Humarap na nang personal si Nicko Falcis para sa isang exclusive interview matapos pumutok ng kontrobersiya tungkol sa kanila ni Kris Aquino noong October 2018.
Nakapanayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Nicko sa isang lugar sa Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Lunes ng hapon, January 7.
Dito ay nanindigan si Nicko, 35, na hindi siya nagkulang sa trabaho at sa pag-intindi ng umano'y kakaibang pag-uugali ni Kris, 47.
Si Nicko ang tumayong endorser closer, talent agent, at project director ng digital company ni Kris na Kris Aquino Cojuangco Productions o KCAP.
Magkasosyo rin sila sa ilang food businesses.
Pahayag ni Nicko: "I took on the role seriously and I made sure that I delivered what is expected of me—as her manager, as her agent, as her business partner.
"I always say this to all my stakeholders—my language of love is success.
"I work hard. I give them everything—the business deals, I close all the profitable and viable businesses for my stakeholders.”
Maituturing pa raw na “business soulmates” sila ni Kris, lalo na't matagumpay nilang nasungkit ang 54 brands o endorsements ng actress/TV host/social media star.
Paglilinaw niya, hindi sila nagkaroon ng employee-employer relationship ni Kris. (Kasama ang PEP.ph sa mga gumamit ng terminolihiyang ito.)
Ito nga raw ang dahilan kung bakit meron pang utang si Kris kay Nicko na P9 million sa unpaid commissions.
Paglalahad ni Nicko: "She cut ties technically in September . But, of course, around August, September, a lot of the deals pushed through. The downpayments have been made, etc.
"My lawyers just asked me for a full accounting. But, I explained, this is a very fudiciary relationship.
"I don't bill her. I don't give her a service invoice nor do I demand from her. Again, because I am not an employee."
Tinanong ng PEP.ph kung may suweldo si Nicko sa KCAP.
Sagot ng dating KCAP managing director: "Wala. It's all commissions. That's why she said, 'You are the 12 percent. I am the 88. As 88, I behave more. As 12 percent, bahala ka na.'
"She always jokes around during webisode shoots, 'O, Nicko, say thank you.' 'Madam, thank you po.'
"That's the job, that's the role. So they [my lawyers] just asked for a full accounting. And lahat ng nakikita niyo ngayon are all contracts closed by yours truly."
PROFESSIONALISM NOT ENOUGH, EMPATHY NEEDED
Ngunit sa paglipas ng panahon, napagtanto raw ni Nicko na hindi sapat kay Kris ang epektibo nilang professional o business relationship.
Pati emotional "baggage" ng TV host-actress ay tila gusto raw nitong ipapasan sa kanya.
Pagpapatuloy ni Nicko, "Unfortunately, it came to a point when she needed empathy.
"But, of course, the world is fair, I’m not the most empathetic person.
"I’m very type A—I’m very productive, and I express things for us to move forward.
"Unfortunately, there's a version of her that she's the dweller... She has a lot of baggage, apparently.
"And she unleashed all of those on me."
INITIAL TRIGGER: "HALF-BAKED" ABS-CBN HOMECOMING
Hindi raw lubos akalain ni Nicko na aabot sa puntong mapagbabalingan siya ni Kris ng galit at frustration nito na wala naman umanong kinalaman sa kanya.
Bukod sa nadiskubre raw niyang may ugali si Kris na mabilis magbago ng temperament, kapansin-pansin daw na malaking bahagi ng emotional "baggage" nito ay may kinalaman sa ABS-CBN.
Luminaw raw ito sa kanya nang gawin ni Kris ang I Love You, Hater, ang pelikulang pinagbidahan nila ng ABS-CBN love team na sina Joshua Garcia at Julia Barretto (JoshLia).
Ang I Love You, Hater ay nagsilbing reunion ni Kris sa Star Cinema, ang film company arm ng ABS-CBN, na naging home network ni Kris sa loob ng 20 taon.
Umalis si Kris sa Kapamilya network noong September 2016.
