MANILA, Philippines - Actor Robin Padilla has issued a statement regarding reports that he and actress-host Mariel Rodriguez tied the knot in Benguet last Monday.
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.”