The 23-year-old Marian Rivera Gracia in real life tried her hand at acting in 2005. She was the perennial screen partner of Oyo Sotto in GMA-7's afternoon soaps. Now, Marian Rivera is Kapuso's primetime princess, with Marimar being number one in the ratings. Photo: courtesy of Cosmopolitan magazine

The Marimar fever rages unabated in Cosmopolitan. Dingdong Dantes graced the Cosmo Men cover last September, now it's Marian Rivera's turn in the glossy mag's issue this October.

By now, Marian is a household name, thanks to GMA-7's hit series Marimar. Once, she seemed to come out of nowhere, when she outshone the more popular young actresses during the auditions.

But recall that since starting her showbiz career in late 2005, Marian became a fixture on the afternoon soap opera scene. She was even named the Best New Female Personality at the Philippine Movie Press Club's Star Awards in 2006. That paved the way for meatier roles in both afternoon and primetime soaps, leading all the way up to the role that catapulted her to full stardom.

Her success comes after countless sacrifices in her quest to take charge of her own life. "You decide what happens to you," she shares with Cosmo, "You have to strive to be independent."

She tells about the days when she survived in a near-empty condo with just an airbed, an electric fan, and a tiny old TV set. "It was quite a learning experience!" she exclaims as she talks about the independent life, a life that was far from the life she had been accustomed to. "It was fun, though," she says, "I proved that I could do without luxuries."

Find out how Marian's fearless attitude made her a star, and learn how to snag a man, Marimar-style! Grab your copy of the October issue of Cosmopolitan magazine and get the chance to be one of 10 lucky readers to win P10,000 worth of spa services from Getaway Spa. Cosmopolitan magazine is available in all leading bookstores and magazine stands at P125 per copy.