April 20, 2018 nang muling tumuntong si Kris sa bakuran ng ABS-CBN para sa contract signing ng pelikula.
Lahad ni Nicko, "She was never volatile until May, June, last year.
"I think the change happened after I Love You, Hater or during the shooting of the Star Cinema movie.
"It was aggravated during Indonesia, because I felt that she [was thinking], 'I can't do this anymore. I don't want to do this anymore.'"
Ang tinutukoy ni Nicko na "Indonesia" ay ang insidente sa bansang iyon noong July 26, 2018, nang magkaroon ng matinding allergy attack si Kris habang gumagawa ng commercial para sa isang endorsement deal ng KCAP.
Bakit naging mitsa ng "volatile" temper ni Kris ang reunion sa Star Cinema?
Teorya ni Nicko, "It's an accumulation of all the things.
"She felt that, first, it was a half-baked reunion. She came back, but nobody was really there.
"I do not know her life during ABS-CBN—but, those were her rants to me."
May iba pang reklamo raw noon si Kris hinggil sa pelikula.
"When the movie was being made, when the movie posters were up—billing issues, the size of the head... I do not know how the movies are done."
Pero tingin ni Nicko, tila malaki ang epekto kay Kris ng pakiramdam na hindi na kasing-init ang pagtanggap sa kanya ng ABS-CBN.
Lalo pa't hindi umano nakita ni Kris ang mga taong madalas nitong nakakasama noong kasagsagan ng kasikatan niya sa Kapamilya network, kunsaan binansagan siyang Queen of All Media.
Saad ni Nicko, "I mean, everything was set up. Star Cinema did really welcome her.
"But there was just some missing individuals."
Dagdag niya, "And this is me being nice. If I am not nice, you know who is missing there."
Inusisa ng PEP.ph kung tama ang bali-balitang wala roon ang dating managers ni Kris—ang ABS-CBN TV executive na si Deo Endrinal at TV host na si Boy Abunda.
Kumpirma ni Nicko, "Yes, all her previous managers, I think. I guess all the old people that she is used to seeing. Nobody's there."
Hindi raw alam ni Nicko kung mayroon nga bang tampo si Kris sa dating managers nito o kung anuman ang estado ng relasyon ni Kris sa mga ito ngayon.
Aniya, "We never talked about it.
"Honestly, being part of the top management [of KCAP] is the best windfall. I don't want to ask what happened. It was never my place to question."
Nakilala ni Nicko si Kris taong 2016, noong wala na ang star-actress sa ABS-CBN, at labas raw siya sa kung anumang "baggage" meron si Kris sa ginalawan nitong mundo sa Kapamilya network.
"I've seen the management transition. I've seen her exploring other managements.
"And for me, I just stayed there.
"First, I was just brought in to really manage her food ventures.
"'Nicko, try digital. Nicko, I'm now gonna give you SPA [Special Power of Attorney]. Now, you're gonna handle all these responsibilities.'
"For me, I can do it, as long as I can form my team.
"And I did. I formed a very high-performing millennial talent pool.
"When we were doing all of our events, all of our webisodes, all of our premieres, the kids were happy. She was happy.
"But yeah, it was a series of, I dunno... Opening a can of worms, Pandora's box, whatever you want to call it.
"And then, I think it got worse and it got worse."
Ang "kids" na tinutukoy ni Nicko ay ang mga dati niyang estudyante na kinuha niya para maging bahagi ng KCAP.
NEXT TRIGGER: CRAZY RICH ASIANS PRESS RELEASE
Nagsimula umanong magkaroon ng direktang tensiyon sa pagitan ni Nicko at ni Kris pagkatapos nilang dumalo sa Hollywood premiere ng Crazy Rich Asians, noong August 8, 2018.
Si Kris ay mayroong special cameo appearance, bilang Malay royalty na si Princess Intan, sa commercially successful all-Asian-cast movie ng Warner Bros.
Lahad ni Nicko, "I wasn't supposed to resign. I mean, it was still good.
