Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Ariella Arida was battling a sore throat when she faced the press recently for her grand send-off at Gloria Maris restaurant at Gateway Mall.
But this didn’t keep her from showing up in a micro mini blue dress that proved she has been sacrificing one of the things she loves best: food. The 24-year-old beauty from Alaminos, Laguna has been working out non-stop and observing a strict diet in preparation for the Miss Universe pageant set on November 9 at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow.
“To have this body, you have to go on a diet. I used to eat a lot,” Ariella said.
Needless to say, she also has to sacrifice her time with family and friends, who understand that they have to see less of Ariella because she’s determined to bring home the Philippines’ third Miss Universe crown (Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran won the first two in 1969 and 1973, respectively).
Now that Megan Young has won the country’s first Miss World title and Mutya Datul bested beauties from around the world and was crowned Miss Suprational, the pressure is on for Ariella. But instead of letting it get the better of her, the UP (University of the Philippines) Chemistry graduate is making it work in her favor.
“It’s a good sign that Megan and Mutya won. It serves as motivation for me to work harder, it pushes me to the highest level, especially when I go to Russia.”
Ariella’s friend, Bb. Pilipinas first runner-up Pia Wurtzbach has no doubt the former can stand her ground before 86 other beauties from around the world.
“She never doubted herself, even if the pressure on her is huge. She’s very calm.”
Mutya describes Ariella, whom she and her friends call Ara as fearless.
“Determinado siyang tao. Pag nag-wo-workout siya, nasa isip niya lahat for the Philippines.”
If Ariella looks calm and composed despite the pressure of bringing home the crown, it’s because she doesn’t measure herself by how other girls look and act.
“My greatest competition is myself. I will rely on myself and be positive to get the crown.”
Her proud dad, retired public school teacher Arlesito "Ariel" Arida (mom Estella is also an educator) has words of wisdom to impart to his beauty queen daughter: “Huwag kang makalimot sa Panginoon at huwag magbabago. Be a positive thinker. Lagi mong isipin na tayo ang laging nasa harapan.”
Of course, he and his wife will accept whatever the outcome in the Russian capital will be. Still, it will help Ariella a lot if her kababayan vote for Ariella through the Miss Universe website.
After all, the Miss U is not just Ariella’s battle. It’s the Philippines’ as well.
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