Biography

Love Marie Payawal Ongpauco was born on February 14, 1985, in Manila, to Reynaldo Evangelista Ongpauco and Maria Cecilia del Gallego Payawal. Evangelista is the last born child, with siblings from both sides of her parents. Her aunt is 1960s superstar, Liberty Ilagan. She was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. before moving back to the Philippines in her early teens. She started her career at the age of 13 as a commercial model and actress. 

 

From 2000 to early 2004, she was paired with John Prats on the show G-mik, Trip, Ang Tanging Ina, My First Romance and Berks. During the success of their loveteam, they won as of 2003, from 33rd Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Evangelista also won the Best New Female Personality awards from Star Awards for Movies and Star Awards for TV. She also won Texter’s and Listener’s Choice at the Himig Handog Awards for her single “Love Has Come My Way”. She released the single “Tell Me” in Australia where it peaked at number 18 on the charts.

 

In 2004, after four years, Prats and Evangelista’s popular real and reel tandem ended and the management decided to pair her with Geoff Eigenmann in the movie Bcuz of U. Both of them also appeared on the TV series Hiram, with co-stars Kris Aquino, Dina Bonnevie and Anne Curtis for which she earned a Star Awards Best Actress nomination.

 

In 2005, Jericho Rosales once mentioned Heart’s name, saying that he wanted her to be his leading lady in the series Panday. There were many women who auditioned for this role, but they chose Heart to play the role of Eden, the love interest of Tristan. Their tandem turned into a serious relationship and lasted 3 years.

 

In early 2007, she renewed her ties with ABS-CBN and was under a per project basis with her manager Angeli Pangilinan Valenciano. She finished a sineserye for the station, the remake of the movie Hiram na Mukha, and appeared briefly on Pangarap Na Bituin. She also starred in the reformatted version of “Your Song” under the title “Muntik Na Kitang Minahal”.

 

In 2017, Evangelista starred in Mulawin vs. Ravena. She also starred in My Korean Jagiya, paired with former U-KISS member Alexander Lee Eusebio. The show aired with a total of 105 episodes. During the 2018 State of the Nation Address in the Philippine Congress, Evangelista wore the iconic rainbow badge in support for equality in the Philippines and the passage of the pro-LGBT SOGIE Equality Bill.

 

She was featured by Kevin Kwan’s Real Crazy Rich Asians while staying in Paris during a high couture week. Evangelista was one of People Asia’s “People of the Year 2018–2019”. In 2019, she served as a judge on the seventh season of the reality talent television show StarStruck. Evangelista then portrayed a Sorsogon fashion designer and socialite Celeste in the television drama romance series I Left My Heart in Sorsogon (2021–2022).

 

As an accomplished painter, Evangelista had sold out solo exhibitions from various galleries such as the Ayala Museum and Galerie Joaquin. She uses her real name, Love Marie, in her paintings. Her first solo exhibition was held at the Ayala Museum in 2014, entitled I am Love Marie: The Art and Works of Love Marie Ongpauco. 

The foundation of Heart, Heart Can, aims to help children with respiratory diseases. Her foundation has been active since its inception and has helped thousands of children with special needs. Heart is also an LGBT icon and a recipient of Lagablab Network’s Equality Champion Award in the Philippines, being a strong supporter for the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill, which provides protections on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. A known international painter, Heart is also active in the artistic community, notably in Asia. She is also a spokesperson for PAWS, launching various campaigns for the organization such as the Have a Heart for Aspins campaign. She admitted in an interview that she was traumatized at a young age after seeing their neighbor slaughtering some dogs. When they told the authorities about the killings, her report was just made fun of. Heart has also been supporting the Balikatan Thalassemia for children with rare diseases, Corridor of Hope for children with cancer and the Cerebral Palsy Association of Sorsogon where her husband hails from.

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