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How did Marian Rivera become a judge on Miss Universe, and how well does she know pageants?

Yes, you heard it right — Marian Rivera has been chosen to be a judge in the 70th Miss Universe pageant happening this December 12, 2021 in Israel.

Many know her as the “Kapuso Primetime Queen,” one of the most beautiful actresses in Philippine showbiz, but some of us can't help but ask: How was she chosen, and how much does she know about pageantry?

During a press conference on Friday, Mike Tuviera from her management team confirmed that Marian was "handpicked" by the Miss Universe Organization to be a part of this year's selection committee.

Direk Mike called Marian to tell her about it, and she accepted the task wholeheartedly.

“Nung um-oo si Marian, she was vetted by the Miss Universe Organization so nakita nila syempre 'yung massive [social media] presence niya and everything, so sila 'yung lumapit and talagang nagpaalam on how to reach Miss Marian," he said.

[When Marian said yes, she was vetted by the Miss Universe Organization. They saw her massive social media presence and everything. They were the ones who approached us and asked how they could reach Miss Marian.]

Marian knew she would be filling in a most daunting role, but she felt “honored" and "grateful" to be given the prestigious opportunity.

"Minsan ka lang siguro mabigyan ng pagkakataong makabilang sa isang mahalagang okasyon kung saan doon magsasama sama [lahat], at syempre, bitbit mo 'yung bandila ng [Pilipinas]," she said.

"So, para sa akin, isang malaking karangalan siya, kaya naman buong-buong puso ko talaga tong tinanggap," she said.

[We don't often get the chance to be a part of a special occasion where the whole world will be present, and you get to represent the Philippines. It's a big honor for me, and that's why I wholeheartedly accepted the offer.]

A new Miss Universe will be crowned on December 12 in Israel, and Marian is already "very excited" to get to know the candidates one by one.

While she has never competed in the Miss Universe sphere herself, Marian is up for the task as she had previous experience as a judge on the local pageant scene.

Israel might prove to be nostalgic for Marian because — Fun fact: She has joined several beauty contests from elementary, high school until college (Her “talent” was, of course, dancing).

Marian was asked whether she would have explored the world of pageantry even further, if given a chance, and she said: “Nako, mahirap na tanong ‘yun, pero nandito ako sa industriyang ito, malamang ito talaga ang destiny ko!”

Dubbed as the Philippine television's "primetime queen" Marian Rivera is a renowned actress, TV host, model, endorser and entrepreneur loved by many for her unforgettable roles and timeless beauty.

She is also known as a supportive wife and partner to actor and TV host Dingdong Dantes, as well as a hands-on mother to their two children Zia and Ziggy.

Apart from headlining multiple Filipino dramas over the years, she is currently the host of GMA-7's weekly anthology program "Tadhana," which features inspiring stories of overseas Filipino workers OFWs. Marian had also been named the most-followed Filipino celebrity on Facebook after hitting the 25-million mark last June.

As part of this year's Miss Universe selection committee, the Kapuso actress now joins the ranks of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach was chosen as a judge in 2017, and Broadway star Lea Salonga who was part of the panel in 2011. — LA, GMA News