Talking on entertainment show “E-Live” on Saturday, Manzano made a simple statement which confirmed the circulating rumor. “We are definitely dating,” he said.
Manzano said he and Mercado became close because they have martial arts training together.
He, however, stressed that although he has always been a fan of the actress’ beauty, they only maintained a good working relationship prior to the martial arts training.
“Rarely [kami nag-uusap]. Kung text man, something to do with trabaho. ‘Yon lang, isang tanong, isang sagot. Ganoon lang. Everything started when we started training together ng muay thai and jiu jitsu. Kahit nasa kabila pa lang si Jenn, I’ve always been a fan of her beauty. Kahit noong nakita ko siya sa Legazpi hosting a pageant, sabi ko sa kasama ko ang ganda niya,” he said.
Asked if they are already exclusively dating, Manzano said they haven’t talked about it yet.
“’Yong exclusively dating, hindi pa fully tackled iyan sa aming dalawa. Hindi pa namin talagang nauupuan iyan at napag-uusapan. Pero siguro sa puntong ito, so far everything has fallen into place. Siguro ang pagiging exclusive, whether it be unspoken na lang sa amin or kailangan pang pag-usapan, isa iyon sa mga hakbang na kailangan pa namin pagdaanan sa kung ano man ang namamagitan sa amin,” the actor explained.
Manzano also came to the defense of Mercado since there are people who have made negative comments because the latter is a single mom.
“I don’t take it as a bad thing. Definitely any child is a blessing sa mga buhay buhay. And for some na nababasa ko na napaka-negative na tao na ini-insinuate na napakasama na maging ina at her age at mahirap makipagrelasyon sa may anak na, ang masasabi ko lang sa ganoon eh ‘di sana para na ring hinusgahan ang mommy ko. Dahil noong pumasok si Tito Ralph sa buhay ni mommy, my mom had me,” he said.
“So kung hinuhusgahan niyo si Jenn for having a son at nagkataon na may papasok sa buhay niya, eh ‘di parang hinusgahan niyo ang mommy ko, which is very very unfair. Siguro naman my mom raised me well. Siguro naman hindi ako naging pabigat and nakikita naman si mommy and si Tito Ralph ngayon, so far so good,” Manzano added.
He also clarified the rumor that he and Mercado were spotted in Boracay together.
“Parang before Holy Week nag-Boracay siya with her son and kanyang mommy. Tapos nakabalik na siya. Kami naman ang nag-Bora with Niks (Gil). Wala po si Jenn doon. After 2 days, sumunod si Jenn with her family. Kasama niya ang mga tita niya,” Manzano said.
Meanwhile, Manzano shared that he has already introduced Mercado to his mom, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos.
“Yes. Well I guess it went really really well. Nagkakilala sila sa Batangas. It was Holy Week. Wala namang ibang nasabi si mommy... I saw my mom. My mom was smiling. So I guess my mom likes Jenn,” he said.