Actress Marian Rivera has left the Philippines for Israel to sit as a member of the Miss Universe 2021 selection committee.
Based on several posts on Rivera’s official Facebook page, the actress flew to Israel with her husband actor Dingdong Dantes and her own glam team.
Rivera confirmed her inclusion in a virtual media conference, saying she was handpicked by the Miss Universe Organization to judge the annual beauty contest.
“Siguro aaminin ko na, para sa akin, minsan lang siguro ito na mabigyan ang isang tao ng ganito kahalagang gagampanan mo sa isang Miss U, na kung saan ay napakahalagang okasyon na magsasama-sama ang lahat. Para sa akin, isang malaking karangalan ito,” Rivera said.
The actress will be joined by Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, Tali Eshkoli, Coco Rocha, Lyrica Okano, Daniel Rubino, and vlogger Patrick Starrr as panel of judges.
Rivera is expected to be present in crucial Miss Universe events including the preliminary competition, closed-door interviews, and the coronation night.
“Siguro ’yung description na magja-judge ako, siguro ang pananaw ko du’n, nandu’n ako para i-appreciate ko at maging saksi sa mga kagandahan ng mga kababaihan sa buong mundo,” the actress said.
“At siguro, hindi lang ’yung kagandahan nila kung hindi ang katapangan din nila na maibalik ang humanity sa ating mundo sa kabila ng mga pinagdaanan natin. Alam mo ’yun, ’yung radical na pagbabago na ibinigay sa atin ng pandemya na 'to. So mas ’yun ang nilu-look forward ko, ang makilala at makita silang lahat.”
Rivera joined the elite group of Filipinos who have been part of the selection committee for the Miss Universe through the years such as Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and broadway singer Lea Salonga.
Bea Luigi Gomez of the Philippines is already in Israel to vie for the fifth Miss Universe crown of the country after Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973), Wurtzbach, (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018).