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Jinkee Pacquiao Is Stronger, More Powerful Than You Think

For our August cover girl, fashion is fun, family is love, and faith is power.

by Owen Maddela | Aug 15, 2018

Looking every inch the disco diva in this season’s nod to the ‘80s, Jinkee Pacquiao reminds us that while an enviable wardrobe evokes authority, real power comes from a much deeper place.

Jinkee Pacquiao’s Instagram is a peek at a rockstar life loaded with the the best experiences and things that fame and money can afford. At the core of this observation is her fondness for fashion—a closet’s worth of threads that has cemented her reputation as one of the country’s emerging style stars, aside from being one-half of a power couple (Senator and world-class boxer Manny Pacquiao is her husband, in case you needed reminding), mother of five, and former vice governor of Sarangani in Mindanao.  

If it’s not her predilection for Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior, and Fendi’s monogram revival that elicits hearts and comments online or the nod of the fashion crowd, it’s her SONA-ready Filipiniana garb from the likes of Martin Bautista and Michael Leyva that make it to the evening news and local red carpet roundups. Her rotation of arm candy from Hermès and other esteemed maisons are scene stealers, too. And as to how many Birkins she’s amassed since her first, we can only estimate. 


Preview.ph August 2018: "Jinkee Pacquiao Is a Knockout"

As in most Instagram accounts with followings in the hundred thousands or millions, Jinkee’s feed is curated and meant to only show a portion of her seemingly rockstar existence. It comes then as a surprise how such a powerful figure in contemporary pop culture is small in height and frame and painfully quiet in real life.

Whereas the merchandise at Curio Cavern, the design store we converted to a shoot location, was rearranged in favor of wooden panels, a portable changing room, a rack’s worth of couture, and an entourage of editors, family, friends, and security, Jinkee seemed unruffled in the midst of the chaos, getting her nails done and face dolled up in silence.    

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She asked quietly if we could delay our little chat until the last layout was completed. And so, from where we were seated, she put on quite a show and let fashion do the talking, morphing from pint-sized style star (in Pucci coordinates, no less) to disco diva in various iterations of power dressing (severe shoulders, textured tonals, frisky fabrics). And with her own “baon” of model poses to boot, she translated her own Insta-OOTD sensibilities with minimal coaching. 

It surely was not the case back in 2010, when the budding fashionista—she barely had designers on speed dial or aforementioned labels in her closet—was tapped by Preview to front its January print issue. Holding a copy of that very same issue after today’s photoshoot and scanning the pages of her cover story, she talks about the changes at home and at work and notes the major forces that have made her life what it is today.


Dress, price unavailable, ANGEL ONG, cel. no. 0918 9061990. Belt, P21,380, TIBI, Distinqt, Shangri-La at the Fort. Shoes, P23,100, CAROLINA HERRERA, Greenbelt 5. Angui Bar Chair, P25,575; Speculum Mirror Table, P17,615, both AYTM, curiocavern.ph

A PASSION FOR FASHION

PREVIEW: Seeing that old issue and finishing this shoot today must feel like a homecoming of sorts for you.

JINKEE: Kaya nga nung nagtanong sila kung may time ako for a photoshoot and [for a] cover again, nag okay ako kaagad kasi ang ganda talaga nung kinalabasan nung first. And to think first time ko yun mag pictorial! In my boutique (Jinkees’s Fashion World) in Gen San, eto yung mga picture na naka-display.

"Mahilig talaga ko sa damit dati pa. Nung high school ako, iniipon ko yung allowance ko para bumili ng bagong damit."

P: One of the most obvious changes is your sense of style. Your style choices have become more sophisticated since you first became a Preview Girl.

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J: Siyempre naman. Mahilig talaga ko sa damit dati pa. Nung high school ako, iniipon ko yung allowance ko para bumili ng bagong damit.

P: Do you get motivation or do you feel powerful when you wear something that you really like?

J: Oo, pag gustong gusto ko at comfortable ako. Gusto ko ‘look good, feel good’ lang ako.

P: How did you feel wearing those clothes for the shoot?

J: Parang kakaiba din. Kasi hindi ako masyadong nagsusuot ng makintab, pero enjoy naman!

P: How about the recently-concluded SONA? What are your thoughts that the red carpet component of it is not like earlier years?

J: Sa SONA, happy ako na hindi siya pa-bonggahan. Hindi kailangan mag-alala sa susuotin. Simple lang.


Dress worn as top, price unavailable, OLIVIA & FIFTH, Glorietta 3. Leather skirt, P80,180, N°21, Distinqt, Shangri-La at the Fort. Heels, P18,000, STUART WEITZMAN, SM Megamall. Tailor sofa, P334,935, MENU, curiocavern.ph. TS coffee table, P70,100, GUBI, curiocavern.ph

FAMILY FIRST

P: Do you remember your life in 2010 compared to your life today?

