Boyfriend Luis Manzano has changed Jennylyn Mercado – for the better.
So notes members of the entertainment media who saw her at the press conference of Regal Entertainment Inc.’s “The Bride and the Lover” on Saturday, April 13.
Gone is the sullen, haggard look, the wary eyes that don’t want others to see the pain she went through since childhood. Jennylyn today smiles easily, laughs quickly. She radiates with an inner glow.
“Nag iba ang outlook ko sa buhay,” admits Jennylyn. “Naging positive, nag evolve. Laki ng naitulong (ni Luis) sa personality ko.”
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The single mom says the need to take a rest from work can be overpowering. Enter workaholic Luis, whose drive seems bottomless. While Jennylyn is not known for being slack in her work, she admits that she has imbibed Luis’ dedication to his job.
The 32-year-old Luis, who is seven years older than she is, has also taught Jennylyn conflict-management skills.
Instead of quarreling in public the way she and former boyfriend Mark Herras did many years back, Jennylyn calmly threshes out issues with Luis.
Also read: Jennylyn remains 'unforgettable' to Mark Herras
“Normal sa isang relasyon na may away. Luis and I sit down and talk about it. Naayos agad,” relates Jennylyn.
See stunning photos of Jennylyn
Marriage can wait
But marriage is something they have yet to think and talk about.
“Naiintindihan niya (Luis) ang situation ko. I need to take care of my family first. Maliit pa si Jazz (her four-year-old son by former boyfriend Patrick Garcia). Baby pa. Kailangan niya ng mother’s attention. At bata pa naman kami."
More: Luis: No comment on Jennylyn-Patrick rift
The future may still be a big question mark for her and Luis. But Jennylyn is sure of one thing – she’ll support Luis in any decision he makes – including politics.
Jennylyn just laughs (nervously?) when asked how she feels about being a potential first lady of Lipa (Batangas, where Luis is rumored to be eyeing a mayoralty post someday).
“Ayokong makialam sa decision niya. Sa sarili niya at sa family niya yon. Wala akong karapatang makialam,” states Jennylyn. No wonder Jennylyn gets along well with Luis’ mom, Batangas governor Vilma Santos.
“Right now, I’m still the lover,” Jennylyn adds. Let’s wait and see if she’ll become a real-life bride as well.
“The Bride and the Lover,” directed by Joel Lamangan, also stars Lovi Poe, Paulo Avelino, Alex Castro, Hayden Kho, Kat Alano and others. It opens Wednesday, May 1 in theaters nationwide.
Flashback: Jennylyn in "Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal"