In an intimate round table interview with select members of the press this week following her official launch as Hana Shampoo’s “most natural and beautiful endorser,” the dramatic actress talked about her enduring gratitude—and love—for the woman who raised and guided her throughout her charmed life.
Marian, who is known for her honesty in showbiz circles, has always been open about coming from a broken family. She was raised by her maternal grandmother since her parents were separated when she was very young.
Growing up, Marian recalls how meticulous her lola was in taking care of her, especially with her skin.
“Maarte [ang]lola ko eh!” she laughingly revealed. “Sobrang maalaga talaga siya sa lalo na sa skin ko. Sa bahay, kapag malamok, naka kulambo ako. Kailangan bago matulog naka-lotion at naka-pulbos.”
Fortunately, Lola Francisca had the full support of her daughter, Marian’s mom Amalia, in teaching the pretty little girl to take good care of herself. More than that, Mommy Amalia also sent Lola Francisca the necessary beauty products—from body lotions, sunscreens, to facial moisturizers—regularly from overseas where she worked to support them.
So protective was Marian’s grandmother that she did not allow the would-be actress to join her high school basketball team even if she really wanted too. Apparently, the delicate Marian was every athletic and even boyish in her younger years.
Instead, and more fittingly too, Marian ended up as the muse of many basketball teams in her school and neighborhood.
“Ganoon ang lola ko sa akin. Buti pala kasi nag-artista nga ako,” Marian looked back. All of Lola Francisca’s efforts paid off indeed as her granddaughter is considered one of the most beautiful faces in Philippine showbiz history.
Besides learning to care for her self, Marian also credits her grandmother for the valuable life lessons she goes by today.
Asked by The Manila Times, which among Lola Francisca’s words of wisdom she values most she replied, “Separated kasi ang parents ko since I was two years old. Lola ko ang nagsasabi sa akin na ang nanay at tatay hindi mapapalitan. Ano man ang hindi nila mapagkasunduan, kailangan iniintindi mo ‘yon bilang isang anak.”
She continued, “At never daw akong magiging successful sa kahit anong karera ng buhay ko kung may galit ako sa magulang ko.”
Thanks to Lola Francisca’s words, Marian learned to love her parents despite living away from them. These days, she and Lola Francisca meet with Amalia twice a week for girl bonding, while Marian regularly talks to her father Javier in Spain via Skype.
“Ayokong dumating yung panahon na sa sobrang busy ko, mawawalan ako ng oras para sa kanila. Isa sila sa mga dahilan kung anong meron ako, higit na ang lola ko. Pati yung attitude na meron ako, kasi ang lola ko kalog, parang ako ” Marian affirmed.
With all that Lola Francisca has done for her, the doting granddaughter, in return, has promised she would never change. Even if Marian is one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation, a sought after endorser, and FHM’s Sexiest Woman Alive, she is still the girl her lola raised her to be.
“My lola told me, ‘Kapag nagbago ka, pupunta ako doon at kukunin na kita. Gusto kong makita nila yong totoong Marian, mahalin nila yong totoong Marian. Hindi mo kailangang magpanggap. Kung ayaw ka ng tao wala tayong magagawa.
Gusto ko kung ano man mangyari sa career mo, ikaw pa rin yong Marian na inalagaan ko.’”
And if one day Marian finds herself at the end of her career, she is prepared to embrace it because her grandmother has also prepared her for the possibility.
“Laking pasasalamat ko na ang laging sinasabi ng lola ko, ‘Kung anong meron ka yakapin mo. Kung may mawala man, siguro may dahilan. Ang importante naranasan mo,’” Marian ended.