When Mikee Cojuangco married basketball heartthrob Dodot Jaworski in 1999, she chose to turn her back on her blooming showbiz career to be a dedicated wife and eventual mother to three young boys. Ten years later, Mikee remains out of the limelight, busy taking care of her family.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had a chance to talk to the equestrienne this afternoon, October 7, during the launch of a new line of skin care products from Fuller Life at Madison, Greenbelt 5 in Makati.
Although she's happy where she is now, she said she still misses showbiz from time to time.
"Sometimes when I see a movie and it's something I would have liked to do, nami-miss ko... I guess being able to interview people, react with more people, act. I enjoy doing all of these things. Pero I'm too busy to give some time," Mikee said.
The former actress still receives offers from time to time. For instance, she appeared in a cameo role in the John Lloyd Cruz-Sarah Geronimo blockbuster hit You Changed My Life shown last February.
"I did that cameo role dun sa movie ni John Lloyd 'saka ni Sarah, and I enjoyed that. Pero of course it's time-taxing also, even if I just appeared in that movie. But I really enjoyed it," she said.
Appearing in the romantic comedy was one of the few offers that she had accepted. She said there are many factors that she thinks about before accepting any offer made to her.
"Of course, everytime I'm offered something, one of the biggest considerations is how much time I have to spend away from my kids," she said.
TIME FOR FAMILY. But Mikee added that she's also happy being a good mom to her kids, despite being away from the showbiz spotlight.
"It's fun. It's exciting, kasi my kids are in different stages. I have a nine-year old, seven-year old, 'saka one-year old. So, I'm really enjoying it."
One way to bond with her children, Mikee said, is being able to help them with their homework. She has three sons—Robert Vincent Anthony III, Rafael Joseph, and Renzo Mikael.
"I try to be able to help my kids with homework. Palagi nga naming pinag-aawayan ni Dodot 'yan kasi he says tabihan ko raw, turuan ko. Pero ayoko ng ganun, kasi kami nung bata, hindi naman ganun. Do it, and then if they need help, itse-check ko na lang kung may mali," she explained.
Mikee also encourages her children engage in sports. The equestrian gold medalist, however, said she wishes her children would not pursue the sport she excels in, because she and Dodot can't afford it for them.
"I don't think Dodot and I are capable of supporting them financially for something like that. Unless they're only going to do it at the local level. In which case, sayang naman yung effort at saka yung pagod nila. Mas gugustuhin ko na na pumasok sila sa sport na puwede talaga silang mag-excel even internationally," she explained.
But her ultimate aim for her kids, she explained further, is for them to grow up with good values, so that they would excel in whatever field they want to go to—whether showbiz, sports, or any other field.
"We just want to teach our kids as best as we can the values that we believe are important, tapos bahala na sila kung anong gusto nilang pasukin," she said.
"TULOY PNOY". Besides being a dedicated mom and wife, Mikee also takes pride in taking part in several advocacies that aim for the betterment of the country. Mikee currently acts as the spokesperson for Anak TV and child-rights ambassador for Plan International, a child-centered humanitarian organization.
But her most recent cause is Tuloy Pnoy, launched when her first cousin Noynoy Aquino announced his bid for presidency last month.
"Tuloy Pnoy" is based on the advocacy, Anong Taya Mo, which asks Filipinos what they are willing to risk for the country's benefit.
Mikee explains, "Dati meron kaming grupo na Anong Taya Mo, which basically is a group promoting good citizenship. But when Kuya Noy decided to run, we decided to take a break from that cause to do our own other activities. Tuloy Pnoy is basically where we ask ourselves, and we ask other people around us, ano ba from your skills or your talents, ano ba ang puwede mong ibigay to make our country the dream Philippines that we want it to be?"
Mikee, who does not hold any position in Tuloy Pnoy, adds that the advocacy works through individualism, depending on what the volunteer's talents are and available resources.
"Kunwari yung mga kaibigan namin na doktor, they will offer one whole day during the week for services to the less fortunate. So, within your own circle, do something that's not for you, or not for your family, or not for your loved one," she explained.
But Mikee added that Tuloy Pnoy is not part of Sen. Noynoy Aquino's core campaign groups. It exists to help the presidential aspirant's various causes.
"We're not part kasi of the main campaign. We're one of the volunteers. So it's not as if tumatawag ako sa kanya na ganito gagawin namin, anong gusto mong gawin namin... it's not like that at all," she clarified.
Although she's very active in political causes, Mikee said she does not have any political ambitions at the moment. Neither does her husband Dodot, formerly a Pasig congressman.
"Dodot and I haven't even discussed the possibility of him running. I think we're all busy with all the new developments that are exciting in our country," she said.
This lack of political ambition is the reason why she chose to keep quiet about her efforts to provide relief goods to Ondoy victims.
"We have a lot of friends... siyempre, alam nila taga-Pasig kami, alam nila marami kaming kaibigan do'n. So they've been sending donations to our house. Tapos pinapa-distribute na lang namin. Ayaw naming isipin na may agenda," she ended.