Manila, Philippines — Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo’s face lights up when she talks about her husband, and despite his passing a year ago, it is evident that the love they shared is still felt and cherished.
“I miss everything about him. He was such a strong presence in our lives, and he is a regular husband,” she said.
She and Jesse shared “assignments” and chores at home. Leni was responsible for picking up and dropping off their kids to school, while Jesse helped with their Math and Filipino assignments.
Another staple in the Robredo household in Naga City was that they shared all meals together. “There would be no excuses for that. We ate all meals together,” said Leni.
Things only changed when Robredo was appointed as Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary. Because of his hectic schedule, he would only get to eat dinner with his two daughters.
His favorite food was the barbecue, Leni ssaid. “He likes karinderia and street food and doesn’t like fine dining.”
She recalled how Jesse, when he was holding office in the National Police Commission (Napolcom) building in Makati, would always come down from his office just to order from the nearby karinderia.
“When he gets invited to hotels and fancy restaurants, he would always text to say that he would definitely be hungry even after the event,” she laughingly said, explaining that Jesse only had his fill when he eat regular fare.
She added that Jesse felt most comfortable when he was in the company of regular folk. He was a “probinsyano” through and through, and that is probably why he held no airs, even when he was the head honcho of the DILG.
What amazes Leni is how Jesse managed to answer to all those who sought his help. “People always say that he replies to their calls and messages. I can’t do that,” she admitted.
She also joked that Jesse would often forget about their anniversary, but not the names of people he had met or their backgrounds.
“He would sincerely greet them and ask about their families. It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s because he really cared about the people.”