MANILA - Dionisia Pacquiao is in a relationship.
The 65-year-old mother of Filipino boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao confirmed on Wednesday that she now has a boyfriend.
Dionisia Pacquiao, who is endearingly called "Mommy D" in showbiz, declined to divulge her boyfriend's identity or background, but said his first name is Michael.
She said Michael requested her not to reveal his full name in her interviews.
She earlier denied having a boyfriend.
While she did not mention when they started dating, Mommy D told ABS-CBN News' Rean Hacosta that she and Michael met during a sing-along birthday party.
Mommy D's confirmation of her relationship came a week after Pacquiao, in an interview on "Tapatan ni Tunying," said his mother is seeing someone who is 25 years her junior.
"Kasi nakita niya one time, nakita niya may kasama ako sa bahay, dinala ko. Gusto ko ipakilala sa kanila," Mommy D said, explaining how her son came to know of her having a boyfriend. "Hindi naman naharap ni Manny, hindi niya pa nasabihan, wala pa. Hindi ko pa alam kung anong gagawin."
She recalled that her son sought to speak with her privately to give her advice on Michael, specifically concerning her plans of possibly getting married again.
"Sabi ko, 'Ano payag ka ba mag-asawa ako ulit, anak?' 'Ma, masakit lang sa ulo iyan. Anong pipiliin mo -- ang sundin ang katawan mo, o sundin ang Espiritu Santo?' Sabi ko, 'Ang Bible nandiyan lang. Ang Diyos, marunong siya magbigay ng partner,'" she said.
Mommy D has four children with Rosalio Pacquiao, her partner of 20 years before they separated -- Isidra, Manny, Bobby, and Rogelio. She has two older children from her previous marriage.
Pacquiao earlier noted that his mother's legal husband is still alive.
"Ang anak ko, hindi ko sila pinilit," Mommy D said. "Marunong ako magdala sa kanila, kung gusto na ba nila. Pinapaalam ko sa kanila kung payag ba sila na mag-asawa ako ulit. Kay hirap nang wala kang kasama sa buhay."
'Hindi ko siniseryoso'
Notwithstanding her children's approval, Mommy D admitted she has doubts Michael will become her second husband.
Laughing, she explained that she is not yet taking their relationship seriously, given his plans of working abroad.
Mommy D said she is also busy with her own work.
"Ako, may boyfriend na, pero hindi ko siniseryoso. Siya, maghanap-buhay man, ako din naghanap-buhay. Sa ngayon, okay na na masaya ang tao sa akin, lahat ng tao na pinasaya ko sa TV," she said.
Asked if she thinks she can manage a long-distance relationship, Mommy D said: "Kaya kung kaya. Nadaanan ko na. Sanay naman ako na nag-iisa. Matulog, sanay naman ako. Okay lang ang text-text."
Mommy D emphasized that she will still have to get to know Michael better before considering him as a lifetime partner, and offered advice to those who are in a similar situation of having just entered a relationship.
"Natural naman may boyfriend. Sa boyfriend mo, ingatan natin. Silipin mo kung ano siya, anong klase. Hindi tulad ng nakaraan na maraming babae," she quipped.
Turning serious, she added: "Hindi ko pa sigurado kung siya (Michael) na nga... Kailangan ang puso natin, ang pagmamahal, ang pag-ibig, mag-iwan ka ng para sa iyo. Magtira ka ng para sa iyong katawan, para sa utak mo. Hindi mo ibuhos sa lalaki, hindi mo ibuhos sa boyfriend."
To those who have many suitors, such as herself, Mommy D advised to not be easily swayed by declarations of love, and be discerning on the sincerity of men.
"Huwag magpadalos-dalos sa lahat ng mga nanliligaw, kasi marami ba 'yang magsasabi na, 'Mahal taka.' Pero binigkas lang sa labi. Hindi tayo makatungkad sa puso kung totoo ba, kung tunay na tunay," she said.
If she happens to finally discern for herself whether Michael, or any of her other suitors, is "the one," Mommy D said she would readily share details of her next wedding to the public.
"Hintayin ko lang 'yan. Huwag kayo mag-alala, lahat ng mga media, kung gusto ko na mag-asawa, magpa-video pa ako! I-broadcast ko sa mundo!" she said, laughing.