Leni Robredo relives 'whirlwind' romance with Jesse

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Oct 09 2015 11:01 AM | Updated as of Oct 09 2015 07:04 PM

MANILA - Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo on Friday recounted her "whirlwind" yet "traditional" romance with late husband Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

In an interview with "Umagang Kay Ganda," Rep. Robredo said her husband was very traditional from the outset of their relationship.

"Naku, 'yung asawa ko, very traditional. Naalala ko, bago umakyat ng ligaw, nagpaalam sa magulang ko," the widow said.

Robredo said Jesse, who was then the head of Bicol River Basin Development Program (BRBDP) and her boss, quickly won her parents' favor.

The lawmaker added that her parents' only worry was that she would fail to pursue a law degree after Jesse asked for her hand in marriage.

Rep. Robredo said her husband vowed that she will become a lawyer.

"Approve kaagad kasi appreciated nila na pagpapahalaga sa kanila. 'Yung medyo agam-agam lang is medyo ano kami e, whirlwind romance. Noong magpapaalam nang mag-aasawa, sabi ng tatay ko, 'Bakit mag-aasawa na? Nagkakakilala pa lang kayo?'" Robredo said.

"Kaya 'yung asawa ko kailangang maraming i-promise sa tatay ko. Kasi sabi ng tatay ko, 'Hindi pupwede. Mag-aabogado pa iyan.' Sabi ng asawa ko, 'Sisiguruhin ko po na mag-aabogado pa rin ang anak niyo.'"

Rep. Robredo has a degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines and a law degree from the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City.

The Robredos were married for 25 years before the cabinet secretary died in a plane crash in 2012.

Robredo attributed their lasting relationship to mutual efforts to let nothing come between them and a strong desire to make the marriage work.

"Sikreto naming mag-asawa parang 'yung sense na hindi niyo binigyan ng pagkakataon na magkasiraan kayo. Alam niyo na kahit anong mangyari, hindi kayo maghihiwalay kaya pareho niyong buong puso at buong loob na pinagtatrabahuhan 'yung success ng marriage," she shared.

'TSINELAS' LEADERSHIP

Rep. Robredo on Monday formally accepted the Liberal Party's offer to become the running mate of the ruling party's standard bearer, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

The initially reluctant vice presidential candidate repeatedly said it was Jesse who inspired and gave her the strength to finally accept the challenge to run as Roxas' running mate.

"Ano ang gagawin ni Jesse kung siya ang nalalagay sa sitwasyon? Kahit gaano kahirap, 'di niya tatalikuran ang sinumang humihingi ng tulong. Hindi siya matutulog hangga't 'di niya nagagawa ang pwede pa niyang magawa sa bayan,'' she said in a speech.

''Gaya ng dati, nabubuhay kami sa alaala ng sinasabi ni Jesse sa amin: 'Tiwala lang'. May dahilan ang lahat ng nangyayari. Dahil sa kahuli-hulihan ng lahat, ang mabuti ang palaging mananaig at ang tama ang parating magtatagumpay."

(Tsinelas leadership: Why Leni Robredo joined VP race)

Among the things that made her think twice about running were her daughters' desire for her to stay out of the political limelight.

In the interview with Umagang Kay Ganda, Robredo explained that her children initially feared the lifestyle change that her candidacy will bring. She also said the three feared that they may not be able to protect her during the election campaign.

"Natatakot sila para sa akin kasi parang pakiramdam nila hindi nila ako kayang saluhin. Sa pamilya kasi namin ako lang naman ang pulitiko. Wala na akong asawa. Sinasabi nila, 'Paano kapag napalaban ka, paano ka namin tutulungan?'" Robredo said.

"Siyempre 'yung pulitika natin kapag kumakandidato ka, open target ka sa kahit ano, whether totoo or hindi."

Robredo said her family finally agreed with her decision to run for vice-president after a consultation with their spiritual adviser.

The Robredo sisters earlier said they will help their mother in the campaigns. The eldest of the three, Aika Robredo, is set to resign from work to fully concentrate on the national campaign.

SURVEY STANDING

Robredo is entering the VP race with a poor standing in pre-elections surveys.

In the last Pulse Asia survey on possible candidates for vice president, Robredo scored a mere 3% nationally, 1% in NCR, 5% in Luzon 1% in Visayas, 0 in Mindanao, 2 in class ABC 3 in class D and 3 in class E.

This is also the situation in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, where only 3% of the respondents said they would vote for Robredo if the elections were held during the survey period.