Mariel slams critics, says she’s not a flirt

Posted at 09/26/2010 8:22 PM | Updated as of 09/27/2010 1:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines – An exasperated Mariel Rodriguez lashed back at detractors who have criticized her after the TV host's controversial wedding with Robin Padilla in India.

In an exclusive interview with “The Buzz,” Rodriguez admitted that she took offense that many people are now branding her a "flirt."

“Tawagin ninyo kong malandi, for example, nakipaglandian ako, nakipag-flirt ako, nakipag-live-in ako. Hindi namang ganoon…. nagkaligawan kami, na-in-love kami, nagpakasal kami,” she tearfully said.

“It hurts me kasi pag-ibig ang naganap sa amin. Hindi naman ‘yon sinadya na maging ganoon so masakit na tawagin kang malandi.”

She said she also has mixed emotions over people’s reactions to their whirlwind romance, which ended in marriage.

“Hindi ko alam kung nalulungkot ako o naiinis ako. They keep saying na mabilis kasi siguro sila nagbibilang sila. Kami naman, hindi namin binibilang ‘yong mga araw kasi ‘yong mga moment that we spent together, ‘yon yung mga nagma-matter,” she said.

She also got hurt after her critics called her “ungrateful” for purportedly keeping her wedding a secret from her grandparents.

“When I got engaged alam naman nila. Hindi ko naman tinago ‘yong relationship namin ni Robin," she said. "Pinakilala ko naman at gusto naman nila si Robin. Hindi totoo ‘yon, mahal na mahal ko sila.”

She also said she and Padilla did not lie when the controversy about their wedding broke out.

As for their reported Ibaloi wedding, the actress-television host said: “Hindi naman nanggaling sa amin [ang balita]. Iba ang nagsalita. Siguro, hindi din niya alam na kasal na kami noong time na nangyari sa Baguio.”

It was an Ibaloi priest who told ABS-CBN News that the wedding indeed took place.

She maintained that it happened because Padilla wanted to introduce her and the action star’s son to the Igorot culture.

It has been reported that Padilla’s mom is an Ibaloi, but this has been denied.

“Ako personally pagod na pagod na ako na tinatawag kaming sinungaling…. whatever you say kami pa din ang may kasalanan… Ito na nga inilabas na ang totoo, sinungaling pa rin, may butas pa rin,” Rodriguez said.

She said she is “very affected” by all the controversies being hurled at her.

Meanwhile, some have been questioning the legality of Rodriguez’s wedding to Padilla, saying that the action star’s marriage to his first wife, Liezl Sicangco, has yet to be annulled.

When sought for reaction, Padilla said: “May mga abugado tayo. Nakiki-usap tayo sa mga kapatid natin na may hawak nitong mga papel namin, sana po ay matapos na. Tutal kami po ay maligaya na.”

Padilla and Sicangco have 4 children, including new young star Queenie Padilla.