Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard "Dick" Gordon warmly welcomed Marian Rivera when she entered the Manila Polo Club earlier today, May 9, for the launch of the Red Cross Million Volunteer Run.
The GMA-7 actress and Regal contract artist has been chosen as the celebrity endorser of the Red Cross.
Mr. Gordon said about Marian's decision to support the Red Cross: "I'm very elated because in this country, we need a model citizen na kilala, may kusang-loob, malasakit at kapwa-tao.
"Si Rosa Rosal, nag-volunteer na dati para dito at hindi na siya umalis! During Ondoy, sina Angel Locsin also volunteered."
He added, "Ang artista, hindi lang pinagtitsismisan, nakakatulong rin sila sa maraming tao. May social dimension ang pagiging popular nila."
Paolo Bediones was also present at the event since he represented his home network, TV5.
He said, "We wanted to be more proactive, so I went through a Red Cross training, along with other anchors and reporters of TV5. Now, we're all certified and we all want to help.
"It doesn't matter kung nakiki-pack tayo ng relief goods, or kung nasa gitna tayo ng war zone, lahat tayo puwedeng maging volunteer ng Red Cross."
The Million Volunteer Run hopes to raise P1 billion, which will be used for the training program of volunteers and for the life-saving tools to be used by the Red Cross.
This event will be held simultaneously in key cities and municipalities in the country on December 4, in time for the celebration of International Volunteer Day on December 5.
Mr. Gordon encourages everyone to join this fun run as a way of showing that the Philippines is a country of volunteers.
He also hopes to change people's perception that the Red Cross is solely a blood-drive organization—it also aims to lessen the risks of disaster by training citizens and equipping them with life-saving skills.
NEW FACE OF RED CROSS. Roselle Monteverde and her mom, Lily Monteverde, the matriarch of Regal Films, were elected last year as board members in the Quezon City chapter of the Red Cross.
As their way of showing support, they asked their Regal baby, Marian Rivera, to help them support this worthy project.
Marian narrated, "Binigyan nila ako ng letter asking kung puwede akong maging celebrity endorser ng Red Cross kasi kailangan nga nila.
"Hindi ako nagdalawang-isip. Sabi ko, oo, tutulong ako."
She later explained, "Sa anim ko pong taon sa showbiz, napakarami na pong blessings na dumating sa akin, at bilang balik po dun, gusto kong makatulong sa mga taong nangangailangan.
"Ano ba naman yung sandaling oras ko, o ako bilang Marian, hindi bilang artista, ay makatulong sa kapwa ko?
"Mas mahalaga para sa akin yun."
Marian feels lucky to be chosen as the new face of the Red Cross.
"Nakakataba ng puso kasi sa dinami-dami ng artista, isa ako sa pinili nilang maging celebrity endorser nila.
''Dahil dito sa Red Cross, mapapatunayan ko ang pagkatao ko, hindi lang bilang Marian na artista kundi ang totoong Marian.
"Kaya thankful ako na kinuha nila ako dito.
"Nandito rin ako para manghikayat ng mga mamamayan na makiisa para tumulong sa Red Cross.
Will she invite boyfriend Dingdong Dantes to join the Million Volunteer Run?
"Hihikayatin ko rin po siya!" she said with a laugh.
When asked how far she would run, Marian said she wanted to run a distance of 5 kilometers.
But Mother Lily Monteverde chided her by saying that she would run a distance of 15 kilometers, so Marian should run much farther as well.
"Sabi nga nila, wala namang finish line dito. Ang sinusukat kung ano ang maitutulong mo at gaano kalaki ang puso mo," said Marian.
The GMA-7 actress says that she will invite her co-stars in Temptation Island to join this fun run.
"Isasama ko silang lahat sa fun run. Bawal tumanggi sa akin!"
Aside from the Red Cross, what other advocacies is she supporting?
"Tumutulong ako kay Dong [Dingdong] sa YES Pinoy Foundation."
SPENDING MOTHER'S DAY WITH DINGDONG. Marian also revealed how she spent Mother's Day yesterday, May 8.
"Kumain kami sa labas ni Mama, si Lola, saka si Dong. Ang Mama kasi ni Dong, nasa States, e."
How special is this Mother's Day celebration to her?
"Siyempre, special ito dahil pinagsama ang Nanay ko [referring to her grandmother] at Mama ko, at kasama pa si Dong."
She also said, "Ang importante, nabibigyan ko sila ng oras at hindi nagbabago ang anak nilang Marian na nag-artista."
TOPPING FHM'S 100 SEXIEST PARTIAL POLL. Last April 29, Marian Rivera topped the partial results of the 100 Sexiest Women of the World poll currently being conducted by FHM Philippines.
Marian is in the No. 1 spot, followed by Angel Locsin in second place, and Cristine Reyes in the third spot. In the latest update released last May 6, Marian was still in the No. 1 spot but Cristine moved up to the No. 2 slot while Angel moved down to the third spot.
Voting for the said contest ends on June 15, 2011.
"Nakakataba ng puso na ako pa rin ang number one sa paningin nila at number one sa puso nila kahit hindi pa ko nagko-cover sa FHM. Thank you," said Marian.
Is she willing to pose on the cover of the leading men's magazine?
Marian shrieked before answering, "Hintayin nila ang Temptation [Island, her upcoming movie]. Tingnan nila kung karapat-dapat talaga akong maging number one."
What is her reaction to fans and critics who tend to compare her with Angel Locsin?
"Ang importante, kami ni Angel, maayos kami, wala kaming problema sa isa't isa.
"Nagkita naman kami nung humingi siya para dun sa [Shop and Share]."
In 2009, Marian donated several dresses and a bag for the auction organized by Angel and Anne Curtis for the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
The Kapuso actress donated the gown that she wore for the GMA-7 anniversary. In fact, Angel herself picked up the gown from Marian's condo unit.
EXCITED FOR HER FIRST ORIGINAL TV SERIES. Marian says that she studied arnis in preparation for her role in Amaya, her first original series on GMA-7.
"Sobrang excited na ko for Amaya, kasi ito ang una kong original story. Never pa kasi akong gumawa ng original."
Does she feel pressured by topbilling this TV series since GMA-7 spent a huge amount of money for the show's production design and research?
"Ayaw kong isipin ang pressure. Siguro mas maganda kung i-challenge ko ang sarili ko na mas galingan ko, i-enjoy ko ang trabaho ko.
"As long as marami akong napapaligayang tao, siguro 'wag ko nang initindihin ang ganung klaseng bagay.
"Kasi naniniwala ako na ang ratings, some points lang 'yan. Ang importante, nakakapagpaligaya ka ng tao at nagagawa mo nang mabuti ang trabaho mo."
How sexy will she go for this project?
"Panoorin na lang nila. Hindi ako papasok sa isang proyekto na hindi ko kayang gawin at hindi ko kayang dalhin.
"I know my limitations. I know kung hanggang saan lang ako at dun lang ako," she said with conviction.
She describes her character in Amaya by saying, "Pabago-bago ang karakter ko dun. Naging prinsesa, tapos oripun [slave], tapos warrior."
As for her upcoming movie, Temptation Island, Marian said that she will return to Ilocos Norte for five more shooting days, plus two more shooting days here in Manila.
"Kailangan pa namin bumalik kasi may mga eksena pa na gustong pahabain ni Direk [Chris Martinez]."
Amaya is scheduled to air on GMA-7 on May 30, while Temptation Island is slated to come out by June 2011.