Grace Lee on President Noynoy Aquino: "I like him."

"You know, when I talk to him, the more I get to know him, mas less nagiging issue sa akin ang age difference namin because we can talk to each other 24 hours straight," says Grace Lee about President Noynoy Aquino, who admitted recently that he’s seeing the TV personality.



Mahigit isang buwan na ring napagkikita na lumalabas si Pangulong Noynoy Aquino kasama ang napapabalitang "apple of the eye" niya ngayon, ang TV-radio host na si Grace Lee.

Sa mga pagkakataong ito, ayon kay Grace, marami na rin siyang nadiskubre sa pinakakilalang bachelor ng bansa ngayon.

Inilahad niya ang ilan sa mga ito sa ekslusibong panayam ni Luchi Cruz-Valdez para sa programang Journo ng TV5, na ipinalabas kagabi, February 7.

Sabi ng dalagang Koreana, "You know why the public loves him so much? I don’t think we’ve ever had a president na ganyan ka-love ng mga tao.

"You know, it’s not difficult to understand because even when it comes to his security, he’s number one rule is to not inconvenience the citizens because of him."

HOW DID IT START? Nang sabihin ni PNoy sa isang press conference na, "Yes, we’re [Grace and I] are seeing each other," marami ang naging interesado kung kailan ito nagsimula.

Bago pa man lumabas-labas ang dalawa, naging laman na noon ng balita ang pagtawag ni PNoy kay Grace ng "guapa" sa inagurasyon ng power plant na Korea Electric Power Corporation sa Cebu.

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Pero tila nagsimulang mas maging personal ang kanilang pagkakakilala nang batiin ng Pangulo si Grace ng "Happy New Year" sa pamamagitan ng text message.

Sabi ni Grace, "Like any normal guy, he just texted me, greeted me ’Happy New Year.’

"That’s how it started, very simple.

"He’s a simple person."

Hindi raw binigyan ni Grace ng anumang kulay ang mensaheng ito.

Pero pag-amin niya, "I was flattered and I was surprised at the same time because he’s the President.

"I was like, ’Oh, he’s texting me ’Happy New Year.’

"Of course, there’s flattery there but I didn’t expect anything of it.

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"I didn’t assume na may gusto siya sa akin kaya nagte-text siya.

"No, because he was always so proper and appropriate."

Sumunod na rito ay ang pag-iimbita raw sa kanya ni PNoy na lumabas para kumain, na dinaan din ng Pangulo sa pamamagitan ng text message.

Ayon kay Grace, hindi niya naisipang tumanggi sa imbitasyon ng Pangulo.

Sabi pa niya kay Luchi, "Well, it’s just a dinner. What’s wrong with that? It started from there.

"Then, as it continued, I got to know him more and I started getting more comfortable with him.

"Then, I started talking to him about how bad can it be?

"He just kinda laugh and he said, ’Well, you’ll see.’

"Now, ang joke niya sa akin, ’Welcome to my world.’"

Sa loob ng isang linggo, dalawa o tatlong beses daw lumalabas si Grace kasama si PNoy.

Sa opinyon ng 29-year-old na TV personality, kinakailangan din ng 51-year-old na lider ng bansa ang paglabas-labas.

"He needs it. He does go through a very stressful day," ani Grace.

"I mean, the level of stress and the things that he has to worry about are no joke. It’s a serious matter.

"Sometimes, when I do see him for dinner, I do feel that he needs this.

"He needs to unwind and talk about things that he wants to, not the things that he needs to.

"Two or three times a week, I think he deserves it."

AGE DIFFERENCE. Hindi itinanggi ni Grace na may mga pagkakataon na naiisip niya ang age difference nila ni PNoy. Si Grace ay 29 years old, samantalang 52 naman ang Pangulo.

Pero nakakalimutan daw ito ni Grace kapag nag-uusap na silang dalawa.

"I worried about that, too. And I still worry about it.

"But the more I get to know him, the less I feel the age difference.

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"You know, when I talk to him, the more I get to know him, mas less nagiging issue sa akin ang age difference namin."

Dagdag pa niya, "We can talk to each other 24 hours straight.

"He’s a very interesting man. He’s like walking encyclopedia.

"We don’t always talk about serious things.

"We talk about music a lot because he’s such a big music person."

