When you're married to the Pambansang Kamao and a senator of the Republic of the Philippines to boot, you can expect the press to be all over you. And, for Jinkee Pacquiao, it has been one of the most difficult aspects of being married to Manny Pacquiao.
Life meant having to read about your husband's vices, including alleged extra-marital affairs. In an exclusive interview with Preview.phfor its August digital cover, Jinkee reflected on her 18-year marriage and how different it is today.
At one point, cover story writer Owen Maddela asked Jinkee to go back to her home life in 2010. "You went on record and called out those problems. You even named names."
Jinkee replied, "Oo, nasabi ko nga ‘yun. Buti na lang talagang kinaya ko rin, pero I almost gave up dun sa marriage namin ni Manny. Kasi nga parang hindi ko na nakayanan kasi meron din akong mga evidence. Siyempre may proof din ako so...kailangan naman ganun pag mag de-decision ka. Siguro kung hindi sya nagbago, hindi sya nag transform, hindi rin siguro kami tatagal."
And what was more painful was their children could see and read their problems serving as national news. "May mga anak ka, so nalalaman din nila, and I’m sure nafi-feel din nila yung pain mo," Jinkee said.
The turning point and gave her strength eventually, Jinkee says, was to lift all that negativity and pain to a higher power, and so did Manny. "Siguro kung hindi sya nagbago, hindi sya nag transform, hindi rin siguro kami tatagal."
She and Manny are operating like a well-oiled machine now, united in facing difficult choices in a new arena: politics.
"I’m not stopping him sa political plans niya. Alam ko naman na nag-pe-pray din siya...Ayoko rin ng puro ako salita kaya pinagdadasal ko kung ano ang para sa kanya," Jinkee, who now describes herself now as a "prayerful wife,"explained.
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The mom of five has always been content in the sidelines, preferring to devote her time to her kids: older sons Emmanuel Jr. and Michael Stephen, daughters Queen Elizabeth and Mary Divine Grace, and youngest son Israel.
But, with her husband in public service, Jinkee life in the spotlight will never go away. The self-confessed mahiyain continues to pray for strength and guidance to do what do what needs to be done even if it means going outside her comfort zone.
Read more about Jinkee Pacquiao's story on Preview.ph.