We understand you’ve had an interesting, jet-setting life. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Panorama City, Los Angeles, and then I went here when I was eight and studied here until I was 12. My mom is from Marikina, so I stayed there. And then I went back to the States, went to school there, then I went returned in 2007 and…I’m still here, ha ha! But I would leave every two years to visit my dad and sister in the States. I’m currently living on my own, trying to be more independent.
When did the beauty queen bug bite you?
Actually, Binibining Pilipinas 2008 was my first pageant. I didn’t really plan on joining. When I came home in 2007, I was supposed to just visit my mom and my family. But then I met Jonas Gaff ud from Mercator (a model and artist management company) and he told me to join Binibini. So they trained me for it. I learned a lot of things from them—from makeup to walking to hurdling the Q&A to everything that a beauty queen would do. And then, yeah… I won, ha ha!
Did you find that it came natural to you?
Medyo. Well, I walk a lot diff erently, because when I was younger I was more the athletic type, so they had to correct my posture. They made me do a lot of duck walks.
They put a stick on your lower back and then you’ll have to
put your arms over it while you walk. It improves your posture
because you arch your back more.
What’s the most un-beauty-queen like thing about you?
I was into track and field and crosscountry racing when I was younger. I
used to do the 800-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, as well as hurdles. And we ran three miles every cross-county meets, which we train for by running 48 miles per week. I guess a beauty queen wouldn’t really do that.
When did you start doing this?
When I was 12. I just got into running and I think nasanay na ako. If I don’t run parang may kulang sa buhay ko. When I’m running kasi I feel like I’m flying, I forget about all my problems. It’s my stress-reliever.
Has anyone ever hit on you during marathons?
Oh my God, yes. Honestly—I’m sorry for this—I really hate running around in some places, ha ha! Kasi sometimes may bigla na lang sisitsit sa iyo. I don’t like it. I’m so focused when I’m running tapos may “Psst! Psst!” or someone will take my picture. I think it’s rude.
We agree. Anything beyond calling you out?
There was this one guy who caught up with me just to tell me that something was wrong with my knees and then he tried to start a conversation with me. I have a problem kasi with my knees that came from running cross-country and trails before.
How about anyone who complimented you, like, “Hey, nice form” or “Hey, nice legs”?
Ha ha, “nice legs.” I think that everyone compliments each other’s legs in the Philippines, so it’s really not that special, ha ha!
If you like running, then you also like being sweaty…
Yes. Of course. Sweat is good, ha ha! Yes it is! We sense that you’re not that idle too much.
I’m a kiti-kiti. I always have to do something, if I’m not doing anything I would look for something to do talaga— read a book, go to the gym, go to church, go shopping.
Are there other sports you’re also fond of?
I do boxing as well, at Elorde Gym and Gold’s Gym. I also do Muay Thai. Oh, I also played volleyball when I was younger. I was really athletic when I was young and no no one can take that side of of me away
FOR DANIELLE'S FULL INTERVIEW, GRAB THE FEBRUARY 2012 ISSUE OF FHM
INTERVIEW: B.A. BORLEO
STYLING: BADJ GALIAS-GENATO FOR BADJ SWIMWEAR AND COUTURE
MAKEUP: ALBERT KURNIAWAN FOR NARS
HAIR: JAIME SY FOR L’OREAL PROFESSIONEL
SPECIAL THANKS TO MR. VIC DEL ROSARIO
AND MR. VINCENT DEL ROSARIO, MS. VERONIQUE DEL ROSARIO-CORPUS,
VIVA ARTIST AGENCY INC.