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Marian Rivera on Her Iconic Status, Dingdong Dantes, and Why She'll Never Change

Can't get enough of our February 2014 Cosmo cover star Marian Rivera? Here's a web-exclusive interview just for you!
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It's her seventh year in showbiz, but she’s still as well-loved, as controversial, and as beautiful as when she set your TV screens on fire as Marimar. Here, the feisty, fiery beauty talks about her iconic status, her BF Dingdong Dantes, and why she’ll never change.

You are one of the most famous celebrities in local showbiz. The fanfare around you is absolutely astounding. Your fans love you very much!
"Dahil siguro nakikita ng tao kung gaano ako ka-dedicated sa trabaho ko. And also with me, what you see is what you get. In showbiz, you go with the flow: If you need to adjust, sige, adjust, but adjusting is different from changing. Oo nga, ma-ple-please mo sila, pero nakalimutan mo naman kung sino ka. I wasn’t raised to seek approval by pretending to be someone I’m not. When I asked my lola if I can work in showbiz, sabi niya, 'O, sige, papayagan kita, pero walang puwedeng manakit sa ’yo at ’di ka magbabago—kung ano kita pinalaki, ganun ka dapat.' So kung sino man ang college friends ko, sila pa rin hanggang ngayon. "

How do you handle fame?  
"I’ve never power tripped. Ano naman mapapala ko? Thankful ako na may nagpapa- realize sa akin na suwerte ako. I build my career on that—alam kong suwerte ako. N’ung una, pinapakita ko talaga [kung sino ako]. Day One pa lang alam na ng tao kung ano ako, so pag nakita ako sa labas, as long as wala akong nasasaktang tao, wala silang marereklamo sa akin, kasi known na ako na, ay, ganyan na naman talaga siya eh. Now I choose my battles, plus nagma-mature na rin naman ako. I also sacrifice a little. Minsan ’yung feelings mo, you have to set it aside. Public figure ako. Hindi puwede puro sarap, puro saya."

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How do you handle problems in your relationship?
"Dong is very open-minded. When he sees I’m mad, hindi na niya ako pinapatulan...Ma-pasensya din siya kaya nagtatagal kami. Ako pag nasabi ko na ang problema ko, okay na. We’ve never fought na hindi naayos nang within the day. Pag naririnig na ang term na sorry, suko kana, tupi ka na, nakikipag ayos na eh. May mga girls na sobrang taas ng pride na bahala ka sa buhay mo. Okay lang 'yun minsan, pero dapat mag meet kayo halfway. Di pwedeng lagi kang nakatayo, kailangan mo din mag-bend. Di naman ako magbe-bend kung ’di worth it si Dingdong."

Do you ever get jealous of his on-screen partners?
"Ang importante naman, after the cut, alam mong tapos na. Gan’on naman si Dong eh. Very professional. Naka-trabaho ko na siya before na hindi pa kami and he’s very professional. Hindi ako nag wo-worry d’yan. At the end of the day, kanino ba ’yan? Akin yan, di ba? Manigas ka, ganon na lang!"

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V-Day is coming up! What’s the sweetest thing Dong ever did for you?
"He gave me a bouquet of flowers made of art paper, and each flower, he wrote a wish for me!"

You’ve achieved almost everything you’ve ever wanted to do. What keeps you motivated?Kahit pagod, kahit walang tulog, basta masaya ka sa ginagawa mo, okay lang. Pero if you reach a point na hindi ka na happy, para saan pa, ba’t ka pa nagwo-work? Eh, ’di ka naman happy. As long as happy ka, go for it. Happiness is a motivation."


What’s your biggest dream?
"My goal this year is to put up a coffee shop. But my big dream is to be able to truly touch people’s lives, which I hope to do with the banca donation project. Iba pa rin ang totoong minamahal ka dahil may kabuluhan ang ginagawa mo."

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