"HE’S A VERY INTERESTING PERSON." Sa ilang beses nilang pagsasama, inamin ni Grace na nagustuhan na rin niya ang Pangulo.

Sa katunayan, ani Grace, gusto pa niyang mas makilala si PNoy.

"Without the title, it might have taken longer for me to get to know him only because there’s less media attention.

"I think we would have taken our time to get to know each other more.

"Now, I kind of feel that I’m being pushed.

"I’m trying to fight that because I don’t want to be dragged into something just because everyone is talking about it.

"Yes, I would have given him a second look.

"He is a very interesting person. He’s very smart. He has passion for his people.

"If he wasn’t a president, if he was a businessman, I’m sure he would have been passionate about his business as well.

"That I find very attractive in a man."

Sa kanilang paglabas, napag-uusapan ba nila ang atensiyon na nakukuha nila ngayon mula sa publiko?

Sabi ni Grace, "We talk about his work, my work. But we don’t talk about the attention that we get. Only because it’s kinda weird to talk about it.

"We’re trying to get to know each other more better now.

"It’d be funny if we talk about how much attention we’re getting because that will get in the way of us trying to know the other person."

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DIFFERENT REACTIONS. Sa paglabas ng balita tungkol kina Grace at PNoy, iba-iba ang naging reaksiyon ng mga tao—may mga boto sa kanilang dalawa at mayroon din naman ang hindi gusto ang balita tungkol sa kanila.

Pero kung si Grace ang tatanungin, hindi niya ito masyadong pinagtutuunan ng pansin.

"I think, from the tweets, from my radio show, and from my Facebook account, I get 95 percent good comments about this whole thing; and five percent negative, which I think isn’t so bad."

Ano ang ginagawa niya kapag may mga negatibong komento?

"I try to brush it off," sagot ni Grace.

"I’ve come across so many people who really want to just make you feel bad about yourself.

"But if you let them get to you, you’d be the most miserable person.

"That’s why, for me, it’s important for me to know who to listen to.

"And I think I have good set of people like that around me already.

Ano naman ang reaksiyon ng kanyang pamilya?

Tugon ni Grace, "At first they were skeptical.

"Of course, they were worried because he’s the president and all the attention that’s gonna come about.

"But now, they’re dealing with this like my other relationships."

VOCAL ABOUT THE ISSUE. Sa mga babaeng na-link kay PNoy, bukod-tanging si Grace ang bukas na pag-usapan ang tungkol sa paglabas-labas nila.

Pero ayon kay Grace, "There’s nothing bad about it.

"Everything that you’ve asked me showed what kind of man he is.

"It’s not on the negative side. I think it’s more on the positive side because we all see him as a president—so serious all the time, fighting for this cause and that.

"But talking about this make him more human to a lot of people."

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Bagamat pribadong tao si PNoy pagdating sa kanyang personal na buhay, hindi naman niya pinipigilan si Grace sa pagpapaulak ng mga panayam tungkol sa kanilang dalawa.

"I think he trusts that I will handle it properly.

"He gives me my space and he respects me the way I respect him and I think there’s that mutual trust."

"APPLE OF THE EYE." Bagamat tinaguriang "most eligible bachelor" ng bansa ang nali-link ngayon kay Grace, hindi naman daw niya naiisip na espesyal ang kanilang pagiging magkakilala.

"We try to be as normal as possible," sabi niya.

Hindi ba siya nababahala na maaring isa lamang siyang "flavor of the month?"

Sabi ni Grace, "I’d be lying if I told you na hindi ko naisip ’yon dahil nga lalo na high-profile pa ang magiging relationship namin.

"I prayed about it. I prayed about was, ’Lord, if this is not my burden to carry, take it away from me.’"

Nang tanungin ni Luchi si Grace na "Do you see this pushing through?," sumagot siya, ng: "I don’t think we’re playing around."

Paliwanag pa ng TV personality, "We’re both not at the age to play around.

"And given who he is and given my position as well, we are trying to be careful and trying to keep it one step at a time.

"I like him," pag-amin din ni Grace.

Sa huling bahagi ng panayam ng Journo, sinabi ni Grace na hindi pa niya nakikita ang sarili bilang babae na makakasama ni PNoy sa Malacañang.

Pero kung sakali, sabi niya, "I’ll have to pray about it.

"It’s such a huge responsibility and I don’t think it’s a decision that I could just ponder on a daily basis without having proper guidance."


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