BB Gandanghari told Zoren Legaspi on Saturday that she is thankful “that you’re taking care of Carmina (Villaroel), and I think she is very happy with you.”
After months of delay, BB Gandanghari—the transsexual formerly known as Rustom Padilla, ex-husband of Zoren’s long-time live-in partner Carmina—finally faced off with Zoren in a revealing and heartfelt taped interview on the latter’s TV5 talk show, “Paparazzi Showbiz Exposed”.
The two had never met before—not even when BB was still Rustom. The interview started awkwardly with Zoren addressing her as “Madam BB” after giving her a bouquet of flowers, a gesture normally done after the interview.
It ended with Zoren telling her, “Let’s start as a family. We could be a family, di ba?” BB said she looks forward to meeting him with Carmina and their two children.
For Zoren’s first question, he asked her if she had any resentments towards him.
“Honestly, wala. Kasi sa totoo lang wala kang kinalaman doon sa ano mang nangyari sa past ni Carmina at ni Rustom. At kung meron akong nararamdaman sa ‘yo, hindi siguro sama ng loob o galit kundi pasasalamat actually,” she said.
BB said Rustom would probably wish he had experienced the same happiness that Zoren enjoys with Carmina.
BB revealed that she sought out Carmina when she needed to come out to her personally.
For his part, Zoren revealed that Carmina asked for his permission before meeting BB.
“To be frank, I was afraid for her,” Zoren said. “Sabi ko, ‘Teka, are you sure?’ Alam mo ang sabi niya sa akin? ‘I think i owe him this kasi that time she needed to talk to you (BB) pumayag kang kausapin siya. So sabi niya, ‘In return papayag ako’.”
BB said he was grateful for the private meeting between her and Carmina.
“Doon ko nakilala si Carmina. Doon nabuo ang respeto ko sa kanya bilang tao. At sabi ko sa sarili ko na siguro sa lahat ng nangyari, it was a blessing na si Carmina ang ‘yung naging parte (ng buhay ko).
“Kung may masakit man na nangyari, kung ano man, it was a blessing na kay Carmina lahat naging experience ko. Kasi napakaganda ng handling ng mga nangyari. I was very thankful and I was also very grateful na pumayag ka (Zoren). Siyempre at that time may sarili na kayong buhay,” BB explained.
BB came out to the public in 2006 while he was a housemate on ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition”.
She said she admitted her sexuality to Carmina ahead of her confession to her mother and other members of her family.
Zoren asked BB: “Was it difficult for you to say sorry?”
BB said: “Yes and no. It was difficult because i don’t make wanna make her feel that there was deception at that time because probably there wasn’t. ‘Yung pagso-sorry is kung mangyayari man ito ngayon baka masaktan ka. Kaya ako nagso-sorry…I just thought I owed it to her, the honesty and all.”
Asked if she feels complete after coming out as BB, she said, “I can say I’m happy, but I can be happier.”
And then she quipped to Zoren before breaking into laughter, “Parang naba-blangko naman ako sa tingin mo sa akin.”
Turning serious again, BB reiterated her stance on her persona: “My sexuality is an orientation, not a preference. So it’s not a choice because if this is a choice, wow, hundred times kong iisipin if this will be my choice. But it’s not a choice. Kahit mahirap siya, kailangan mong harapin. Kailangan mong tanggapin.”
Zoren gave BB a chance to ask him three questions. Her first: “Bakit mo ko gustong ma-interview?”
His reply: “Para kay Carmina, because I want that closure in the eyes of the public. Gusto kong maisara siya at maintindihan ng publiko na it’s really not a big deal sa ating tatlo. It’s just a big deal dahil hindi pa tayo nagkikita-kita.
“Pangalawa, sa akin naman, gusto kitang ma-interview dahil kasama ka sa past niya. You’re part of her history, and hindi na ‘yon mabubura. And gusto kita makilala. I’m thankful na you said yes to this interview at nagkakilala tayo. Nabunutan ako ng tinik sa mga narinig ko sa ‘yo, at lalo kitang nirespeto.”
BB aked Zoren how much he loves Carmina.
“Hindi pa ako nagloloko. Maraming hindi naniniwala. Maraming tukso siyempre. Malaki talaga sakripisyo ko dun to keep the family intact,” he said.
He added that he has made investments on Carmina’s behalf to assure her future and that of their children in case he dies anytime.
This again elicited a flirtatious remark from BB: “Wala ka bang kapatid?”
Towards the end of the show, when she was interviewed live by the “Paparazzi” panel composed of Cristy, Mr. Fu, Dolly Ann Carvajal and guest co-host Lucy Torres-Gomez, BB confessed: “Kaya yata na-in love si Carmina sa kanya, grabe tumitig ha!”
Zoren, on the other hand, offered an insightful summation of the interview to his co-hosts.
“I’m very happy na naging very frank and honest si BB. Mas lalong tumaas ang respeto ko kay BB dahil marami siyang sinabi na hindi natin akalain na pinagdadaanan niya hanggang ngayon. Meron siyang pain sa loob, and I was just happy to hear it from him personally.”
Watch the interview here: