Thursday, September 30, 2010

Toni and Mariel: Best Friends Forever?

What really caused the rift between Toni Gonzaga and Mariel Rodriguez?

There has been a lot of discussion and speculation on air and on the net since Toni Gonzaga's revelation that she was not on speaking terms with her now ex-BFF Mariel Rodriguez. Now that both have had a chance to speak, we can begin to piece together the reason behind the rift.

Badmouth Mariel

On September 15, 2010, at the press conference for Toni's then-upcoming TV show Kokey@Ako, Toni reveals that she confronted Mariel after hearing that the latter had allegedly been badmouthing her. Although she refused to elaborate, she did hint in a subsequent interview that there were three instances where Mariel hurt Toni, and that the third was the last straw.

What did Mariel say that hurt Toni? That the former has been referring to the latter as "dokleng" or cross-eyed, according to Pinoy Paparazzi on September 17, 2010. Although unverified, this seems to be the most popular version circulating today.

Another unverified version of the story involved Toni's co-host on "The Buzz", KC Concepcion, aired on the DZMM radio program "Showbiz Mismo" on September 17, 2010. Apparently, Mariel had given KC the impression that Toni was a difficult person to deal with. Needless to say, Toni found out.

Even KC Concepcion was allegedly criticized by Mariel. The actress-host has purportedly said that the Megastar’s daughter is imitating her hosting style when the former guested on Simply KC. According to a source, Mariel said, “Grabe, ginagaya niya ako. Ginagaya niya hosting style ko!” 

Mariel’s remark was heard by a production assistant who immediately told KC about it. The Megadaughter does not confirm or deny these rumors but she was once asked in an interview about the so-called rift between Toni and Mariel. KC said that although she and Mariel text each other, it’s Toni that she’s close with. She added that when it comes to friendship, quality is more important than quantity.

If we take these unverified reports as truth, then we already have two instances accounted for. So what was the third instance?

The Robin-Toni Film

It was late March 2010 when a plan for a Robin Padilla-Toni Gonzaga film was announced. Filming began, but was never finished, apparently due to the fact that a love scene had been woven into the script late in the filmmaking process. Toni didn't want to do a love scene, and Robin didn't want to do a love scene with a leading lady who was in a relationship.

Shortly afterwards, though, plans for a Robin-Mariel film was announced, and fueled speculations that the still unpublicized relationship between the two was the real reason why the Robin-Toni film was scrapped.

Could this be the third instance?

Mariel’s Side

In a tell-all interview with manager and host Boy Abunda in The Buzz, Mariel aired her side and denied all rumors involving her and other Kapamilya stars, particularly Toni Gonzaga. She also answered the malandi issue thrown at her by disapproving fans because of her whirlwind romance with Robin Padilla. Many fans speculated that Mariel moved-in with Robin even before they got married. Many called her malandi or easy-to-get.

An emotional Mariel Rodriguez told Boy Abunda, “Actually, hindi ko alam kung nalulungkot ako o naiinis na ako. They keep saying na mabilis kasi, siguro, sila nagbibilang sila. Kasi kami, hindi naman namin binibilang yung mga araw. Kasi yung mga moment that we spent together, yun yung mga nagma-matter.”

Mariel said she is deeply hurt because she is branded as malandi. “Tawagin ninyo akong malandi... For example, nakipaglandian ako, nakipag-flirt ako, nakipag-live-in ako. Hindi naman ganoon.... Nagkaligawan kami, na-in love kami, nagpakasal kami," said Mariel, who at this point started crying. 

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

Mariel also denied she ever badmouthed KC Concepion or Toni Gonzaga. She said she never had issues with KC. “Bakit naman nilalagyan ng mga tao ng masasamang [isyu]? I don't know what the issue still is. I really don't know, but I have no issue at all with KC.”

Mariel gets emotional again when asked about Toni. "Toni is my friend. I love Toni. So, with everything that's been said, gusto kong maalala yung friendship namin ni Toni for how it was.”

She went further, saying, “It was a good friendship. We loved each other. Kaya nakikiusap ako sana huwag palakihin kasi pinapahalagahan ko ang mga kaibigan ko.” 

She defended herself from attacks branding her as traydor na kaibigan, “Me as a friend, marunong akong mag-value ng kaibigan. Kung meron man pagkakataon na meron akong kaibigan na nasaktan, marunong akong tumanggap ng pagkatalo dahil mali ako. I can apologize kapag alam ko na mali ako. I never said I was perfect but I know in my heart, and I'm sure lahat ng mga naging kaibigan ko at mga kaibigan ko, alam nila na ni minsan wala akong kaibigan na trinaydor. I've been a good friend.”

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