The chapter called "In Full Bloom" in Kim Domingo's first ever photo book, Kim Domingo: State of Undress, harks back to a time of innocence and splendor. In these titillating images, a playful Kim is surrounded by nature, like Eve when she first entered the Garden of Eden. Kim took a bite of the apple and experienced life, blossoming into a force to be reckoned with. In order to understand Kim’s journey, it only feels right to revisit her past and take a look at the events that shaped her into the woman that she is today.
These five words best define Kim’s childhood
Indoors – The other kids call her ‘batang-bahay.’ Playtime for Kim meant staring at her lifeless doll and rustling up something in her kitchen set all by herself. It didn’t help she also wasn’t allowed to have friends come over. “Minsan naiiyak na lang ako, kasi gustung-gusto kong lumabas tapos hindi ko magawa. Feeling ko dati kinukulong ako.” And the person responsible for this brand of discipline?
Lola – Kim lacked a father figure, but her grandmother more than made up for it. Her surrogate guardian was so tough on her that she was never allowed to go home late. One time, Kim broke the rules and all hell broke loose: “Sinturon, patpat—nakaranas ako ng ganyan.” And with Kim and her lola at odds almost every day, her mother became an instant ally.
Takas – Because of her stern grandmother, Kim had to be creative when friends started inviting her to hang out. “Lagi akong nag-iisip ng excuse. Ano kayang ipapaalam ko ngayon?” She admits to having cut classes, but that’s about how rebellious she was. Her lola might have been a terror, but Kim is grateful for its positive impact on her life.
Communication – Or the lack thereof. One reason her family had issues with discipline is because they never talked things through. She swears that when she has her own kids in the future, she intends to loosen up her approach to parenting and discuss issues openly instead of being an authoritarian.
Dad – Her only image of her father was from a single photo that he gave her mom when they first met. She has turned the Internet upside down looking for her old man, but to no avail. Growing up, she was envious of her peers who had both their parents during school activities, until she got used to her dad’s absence. The love of Kim’s extended family, however, was more than enough.
Things you might not know about the new ‘Pantasya ng Bayan’
Alternate career: Dermatologist or dentist. “Dati, mahilig akong magbasa-basa, tsaka pinag-aaralan namin ng pinsan ko yung mga panglagay sa balat. Nung college, nag-shift ako galing psychology sa dentistry.”
Most hated food: Anything pickled or buro. “Inuulam ng mga tita at lola ko yun, madalas pag galing sila ng probinsya [Pangasinan]. Naamoy ko, parang suka ng tao, ha ha!”
Greatest fear: The sun. “Hindi ako mahilig sa beach, ha ha! Kung magta-travel man ako, mas gusto ko sa malamig.”
Ultimate guilty pleasure: Horror films. “Pinapagalitan ako ng nanay ko kasi ang hilig kong manood ng nakakatakot tapos matatakutin naman daw ako. Sabi niya, ‘Hindi ka ba babangungutin niyan?’”
Item she can’t live without: Cellphone. “May mga social media accounts akong iniingatan. Kahit may bashers, hangga’t maaari—payo na rin ng iba—wag na lang patulan.”
Dream sport: Swimming. “Pero gusto ko gabi ako lalangoy! Ha ha! Ang tangkad-tangkad ko pero hindi ako marunong mag-swimming!”
Most traumatic experience: Horseback-riding. “Sobrang nakakatakot, para kang ilalaglag ng kabayo! Tapos umaalog! Eh paano pa kaya kung lumulundag yung kabayo? Ha ha!”
This is how you turn Kim’s matamis na ‘Oo’ into a sweet ‘I do’
Be chivalrous. Being a gentleman starts with the little things, according to Kim. Small acts of chivalry like pulling out her chair and addressing restaurant staff properly during dates can increase a man’s chances with her.
Smell desirable. Kim’s emphasis on hygiene extends to other aspects of cleanliness. “Meron kasi akong naging boyfriend, pagkatapos naming kumain, he wanted to kiss me. Hindi ko lang masabi na, ‘Teka lang naman,’ ha ha!”
Lay off the cigarettes. Kim isn’t a fan of smoker’s breath, which she had to deal with in the past. “Yung iba kasi late ko na nalaman dahil patago.”
Consistency is key. “Mahalaga yung kung ano yung pinakita niya nung nanliligaw siya, ganun pa rin sana hanggang tumagal.” Kim says it’s noticeably different if you choose to stick with a person because of longevity and not love.
Bring her to Paris. It doesn’t matter whether it’s at the Eiffel Tower or the Notre Dame Cathedral, Kim dreams of romantic days in the City of Love. “Sa ibang bansa naman kasi parang wala namang pakialamanan,” she adds, referring to public displays of affection.
To see more of Kim Domingo, grab a copy of Kim Domingo: State of Undress, available in bookstores and newsstands nationwide for just P250.