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Vilma Santos (left) and Jennylyn Mercado.


Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos formally introduced the girlfriend of her son, Luis Manzano, to the people of Batangas last week.

For the first time, the Star For All Seasons publicly acknowledged actress Jennylyn Mercado as her son’s girlfriend during the commemoration of Batangas’ founding anniversary held at the town of Calaca.

The thrilled crowd welcomed the news with loud cheers.

Jennylyn was present at the occasion as a guest judge in a singing contest, which is also a part of the Ala Eh Festival.

Luis, who was the event’s host, was elated by his mom’s gesture.

“I hope that this first milestone will go a long way for us (Jennylyn and me) together,” he said.

Vilma said she’s thrilled that Luis and Jennylyn can now openly show their affection for each other.

“They owe it to the public, since they owe a big part of their lives to the public,” said the governor.

For her part, Jennylyn said: “Siyempre, masaya po ako dahil kahit sino namang magulang, basta tanggap nila yung girlfriend o boyfriend nung anak nila, e, masarap yung pakiramdam.”

Luis reportedly gifted Jennylyn with a ring.

“It’s a simple gift, hindi po siya engagement ring, hindi siya anything else,” Luis explained.

“It was a gift one of those things na I knew she wanted it and I got it for her as a gift.”

Vilma earlier said she has nothing against Jennylyn being a single mom.

The gov said she also was once a single mother to Luis when Sen. Ralph Recto married her.

Vilma is set to fulfill a number of special projects with ABS-CBN in 2012, including the celebration of her 50th anniversary in showbiz.

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