âPepe & Pilar are my destinationâ
Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez with their twins Pepe and Pilar.
Photo courtesy of Korina Sanchez
‘Pepe & Pilar are my destination’
Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - May 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Every day is now Mother’s Day for Korina Sanchez

MANILA, Philippines — She had wanted children for so long; perhaps they were the only blessing lacking in her charmed life.

Blessed with a career studded with accolades, Korina Sanchez also married the love of her life Mar Roxas — a prince in his own right — in a fairytale wedding almost 10 years ago.

And now, in her midlife, she surprised everybody by living her best life, and looking her best yet, appearing in Belo billboards that highlighted the change in her. It is said that the Belo clinic had walk-in clients who simply told the reception desk: “I want a Korina.”

Three-month-old Pepe and Pilar. Photo by CHUCK GOMEZ

And then, on Feb. 12 this year, the twin blessings she had been waiting for arrived. Actually, she reveals, her husband wanted triplets!

“Maybe, finally, my North Star has shone. Whatever it is, Pepe and Pilar are my destination,” Korina tells Allure in an exclusive interview.

With the blur of diaper changes and vaccinations; sleepless nights and the worries that descend upon every parent — from the slightest hiccup to a colicky stomach — also came a “sudden clarity” to the brand-new mother. 

“Suddenly life and the world aren’t as complicated, like there is now a simplicity in the definition of things,” says the broadcast journalist.

The twins’ kuya, Paolo. Photo by KRIZJOHN ROSALES

And this is how the new mom sees things now, with the lens that motherhood has bestowed upon her.

Allure: How have your feelings, love and appreciation for your husband changed since you both became parents together?

Korina: I didn’t understand then what women meant when they said there is a deeper commitment to and respect for a partner when you get married. Until I married. And now, the relationship has palpably morphed into “family” mode. We are a unit, hahaha! So this is now a team. Mar and I need to be co-team leaders with Paolo, Pepe, Pilar and our pet dogs.

Mar is amazing. He wanted triplets, would you believe? He is all gushy about the babies and lives for the now, at the same time thinking 20 years down the road. We love each other and value each other more now for obvious reasons.

Allure: Please complete this sentence as many times as you feel: “It’s never too late” for...

‘They say your children will tell you what to do next, and you’ll know what to do next.’www.instagram.com/korina

Korina: For starting. For change. For beginnings. For getting strong and healthy. For a new project. For your very own baby shower, hahaha!

Allure: What was Paolo’s reaction to the arrival of his siblings?

Korina: Paolo was one of the very few we told about the arrival of the kids ahead of everyone else. Paolo has been an only child of his parents for all his life till now. He is a really cerebral, but compassionate, person. I love Paolo. We talk. And he was very loving to Pepe and Pilar when we were with him in the US and he came to meet them. Mar jokes about his pact with his son. Paolo actually agreed not to get married until Pepe and Pilar have completed college. Hahaha!

Allure: How are you preparing for the life ahead for the twins as they have come in your midlife — I know you’re a planner.

Korina: Well, one big part of that is a health and wellness program for both Mar and myself. We have to live long for Pepe and Pilar. We already are into health and fitness but maybe a 2.0 program is in order.

Korina (left) and siblings Milano, EG and Mickey with parents Ramon and Celia. “My mom was an interior designer, cooked so well, always looked good, and then went back to school towards her sixties.”

Another part is downloading to a few trusted younger people about how we would want Pepe and Pilar carrying on after us, in case anything happens. This is serious business.

But for the immediate future, I don’t really want to over plan. They say your children will tell you what to do next, and you’ll know what to do next. I just want to open up all possibilities for them and they’ll tell me what they need.

Allure: What is the best legacy you can give your children?

Korina: The best legacy is our humanity. It is very clear to us as parents that if there’s anything we’ve learned so far in our more than 50 years of life is that its definition lies in our hearts. Your brain should ably guide you through applying what the heart dictates. My children should know that the reason they are on earth is to make this a better place than when they found it. A life for others. Only then can you truly be happy, when you are able to help other people. And I want my kids to be happy people.

A young Mar (right) with parents Judy and Gerry Roxas and siblings Dinggoy and Ria. “My mom-in-law Judy lived through a war, and raised three children amidst the harrowing backdrop of politics as the perfect political wife.”

Allure: What characteristics of your mom Celia and your mother-in-law Judy would you like to emulate as a mother?

Korina: Both my mom Celia and mom-in-law Judy are strong women. My mother Celia was the eldest in a family of meager means but was determined, talented and intelligent. She helped put her siblings through school. She was one of the earliest of the OFWs in Hong Kong in the ‘60s, where she sang professionally, and where she met my dad. She became president of her own flourishing company back in Manila and gave us, her kids, the best of most things. She was an interior designer, cooked so well, always looked good, and then went back to school towards her sixties. Ang galing niya.

My mom-in-law Judy lived through a war, worked with her father, raised three children amidst the harrowing backdrop of politics as the perfect political wife. She survived the Plaza Miranda bombing, the untimely death of her husband former Sen. Gerry Roxas and had to bury her own son congressman Dinggoy Roxas. Still she is quiet, calm, regal through it all. To this day in her eighties, she heartily laughs at Mar’s corny jokes and goes to work every day. Galing.

These say it all. I would like to be all of these to my kids and serve as an example to my own daughter.

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