JENINE DESIDERIO, A TRUE SURVIVOR
Manila, January 15, 2003 (STAR) By Maridol RaŮoa-Bismark - Circumstances have forced Jenine Desiderio to be strong. When she was seven, Jenineís mom died and her widowed dad remarried the very next year. And, since Jenine didnít get along with her stepmom at first, the Miss Saigon star learned to fend for herself at an age when most girls were playing with dolls.
"Thatís how I learned to be strong," Jenine reveals.
Little did she know that the training prepared her for things to come. A storm would strike her many years after. Jenine separated from her husband Juan Miguel Salvador, the father of four-year-old Janella, almost a year ago, after she (Jenine) found out a third party snatched him away from her.
After her husband upped and left their townhome unit, Jenine found herself alone with a precocious daughter to raise all by her lonesome. The taste of freedom gave Jenine a heady feeling. Suddenly, she was the mistress of her own life. There was no husband to tell her what to do and what not to do. She didnít have to wake up early to cook and serve breakfast for him. She had no one to answer to except for herself and her conscience.
Donít get her wrong, Jenine clarifies, smiling. Sheís not telling women to tear their marriage contracts and embrace single motherhood. All Jenine is saying is, "Iím fine, thank you. Donít worry about me."
As expected, a separated woman like her is prey to men out there who think sheís terribly lonely and at her most vulnerable. Several suitors have made their intentions clear with a gesture here, a meaningful text message there, etc. But Jenine has not reciprocated any single one of them.
"I donít allow them to visit me at home. And Iím not entertaining the thought of remarrying," she says. In fact, neither she nor her husband has filed a petition for annulment.
This doesnít mean though, that Jenineís social life is zero. She does go out with female friends, and enjoys one-on-one dates with male buddies who have been proven harmless (translation: capable only of platonic relationships).
"I donít want people to think Iím going out of control. Thatís why Iím careful," Jenine explains. Besides, she has her daughter, a nursery student at St. Paulís Pasig, to protect.
The need to do so struck her like a bolt of lightning one day when precocious Janelle, her eyes glued to Bubble Gang, berated her mom, "Why did you kiss that guy?"
It was only after explaining that everything is make-believe did Janelle quiet down and learn to accept what she thought was a most unlikely situation involving her working mom.
Although her husband has yet to take a peek at their little daughter since they parted ways, (Jenine insists he sees Janelle at home) Jenine has maintained a good relationship with her in-laws. In fact, she leaves Janelle with them when sheís busy with shooting, taping, or rehearsing for a concert.
Like all people coping with emotional stress, Jenine has turned to work to see her though. After going daring in Mama-San, thereís no stopping Jenine from doing more sizzling scenes. She has some with with title roler Michael Rivero in the upcoming sexy movie, Bangkero.
Jenine plays the pivotal role of Bettina, the woman who engineers a change of heart for the main protagonists in Deo J. Fajardoís fast-paced story.
Her sexy screen roles have made people expect more from Jenine as far as sexy attires are concerned. And so far, she has lived up to expectations.
At the presscon of Bangkero, for instance, she came in body-hugging, belly-baring baby pink shirt that showed off her shoulders and ample curves.
It has gotten to the point where being stared at from head to foot has become just one of those things for Jenine.
"My wardrobe has changed," she explains. "They have actually shrunk!" she laughs.
Jenineís follow-up movie has already been lined up: Primera Klase, another sexy movie from FLT Films.
The lure of the movies, however, can never take Jenine away from singing. She has mounted a back-to-back concert with Anna Fegi last month and is slated to do a Valentine show at the Manila Peninsula.
A long-delayed second album (the first, Darna, was a big hit in 1999) is finally in the works.
Jenine Desiderio may have lost a husband, but sheís not about to sit in a corner and mourn her fate while the other woman gloats. Jenine will rise on her own feet and do something better: prove to everyone that she can manage, and how!
She is no survivor since childhood for nothing.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2002 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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