PEP EXCLUSIVE! Source says Mariana's involvement with Cesar Montano is "purely business."

by Karen A.P. Caliwara
Dec 29, 2007
Mariana del Rio is also known as the Samba girl for her endorsement of a corned beef brand. The half-Filipina, half-Brazilian model is currently figuring in a showbiz controversy—she is reportedly the "third party" that caused the split of celebrity couple Sunshine Cruz and Cesar Montano (inset).

Cesar Montano and Sunshine Cruz have been causing a rumpus in select showbiz circles for almost a week now. The couple, according to sources, are already "separated." The detailed report of the said issue was put out in PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at 2:07 in the morning today, December 29.

Cesar already confuted the rumors, saying that what happened was just "one of the tampuhan of mag-asawa." In a statement he sent via text to PEP Editor-in-Chief Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon, he stressed that it's one of his wife's "childish reactions on things," and that his detractors fed Sunshine with text messages that "poisoned her mind."

Sunshine, with her three kids, reportedly left their house in Quezon City last December 25 after a fiery argument with Cesar about his "affair" with a Brazilian model named Mariana del Rio.

In the said spat, according to a source, Cesar diverted the issue by branding his wife a "porn star," which deeply hurt Sunshine. The actress was said to have sent this text message to her friends: "All I want is a little respect."

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Cesar, in his phone conversation with Maglipon last night, said he's "hurting." Sunshine, for her part, sent a text message to the Editor-in-Chief of PEP: "Not ready to talk now. I am hoping that this matter wud be settled. I love my family so much."

How about Mariana? How does she feel about her name being dragged into this issue as the "third party?"

In his effort to present all sides of the story, Cesar directed PEP to Carla de Mesa, Mariana's best friend. Carla, who was also with the model when they met Cesar at the airport, spoke on behalf of Mariana—who is currently in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and was "scared like a kid" when she heard about the issue.

PEP: How is Mariana now?

Carla: She's in Brazil. When she read the article, she reacted like any normal kid—scared.

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PEP: Let's go to the first rumor, is it true that Mariana is seen regularly with Cesar in the gatherings of Pinoy Mano-Mano?

Carla: No. He invited us but we're not able to come.

PEP: Why would Cesar invite them?

Carla: Because we're trying to have a movie...indie film...three indie films.

PEP: How did Mariana meet Cesar?

Carla: At the airport in Bohol last September. Nagkita kami. We were in group. Marami kami.

PEP: So, Cesar and Mariana really saw each other in Bohol?

Carla: Yes. But Mariana was there for a modeling engagement. We had a purpose in going there. Si Cesar was there because of the premiere of that movie with Maricel Soriano...Gawad Kalinga.

PEP: Did you guys go to the house of Cesar in Bohol?

Carla: Yes, he showed us the paintings. Nag-meryenda kami at about 4:00 [p.m.], then we left at 5:00 p.m. Mga one hour lang at marami kami.

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PEP: What about the resthouse in Bulacan?

Carla: They went there for pictorial for a movie. Kaso di na matutuloy...'di nagkasundo sa presyo. Marami kasing naka-line up na commercial so mas priority yun. Isa pa, nahihirapan si Mariana sa Tagalog.

PEP: According to rumors, Cesar tried to let the young model believe that he and his wife are already separated by telling Mariana that Sunshine doesn't have a single photo in either of the two houses of the Montanos. You guys visited their homes in Bohol and Bulacan, is that true?

Carla: In Bohol...I didn't see any picture. Honestly...In Bulacan, Mariana just said something like, "'Di pa tapos yung house."

PEP: So, Mariana never visited the set of Pinoy Mano-Mano?

Carla: Kung nagpupunta man siya, nakikita man siya ng ABS-CBN, may workshop kasi siya doon.

PEP: A source claimed that Sunshine saw a picture of Cesar and Mariana during the Christmas party of Pinoy Mano-Mano.

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Carla: They don't have. Ilabas nila yung pic...wala talaga. Di talaga kame pumunta dun.

PEP: How about the alleged phone conversation between Sunshine and Mariana? Naikuwento ba ni Mariana sa iyo yun?

Carla: Okay naman. Sabi ni Sunshine, "Ako yung asawa ni Cesar." Nagpakilala siya. Si Mariana naman, "Don't worry, I'm just doing pure business with your husband, for the movie."

PEP: It wasn't scandalous?

Carla: Kung halimbawang nakapagtaas si Mariana ng boses, kagigising lang niya noon. Gabi na kasi tumawag [si Sunshine], mga 11:00 p.m."

PEP: So there's no truth to the "affair" rumors?

Carla: Wala. Walang nangyari. 'Kuya' nga ang tawag ni Mariana kay Cesar. She's like a kid. Naaaliw si Cesar sa kanyang pagta-Tagalog. But she's the typical kid na...bubbly.

PEP: Do they text each other?

Carla: Yeah. Nagte-text sila. Purely business. Lahat ng connection ni Cesar sa model goes through me. Supposedly, the workshop, kailangang may agent na kasama. Mariana never wanted to be alone with Cesar.

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PEP: Would you know if Cesar has a code name for Mariana in his phone book?

Carla: No...Not true.

PEP: What about Cesar? The way he treats Mariana?

Carla: Purely business from his end.

PEP: Has Mariana met Sunshine?

Carla: Yes. Nakilala namin si Sunshine sa Rockwell. We bumped into each other last October. ‘Pinakilala ni Cesar si Sunshine. Mabait si Shine. May picture-taking pa nga kami kasi yung bading naming kasama, gustong magpa-picture with her.

PEP: Does Mariana know about the issue?

Carla: Yes, I called her. She really want to be an artista, but when she found out about this, sabi niya, "I don't wanna be like that if that's what's gonna happen." She's just sixteen years old. Ex-bf niya si Victor Basa. Parang fling. Madalas sila sa Embassy noon. She's not the type who would settle with Cesar."

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At press time, the mother of Cesar's three girls has not yet released her side about the said issue. In Startalk's episode today, December 29, Sunshine's manager Alfie Lorenzo, however, said his ward had told him, "Ninong, aalis na talaga ako." And the talent manager added, "Desidido na siya."

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Mariana del Rio is also known as the Samba girl for her endorsement of a corned beef brand. The half-Filipina, half-Brazilian model is currently figuring in a showbiz controversy—she is reportedly the "third party" that caused the split of celebrity couple Sunshine Cruz and Cesar Montano (inset).
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