It's been four years since beauty queen and host Miriam Quiambao called it quits with her Italian husband Claudio Rondinelli, whom she married in December 2004, and yet until now, relief was still palpable on her face when she recalled the day the court finally granted the divorce back in 2006.
"Ilang taon kong pinaglaban iyon and finally, natapos na," Miriam said on Startalk yesterday, May 1. "So, I am just happy na I am moving on. Hindi madali kasi ang daming mga nangyari, pero grateful din ako kasi tapos na siya. What's best, e magkaibigan kami [ngayon]."
Miriam and Claudio had a beach wedding (CLICK HERE and HERE for the article and gallery, respectively) in 2004 and moved to Hong Kong where Claudio ran several restaurants. Miriam worked part-time as a yoga instructor. The downfall of the couple's marriage was supposedly due to a third party. In a statement to Miriam last year, Claudio admitted that he had fallen for a younger woman.
Miriam revealed that she felt something unusual as early as the honeymoon. But when asked to give more details, she exclaimed, "Ay, ayoko na balikan iyan! Basta gusto ko lang... natutuwa lang ako na tapos na siya. Sa simula pa lang, e magdududa ka na, 'Bagay ba kami sa isa't isa?' Parang ayaw naman talaga niya, pero umoo siya kasi he wanted to make me happy. In other words, both of us were never ready."
THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE. Was she taken care of during her marriage?
"Financially, yes," she said. "I could buy anything I wanted. Money cannot buy love."
She felt, however, that she was emotionally abandoned and neglected. "It came to a point when I was suicidal," she said in a startling revelation. "I was very, very depressed. It was a matter of survival. It came to a point when there were voices in my head saying to kill myself. It was only the voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart telling me softly that if I killed myself, that's not love. So, I hung on to that faith knowing that it is God who is keeping me strong and helping me to survive."
The 1999 Ms. Universe runner-up imparted these life lessons. "Natutunan ko na bago ka pala mag-asawa, e dapat kilalang-kilala mo iyong papakasalan mo," she said. "Pareho kayo dapat ng values, especially spiritual values. Pangalawa, bonggang-bongga ang communication skills dapat kasi pag may problema, kailangan pinag-uusapan. Hindi kami pareho magaling doon...
"Somehow, sinabi ko na sa kanya na, 'Just go away,'" said Miriam. "Para sa akin, 'Tapusin na natin ito. Let us get it over and done with.'"
Will she ever fall in love again?
"I have fallen in love," said Miriam. "Jesus is my boyfriend."