She's a swimming champ, a television host, and the mother of three adorable kids.
For Christine Jacob, life is beautiful.
Married to electrical engineer Paco Sandejas for six years now, Christine appreciates the fact that their home is located in Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa, where all the needs of her young family are met: "We love Alabang. That's really our choice. My husband works in Alabang, the school of the kids is here. Ideal talaga."
As an added bonus, her mom and her mother-in-law just live nearby. That's why Christine doesn't worry about her three kids—Paolo Antonio, 4; Maria Gabrielle "Gabby," 3; and Nina Marie, one year and a half-whenever her hosting job at GMA-7's Mobile Kusina, a culinary show sponsored by San Miguel Corporation, requires her to shoot out of town.
The 1984 Olympian swimmer and former Eat Bulaga! co-host tells YES! that cooking wasn't one of her strong points in the past.
"Before getting married, I was so undomesticated! Siyempre you live at home, you have your cook, you're with your mom, so you don't really need to cook. And then when I got married, wala pa rin. The only thing I knew how to cook really was Spam and rice, scrambled eggs, 'yong mga prito-prito lang."
So what made her the competent cook that she is now? Her love affair with the culinary arts, she says, started when she became pregnant with Paolo. "I took a cooking class with Sylvia Reynoso, and I was addicted!"
With each pregnancy, Christine's interest in other areas of cooking also grew. "With my second naman, I didn't go to any cooking class, but I was into baking. I was really into it, and I was so big with child!
"And then the third one, I took naman cooking lessons in Alabang with Cooking Basics."
When GMA-7 called Christine about the new cooking show, "Perfect!" was her first reaction. "Parang I graduated, something different from the variety show. It's a little bit more serious, it's a little bit more mommy-mommy."
But with a new show came some unavoidable adjustments. Quality time with the children was affected. "Before, I was with them all the time. All of a sudden, I'm gone, like, the whole day. Everybody at home, they were having a hard time. They didn't really know how to put the kids to bed."
Christine sat down with her kids and explained her new job to them.
"I always tell them I'm going to work... I tell them it's like I'm going to school, that I'll come back."
And what did she tell Paco?
"I told my husband, ‘Thank you. Because you're the one taking care of the kids more than me.'"
To make up for the times that she is away from her kids, Christine has once-a-week activities for the whole family.
"The kids naman, mababaw lang sila. You take them to a movie, they're so happy already. Fly a kite with them, they're so thrilled, that's such a big thing. They do all of this, mga pictorial, mga interview, but for them it's all play. They're having fun."
Now that she's back on television, Christine hopes other shows will be coming her way.
"I'd like to do something more—still hosting. But I'd like to graduate to something.
"Of course, lifestyle is always very interesting for women to host. A talk show would also be very interesting for me to do. Not the newsy type. A magazine-type show would also interest me, something like that.
"But the once-a-week right now is just perfect for the kids."
(YES! September 2005 issue)