A ‘detour’for Marian

Leah C. Salterio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Marian Rivera has brought back the musical-variety dance format to primetime TV, with the recently launched Marian (Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. on GMA 7). The show is patterned after the successful primetime programs of big-name actresses like Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Alma Moreno, Sharon Cuneta and Maricel Soriano.

In fact, the pilot episode of Marian featured Vilma and Maricel in their respective production numbers with the host of the show. In the second episode, Marian danced Gangnam Style with Michael V. (To date, she has released a dance album Retro Crazy and a hit dance single, Sabay Sabay Tayo.)

Marian does not only require its host to dance. The show also hones Marian’s hosting skill as she interviews her guests and gets to know them better. With rapper Gloc 9, Marian admitted she is really more conversant in the vernacular, since she grew up in Cavite.

Marian clearly exerts painstaking efforts to deliver high-powered and show-stopping production numbers for her viewers. She wants to delight and impress her audience every week while at the same time, offer something different that will showcase her as host and dancer. To top it all, she dons sexy, eye-popping outfits and sports different hairdos in her dance numbers.

Marian is a complete detour from the host’s usual primetime soap series, like the recent Carmela or Temptation of Wife and Amaya in the past. Of course, she is also best remembered for being Darna, Dyesebel and Marimar, her first starring role on primetime.

Marian director, Louie Ignacio, really wanted to bring back the grand days of musical-variety dance shows on primetime TV, amidst the onslaught of tele-dramas. So with Marian, the host bravely treads new territory and experiments in an unexplored path as far as her career is concerned.

In August, which is her birth month (she’s turning 30), Marian hopes to guest boyfriend Dingdong Dantes since it will also be the latter’s birthday (Aug. 2). Marian wants both of them to have a double celebration in the show and probably even do a choreographed dance number.

Beginning last April, Marian has extended her popularity to noontime viewers when she joined the long-running Eat, Bulaga! show. However, she did not confine herself to the studio. Instead, she goes out to all parts of the country in the show’s much-awaited, daily segment, Juan for All, All for Juan (Bayanihan of the People).

Marian, who topped (again) FHM Philippines’ sexiest women list this year and recently endorsed Belo Clinic and Bench, is a crowd-drawer in all the places that Eat, Bulaga! visits. Her stint on the noontime show was recently featured in Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, where Marian revealed she prefers to be out in the streets feeling the pulse of the people and actually seeing their way of life.

The actress has no qualms in mingling even with the poorest of the poor. She smiles, hugs, shakes hands and welcomes kisses from the people around her — from grandparents to kids to members of the LGBT community.

Without any pretensions, she talks to them, laughs with them, dances with them, cries with them and eats the food that they eat — yes, with her bare hands.

One time, she readily hugged a father with chickenpox. “Nagka-bulutong na ako,” Marian said without hesitation.

She doesn’t complain about the intense heat when they walk under the sun or the humidity inside the house that they visit. Sometimes, she even walks barefoot when necessary. At times, she drives a van or a tricycle to reach the house they need to visit.

She shares her Puhunan ni Yan-Yan, which gives additional cash to the lucky winner of the Juan for All, All for Juan segment. The money is given in Marian’s trademark long, pink wallet with a dangling butterfly chain.

She hits it off excellently with the triumvirate of Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros, with whom she has built undeniable rapport. She’s one of the “boys” when she’s with them.

Marian relishes the experience of being able to reach out to the people and help them in a major way through Eat, Bulaga!. No wonder, she enjoys her new stint on TV and is thankful that she is given a chance to be part of the long-running noontime show.











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