Health is a top priority in the Dingdong Dantes-Marian Rivera household. Now blessed with two adorable kids, Zia and Sixto, the Kapuso Primetime King and Queen are taking the most important roles of their lives very seriously.
“Parenting is a very challenging task. As we discover every day, andami naming natutunan. I think during this pandemic, bottom line is kalusugan ang pinaka-kailangan natin. We want to do so many things. Our kids want to do so many things. But the fact is that marami pang darating na mga hadlang like viruses and the only way to fight them is to have strong immunity,” Dingdong says.
“Marian especially needs a strong mindset because she’s a very hands-on mom. We are a tandem. S’ya maghahanda, ako maghahatid at ako magsusundo. Mahalaga na dun pa lang sa prep stuff, kumbaga napapatibay at napapalakas na namin sila so that when they go to school especially now it’s face-to-face, there’s a certain level of protection when they want to get into sports para alam natin na kayang-kaya ng katawan nila,” declares Dingdong, whose Family Feud Philippines is the highest-rated game show in the country.
To boost their immunity and their hyperactive kids’, Marian and Dingdong found a strong ally in Ceelin Plus, one of the products of Unilab, the leading pharmaceutical and healthcare company in the Philippines. It has Ascorbic Acid + Zinc that provides double protection plus stable ZincPlus® Technology that helps give fully loaded immunity with a proper diet and healthy lifestyle.
Like all happily married couples, Marian finishes off Dingdong’s sentences seamlessly as she chimes in: “Sa bahay kasi nag-eendorso kami ng isang produkto palagi na kailangan na ginagamit ko at sureball ako na gagamitin ko s’ya. Ayoko ‘sya i-endorse just for the sake of the money or because of may endorsement ako, no. Bakit namin kinuha ang Ceelin at patuloy na nakikipag partner sa kanya? Kasi sa bahay, ang mga bata Ceelin talaga iniinom nila since Day 1. It’s very easy for us na i-feed sa kanila ang Ceelin kasi kilala na nila, alam na nila at kabisado na nila at iniinom talaga nila.‘Yun ‘yung mahalaga sa akin.”
Marian, who once played the indestructible Darna, continues: “Nakikita namin ang benepisyo ng Ceelin especially now nag-fi-face-to-face classes na ‘yung mga anak namin. Sorry for the term talaga, for being a mom is being paranoid and OA talaga. Hangga’t kaya mong ibigay at siguraduhin na secure ang kalusugan nila, lahat ng pwede mong ibigay, ibibigay mo talaga. So nandyan ang Ceelin Plus para sa amin.”
The couple just wrapped up work on their GMA sitcom, Jose & Maria’s Bong
gang Villa. In May, they also released their documentary, MISS U: A Journey to The Promised Land. Dingdong directed Marian while she was in Israel as a judge at the 70th Miss Universe and where she talked to overseas Filipina workers who are mothers just like her. Besides Family Feud, Dong also hosts Amazing Earth while Marian is dabbling in hosting chores for Tadhana.
With their combined star power, Marian and Dingdong have lent their support to help typhoon victims, over the years and once joined PETA in their campaign to free the elephant Mali from the Manila Zoo. Dingdong founded the Yes Pinoy Foundation while Marian is a “dedicated woman advocate of breastfeeding and women with special needs; and staunchly supports Smile Train, an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.
But as overly protective parents, they now have a new cause near and dear to their hearts.
“Araw-araw, walang mintis, binibigyan namin si Zia at Sixto ng Ceelin Plus para siguradong ligtas sila sa banta ng mga sakit. Ngunit hindi lahat ng bata ay nakakakuha ng proteksyong tulad nito,” the couple shares. “Kaya naman, natutuwa kaming maibahagi sa inyong lahat ang #PangakongProteksyon #ImmunityForAllKids ng Ceelin, in partnership with Caritas Philippines!”
