'I'm Nora's guardian,' Rendez says
MANILA, Philippines -- Comebacking rapper-actor John Rendez has finally gone on record to clarify his ties with veteran actress Nora Aunor, with whom he has been romantically linked for "over a decade."
|John Rendez speaks to reporters after a press conference announcing his music comback.
"She's a very, very important part of my life, she's my best friend. Kumbaga leader ko 'yan eh, protege lang ako eh, tag along lang ako eh. Bodyguard lang ako kung pwede," Rendez told ABS-CBN News during a press conference announcing his local music comeback held Friday.
In recent years, when Aunor was embroiled in a number of controversies during her stay in the United States, Rendez was reported to have had a "bad influence" on the veteran actress.
Aunor's supposed involvement with illegal drugs and alleged frequent visits to casinos, at the time, was even attributed to her friendship with Rendez. The film icon, however, would always come to the defense of the former rapper, fueling speculations on their relationship.
"There's no romantic link or anything," said Rendez, who, as Aunor's daughter Matet de Leon had been quoted as noting, has been an unfailing presence in the superstar's life.
Addressing criticisms he may have "used" Aunor's success to further his career and personal interests, Rendez said:
"I've gotten to know her, I've seen the way people respect her, but I've also seen the way that some people treat her and they want to use her."
"I don't want to use her. I just want to be there, to help her when she was at the lowest parts, her darkest days, I was there," he said.
"And then when she's up, at her peak, I don't want to be there muddling it up, but I'm still there in the background, but I'll always be there as a friend. 'Yun ang papel ko," he added.
'I'm her guardian'
Since returning to the Philippines in late 2011, Aunor has managed to resume her career on the small screen and on the big screen. For her latest film outing, "Thy Womb," Aunor and Cannes award-winning director Brillante Mendoza earned critical acclaim at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival.
Aunor's recent successes notwithstanding, Rendez said he has been constantly at her side, even as that meant being the subject of criticisms.
"I took in all the negative, all the negativities. Tapos na eh. I'm not even affected by that anymore. I'm just there for the person mismo, kahit na to shine her awards, pwede rin," he said.
"I'm her guardian. Someone who's there, appointed there by maybe a higher power. That's where I'm supposed to be, that's where I am. Who knows where I'll be tomorrow? But for now, this is what I'm doing," he added.
Now set to resume his own career in the local music scene, Rendez said he intends to learn from Aunor, the "master," whose career in showbiz spans decades.
"She's a very talented person, she's a master. Anyone else who wants to achieve what she has achieved, they have a long, long way to go," he said.
"This person doesn't even acknowledge how good she is. She's not aware of her powerful she is, of how great she is, and I respect that about her. And I learn from the best. I don't want to learn from the third best or second best, I want to learn from the best," he added.