Okay, we’re going to be very honest right from the get-go: Jinri, you broke our hearts! Can you at least tell us how you decided to get married and live in Australia?
I really didn't expect to live in Australia at all. Never in my life did I imagine I'd live here but it all started when I took a trip to Melbourne for my birthday. I was with a couple of friends but they had to leave early, so I figured since I was already there I might as well take a solo trip to Sydney. So I went. Then a friend said that she had a cousin who could take me around. I said okay. But the cousin instead volunteered a nephew to be my guide. I said fine. The nephew, his name is John, ended up being my husband!
Just like that?!
Yes. He took me to Sydney and we started talking and I really liked his personality and I kinda thought it was gonna go somewhere already. We kept in touch when I returned to the Philippines and our conversations got deeper. He later asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend and I said yes even though it was a long-distance relationship. A couple of months later I decided to buy a plane ticket and surprise him in Sydney. I ended up staying for a month and on the day before I left, he proposed to me.
Again…just like that?!
Yes, ha ha! I kinda knew it was coming because my dad. Because John wanted me to stay with him in Sydney and my dad said you have to either marry her or she's not gonna live with you in Sydney. I think it was my dad who kinda pushed him to do it; I always tease him about it. That's how he proposed and why I decided to leave my life in Manila and move to Sydney.
You made a real gamble leaving a happening career in the Philippines for married life in Australia.
It was a really big step for me because, yes, I have a career in Manila, I have friends. I built my career from nothing. I literally knew no one and I really built my way up. Everyone's been saying you're making a mistake, you're throwing your career away, you're throwing everything you've built. But I didn't feel that way because this was another step in my life that I had to go through and I'm glad I made that choice.
Did you actually leave everything behind in the Philippines? Do you still have contracts here you have to fulfill?
No, I don't have any contracts left. I finished everything before I left just because I didn't want any more complications. But since now I'm going into podcasting I'm beginning to think that I still have a lot of connections, a lot of ties that I held on and these people are still helping me. I'm really thankful to all of my friends for their support. Helping me with my podcast and helping me build my career again.
You talked about liking your husband's personality from the get-go. So what exactly did you like about him? If we had known, we would have been the one for you!
Ha ha ha! He was very down to earth. I think it was important that he didn't know who I really was so he just came in like, ‘okay, this is just another woman, another girl.’ He didn't having any image of me being Jinri Park the cover girl or something like that. It was very fresh for me to meet someone like that and he was very well-mannered and very caring, and I just connected with him. I guess he is very similar to my dad in a way; I think that's why I was drawn to him because of his personality. It's really hard to explain. We just clicked. Some people might not find him attractive, but I find him attractive so I think the puzzle just fits well.
So practically all of the guys in the Philippines failed in this respect, no one actually got through the Jinri Park criteria.
Well, I think it's because they kind of knew who I was. They have this perception of me that I'll be something like this and that really made it hard.
Maybe that's a lesson we guys have to learn: if you’re lucky to be dating a celebrity or model, you have to play it cool.
Yeah, that's it.