Robin & Mariel: A puzzlement!

FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 23 2010 04:13 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2010 12:17 AM

MANILA, Philippines - In a scene from The King & I, an exasperated Yul Brynner throws his hands up and exclaims, “It’s a puzzlement!”

Isn’t that what we all want to do with the case of Robin Padilla and Mariel Rodriguez --- throw our collective hands up and roar, “They’re a puzzlement!”?

Review the sequence of events:

• On May 15, Robin met Mariel when he guest-hosted Wowowee while main host Willie Revillame was suspended. They eventually matched. Robin was free from wife Liezel Sicangco who remarried two years ago after their divorce while Mariel had just broken up with Zanjoe Marudo.

• On Aug. 7, Robin gave Mariel an engagement ring said to be worth P1.2-M (but jewelry experts said only P750,000) during Mariel’s birthday celebration on the ABS-CBN Saturday show E-Live! in which she’s a co-host.

• On Aug. 9, Robin quit the new ABS-CBN show Pilipinas Win na Win (PWNW) and flew to India for the duration of Ramadan (Aug. 8 to Sept. 15). Mariel also quit.

• On Aug. 17, Mariel followed Robin to India (purposely for Robin to bring her to the Taj Mahal in Agra).

• On Sept. 16, the sweethearts were reported to have gotten married in Ibaloi rites in Baguio.

Controversy ensued.

Why would Robin, a devout Muslim, marry in Ibaloi rites?

“There was no wedding at all,” said Robin.

The Ibaloi man who officiated at the ceremony insisted that it was a wedding with the rituals of an Ibaloi wedding strictly observed. Robin’s manager Betchay Vidanes herself said a wedding took place. Mariel’s lola, former LVN starlet May Villarica, said that she and other relatives were the last to know. Mariel’s lolo said that when Mariel asked him if an Irogot wedding was okay, he quoted Mariel as saying, “Tapos na po.”

“Robin just wanted to show me the culture of Igorots of which his mom (Eva Cariño) is a descendant,” said Mariel. “He wanted to show me parts of the Igorot culture.” (A member of an Ibaloi clan has reportedly denied that Eva Cariño is part of the tribe - Ed)

The film clips showed Robin and Mariel in Igorot costume doing the Igorot courtship dance.

“It was a war dance,” said Mariel, “not a courtship dance. We didn’t tell a lie,” even if pictures and video clips show the opposite.

A pig was slain for the ceremony. Muslims consider pigs dirty that’s why they don’t eat pork.

“But I didn’t eat the pig,” said Robin.

Caught in a fix, Robin was forced to confess that, yes, he and Mariel got married in Muslim rites in India on Aug. 19.

Defending Robin, his elderly Ibaloi relative said that there was no wedding and the mambulong (native priest who officiated at the ceremony) was fake. Other relatives said that the Ibaloi ceremony was an engagement. But how come the wedding (in India) came before the engagement?

Robin said that a bigger wedding, in Catholic rites this time, will happen soon and members of both their families will be duly notified and invited.

Now, is the whole charade part of a reality-TV ABS-CBN is reportedly preparing for Robin and Mariel? As usual, ABS-CBN guys are tight-lipped as they always are in controversial situations like this.

For some enlightenment, Funfare decided to ask the opinion of Muslim lawyer Adel Tamano who is married to Rowena Kapunan, a Catholic. (Paging ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5 people: Adel has quit as head of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod Maynila when he ran for senator in last May’s election and he’s now back in law practice, and he’s amenable to working as a newscaster. I would say that Adel is highly-qualified.)

Adel said that he and Rowena, also a lawyer, were married in civil rites, Muslim rites and Catholic rites.

Are Muslims reminded not to engage in sex during the Ramadan?

“There’s no such prohibition,” said Adel. “You are not supposed to have sex from sun-up to sundown, but out of that period it’s up to the couple if they want to.”

In the Ibaloi rites for Robin and Mariel, a pig was slain (according to Ibaloi tradition).

“Nagulat ako,” said Adel. “We Muslims consider pigs dirty, that’s why we don’t eat pork. But the slain pig in (the Ibaloi ceremony) ay maliit na bagay para gawing issue.”

Now that Robin and Mariel are married (even if they deny it), can Robin have three more wives if he wants to?

“Why not? But he must get Mariel’s consent.”

Still and all, Adel said that he salutes Robin for his being a champion of Muslims and the faith.

“Sincerong Muslim siya,” said Adel. “He’s a real Muslim in the sense that he’s what a real Muslim should be, determined to help his fellow Muslims.”

Anytime now, Robin and Mariel are flying to India --- to continue their “interrupted” honeymoon? According to Robin, they had to put it on hold because Mariel had to take care of his children Kylie and Allih (the boy left last Monday for Australia to join mom Liezel) and Mariel got sick.

Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the ‘joyride” with the “newly-weds” while it lasts.

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