Kris Aquino clarified that Batangas Vice Gov. Mark Leviste is just her "best male friend"—following his gestures of romance through a surprise visit to the United States and a special video presentation.
"I appreciate all your effort[s] (through the years) BUT please clarify that we agreed [that] the best foundation for any & all relationships is FRIENDSHIP," Aquino commented on Leviste's Instagram post.
"I now state with 100% accuracy, you’re my best male friend," she added.
Leviste flew to the U.S. on Valentine's Day, which is also Aquino's 52nd birthday. Aquino is there to seek treatment for her multiple autoimmune diseases.
“It may have taken more than 7k miles to be with you, but I wouldn’t have it any other way," Leviste said in an Instagram post, as he shared their selfie together.
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“Although we have been apart, now that we’re together fills my heart. It is for this reason my love and my dear you will always and forever feel near.”
“Happy Birthday to you and Happy Valentine’s Day to us,” he added.
In a prior Instagram post, Leviste also uploaded his reunion video with Aquino set to Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years. In the clip, he can be seen walking to the car carrying Aquino. As he sees her, he tells her, “You are so beautiful.”
“Distance is just a test to see how far love can travel,” he wrote in the caption—the exact quote that Aquino posted on Instagram a day before that.
In her own post, Aquino talked about a mystery man, saying “you need to be a very determined man of your word to fly 13 hours each way to spend a few days with me on my birthday.”
Leviste didn't respond to Aquino's comment.
Hours after her comment, photo and video services Nice Print Photo shared Leviste's video presentation for Aquino which he personally showed her during his surprise visit.
"Sharing here also with all of you. Happy birthday Kris! You are loved," Nice Print Photo said in its Instagram post Feb. 15.
The video presentation contained several old interview clips and photos of Aquino including from her adolescent years.
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It also featured a voice-over from Leviste, who gushes over Aquino on how she's fulfilling her dreams in life while being showered with love from everybody.
He also took note of her honesty and genuineness, qualities that he said made Filipinos love her.
Leviste also called her "mabuting kaibigan" and "mapagmahal na ina."
The video also featured greetings from Aquino's loved ones, including sibling Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, friend and former co-host Boy Abunda, personal assistant Check Ticsay, and Kris Aquino World fan page administrator Jhamer Abag.
"Happiest birthday, dearest Krissy, my love," Leviste said. "I hope you like this video we prepared especially for you."
Saving the best for last, her sons Bimby and Josh were the last ones to appear in the video presentation, sending lots of love to their mother.
Romance speculations between the two started brewing in 2019. At the time, Leviste reached out to Aquino when she wrote an Instagram post asking single men aged 41 to 55 to add her on Facebook.
In January, Leviste visited Aquino to welcome 2023 together. He fondly called her the “Queen” in his post, where he can be seen enjoying a meal together and bonding with Josh and Bimby.
Aquino was formerly married to basketball star James Yap. Her last reported romance was with former Quezon City mayor and actor Herbert Bautista.