Amid the frenzied start of another election season, re-electionist senator Koko Pimentel's bride, Kathryna Yu, cut a refreshing figure at the Thursday filing of certificates of candidacy at the Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila.
For good luck, Pimentel brought along his fiancée as he registered his candidacy, exactly seven days before their wedding at the Coconut Palace at the CCP Complex in Pasay City.
A native of Marikina with a Filipino-Chinese bloodline, Yu led a low-key and quiet life as a caterer when she met Pimentel in 2013. It happened at his election victory party, where she was the food supplier.
“He asked me to make him coffee, sabi ko, ‘Bakit ako pa?’” she recalled in a recent interview with ABS-CBN News.
She later found out that it was Pimentel's way to get to know her, and that he did not drink coffee at all.
Pimentel later said that Yu is his soulmate and that it was fate that their paths crossed at a challenging point in his personal life.
The senator's marriage to his first wife, former Binibining Pilipinas Jewel Lobaton, was eventually annulled in January.
He popped the question to Yu in February, after her workout in a setting devoid of any suspense or romance. “It wasn’t exactly a proposal or a question. He just said it’s about time we become a family,” she recounted, laughing.
Yu said yes nonetheless to the man who would change the direction of her life.
Her family was also won over by Pimentel's self-effacing and amiable personality. “Ako pa nga nagsasabi sa kanya, ‘Magbihis ka naman!’” she shared.
She opted not to confirm the value of her three-carat diamond engagement ring. “Nakakahiya, e,” she said.
Modesty appears natural to Yu, who dresses simply and prefers a no-frills wedding that will highlight Filipino cuisine and local giveaways like peanut butter.
Yu also prefers to be in the political background, as head of PDP Cares, the charity arm of Pimentel's political party.
President Duterte will lead the nine pairs of sponsors at the wedding that will have two receptions — the first for their families and friends at the Coconut Palace on October 15; and the second for Pimentel's constituents at the Sofitel Sunset Pavilion on October 21.
Pimentel’s two sons, Martin and Akio, who call Yu “Mama Kath,” will be the ring and bible bearers.
Asked whether she and Pimentel have received any advice from President Duterte, she said: “Dapat daw mas maging mapag-pasensiya ang babae, para mas mag-last ang marriage.”
Yu has embraced what she calls her destiny. Referring to Pimentel, she said: “I love him 101 per cent.”