Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Mar Is His Own Man

Mar Is His Own Man
May 6, 2004

WHAT is the real score between senatorial aspirant Mar Roxas and broadcaster Korina Sanchez?

Although neither one would confirm nor deny that they are altar bound, the two are often spotted going out on dates. They were coosome twosome at the Andrea Bocelli concert at the Araneta Coliseum last Friday. Roxas and Sanchez caused quite a stir during the intermission when their images were flashed several times on the huge videowall. At one point, they even elicited some applause from the audience, mostly from the bleachers. An indication that the public approves of the match? Apparently.

Roxas, a scion of the Aranetas (his mother is Judy Araneta and his father was former Senator Gerry Roxas), was in his usual garb - blue polo and black pants, while Sanchez was in a little black dress. The camera caught the two talking animatedly to each other and greeting friends who were seated with them at the patron section. They walked arm in arm outside of the coliseum after the concert.

In an interview, Roxas, 47, said he has known Korina the broadcaster for a long time but it was only a couple of years back when they got to speak about things other than work. It was at the Philippine Press Club, on a stormy day and they talked about the weather, the floods, their hobbies.... Romance did not bloom at once, though.

"May relationship ako, may relationship din siya o 'yung isa sa amin wala pero 'yung isa mayroon. Hindi nagtutugma pero constantly nag-iinterview-han, nag-uusap... Basta one day, I just asked her if she wanted ice cream," he related, recalling the date that led to their courtship.

This was last year. Right now they are constant companions. He guests in her show "Morning Girls" while she even campaigns for him in the provinces.

Although mum about their future plans, Mar is generous with his praises for Korina.

"Tunay siya," he said, later on adding, "She's a fighter. I like her intellecual curiosity. Sa kabila ng katarayan niya in public, I think that's her defense. She's very gentle in person. Alam mo ang rosas may tinik 'yan 'di para saktan ang humahawak, kundi para ingatan ang bulaklak."

It is not hard to imagine her embarking on a political career herself. What would he say if ever Korina makes a bid for public office? "She certainly has the qualities, the heart, the brains, the civic spirit. I will encourage her to do what she wants, I will just support her."

In answer to those who think that he is merely "using" the relationship with Korina to gain media mileage, Mar has this to say: "Di namin made-deny na nakatulong ang mga usapan sa amin pero ang tawag ng tao sa akin Mr. Palengke, 'di Mr. Korina. Siguro dagdag 'yun, nagbibigay kulay 'yun pero mayroon na namang Mar Roxas."

He stressed that he is running purely for public service. This Wharton graduate who is also the grandson of President Manuel Roxas has already served as majority floor leader of the House of Representative. If given the chance to be in the Senate, he wants to push "palengkenomics" by helping the small and the medium enterprises to flourish through "effective market linkages and innovative financial schemes." He also believes that a unicameral type of government would help in facilitating the passing of bills.

To those who suspect his true intentions, Mar, known for being a most eligible bachelor and has been linked to a lot of beautiful ladies in the past, set the record straight with this: "I think affairs of the heart are always serious."

He refused to divulge any details about his past relationships but admitted that he has a son, whom he wants to keep away from prying eyes.

"He is turning 11 years old and I want him to have as normal a childhood as possible," he said.


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