"As a type-A manager, I always wanted to move forward with all the improvements, with all the calibrations, with all the solutions.
"But a specific incident, particularly a feature during the Crazy Rich Asians premiere, really made her go berserk. And that was the Metro.style feature."
Para sa Hollywood appearance ni Kris, libre raw nakuha ng KCAP ang kumpanyang Sweet Escape bilang service provider na magbibigay ng photos at video coverage ng red-carpet premiere ng pelikula.
Libre raw nakuha ng KCAP ang naturang service provider, na nag-offer din umanong tumulong sa press release ng materials.
Kabilang daw sa nabigyan ng press release ay ang Summit Media-affiliated website na Female Network at ang ABS-CBN-affiliated online counterpart ng Metro Magazine.
"And that was when she went all berserk.
"'Why did you give the material to an ABS-CBN affiliate! You know how much that can really be...in terms of me feeling all the hurt again, all the pain...'"
"And that's it.
"As the head of KCAP, I took full accountability.
"Technically, it wasn't my fault. It was the fault of the media manager...
"But, of course, I am the leader, and I am the head [of KCAP]. I said, 'Ma'am, I take full accountability and I apologize for that.'"
Pero ang sumunod raw dito ay: "She even said, 'Sorry to be a bitch, ha, but what does your accountability give me?'"
Lumalabas na ayaw daw bigyan ni Kris ng anumang access ang ABS-CBN sa kanyang PR materials, dahil tila may dinaramdam pa rin si Kris sa dating home network.
Kung malalim man ang sugat na iniwan kay Kris ng pagkawala ng TV career nito, ang buong akala naman daw ni Nicko ay sapat na ang sunod-sunod na magagandang nangyari sa career nito.
Binanggit ni Nicko ang pagkakabangon ni Kris sa pamamagitan ng pagbuo ng sariling digital company at ang pamamayagpag nito sa digital world.
Pagpapatuloy ni Nicko, "That's why I kept saying sorry, because I did not know that baggage.
"When I met her, it was already at the end of her contract. She was in a management transition.
"I thought she wanted to take a route of the happy capitalist, which is aligned with what I really do.
"You have to understand, I did not come from showbiz. Never, zero knowledge, zero exposure.
"And when I met her, it's all blank slate. That's what I do when I take on projects.
"For me, I say hello, and then we move forward together."
Noon daw naging malinaw na malinaw kay Nicko na dinidibdib pa rin ni Kris ang kung anumang saloobin nito sa ABS-CBN.
Pero iginiit ni Nicko na hindi ito sapat na dahilan upang pagbuntunan siya ng galit ni Kris, dahil wala naman siyang pagkakamali.
Pagte-teorya niyang muli, "I think also because she made a movie again with Star Cinema during middle of the year—and I think that opened a lot of can of worms in making her feel vulnerable again or making her miss the good old days.
"But then, she lashed it all on me.
"And surprisingly, as well, it's so weird because both the designer of her gown and her stylist also gave exclusive feature to Metro.style, and yet they did not receive any wrath, any lashing.
"Only me. And that happened during the post-Crazy Rich Asian premiere and right before she went to Hawaii."
"TOO MUCH FOR KRIS, GIVEN HER AGE, GIVEN HER CAPACITY"
Bukod sa dalawang insidenteng may kinalaman sa ABS-CBN, nauna nang naiulat ng PEP.ph na ang Indonesia health scare ni Kris ay isa sa mitsa ng sigalot sa pagitan ng actress/TV host/web star at ni Nicko.
Mas lalo pa raw nasira ang relasyon nila nang hindi tuparin ni Kris ang contractual obligations nito bilang endorser, mula Agosto hanggang kalagitnaan ng Setyembre 2018, o sa loob ng anim na linggo.
Si Nicko raw ang sinisisi ni Kris sa lahat—sa kanyang pagkakasakit at sa kanyang hindi pagtupad sa contractual commitments sa brands.
Sa pagpapatuloy ng panayam ng PEP.ph, iginiit ni Nicko na hindi niya maintindihan kung bakit siya ang pinagbalingan ng galit ni Kris.
