When asked how she will celebrate her 24th birthday on August 12, Marian Rivera answered, "Taping ako, e. Simula nang mag-artista ako, lahat ng birthday ko, may trabaho ako. Two years na akong nagtatrabaho ng birthday ko, pangatlo na ito."

Photo: Noel Orsal

 

On August 7, 2007 Marian Rivera was declared as "the next big star" by GMA-7's President and CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon. This was during the press conference of Marimar, the show that started the success of Marian's career in showbiz.

 

A year after this declaration, what were the changes that happened to Marian? Marian was humble in answering PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) when we visited the set of Dyesebel yesterday, July 29, in Subic, Zambales.

 

"Actually, ayaw kong sabihin... Laging sinasabi nila na princess nila ako, ganyan-ganyan, na ako ang next big star. Ayaw kong isipin ang mga ganyan kasi kung iisipin mo nang ganun, wala namang mangyayari sa buhay ko, e. Mamaya lumaki pa ang ulo ko, mamaya ganun."

 

She also said that nothing has changed with her despite the success of her career—she is still the Marian that her fans knew when she was still starting out in showbiz.

 

Marian added, "At saka ang lagi kong sinasabi, sige, kung nasa isip ko na ako 'yong big star na 'yon at ako ang princess nila, hindi ako ganito magsalita sa inyo ngayon. So, gusto ko lang 'yong normal lang 'yong lahat, 'yong totoo ako sa sarili ko.

 

"Alam n'yo iyon ever since, at saka alam ng tao kung gaano ako ka-transparent, kung gaano ako kapalaban, kung gaano ako walang kaanu-ano na kiyeme. Ganun talaga ako. Masaya ako na nagagawa ko 'yong trabaho ko at nagagawa ko nang ako 'to, at wala akong tinatago. 'Yon ang masarap."

 

Since her showbiz career is blooming right now, along with her onscreen partner Dingdong Dantes, Marian wants to give the success of their team-up back to their fans through a free concert on August 27. This will also serve as a grand celebration of the birthdays of Marian and Dingdong on August 12 and August 2, respectively.

 

"Ang nag-isip niyan 'yong mga managers namin [Popoy Caritativo for Marian and Perry Lansigan for Dingdong] at saka mga boss sa GMA-7," said Marian.
"Parang ang dami nang nagawa ng mga tao sa amin. Bilang gantimpala naman sa kanila, bibigyan namin sila ng libreng concert namin ni Dingdong sa Araneta."

 

Marian refused to divulge the concept of the grand concert but she said that their die-hard fans would surely enjoy the show. "Kasi birthday namin, parang thanksgiving na rin para sa kanila [fans] kasi sobrang OA ang suporta nila sa amin."

 

MARIAN ON THE COVER OF FHM. Last July 17, Marian Rivera surprised her male fans at the FHM 100 Sexiest Party 2008 held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Although she has not been on the cover of this number-one men's mag, her name landed on the top spot of the 100 Sexiest Women in the World. So, in turn, Marian did a dance number during the party.

 

What did Marian feel when she started walking the ramp?

 

She answered with a smile, "Actually noong rampa na 'yon, nagdyo-joke nga ako, sabi ko, ‘Parang napasubo yata ako, ah!' Kasi nakaka-tense talaga siya at hindi ko alam kung paano ako tatanggapin ng mga tao, kung ano ang gagawin ko.

 

"Noong hindi pa ako lumalabas, talagang kinakabahan pa ako. Pero noong lumabas na ako 'tapos narinig ko 'yong mga tao nagtsi-cheer talaga sila sa akin, nawala 'yong kaba ko."

 

Now that she was voted as the No. 1 sexiest woman this year, does this mean that she is now willing to grace the cover of FHM?

 

Marian answered indirectly, "Actually, kinu-consider namin siya pero hindi ngayon, kasi ang dami ko talagang ginagawa. Itong August na ito, mayroon akong Australia para sa pictorial ng Jag, 'tapos pupunta kami ng New Jersey, 'tapos ang dami kong commercial na isu-shoot, 'tapos meron pa kaming movie na gagawin ni Dingdong. So, hindi pa namin alam kung kailan siya isisingit, pero kinu-consider namin siya."

 

MOVIE WITH DINGDONG. Aside from Dyesebel, Marian will be paired with Dingdong in the movie titled One True Love, which was originally called Amnesia. It was first reported that the movie will be directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes, but he has been replaced by Mac Alejandre.

 

This would also be different from the TV projects they did together, Marimar and Dyesebel. Marian explained, "Actually, heavy drama talaga, sobrang heavy drama. Actually, nag-usap kami ni Direk Mac noong isang araw, sabi niya, ‘Yan-yan [her nickname for people close to her], iba-ibang klaseng iyak ang gagawin mo dito—may teary-eyed, mayroon talagang nagwawala, mayrooong tahimik lang, mayroong sakit lang.'"

 

The movie will be a love triangle between Marian, Dingdong, and Iza Calzado. Iza is one of the reasons Marian is excited to do this movie. She said, "Excited din akong makatrabaho si Iza kasi magaling din, e. Alam mo 'yon, magaling umiyak, matsa-challenge ka rin talaga."

 

She added, "At saka first time din namin ni Dong. Puro kami soap opera magkasama, first time lang na movie. So, excited din talaga."

 

During the interview, Marian also enumerated some of the projects that she is scheduled do in the coming months—most of which are product endorsements. However, she refused to reveal these yet because she has no idea about the plans for them.

 

ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM. With all these blessings that she is receiving, what else does Marian wish for her birthday?

 

She answered, "Gusto ko na palagi akong masaya kasi importante sa akin ang pagiging masaya. At saka sana mas mahalin ako ng mga tao sa pagiging ako. Kasi gusto ko 'yong sarili ko sa pagiging ako, e.

 

"Kahit pa sabihin nila na, ‘'Yan si Marian, naku, palaban iyan, bungangera 'yan...' I don't care, basta ako, totoo ako sa sarili ko, na ito ako. Naipapakita ko sa inyo kung sino ako kesa naman sa wala ngang nasasabi sa 'yo, pero hindi naman totoo 'yon.

 

"Gusto ko na 'yong, sige, pintasan n'yo na ako, pulaan n'yo na ako, okay na 'yon. Basta ang importante sa akin, ako, hindi ako naninira ng kapwa ko, masaya na ako doon."