J: Very big difference. 18 years married na kami ni Manny ngayon pero back then, ang daming problema.

P: You went on record and called out those problems. You even named names.

J: Oo, nasabi ko nga ‘yun. Buti na lang talagang kinaya ko rin, pero I almost gave up dun sa marriage namin ni Manny. Kasi nga parang hindi ko na nakayanan kasi meron din akong mga evidence. Siyempre may proof din ako so...kailangan naman ganun pag mag de-decision ka. Siguro kung hindi sya nagbago, hindi sya nag transform, hindi rin siguro kami tatagal.

"Parang open book ang life namin before so hindi ako comfortable kasi every time na lang na may fight, ayon, may mga balita. As in super na masakit na balita."

P: Given that marital issue, were the other aspects of your life simpler back then compared to today?

J: Parang ganun din kasi nung time na yon parang sa peak naman talaga yun ng career ni Manny as a boxer [just like now that] naging senator siya. Dati, basta palaging madaming tao, laging nasa TV, laging maraming camera, saka ang daming nakasunod sa amin. Parang open book ang life namin before so hindi ako comfortable kasi every time na lang na may fight, ayon, may mga balita. As in super na masakit na balita.

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Coat, P84,900; earrings, P12,900; both CAROLINA HERRERA, Greenbelt 5. Heels, P19,500, STUART WEITZMAN, SM Megamall. Masculo Lounge Chair, P136,625, GUBI, curiocavern.ph

P: How painful was it?

J: Kumbaga pag naglalakad ka or tinitignan ka [ng mga tao], alam nila kung anong balita sa iyo or sa pamilya mo, [masakit], kasi may mga anak ka so nalalaman din nila and I’m sure nafi-feel din nila yung pain mo.

"Pag may mga problema, mas lalong interested sila sa iyo: Ikaw yung kinukunan, kung ano reaction mo, ano yung kinikilos mo. Kahit na pag nasa church kami, nasa camera din."

P: For the most part, you do your best to be in the sidelines and not call attention to yourself. Like every time Manny has a fight and the press follows him wherever he trains and your mother-in-law Mommy Dionisia racks up her own publicity. During your husband’s recent fight against Lucas Matthysse, you did not even face the camera at all.

J: Mas gusto ko yun. Ayaw ko yung parang pinapakita ako lagi. Kasi dati ganun [ang media]. Pag may mga problema, mas lalong interested sila sa iyo: Ikaw yung kinukunan, kung ano reaction mo, ano yung kinikilos mo. Kahit na pag nasa church kami, nasa camera din. Ngayon, hindi na ako nagpapakita masyado. Si Manny na lang.

P: How do you spend your time now?

J: Naroon nalang ako sa mga kids ko. Mas binubuhos ko yung time ko sa mga kids ko kasi before sobrang laki ng time ang nawala na para sa kanila dapat.

P: Your family grew, too.

J: Yes. Yung eldest (Emmanuel Jr.) ko is 17, followed by (Michael Stephen) 16. Then came the girls [Queen Elizabeth and Mary Divine Grace]. Four years old yung bunsong lalake, [si Israel].

P: How do you feel that your eldest is on the verge of adulthood—and that the rest of your kids will grow up soon?

J: Kailangan kakausapin mo lagi. Kasi natakot ako dun sa mga balitang nag-suicide na bata pa, mga ka-age nila na 17 to 21 years old. Pero yung mga anak ko, open naman sila sa amin. Ayaw kong mag-girlfriend [ang mga boys] ng maaga. Merong parang hinahatid, sinusundo pero nagpapaalam naman sila sakin. May respeto naman sila.

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P: When the kids eventually mature and move out and you and Manny become an older couple, do you have plans on how to spend your retirement years?

J: Honestly, wala pa.

P: You should see more of the world.

J: Ah, oo. Gusto kong meron kaming quality time together. Kahit ngayon, habang nasa school ang mga bata kasi hindi din namin yun nagagawa e. Busy din kasi siya ngayon but I’ll see to it na meron siyang time with me at pati sa mga bata.

P: But he surprised you big time during a family trip to Korea, didn’t he?

J: Yes. Nag-dinner kami with K-Drama actor Ji Chang Wook kasama ng family and friends. Fan talaga ko. Tapos nasa military pa kasi siya and never pa nangyari na nakalabas to meet a fan kasi hindi daw talaga pinapayagan yun. Pero merong kaibigan si Manny na kilala na commander doon. Nag-travel pa siya ng mga one hour. Surprise yun at napasigaw talaga ako as in!


THE PRAYERFUL WIFE

P: Given that Manny is in the Senate and Gen San is home, how do you divide yourself between two cities?

