By Katherine Silva
Korina Sanchez never fails to capture every ear in every event she speaks in whenever she shares that she's had a crush on husband Mar Roxas even before they've met.
It was through a three-page feature about the then-congressman that she came across one time.
"Napakagwapo naman nito," she remembered thinking. "Tall, dark, and handsome. Ayoko ng mestizo - that’s the funny thing, my dad was a mestizo but I don’t like mestizo - gusto ko Pilipino ang itsura. Tapos matalino, nag-aral sa abroad."
Clearly, she was intrigued by this man, who in spite of his charm and accomplishments, remained a bachelor then. That moment gave her "Sleepless in Seattle" feels. Yes, that movie starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
She went on to relate during the exclusive interview, "Tapos nabasa ko. 'What is your dream woman?' 'Out of the box' ang sagot niya. 'I don’t want her dependent on me. I want her to have her own life, her own identity.''"
Korina finally got to meet him during an interview for a "Balitang K" feature on the "eligible bachelors in Congress."
"Kita ko naman click kami kasi funny siya, nagjo-joke siya," the award-winning broadcast journalist noted.
Fast forward - as in two-relationships-that-didn't-work-out-for-her later - Korina and Mar became official.
Their first real romantic date, as Korina described it, was in the City That Never Sleeps: New York. There was a state visit of then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which Mar was a part of as cabinet secretary and which Korina was tasked to cover.
Korina recalled watching a show of iconic performer Bobby Short at Carlyle Hotel with Mar.
"Ako ang humawak ng kamay niya," she confessed, chuckling. "Torpe eh. I really could almost feel his breath of relief when I held his hand because he didn’t know how to make the first move. It’s funny!"
But things were about to get more romantic.
"Meron kaming eksena sa labas na every time we go to New York we would laugh and relive it," Korina continued. "We were walking and then it rained and then takbo, takbo, takbo, then when we got to the silong near Carlyle, hinalikan niya ‘ko. Feeling ko ako si San Chai ng 'Meteor Garden.'"
They finally sealed their journey to a happy ending October 27 of 2009 in a grand ceremony in Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City.
Asked what made her fall in love with Mar, Korina quickly remarked, "I thought his authenticity was refreshing. He stood for something I believed in: Service."
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