MANILA, Philippines - Marian Rivera visited her birthplace Spain recently, which allowed for a happy reunion with his father who then facilitated a first time meeting between her daughter and her grandparents.
"Na-meet ko ang lola't lolo ko na 'di ko na-meet before. So, nagkaroon kami ng maliit na reunion sa Spain; kasama sila papa tapos lolo't lola ko, yung mga uncle ko. Nagkaroon ng bonding at pag-uusap na ang saya-saya. Parang feeling ko sobrang kumpleto na lahat," said Rivera.
She excitedly related that her father is planning to visit the Philippines next year.
Rivera last saw her father, Spanish restaurateur Francisco Javier Alonzo Gracia in 2010. Prior, they were estranged for seven long years.
Rivera was born in Madrid, Spain. Javier Gracia separated with Rivera's mother, Amalia when the former model was just a child. Rivera grew up with relatives on her mother's side in Cavite, occasionally visiting her dad in Spain during school breaks. The number of visits waned when Rivera became too busy with her college studies as well as having to juggle time as ramp and commercial model.
Rivera was in tears when her father greeted her during a birthday concert in 2008, admitting that it was an unexpected surprise. It eventually allowed for the two to renew their bond culminating with Rivera visiting his father in 2010.
In a separate interview, Marian's boyfriend, Dingdong Dantes, denied that he had asked Gracia's blessing to marry his daughter during the visit. Rivera likewise denied the matter, insisting that she wouldn't try to hide it if it were the case.
According to Rivera, the visit was part of a long-planned vacation that she and Dantes thought necessary after having spent a great deal of time working together in the recently concluded GMA-7 series, "My Beloved."