PH bet Ariella Arida considered ‘the best in Asia’ ahead of Miss Universe pageant
MANILA, Philippines – International beauty experts have included 2013 Miss Philippines Ariella Arida on their list of favorites to win the Miss Universe crown, because of her beauty and stage presence. But people who know her said there was more to this dusky beauty than meets the eye.
The Laguna-born lass was picked by 2010 Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete from Mexico, 2011 Miss USA Alyssa Campanella and French beauty expert Ines Ligron as among the candidates who would advance in the pageant to be held in Moscow, Russia Saturday night (early Sunday in Manila) with Ligron declaring Arida as “the best in Asia.”
Ligron chose Japan’s representatives to the Miss Universe pageant who included 2007 winner Riyo Mori and runners-up Miyako Miyazaki and Kurara Chibana.
For those who have established deeper relationships with Arida, a chemistry graduate from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos, saw her more than just a typical beauty queen.
Tessa Mangahas, who is in the communications team of the Araneta Group, the parent organization of the Binibining PIlipinas pageant, said “I have never met anyone who can be so mesmerized and fascinated with chemistry as she is about winning the Miss Universe crown. Do you know that she wants to develop her own line of scents?”
She also told the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Ariella also has very strong presence. She is not afraid to speak her mind and still manages to be endearing at the same time. She has very set values inculcated by her parents (both teachers), yet is not afraid to tread into adventures like modelling and joining pageants.”
For 2010 Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj, Arida is extraordinary “because of her energetic determination. She has strong self-discipline and self-mastery that she can easily outshine her contenders.”
Raj was involved in training Arida for the Miss Universe pageant.
Fitness trainer John Cuay, who sculpted Arida’s physique, said “she is very focused in the achievement of her goals and exerts her 101 percent to accomplish them.”
He added: “Her physique was one of her weakest points for Miss Universe. But in spite of that, she made the impossible possible. She achieved visible definitions of the muscles on her midsection by disciplining herself to eat right and exercise as what she was required to [do].”
Another of Arida’s mentors from the “beauty camp” known as Aces & Queens, Arnold Mercado, cited Arida for being “both strong and soft—strong-willed but soft-hearted. She knows what she wants. She never gives up. She seems to be relaxed and cool but competitive inside.”
He also said the beauty queen was “always happy, and with a good sense of humor.”
Mark Besana, who is in charge of teaching Aces & Queens’ wards how to walk like a beauty queen, told the Inquirer that “Ariella is an extraordinary lady because she has a pure heart. She does not think negatively towards others or herself.”
“We do not see her crack under pressure from following the ‘three-peat’ of Venus, Shamcey [Supsup] and Janine [Tugonon], nor from her detractors.”
Supsup placed fourth in 2011, and Tugonon finished second last year.
Despite her hectic schedule, Arida still found the time to express her sympathy to the victims of supertyphoon “Yolanda”, which barrelled through Eastern Visayas and parts of Mindanao Friday.
Through a text message sent to the Inquirer, Arida said: My heart goes out to my kababayans who are now suffering the effects of Yolanda. But as Filipinos, I know they can surpass everything. These kinds of situations make us stronger and more united to help each other…I’m
doing my best here to give pride and joy to all Filipinos. Stay strong and positive.”
She also displayed humility when asked about her numerous appearances in events where only a few delegates were chosen to participate.
“I honestly don’t think about it. But I’m happy to be part of most of the important events because everything that I am experiencing now is once in a lifetime” Arida said.
The Filipino bet amassed the most number of special appearances from among this year’s Miss Universe delegates.
She was among 25 candidates chosen to parade in the Tony Ward Couture show for Moscow Fashion Week and was also included in the list of nine contestants asked to appear in the music video of musical artist Emin, together with last year’s winner Olivia Culpo from the United States.
Arida was also invited in the Nobu Kitchen demo with 11 other contenders, and joined a small batch of beauties who visited a children’s hospital in the Russian capital.
She was the lone Asian delegate included in the field of six contestants who shot a TV commercial for Mercedes Benz, and was also invited to a special photo shoot for the German automobile brand.
Arida also remained positive amid the tension of the competition.
“I’m loving the atmosphere more now. I’m getting closer to all the girls because of the rehearsals. The environment is healthy and friendly, it has always been like that from the start,” she said.
“I’m thankful to all the Filipino supporters, because the Russians are so amazed with the love I’m getting from my country,” Arida added.
Arida earned the right to represent the country in the 2013 Miss Universe pageant when she bagged plum title “Miss Universe Philippines” in the Bb. Pilipinas pageant in April, where she was also chosen as Best in Swimsuit.
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