MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Actor Robin Padilla finally cleared the air about his relationship with Mariel Rodriguez.
In an interview with Tina Monzon Palma on ANC's The World Tonight, Padilla disclosed he married Rodriguez over a month ago in India.
"Ako po ay, sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ay magsasalita na sapagkat dumating na po na ang aking mahal na anak na si Ali ay nakaalis na at nakabalik na sa kanyang ina. Ngayon po ay puwede ko nang harapin ang patungkol sa sarili ko at kay Mariel.
"Ang buong katotohanan po, mga mahal kong kababayan, ako po ay maligayang-maligaya na ibabalita sa inyo na isang buwan na po kaming kasal ni Mariel Rodriguez.
"Ang kasal po na 'yan ay nangyari sa India, sa Taj Mahal, August 19 po kami kinasal, at 'yan po ang katotohanan. 'Yan po ang pawang na katotohanan at pawang katotohanan."
Padilla said he previously did not want to reveal the real nature of his relationship with his "Pilipinas Win Na Win" co-host since his son, Ali, with his ex-wife, Liezl Sicangco, was still in Manila until Monday.
Ali left for Australia to be with his mother on Monday.
Padilla, a Muslim convert, said they had a Muslim wedding in India. A document affirming the marriage will be forthcoming from an imam or Muslim spiritual leader.
He said he was smitten with Mariel when he co-hosted in May the now defunct noontime show “Wowowee."
“Wala po akong kaplano-planong umibig noong sumali ako sa Wowowee. Kaya lang ang nangyari, sa isang tingin, nahuli niya ako,” he said.
“Kaya po noong nagkaroon ng napakandang pangyayari sa Wowowee, hindi ko na po pinakawalan na magpakita ng pagmamahal kay Mariel at humantong na po sa puntong sinabi ko sa kanya iyong pangarap ko...na sana makasama kita sa Taj Mahal,” he said.
Padilla went to India in August to observe Ramadan. Rodriguez later announced that would be taking an indefinite leave from her TV shows, and followed her boyfriend in India.
The actor clarified they did not have a pre-nuptial agreement, and that his girlfriend had no idea about his plans to ask her to marry him.
"Noong nagpaalam si Mariel sa pamunuan ng ABS-CBN, di niya naman alam anong mangyayari sa amin,” he said.
Padilla's disclosure came more than a week after they were supposedly married in Igorot rites by an Ibaloi mambunong or native priest in Baguio City.
Rodriguez said they never lied to the public.
“To begin with, we did not come out with the info, with those photos, so we never lied. We never denied so wala hong paikot-ikot eh,” she said.
“What happened in Baguio, Robin wanted to introduce me to his relatives, the Cariño side and show me their culture. 'Yon talaga iyon. May kasal ba na may war dance, nag-iitakan? Di naman siguro ganoon,” the actress added.
Padilla, on the other hand, said he understands the sentiments of Ibaloi folk.
“Wala pong nanggaling sa amin na ganoong impormasyon. Kung ano man po ang nasabi ng aming pari at ng aming katribo, iyon po ay sa kanilang paniniwala. Alam ko naman pong wala rin silang ninanais na masama. Ang siguro ang dapat na lang natin pakiusapan dito ay ang ating mga kasama sa hanapbuhay. Kung may isyu, magandang 3 kaming na-interview,” he said.
In jest, he also said their honeymoon was not yet over since Mariel had to have a cyst removed from her ovary early this month.
Click here to view the full interview in ANC