GMA Network’s prime time queen Marian Rivera is a great believer in the saying, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
This, coupled with her ever-compassionate heart, has taken her numerous times to Tacloban City, Leyte and other surrounding areas of the Visayas since the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, to help and comfort the countless victims.
“Kahapon nasa Estancia, Iloilo kami para magbigay muna ng love sa nasalanta,” the easy-going beauty told The Manila Times on Tuesday over lunch.
Unlike other do-gooders who talk about the work they do in the Visayas in a very somber, almost heavy kind of way, Marian seems to do so unaffectedly, and hardly draws attention to herself and her philanthropy.
“Ang next project natin yung ‘Adopt a Banka,’ kasi pagkatapos ng lahat ng tulong na dumarating sa kanila ngayon, paano naman sila in five months’ time, diba? Baka wala silang makain, wala pa rin silang pambuhay, dahil wala silang trabaho,” she related, as though she were talking about an ordinary undertaking.
“So yung Adopt a Banka, babagay yan sa mga maliit na isla sa paligid ng Cebu na talagang na wipe out din, para may masimulang kabuhayan naman ang mga kababayan natin doon.”
Asked how she would fund the project, Marian doesn’t go for false modesty, and answers the question directly.
“Medyo hindi din biro magpagawa ng isang banka,” she began. “Nasa 30 to 40 thousand pesos din ang bawat isa. Yung iba galing sa atin, at yung iba naman, susubukan nating maihingi ng tulong sa iba, kaya importante din talaga ang credibility ng isang tao para pagkatiwalaan ka ng pondo.”
And just as quickly, she takes the discussion away from herself and enumerated the merits of such a program—such as how the building of the bancas at the onset would generate jobs for a good number of typhoon victims, before even providing them with a more permanent source of livelihood once they set sail.
Pressed by The Manila Times on the kind of fulfillment helping others give her, Marian simply responded, “Iba yung feeling pag nandoon ka. Kahapon, nagsabit kami ng parol sa isang lugar sa Estancia at ibang klase yung nakita ko sa kanila. Saya at iyak na magkasabay, na hanggang ngayon, habang inaala ko, kinikilabutan pa din ako.”
She added, “Ma-re-realize mo pag may nagpasalamat sa iyo ng buong puso, kaya ko pala—at dapat akong—tumulong.”
Just as Marian knows of her responsibility to help others given her stature in life, does she believe that more blessings are given to those who do good?
“Hindi naman magandang isipin na kaya ka tumutulong naniniwala kang may babalik sa iyo, diba?” she mused. “Para sa akin, nakatadhana para sa isang tao ang isang bagay ano mang mangyari, at pag may magandang nangyari sa iyo, dapat magpasalamat ka para dito.”
Whatever Marian chooses to believe in, what is certain is that her career continues to be on the rise, amid the positivism she consciously espouses in her personal life.
As she ends 2013 with a bang as FHM Magazine’s Sexiest Woman and as her network’s most important leading lady, Marian has a busy New Year to look forward to.
On top of the list is Marian’s upcoming prime time soap opera, which will pair her with promising young actor Alden Richards. Titled, Carmella, she says the production team, led by concept creator and creative writer Suzette Doctolero, is taking great pains in making sure her role is unlike any other character she has portrayed before.
“May pressure talaga sa paggawa ng script kasi ang guide namin ay kung ano ba ang magagawa natin para ibahin si Marian Rivera,” she shared.
The teleserye’s storyline centers on the unconditional love between a daughter and her mother (to be portrayed by Agot Isidro), as well as a young lady’s journey from oppression to triumph.
“Siyempre lahat ng mga basic ingredients ng isang teleserye nandoon—from love triangle, yung mahirap na magiging mayaman—pero kung paano tumakbo ang istorya, yon ang maiiba at yung level ng acting na hihingin sa akin. Seryosong pag-arte, seryosong drama.”
With that, Marian revealed the career path she wishes to pursue at the turn of the year.
“My goal is to become a serious actress,” the 29-year-old celebrity confirmed. “Tama na ang pakengkoy at tweetums tulad ng dati!” she laughed, pertaining to most of her past projects, which had been romantic comedies.
In fact, even her first film for 2014 under Regal Films will be a heavy drama.
“Kakapag-usap palang namin ni Mother [Lily Monteverde] at sabi nga niya sa akin, hindi puro blockbuster ang importante, dapat quality din, kaya pati yung next film ko, straight drama din siya,” Marian enthused.
She will, however, continue to dabble in comedy with a sitcom on GMA Network, which she promised to talk about with The Manila Times when the project is finalized.
“Excited ako para sa New Year,” declared Marian. “Pero bago noon, kailangan muna natin tapusin ang taon at magbigay pa din ng love sa mga kababayan nating nangangailangan.”
That’s why Marian Rivera is truly blessed.
Carmella is slated to premiere on January 27, 2014 on GMA Telebabad.