carlo Aquino probably thinks self-indulgence is his right. He was heard to joke, "Para sa hindi lumalabas, mahilig akong pumarty," after Angelica Panganiban’s 2018 confession on GGV (Gandang Gabi Vice) that their two fallouts were caused by a third party. On his current actress-girlfriend after his split with live-in partner Trina Candaza, the mother to his daughter, he simply says, “Pero buhay ko ito.”

His rating? Nah, not worth it.

Read: Carlo Aquino reacts to naysayers of his relationship with Charlie Dizon

I have a few more in mind like “Wife To The Rescue” by John Estrada and “Sad Boy Denials” by McCoy de Leon, but these two played the silent card while rumor and evidence floated around them in social media. They probably think they got away with it, but there's always karmic retribution.


With everything said and done, it remains an uphill battle to regain someone's trust and achieve redemption for oneself. So, dear cheaters, take note: if you're determined to cheat, at least be a top-notch storyteller. Remember, the universe has ears.


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Celebrities (L-R) Jason Hernandez, Aljur Abrenica, Paolo Contis, and Carlo Aquino follow different strategies to win back the public after admitting to cheating.
PHOTO/S: Screengrab from Instagram
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