J: Dati nasa Gen San kami madalas ng mga bata kasi nag-Vice Governor ako for three years kaya nilipat ko doon ang mga bata. Doon sila nag-aaral. Ngayon naman, Grade 12 na ang panganay ko kaya nilipat ko sila sa [Brent International School]. Tapos hindi na ako bumalik sa politics, so 100% housewife na ako. Binubuhos ko ang time ko sa mga anak ko so dito na kami [sa Manila]. Every Thursday to Saturday nasa Gen San kami and then pag Sunday, balik kami dito.

P: You seem happier with your decision to not return to politics.

J: Oo, mas happy ako ngayon. Mas less stress tsaka yung time din, hindi ko mabigyan ng time yung mga anak ko [dati] dahil busy ako sa trabaho.

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P: What did you learn from your stint as Vice Governor?

J: What I did naman in 2013 is to try it out, to campaign, and serve. Nakita ko talaga na may mga taong naghihirap. Inakyat namin ang mga bundok ng Sarangani para makilala sila. At a certain time, dapat nandoon na ako sa office or be in meetings. And kung first time mo sa public service, para ka ring nag-aral. Nag-aral kami sa Development Academy of the Philippines for a month and got help from people. Ang daming binabasa. Kailangan kong matuto mag-preside ng meetings in front of the provincial board. Similar siya sa mga meetings sa Senate. But by God’s grace, kinaya ko naman."


Dress, price unavailable, BIANCA CORDERObiancacorderostudio@gmail.com. Heels, P33,980, N°21, Distinqt, Shangri-La at the Fort. Angui Bench, P38,990, AYTM, curiocavern.ph

P: What are your thoughts about your husband possibly becoming a Vice President in the future?

J: Prayerful wife ako for him. Kung will ni Lord, okay lang sakin. I’m not stopping him sa political plans niya. Alam ko naman na nag-pe-pray din siya kung anong will ni Lord para sa kanya eh. Ayoko rin ng puro ako salita kaya pinagdadasal ko kung ano ang para sa kanya.

P: What do your kids think about it?

J: Ang ayaw lang nila yung may mga nakasunod na bodyguards palagi, na parang wala silang freedom. Naging masaya sila nung nasa Korea kami kasi they felt like regular persons na walang nakabuntot. Sila sila lang pag nag-shopping or pumupunta sa maraming tao. That was their happiest. Mas gusto nila yung buhay na ganun. Pero dito, back to normal sila. Mahiyain talaga sila and ayaw lumabas sa TV or magpa-interview.

P: Your husband’s fight was a success, the kids are alright, the SONA had just concluded. What’s on your plate now?

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J: [Laughs.] "Relaxed ako this year. I have offers to host a talk show on TV pero hindi ko pa ine-entertain. I just really want to spend time with my kids."

She is aware that she is oftentimes tagged "suplada" and snobbish because of this but she assures us, “Nahihiya lang ako. Problema ko talaga yan!”


Jinkee was being called back to the set to shoot a couple of videos and everyone was pressed for time. During our thank-yous and farewells, I intimated how surprised I was that she was the ultimate shy type despite who she is, what she’s done, and what she’s accomplished. 

Mahiyain talaga ako, as in!” she replies candidly, as if giving an unfiltered, unedited introduction of herself. She is aware that she is oftentimes tagged "suplada" and snobbish because of this but she assures us, “Nahihiya lang ako. Problema ko talaga yan!”

At a recent dinner with foreign dignitaries that she and Manny were invited to, she shares that she begged to stay behind. “Nahihiya akong makipag-chika-chika pero sabi niya, ‘Ano ka ba, sumama ka naman,'’’ she shares, laughing at her idiosyncrasy.


Top, price unavailable, CON CORDETAconcordeta@gmail.com. Pants, price unavailable, YONG DAVALOS, cel.no. 0917 308 7376. Heels, P19,500, STUART WEITZMAN, SM Megamall. Afteroom Bench, P87,035, AFTEROOMcuriocevern.ph

If there is anything extra we all must know about Jinkee by now, it’s that her shyness is complemented by a can-do spirit. “Kung kailangan namang chumika, chichika,” she declares, speaking like a trooper. It’s the same spirit that made her survive her marital storms, her term as vice-governor, and even the pressures of being on Instagram.

Jinkee adds, “Pero nag-pray talaga ako nung gabing yon, ‘Lord, give me wisdom at maging comfortable sa mga makakasama ko... Kahit nga sa shoot na ito, eh, ang prayer ko kanina ay sana makahalubilo ko kayong lahat ng mabuti." Oh, the many times her faith has saved her.

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Produced by Marj Ramos

Photographed by Paolo Pineda

Creative Direction by Vince Uy

Art Directed by Mark Buenaobra

Styled by Loris Peña

Co-produced by Steph Sison

Makeup by Juan Sarte

Hair by Brent Sales

Nails by Elsie Elbo of Nails.Glow

Shoot Assistant: Teresita Gabat

Intern: Lovely Paras

Shot on location at Curio Cavern

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