Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013 Ariella Arida takes Spiderman’s dictum “With great power comes great responsibility” seriously.
Read related story: Laguna's pride Ariella Arida wins Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013
The 24-year-old Chemistry grad may not agree that her crown wields a lot of power. But she knows it comes with prestige, a first cousin of power. So she thinks her new job description requires her “to be a model (of good behavior) to everyone, especially now that people are looking at me as an inspiration.”
How? Ariella, Ara for short, is looking forward to joining Bb. Pilipinas Charities’ Operation Smile, a medical mission which targets children. She also wants to join the pageant’s other advocacies.
And while Ariella now goes around in dangling earrings, body-hugging minis and high heels, she knows that she’ll always be the simple country girl that she is.
“Late bloomer ako, sobra,” she relates. “Minsan pumapasok ako (she graduated from UP Los Banos) naka-pajama. Parang bagong gising at walang make-up. Parang hindi ako ito.”
Her college friends marvel at how Ariella has exchanged her simple lab gown for fancier, sexier clothes. But the beauty queen insists the change is only cosmetic.
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“Cowboy ang lifestyle ko. I’m just an average girl.”
Friends used to call this average girl “Ariba Arida,” a moniker that came in handy when she glided on stage in her bikini.
That gracefulness, that confident stance soon came to be known as the “Ariba Walk,” the kind Ariella will show the world when she competes in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant.
Actually, it’s all about how you carry yourself, how you project yourself, Ariella adds.
And she knows carrying yourself well comes with learning how to relax and enjoy the moment.
“I just want to enjoy myself para hindi ako kabahan,” says Ariella. “Simple lang, parang I’m in a rehearsal.”
Ariella intends to follow 2012 Miss Universe first runner-up Janine Tugonon’s advice to her to chill, not to feel pressured and enjoy the moment when her turn comes to mount the Miss U stage.
Good news to all the men out there. Ariella is loveless. And she’s happy being so. She knows her crown will make men feel intimidated at her presence. But that’s the least of her worries since she knows it will get her a better guy – someone sure of himself and where he stands.
Besides, her only focus these days is getting that crown for the country.
Perhaps, she and her friends can put a perfume company or create a product they want to push in the market. But Ariella says she’s pushing that plan at the back of her mind for now.
“Ang laki ng responsiblity ko. Nasa hot seat ako ngayon. I need to try hard.”
Yes, all eyes are on this 24-year-old beauty from Alaminos, Laguna. All our prayers go with her too, as she tries to bring home the coveted Miss Universe crown that has eluded the country for quite some time now.
See photos: Bb. Pilipinas Gold Winners