GMA Network made the news official in a recent social media post.
"It's official! Marian Rivera to be part of Miss Universe selection committee," wrote the network in its post.
"Minsan lang siguro mabigyan ka ng pagkakataon na makabilang sa isang mahalagang okasyon sa mundo kung saan siyempre magsasama-sama at bitbit mo rin ang bandila ng ating bansa," Marian shared in an interview during a media conference on December 3. "Para sa akin, isang malakaing karangalan siya kaya naman buong puso ko talaga 'tong tinanggap."
During the event, Marian took the opportunity to address bashers questioning her qualifications as a Miss Universe judge.
"Hindi naman talaga English ang language ko, kung hindi Filipino at pinili pa rin nila ako. I-express ko ang sarili ko naaayon sa nararamdaman ko sa araw na 'yon,” she said.
Netizens earlier speculated that Marian would be a judge at the beauty pageant after entertainment site PEP.ph posted a blind item about a Kapuso actress flying out of the country for the first time since the pandemic started.
Marian also posted what appears to be a low-key confirmation of the news on December 1.
"Honored, #Grateful" Marian wrote in her post, featuring a photo of her looking amazing in a red dress. Her caption also included two emojis: that of a crown and of a galaxy.
Although Marian didn't directly mention the Miss Universe organization or tag their IG account in her upload, netizens were quick to notice her husband Dingdong Dantes' comment, which read, "Miss Universe..."
We're so excited for the Miss Universe coronation night on December 12! The competition will be held in Israel's city of Eilat and will air live on December 13, at 8 a.m. Philippine time.