"Siyempre, napanood ko din 'yong kay Angel [Locsin]," Marian Rivera candidly told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and the other entertainment reporters. The cover girl of YES! magazine's 100 Most Beautiful Stars for 2009 was referring to Angel's 2005 portrayal of the Pinay superhero—a character Marian will soon assume in the  upcoming TV remake of the Mars Ravelo creation.

 

Photo: Noel Orsal

Blessings continue to come Marian Rivera's way. The latest good fortune was her being chosen the cover girl of YES! magazine's 100 Most Beautiful Stars for 2009.

Marian was on hand to formally unveil the cover in a press conference-launching held earlier today, June 22, at Annabel's restaurant on Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City.

"Happy!" said Marian when asked about her beauty secret. "Kailangan lagi kang happy, di ba? 'Tsaka kung may problema man, e, ano na lang 'yan, parang sa isang tabi lang, mas malaki pa rin 'yong mas masaya."

The 24-year-old actress is currently busy preparing for her upcoming television portrayal of the iconic Filipino superhero, Darna.

"Hindi pa talaga kami nagte-taping. Pero nagte-training ako, nagpi-fitting ako ng costume ko," revealed Marian.

To better equip herself for the role, Marian diligently studies Chinese martial arts, like wushu. Playing the high-flying Pinoy heroine  requires her to undergo harness training, which is no easy feat considering the stress marks it leaves on one's body.

"Ang dami kong pasa-pasa," Marian confided about the extreme physical demands of the role.

PRESSURE AND ANGEL. Portraying Darna has reinforced the supposed rivalry between Marian and ex-Darna Angel Locsin.

Angel—who moved from GMA-7 to rival network ABS-CBN in 2007—portrayed Darna back in 2005 with much success. The program even reached a staggering 52.1 percent rating in one episode, based on AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines overnight ratings report.

Angel's controversial network shift eventually paved the way for Marian's ascent as GMA-7's new princess. Given all the circumstances that affected their respective careers, insiders have long been playing up a rivalry between the two stars.

"Ayoko isipin na natatakot ako, e," Marian confidently answered, pertaining to the pressure of living up to her predecessor's success as Darna.

"Siguro mas excited ako kasi pangarap ko talagang maging Darna, di ba? At kahit siguro sinong babae gugustuhin na maging si Darna siya."

On the impending comparisons that will surely arise out of Marian's Darna portrayal, Marian stated, "Ay, given na 'yan. Given na 'yan. Siguro hindi lang sa kanya, sa halos lahat ng naging Darna din. Well, hindi ko naman maiaalis kung i-compare ako kung kahit na kaninong artista, e.

"Parte ko 'yan bilang artista. Imposibleng hindi ka ikukumpara. 'Yan 'yong mga consequences bilang artista, at wala akong nakikitang masama kung ikumpara kaming dalawa as long as magkaibigan kami, walang namamagitan na sama ng loob sa aming dalawa."