The project is a partnership between Ceelin and Caritas Philippines, the humanitarian, development, and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), under the direction and supervision of the Episcopal Commission on Social Action-Justice and Peace (ECSA-JP).
An estimated 100,000 kids from geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) who are nutritionally deficient have been given vitamins since the project started in March 2022, helping them strengthen their immunity against sickness especially since the world is still in the midst of a pandemic.
“Lahat ng mga bata ay may karapatang maging protektado at magkaroon ng magandang kalusugan at maging malakas ang resistensya laban sa sakit. Good health is a basic human right, but access to it is limited,” the couple points out.
To help ease this problem, the couple distributed Ceelin vitamins to kids under the care of Caritas Philippines on September 13 held at the Obispado de Cubao, Quezon City, right in front of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral where they married in 2014. In attendance were Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, the National Director of Caritas Philippines, Fr. Ronnie Santos, Director of Caritas Cubao, and nuns from Kidapawan City, Cotabato.
Fr. Antonio “Tony” Labiao, Executive Secretary of Caritas, expresses his gratitude to the advocacy campaign: “It provides a very good opportunity to expand our legacy programs. Salamat sa Unilab, at sa Ceelin, na walang sawang tumutulong sa Caritas Philippines, lalo na sa mga komunidad na palaging naaapektuhan ng mga bagyo.”
No Child Left Behind
The project vows to leave no children behind as it goes full blast nationwide, from the hinterlands of Bontoc in the Mountain Province to the secluded islands around Tawi-Tawi, benefiting about 1.2 million this year.
“May this be just a start of a real partnership to build our communities,” says Bishop Bagaforo. “Dalangin naming na ipagpapatuloy ng Ceelin ang kanilang proyekto sa iba’t ibang bahagi pa ng bansa, katuwang pa rin ang Caritas at ang mag-asawang Marian at Dingdong.”
Dingdong has 3.7 million followers while Marian has 12.4 million followers on Instagram. On Facebook, Dingdong has 3.8 million followers while Marian has a whopping 27 million. With their formidable influence on social media and their status as a power couple onscreen, they are careful about what advocacies to support on their platforms.
“We recognize that all this is a gift, biyaya, that is given to us. Part of our responsibility is to really take care of these gifts at nagkaroon kami ng platform to advocate for other things. So I think tama lang na magamit natin sa wastong paraan ang mga ganitong bagay. Although pwede din namang hindi pero kami we choose to do that,” Dingdong says. “That’s why we [support] advocacies that are really close to our hearts. ‘Yun talaga ‘yung totoo eh, mahirap kasi na gunawa ka ng isang bagay na taliwas sa paniniwala mo. Kaya para sa amin, parang second nature na rin ito. It doesn’t feel like work at all because for us this is a way of life already. It is a mission. We recognize that it is God-given.”
Marian, meanwhile, echoes her husband’s sentiments: “Si Dong palagi niya ako nire-remind na isa kami sa mga nabiyayaan na magkaroon ng ganitong klaseng trabaho at mahalin ng tao ng ganito. In return sa mga taong nagmamahal sa amin, rire-remind niya ako na gamitin natin sa tama at wasto itong biyaya na binigay sa atin na makatulong tayo sa ibang tao. Sinasabi niya, ang dami mong followers so use it para makatulong ka sa ibang tao. Minsan kasi pag nanay ka na, ang dami mo ring ginagawa. Minsan di mo na alam kung san ka pupunta. Si Dong na lang nagsasabi–focus kung anong gusto mo. Focus on ano talaga nasa puso mo. Ayaw di namin gumawa ng plataporma na hindi namin pinaniniwalaan at wala din ‘yung puso namin. So sa bawat post namin at ginagawa namin, gusto namin na nagre-reflect ‘yun sa amin at nakikita ‘yun ng mga taong nagmamahal sa amin. Mahal namin kayo. Mahal namin kung anong binigay n’yo sa amin, so let’s help each other.” ###