Dr. Hayden Kho Finally Speaks His Truth About His Tumultuous Past
Once voted by a popular social media site “the most hated man in the country”, Dr Hayden Kho Jnr has made a complete turnaround in his life
and embraces the lessons from the very public and salacious scandals that plagued him over a decade ago concerning a leaked sex tape. The affairs and series of civil and criminal cases not only cost him his reputation in show business but also his medical career, as the Philippine Board of Medicine revoked his license in 2009, resulting in multiple attempts to take his own life.
After years of uncertainty, he reached a turning point in 2013, when he met the Christian philosopher and apologist, Ravi Zacharias, who then became his mentor in the Christian faith. Since then, Hayden has pursued studies in Christian apologetics at Oxford, has had his medical license reinstated and now helms the product and services development head as well as the marketing Director of Belo Medical Group as well as several other businesses and non-profit organisations. He is also happily married to his longtime partner, Dr Vicki Belo, with whom he has a daughter, Scarlet Snow.
What were your thoughts and emotions at that time?
In two words, hopelessness and meaninglessness. I realised that the gap between what I was and what I had imagined myself to be became so irreconcilable that there was no way I could recover. I was a godless hedonist at that time, so to no longer have anything to “eat, drink, and be merry” for was, to me, a paralysing predicament. I ran away from God a decade before the crisis, but with nothing and no one to run to. GK Chesterton once said, “Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain. Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.” I learnt that truth when I hit rock bottom. Running away from God to pursue pleasures brought to me to a dark place. I was alone, in fear and ashamed.
Did this steal your resolve for redemption or were you resigned to your fate?
I didn’t really think of some future redemption at that time, nor did I think that all the things that were happening were somehow just a fulfilment of a preprogrammed “fate”. The things that were happening to me were the result of my own self-centredness, lust and pride. The only option I could think of at that time was to just escape the situation by ending my life. And that’s what I did. I tried to take my life in December 2008 and December 2009. Somehow, I felt that’s the only way to stop the pain, while somehow giving those I’ve hurt some justice.
How did public opinion affect the way you saw yourself and do you find that the public was forgiving?
It was difficult because, at that time, I defined myself according to how people perceived me. It’s a very dangerous error in thinking. I came to realise that 99.9 per cent of people generally don’t actually think of me, and they don’t actually bother to think if I’m worthy of forgiveness or not. It was just my egocentricity telling me that I occupy precious space in people’s minds. People have their own personal “monsters and giants” they have to deal with. It’s a very humbling realisation and also a freeing one.
Is there any advice you can give to someone who is experiencing such hardship but doing so in private and often alone?
Remember that God will give you the faith and strength you need in order to overcome the trials of life whether it’s something that was done to you, or something you did to yourself, or a calamity outside your control. When you cry out to Him, God will reveal who you are in His eyes and why you are here. That there is love, hope and redemption waiting for you. Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. Another suggestion is to look for godly people who have gone through similar crises and have successfully hurdled it. Ask for guidance and advice. Also, live in truth. The only reason you should be believing something and acting on it is because it’s true. There is no point believing something only because it makes you happy. Lastly and most importantly is to pray.
What’s your proudest achievement and did your setbacks help you get there?
What I am most grateful for right now is that I have been given the privilege to love and take care of Vicki, as her husband, and Scarlet Snow,
as her father. I think the moment of “my proudest achievement” is yet to come, and I am certain there will be more setbacks in the future. I have learnt to embrace them and acknowledge that they’re meant to make me a better person. It may delay my goals, but that’s okay. I’ve already learnt that the shortest route is not always the best route, because it can bypass some of life’s most important lessons.