Jessy is fit for life, fit for love
Jessy Mendiola describes her four-year relationship with Luis Manzano as ‘not normal’ and it’s not because of the 11-year age gap between them. Find out why.
Jessy is fit for life, fit for love
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2020 - 12:00am

Is Luis Manzano not the marrying kind? How come he hasn’t proposed to Jessy Mendiola, his girlfriend of four years? Is Jessy willing to wait even if it takes Luis forever to pop the classic will-you-marry-me question (usually answered with a resounding yes)?

Those are the questions that Jessy is, well, “bombarded” with every time she faces the movie press as if it’s their right to meddle in the couple’s life. The unflappable Jessy simply answers with a smile and a shrug. In an exclusive interview with Funfare late last year, Jessy described their relationship as “not normal” and she explained, “We seldom, if ever, fight. We do but only very small fights over petty things. I would ask Lu (her pet monicker for Luis), ‘Normal ba tayo?’ Parang not normal because we are so unlike many couples na away nang away.”

With 101 as backdrop, Jessy and Luis seal it with a kiss during a family vacation in Taiwan in November last year to celebrate the birthday of Luis’ mom, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos

The (slight) age gap must have something to do with it. Luis turned 39 last April 21 and Jessy is turning 28 on Dec. 3.

Luis’ mom, Batangas Rep. Vilma “Ate Vi” Santos, gives Jessy a thumbs-up. “She’s such a sweet girl who is turning into a sweet woman,” adding, “I can see that they are happy together at parang nag-ma-mature na rin ang relationship nila. Sana tuluy-tuloy na para magka-apo na ako, hahaha!!! I don’t want to pressure them. At the end of the day, sila pa ring dalawa ang may hawak ng kanilang relationship. I’m just here to guide and support them kung ano’t-ano man.”

Jessy is close to Luis’ family, and vice-versa, and she joined on a family trip in November last year to celebrate Ate Vi’s birthday.

Aside from Luis’ being cool, what else does Jessy like about him?

“His chest,” Jessy admitted in that previous interview. “It’s firm and I love to rest my head on it. Also, his kili-kili (armpit). I like to pinch it, kinukurot-kurot ko. And, of course, his puwet (butt). He’s proud of it and he’s fond of showing it off, di ba? He did it in a movie. It’s round...cute!!!”

Jessy hosts Fit For Life Sunday mornings (7 o’clock) on TV5 and Monday nights (7 o’clock) on Cignal TV’s Colours Channel.

Funfare talked to Jessy last week.

I presume that your contract with ABS-CBN has expired so you accepted the TV5 offer (she is managed by June Torrejon-Rufino). Did you have to get Luis’ permission since he remains a Kapamilya forever?

“Luis has always been so supportive of anything that comes my way. When he heard about a new fitness show being offered to me, he was the one who told me to accept it because he knows that I’m very passionate about fitness.”

Hindi kaya mas OK if package deal, the two of you together?

“We never considered that. Luis and I have no problems working with each other but, of course, we would like to have our own individuality when it comes to work.”

How did you prepare for the show, especially physically?

“I asked Luis for tips since it’s my first time hosting a show. I read a lot and made sure I knew how to connect with my guests. I also prepared physically by working out more so that my body would be prepared just in case a particular episode required an intense exercise program.”

You have been a victim of “body shaming” so which part of your body did you work on?

“My whole body. I realized that I cannot change the size of my legs so I just made sure to give my body that extra push by choosing what to eat and what workout is the best for my body type. My body started changing physically when I just gave it the extra love that it needed.”

What is your regular workout (and do you and Luis work out together)?

“It depends on my mood. I’m working with a trainer right now, his name is George Castro. We usually do circuit programs. Yes, I work out with Luis. It’s one of our bonding moments.”

What kind of diet is ideal for you (did you consult a health expert for it)?

“I don’t follow a specific diet unless I need to prepare for a shoot. I’m such a foodie, I cannot live without good food.”

It’s good that you are practical and you go where the work is. What’s your target market, women or men, or both?

“I do not go where the work is just for the sake of working but I do believe in balance. I like working but not to the point that I don’t have rest or time for myself anymore. I prioritize my health more than anything. It has always been my dream to inspire in any way. Fit For Life is basically a show for everyone. We have different workout programs (from low intensity to high intensity), the main goal of the show is to enlighten and inspire people. I’m very grateful to be given an opportunity to share this journey with others.”

Any hosting tips from Luis?

“Always listen to your guests. Hosting is not just asking questions, the main goal is to connect to the person.”

Aside from what you already mentioned, what do you think makes you and Luis click?

“Learn to understand him/her and patience with each other is important. Always listen to your partner and remember that you’re not the only one in the relationship.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

JESSY MENDIOLA
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