the '80s, if one said "leading lady," the name Marianne dela Riva
would come into mind. She used to be the most visible actress in the action
movie genre, that even Da King—the late Fernando Poe Jr.—openly admitted, "Si
Marianne ang aking paborito."
April 14, over lunch, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) came face to face
with still-beautiful Marianne. And just like the roles she mostly portrayed in
the movies, the action king's favorite leading lady is simplicity, serenity,
and beauty personified.
asked her about the comment of FPJ.
siguro I really looked like a damsel in distress," she said softly.
"Kasi usually yung storylines naman ganun, eh. Usually ipagtatanggol ka ng
leading man, gano'n. Usually gano'n ang formula."
LIFE NOW. Marianne is based in the U.S. now, and describes her life in New
Jersey as "quite contented." Away from the glittering world of
showbiz, she says, "I've been fine. Masaya ako. I've remarried."
marriage to Dr. Oscar T. Ortiz was her reason for leaving the country. Here's a
portion of their love story.
I was just visiting my daughters, which I did every year because they're
residing in the States," recalled Marianne. "And then three years
ago, just three days before I left, ‘cause I was about to come home na, I
attended some type of get-together by a good friend of mine, former actress din
yun, eh. And then, may pinakilala siya sa akin.
cut a long story short, nagkita lang kami once and then nasundan ‘yon. 'Tapos
mga early 2005, by December, he came back and nagkita kami ulit, we got
together, medyo nagkakaintindihan...'Tapos the following year, six months
later, we got married na."
last project was the television remake of Panday, released in December
2005. She was Flavio's (the original Panday, played by FPJ) wife in Panday
IV (Ika-apat na Aklat), which hit the theaters in 1984.
she's a full-time housewife and mom, the roles she actually aspired for before
shared, "Sabi ko, when I grow old, I just want to be a good housewife,
good mother, finish college, ganun-ganon...But hindi, eh. By age 16, napasok na
ako sa art-art. Then tuluy-tuloy na. Parang handed to me [and] it's a blessing.
Hindi ko hilig and sabi nga nila shy-shy ako pero nakapasok ako doon.
Tuluy-tuloy na yun."
THEN. It was fashion designer Pitoy Moreno who discovered Marianne. She
used to be one of his models. "'Tapos because of Pitoy Moreno, I became
one of Manila's Prettiest," continued Marianne.
ako dun because of Pitoy. Then I was a fashion model, and then I became a print
model. Then Mrs. Laurel naman was looking for a leading lady for Cocoy Laurel
para sa first venture nila. They saw my picture yata sa cover ng Women's
magazine. Kinontak nila si Pitoy. And that's how it started."
career was launched via the movie Love Song in 1972. Thereafter, she
became one of the screen goddesses. She actually lost count of the number of
movies she made, "mga more than 50" was her estimate.
asked about the most challenging role she played, she answered, "Maybe the
one where I appeared as a drug addict. It was during my early years in showbiz.
Matagal na 'yon...
yun sigurong more memorable sa ‘kin yung sa Gulong ng Palad. That was
the only time I got serious with my career. Before that, paloko-loko lang ako,
eh. On and off ako, aalis ako [pero] babalik ako. Kumbaga dun sa Gulong ng
Palad series, mas nagiging grounded ako. I liked doing it."
the "more than 50 movies" she starred in, is there any role or offer
she wished she would have accepted?
of the offers were really challenging," she replied. "Kaya lang,
during those days, they did ask you to show a little skin, and so maybe I
missed some opportunities because of that, na you have to be a little bit more
daring for the more challenging roles."
if in real life she kept a very low profile, showbiz did not spare her from
controversies. She considers her separation from Ronald Corveau, her co-star in
Gulong ng Palad and the dad of her two daughters, as the most
controversial. But everything's under the bridge now.
a calm voice, she said, "It's one thing na I'd rather not talk about or
would like to forget about already."
TODAY. In her brief stay here in Manila, offers came knocking at her door,
but she begged off. She is happy with her life and has no plans of going back
asked her to describe the showbiz landscape of today.
ang turnover ngayon, marami nga sila...Pero yung mga bata rin ngayon, parang
mas marami silang pinagkaka-abalahang projects than nung panahon namin. Noon,
sa movies, movie actor or actress ka lang, or sa TV, TV ka lang, walang
lahat na lang ng media hawak nila. 'Tapos yung commercials, ang dami! 'Tapos
yung movie system, parang humina. Nawala yung golden days ng movie-making
system. Pero parang mas maraming successful ngayon sa TV."
dropped the name of "Bea Alonzo" when asked who among the female
stars, she thinks, is the young Marianne dela Riva. And she was all praises for
Maja Salvador. "She's very pretty and all-around. Magaling siyang umarte.
She's versatile at kaya niya yung characterization ng mga roles niya."
if there's one thing she wishes to impart to the young stars of today,
"Love your work, be very responsible, be very professional. Kasi pag
niloko-loko mo, madaling mawala sa kamay mo."
final question was about her beauty secrets. The people who lived through the
'80s would agree with us when we say she did not age that much.
naman talaga," she shyly replied. "Really, but I don't do alcohol, I
don't do drugs, I don't smoke. I live healthy and wholesome. Basta simple
living lang ako. Nag-de-derma din ako but nothing invasive." And then the
topic shifted to cosmetic surgery, to which she said she has not resorted to
any, including botox.
afternoon chat was very casual, and full of fun and warmth. When it ended, we
surmised the reason she was Da King and other action stars' favorite leading
lady: She's a knockout inside out.