MANILA, Philippines -- Carmina Villaroel has words of advice for her ex-husband Rustom Padilla, who is reportedly preparing for a sex-change operation.
|Carmina Villaroel. File photo
At the sidelines of a recent press conference for the ABS-CBN series "May Isang Pangarap", reporters asked Villaroel for comment on the planned operation of Padilla, who now goes by the name BB Gandanghari.
The 37-year-old actress was surprised to learn that her former husband is reportedly undergoing psychological tests to prepare for the operation.
"Well, I guess mas maigi, mas maganda kasi ang nababalitaan ko sa ganyan na kapag mag-a-undergo ka sa isang ganyan ay kailangan may psychological test. So tama na ginagawa niya 'yung proseso para walang magiging effect sa kanya mentally," Villaroel said.
Villaroel and Padilla were married in 1994, but separated after two years. Their marriage was annulled in 2002.
After publicly admitting his sexual preference in 2006 on the reality TV series "Pinoy Big Brother" and then leaving for the United States, Gandanghari returned to the Philippines announcing Padilla's "death" in 2009.
Gandanghari's brother, actor Robin Padilla, has since expressed disapproval of the former's preferred lifestyle. The action star also said he hopes Gandanghari will reconsider putting off the sex-change operation.
Villaroel said she hopes the brothers' family will soon resolve their differences. "Syempre naman kasi like I said, ako I am very happy with my life, so sana ganun din siya ganun din 'yung pamilya nila... Eventually, siguro in time, may be in time, magkaka-ayos-ayos din sila," she said.
Asked for her advice to Gandanghari as a "woman to another," Villaroel said, "Ako naman, basta just be true to yourself. Ang importante kasi you have to be really happy."
"Kapag may contentment ka sa buhay mo, may peace na lalabas eh. Kahit anong make-up mo, kung wala kang peace of mind, katahimikan, lalabas ang certain glow," she said.
Villaroel is now married to actor-host Zoren Legaspi, her partner of 14 years after Padilla. They have two children.