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“You have to make a difference.” Bakit nga ba ito ang gustong ituro ni Korina kina Pepe at Pilar?

With her badass journalistic prowess and ‘Lady Boss’ quality, Korina Sanchez is the epitome of an empowered woman. Even now that the veteran journalist has taken a break from television, she remains a busy woman juggling motherhood, married life and professional obligations.

Korina isn’t just a mother and a wife. Her quarantine days are still spent with virtual meetings and other hustle. But she tries her best to be a hands-on mom to twin kids Pepe and Pilar. If possible, the

cutesy duo joins their mama on her Zoom appointments, like what happened in this interview.

Korina has always been a woman of substance and dreams. As a young girl, she wanted to become a singer like her mother Celia Sanchez, whose contemporaries include the likes of Pilita Corales. But her mom had to leave the entertainment scene and focus on other things. Korina grew up marvelling at her mother’s photos. Such dreamy sights spawned her wish to also become an actress someday which she even prayed to God.

As she matured, however, Korina developed her penchant for words. She loved writing. But she also wanted to be seen on TV. Coincidentally, she saw Loren Legarda reporting. That incident spawned her dream to become a broadcast journalist instead –hitting two birds with one stone.

The smart woman described herself as impatient, although this sounded used in a good way. In college, Korina would skip classes to apply for a media-related job. She was first employed at the age of 19, still a student, as a weather girl for a government broadcast channel. She kept this hidden to her parents. However, her TV appearances inevitably revealed the secret. Not wanting to let go of her post, Korina promised to juggle her work and studies.

In retrospect, she also started at the bottom. There was a point in her career when she worked as an Editorial Assistant, making coffee for Mel Tiangco.

All the while hustling in her career and education, Korina did not forget to add up a little more spice in her life. She isn’t a stranger to teenage romance, having fallen in love at a tender age. But even if she was young then, she took relationships seriously. All of them were long-term.

And although she has strong beliefs about love, she made sure not to rush into marriage. “I was saying marriage is not necessary for me. Ang feeling ko kasi talaga, ang babae can be self-sufficient. I think marriage and children don’t have to define you because you define yourself.”

Korina further shared surprising revelations about her romantic life. Before she met her husband Mar Roxas, she was supposed to tie the knot with someone else. The wedding was on the horizon. Her gown was already made, waiting to clad the beautiful bride on the supposed big day. But for some reason, she and her fiancé would always get into arguments. Korina considered the fights as major red flags. She knew she had to take a pause and be sure of her decisions.

Just as when she was having second thoughts, she chanced upon an article about Mar. In that write-up, Mar described his ideal girl as independent, someone who also has a life of her own–exactly how Korina is. “Bakit parang dine-describe niya ako? There’s something here,” she thought. Korina had unexplainable feelings for the man she would often bump into during news coverage in Malacanang.

It is safe to say that fate played its part when Korina was coincidentally tasked to interview Mar. They were both committed at that time, though. After his guesting on DZMM, he asked her out. It was just a one-time date. They stopped communicating for a year until Mar phoned her up while he was in the States. They went out again as soon as he arrived home. And that was the beginning of their boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.

Korina and Mar exchanged wedding vows in 2009. With her strong personality and goal-oriented attitude, it is easy to assume that Korina is a dominant wife. But she would deny these assumptions. Korina said she is utterly submissive and even her friends are surprised to know that.

She loves to be of service to her husband, a stark contrast to her ‘Lady Boss’ image at work. She would even drop her Zoom meetings when Mar arrives home.

But being submissive doesn’t mean being weak and loving one’s self any less. For Korina, self-love is the foundation of all human relationships. And this is the life principle she would like to teach her kids. “You have to love yourself first, the right way. If you love yourself, hindi ka magpapaapi sa partner mo. Alam mo kung hanggang saan ka lang and it’s okay to say this is not working. If you love yourself, everything else will follow.”

She added that men and women were made to complement each other. They were put together by nature and by the laws of man and God. She believes that a supportive woman helps her partner soar higher.

The loving wife is a dutiful mother as well. She looks at Pepe as her source of joy while Pilar as the giver of hope. He is the adorably sweet one while she’s the spunky little Korina. Motherhood gave Korina clarity. The presence of Pepe and Pilar made her see where exactly she’s headed to, her purpose in life.

Korina believes making a difference doesn’t require big gestures. Humanitarian acts can be as simples as her Tsinelas Campaign in Rated K and saving a stray dog, or it can be as noble as sending a kid to school. But no matter how big or small, helping others is man’s greatest purpose. “Our purpose on earth is to make a good difference in helping other people or animals. ‘Yun ang gusto kong ituro kay Pepe and Pilar, na you’re not here for yourself. Yes, love yourself but you also have to make a difference.”

Asked what makes her cry, Korina said, “good movies.” Not that she believes strong women do not shed a tear. Her idea of crying is simply to release the pain and emotions at once. After that, you are brave enough to breathe and start all over again. “Cry a little but get over it because you can stand up. You can rise above that. You’re not having a bad life, you’re just having a bad moment. I refuse to be a victim. ‘Pag may victim mentality ka, waste of time ‘yun. Time passes so fast. Today will

never come again. The sunshine is waiting for you. Opportunities are just there and when you’re open it will come.”

Korina does not neglect her skincare and fitness routine. She launched her own beauty line since she’s also a kikay and on a break from TV reporting. “Noong una medyo nahihiya ako sa sarili ko kasi as a newscaster, balot na balot kami. Bakit ako balot na balot? Mag-sleeveless kaya ako at magsuot ng body-fitting na damit, ipapauso ko ‘yun sa TV Patrol pero magpapapayat muna ako.” Korina can now confidently flaunt her youthful glow and sexy figure on social media.