"Hindi ko po inaakala mangyayari pa ang himala na ito sa aming buhay ni Mar, pero opo, nanay na ako!" Korina Sanchez gleefully announced during the April 7 episode of her weekly program, Rated K.
It was her politician-husband Mar Roxas who gave the newborn twins their names, Pepe and Pilar.
Here, Korina told how she and Mar spent the past few years waiting for the right time to have a baby.
"Alam niyo naman lahat na kinasal kami ni Mar medyo late na sa buhay namin," the veteran broadcast journalist began.
Korina and Mar married in October 2009, she was in her forties and he was in his fifties.
"Sa totoo lang, marami nag-iisip na hindi na siguro kami magkakaanak...pero pareho kaming mahilig ni Mar sa bata.
"Pero parang hanggang pangarap na lang... Hanggang sa pinag-isipan namin ang alok ng siyensya at teknolohiya."
TRUSTING IN GOD AND SCIENCE
Korina and Mar eventually resolved to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization, a known procedure that fertilizes the egg and the sperm in a lab.
She said "Ang hindi alam ng marami, may plano na kami noon na gamitin ang teknolohiya.”
The process is deemed a success when the fertilized egg or embryo is ready to be implanted in the mother's or in a surrogate's uterus.
According to Korina, ”Pero dahil wala sa Pilipinas ang surrogacy, naghanap kami mag-asawa sa ibang bansa.
"Dinaanan namin ang proseso. Medyo hirap, pero wagi. Ilang taon din na frozen ang aming mga embryo.
"Medyo nagtagal at dumaan ang mga taon, pero, fast forward, nagdesisyon na kaming mag-asawa na ituloy na at mag-anak.
Without naming their chosen surrogate, Korina said the process of finding and meeting her was tedious as well.
"Ilang ulit kami nangibang bansa para sa mga doktor, mga abugado, para makilala ang babaeng magdadala ng anak namin.
"Hanggang sa dumating ang magandang balita na buntis na sa aming embryos ang surrogate namin—not one, but two! Twins!
"Sabi nila hindi na kakayanin, pero ito, sobrang saya namin!"
The news exhilarated Korina, 54, and Mar, 61, but it was excitement mixed with some apprehension.
She admitted, "Siyempre may halong kaba, takot. Kakayanin kaya ba namin ito?
"Ay, bahala na. God made this happen, so God will provide."
MEETING PEPE AND PILAR
Months of waiting went by.
Finally, a week before their surrogate was expected to give birth, Korina and Mar were told their babies were arriving much earlier than expected.
The couple immediately dropped everything and flew to Pennsylvania, U.S.A., for the birth of their twins.
On February 21, Korina and Mar introduced Pepe and Pilar to the public.
Musing on her new life as a mother, Korina said, "Sino ang makakaisip na sa edad namin ngayon, puwede pa rin ang ganitong himala?
"At kung may paniniwala, kung hindi bumibitiw sa pangarap, hindi lang isa yung himala, kundi dalawa ang puwedeng mangyayari!
"Medyo nakakanerbiyos kung iisipin ang bukas at ang kinabukasan ng dalawang wala kamuwang-muwang na sanggol, pero hindi na namin muna iniisip yun.
"Ginawa ito ng Diyos, kaya Diyos din ang gagawa ng lahat ng paraan, kasama ang pagsusumikap namin na bigyan nang maayos na buhay ang dalawa."
Before flying back to Manila at the start of April, Pepe and Pilar met their older brother, Paolo, who is based in California, U.S.A.
Paolo, 25, is Mar’s son with former partner Maricar Zaldariaga.