Pakiramdam daw niya ay ginawa siyang scapegoat ni Kris, hindi lang sa emotional baggage nito sa ABS-CBN kundi pati na sa health problems nito.
"We had 54 brands. We were at the top of the world. We actually exceeded the revenues that she was earning from her network.
"And I thought, 'Yehey, mission accomplished, job done, pat on the back, Nicko.'
"But I think it was also too much for her—given her age, given her capacity.
"Because we actually went to, like, four countries, June, July... including Hong Kong, Thailand. We went to Indonesia, we went to L.A. [Los Angeles].
"And, of course, I think that really exhausted her.
"However, I never forced her."
Mismong si Kris daw ang nag-utos kay Nicko na kunin ang lahat ng maaaring kuning endorsements.
Patuloy ni Nicko: "Because she said to me, 'Every peso we get is a peso away from them.'
"So, she really wanted all those deals. 'Let's make it a good case study for everybody.'
"But I think, at the end of the day, when she reviewed everything, she felt that it was all too much.
"She felt that I kind of pushed her into it.
"Again, not my fault.
"She gave the direction: 'Seal all contracts at any cost, at any time, at any setup."
"ALL I AM IS A PROFESSIONAL MANAGER"
Sa pagkakaintindi ni Nicko, hindi na saklaw ng kanyang responsibilidad na pasanin ang anumang emotional baggage ni Kris, o ang alagaan ito at tutukan sa mga ganoong pagkakataon.
"She had a personal entourage—she has a chief of staff, she has a personal manager, she has a secretary, she has two nurses, all the bodyguards, all the drivers.
"And so, okay, yehey, I'm not the entourage, but I'm part of the professional management team.
"But then again—I think at her lowest, at her most emotional, at her most vulnerable, she demanded that from me.
"There's a text message here: 'Nicko, the queen must be guarded at all costs. You did not nurture me. I needed that. You did not emotionally support me. Everybody's saying that I cannot expect that from you...'
"Because I did not know the 20-year relationship or the 20-year celebrity life that she had!
"All I am is a professional manager who can really bring the best contracts and the best brand deals I can ever give a celebrity."
Nuon ay inakala raw ni Nicko na sapat na iyon para kay Kris, pero alam na raw niya ngayon na hindi pa rin pala.
"I think the weird thing about me is that I always love challenges. I like winning despite circumstances...
"I thought, since I am the one who is really going to close all these deals, be her support, and be her main go-to-guy, I thought I had the armor.
"'Cause I've seen how she cuts off people—'I don't want this. 'Balik na lang ng pera.' 'I don't want this. Itawag 'yan sa lawyers.'
"I've seen it, and I thought I had immunity. You know, like Survivor.
"But no, I did not have immunity. Actually, I had it the worst."
PEP.PH ATTENDS KRIS MINI PRESSCON
Noong Sabado, Enero 5, humingi ang PEP.ph ng pahayag kay Kris Aquino sa pamamagitan ng pagpapadala ng text message kay Alvin Gagui, ang kanyang matagal nang chief of staff.
Kinahapunan ng Enero 5, sumagot ito sa pamamagitan nang pag-imbita sa PEP.ph sa bahay ni Kris sa Quezon City, upang manood ng Instagram Live session nito.
Imbitado rin ang ilang piling entertainment reporters, at may sumunod na mini presscon.
Naroon din ang mga abugado ni Kris, sa pangunguna ni Philip Sigfrid Fortun.
Sa IG Live session, kinukuwestiyon ni Atty. Fortun ang diumano'y "delaying tactics" ng kampo ni Nicko sa reklamong theft na isinampa nila.
Ngunit sa mini presscon na sumunod, nang tinanong ng PEP.ph si Kris tungkol sa reklamo niya kay Nicko, tumanggi itong sumagot, alinsunod daw sa payo ng mga abugado.
Nananatiling bukas ang PEP.ph sa anumang pahayag nina Kris at Nicko hinggil sa artikulong ito.