Aiko Melendez is looking so relaxed nowadays—and sporting a slimmer figure, courtesy of Marie France—that she's willing to open up about her past and the men who colored her life.
"Siguro si Jomari. E, kasi siya yong unang pinakasalan ko and for seven years siya yong nakasama ko," revealed Aiko to Showbiz Central's Rufa Mae Quinto and DJ Mo when asked who among Aga Muhlach, Jomari Yllana and Martin Jickain she loved most.
"Longest relationship ko is si Jomari talaga and yong pinagsamahan namin. ni Jomari hindi matatawaran talaga," she continued.
Her breakup with Jomari was also the hardest to bear, given the intensity of the relationship. But their inexperience in heart matters, mixed with serious responsibilities, was simply too much for the young couple to handle then.
"Oo. First ito e... failure yong relationship mo and we're talking about marriage here, so first failed marriage, so siyempre masakit and yong nangyari pa dati sa ‘min ni Jom, it was really publicized so everybody was talking about it, so nasaktan talaga ko," confessed Aiko.
MAMA'S PET. Rufa Mae and Mo abruptly asked who among Aiko's old flames was the most unfaithful. Taken aback, Aiko pulled her wits together, albeit hesitantly, "Kaibigan ko na ‘to ngayon, ha. Si Jom. Pero in fairness naman, after nung nangyari sa 'min, and we've became the best of friends now," she said in defense of Jom, who is the father of Aiko's first son, Andre.
Jomari also emerged as the guy closest to Aiko's mom, Elsie.
As for Aiko's second husband Martin Jickain, she regretfully said that the young model never cultivated a close relationship with her mom. Aiko cited the fact that her relationship with Martin was a whirlwind romance; that even mommy Elsie was caught flat-footed.
"Hindi sila masyadong nabigyan ng chance na maging close kasi nga ang dali ng relasyon namin ‘di ba? In two weeks time naging kami ni Martin so I guess hindi nabigyan ng chance talaga para mag-bond ang mommy ko at si Martin," she rationalized.
After all the hype and drama that surrounded her split with Martin, Aiko happily announced that they're on speaking terms and are civil towards each other for the sake of their daughter Marthena.
"Honestly hindi na ko galit sa kanya kasi I have moved on already and as we all know I've already filed for an annulment."
LEARNING AND MOVING FORWARD. Going through two failed marriages did take its toll on Aiko's self-esteem and feeling of self-worth.
She confided, "You know it came to a point that I have to question myself na ako ba ang may pagkukulang and I have an answer for that. Ang pagkukulang ko siguro is, hindi ko minahal yong sarili ko ng sobra-sobra... for you to be capable to loving someone you have to love yourself and siguro napasobra 'yong pagmamahal na binigay sa kanila."
Squashing a myth about her domineering character, Aiko said that she's not the type who imposes her will on a partner.
"Hindi nga e, kaya nga lagi akong naloloko hindi ako nagdi-demand e, kaya nga ngayon magbabago na ko," she said laughing.
She also revealed the real status of her relationship with Bulacan Vice Mayor Patrick Meneses.
"I do not deny the fact that I'm very close to him," replied Aiko candidly. "I know it sounds cliché na we're very close friends but, you know, ang panahon na lang ang makakapagsabi kung saan ba pupunta ang pagsasama namin."
ARA MINA. Aiko is very upfront in saying that she's very much in favor of Pops Fernandez for Jomari.
But before Jom hooked up with Pops, there's of course sexy actress Ara Mina—the same person touted by many as the catalyst for the breakdown of Aiko's marriage with Jomari.
With all honesty, Aiko, who is currently serving as Quezon City's 2nd District councilor, confessed that she was not really fond of Ara from the start. The reason however has nothing to do with pride or bitterness.
"Siguro naging controversial kasi kami ni Ara Mina, di ba alam niyo naman na may mga bagay kaming hindi napagkasunduan dati dahil siguro hindi kami nakapag-usap and I'm not closing that opportunity or chance for us na maging okay din as I am with Pops Fernandez now. Hindi ko sinasabi na ayoko siya dahil pangit ang ugali niya pero may nangyari sa ‘min kasi na hindi ko rin nagustuhan dati," she explained.
Given the chance and proper venue, Aiko said that she's very much willing to finally settle whatever misunderstanding they both had in the past.
"Yes, because we never had the chance to talk and wala akong chance din na makita si Ara ngayon. I guess kung siguro napakaliit ng mundo ng show business di ba? Kung magkita man kami and willing siyang makipag-usap sa ‘kin because this is so passé di ba? 2008 na di ba? We should all move on and I have moved on. I'm very happy and I guess Ara is happy also, so sana mabigyan kami ng chance and opportunity na makapag-usap."