MANILA, Philippines – Robin Padilla and Mariel Rodriguez tied the knot in Baguio City in a simple and very private ceremony officiated by a native priest, locally known as mambunong, from the Ibaloi tribe.
The Ibaloi people live mostly in the southern part of Benguet.
Jimmy Ong, who performed the one-and-a-half-hour ceremony, confirmed to ABS-CBN News in an exclusive interview that the ceremony took place on Monday (September 13) at 3 p.m.
Padilla’s youngest son was reportedly present during the event.
Ong said he initially thought he was just attending a shooting, but was caught by surprise when he found the couple wearing traditional clothes of the Ibaloi.
“Tinanong ko si Robin kung kasal talaga ito. Sabi niya, ‘Oo, kasal talaga.’ Kaya sinimulan ko na,” he said.
During the ceremony, he said the couple drank rice wine to symbolize their love for each other.
They also danced Tayao, a native dance, to show that they are officially married, he said.
According to him, Padilla, a Muslim and whose mother is an Igorot, and Rodriguez, had pig’s blood on their faces as part of the ceremony.
“Ang kasal na ito ay legal sa kultura ng mga Igorot....binasbasan ko sila na hanggang kamatayan magsasama sila,” he said.
After the traditional ceremony, the celebrity couple again got married in a ceremony officiated by a pastor and was held in a private home.
It was a whirlwind romance for Padilla and Rodriguez.
The 2 met on the set of the now defunct ABS-CBN noontime show “Wowowee” when Padilla subbed for Willie Revillame early this year.
Rodriguez was one of the female hosts of “Wowowee.”
Many people began to tease them, but they denied having a relationship. Weeks later, they finally admitted that they were dating.
On August 7, Padilla gave Rodriguez a diamond ring on “Entertainment Live” after declaring his love for her.
Ten days after the interview, Rodriguez took an “indefinite leave” from her new game-variety show, "Pilipinas, Win na Win!" to be with her new sweetheart. –Report from Maira Wallis, ABS-CBN News