MANILA, Philippines – Was their Igorot wedding for reel or real?
Actor Robin Padilla reportedly denied in an interview with ABS-CBN's Gretchen Fullido on Saturday that he and Mariel Rodriguez tied the knot in Baguio City last Monday.
“Hindi po iyan kung ano ang mga bagay na ating nakikita at naririnig ay yun na po yun,” Padilla told ABS-CBN News.
Asked for his response to his daughter Queenie's congratulatory message, Padilla said: "Congratulate? Saan? Huwag kang magalala anak, darating ang panahon, ma-cocongratulate mo ako ng harapan."
Rodriguez refused to elaborate except to say the tribal ceremony was not a publicity stunt.
However, Rodriguez’s grandfather, Raffy Sazon, in an exclusive interview shown on ABS-CBN's E-Live on Saturday said Mariel had informed him through a text message that she and Robin would have an Igorot wedding.
“Well, surprised, of course. I knew about it when Mariel texted me," he said. "Sabi niya, ‘Lolo what do you think of an Igorot wedding?’ Sabi ko, ‘Well that’s great. Type ko yan, maganda yan, just let me know kung kailan.’ Tapos matagal bago siya nagtext back. Sabi niya, ‘Lolo tapos na.’”
He sent his best wishes to the two, and said he is hoping he'd be able to sit down and talk to them.
“Robin and Mariel, of course, I’ve given you my best wishes. And of course, now, my congratulations to both of you. I’m looking forward to that church wedding which you said you’re going to have some time,” he said.
Rodriguez's sister, Kaye Garcia, also told ABS-CBN in a text message that she is very happy for her sister, and that she supports her decision.
Pokwang, the couple's co-host on the ABS-CBN noontime show, “Pilipinas Win na Win," said: “Sige kung talagang kasal na nga kayo, although hindi naman klaro sa akin ang balita, e hangad ko ang inyong kaligayahan saan man kayo magtungo. At dumami ang inyong magagandang lahi. Be happy. Yun ang importante. Be happy.”
Rodriguez's lola, May Sazon, was emotional when asked for her reaction.
“Ako na-shock ako dahil maraming nagtatanong, maraming nakakaalam, kami yung huling nakaalam. Siyempre si Mariel ganun siya kaimportante sa amin. Wala naman akong against kay Robin, napakabait. Kaya lang, na-shock ako talaga dahil wala akong kaalam-alam. Kasi ako, hindi ako mapagtanong e. I’m happy dahil maligaya si Mariel pero nabigla ako,” she said.
“Basta kung saan masaya si Mariel, masaya kami. Kaya Robin sana wag mo pabayaan si Mariel dahil kapag siya ay nalungkot, kami ang unang unang masasaktan ng lolo niya. Kaya I hope naman, kayo ni Robin maging matatag, maging maligaya at pagdadasal ko na sana maging masaya kayo habang buhay,” she added.
In response, Rodriguez said: "My lolo and my lola naman, they've always been supportive...Happy at love na love nila si Robin."
Robin cites Philippine traditions
On Friday, in a text message sent to ABS-CBN News, Padilla said what happened in Baguio was part of their lives as a couple. He added the ceremony will also be used for an upcoming show on ABS-CBN.
"Ang mga naganap sa lupa ng mga Cariño sa Baguio ay isa lamang sa mga nagaganap na yugto sa aming pag-ibig at sa nalalapit na programa sa ABS-CBN," Padilla said.
Despite the Igorot rites, the actor, a Muslim convert, said he remains faithful to Islam. He added that the tribal ceremony is part of Filipino culture and tradition.
"Walang dapat ipangamba ang mga kapatiran, kababayan at katribo sapagkat ang pagsunod namin ay sa Islam, ang pagpupugay namin ay sa Kristianismo at ang pakikiisa namin ay sa kultura at tradisyong Pilipino," Padilla added.
Padilla was also responding to comments and criticisms about an apparent conflict between his Igorot wedding and him being a Muslim.
Some readers of abs-cbnNEWS.com had commented that Padilla disrespected Islam for using pig's blood during the ceremony.
Jimmy Ong, the mamburong who performed the ceremony, confirmed to ABS-CBN News in an exclusive interview on Thursday that the ceremony took place last September 13 at 3 p.m.
Padilla’s youngest son was also 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, 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.”