If you live in Butuan City (especially if you’re a guy), you’ve probably heard of the name Georgina Fortalejo. This local celeb from Mindanao has joined and won more pageants than we can count, one of them being the prestigious title of Miss Tourism Butuan. Raking up all of these achievements made her not at all hard to notice by appreciators of outstanding aesthetics such as ourselves—we just had to work with this goddess. So about more than a year ago, we featured Georgina as our Girlfriend of the Month for July 2015 and now, we figured, that was way too long ago and a reunion was way overdue.
She just moved to Manila the last time we spoke with her and it turns out that our girl has been busy with A LOT of things. We’ll let you catch up with this Butuan beauty and learn how she’s been tearing up the metro with her undeniable talents.
So you’ve been home studying business administration. We can’t imagine how hard that must be.
Sayang kasi eh. I had one more year left to finish my course in accounting back in Butuan, but the opportunities I had in Manila were too good to pass up so I decided to move here and just get myself home schooled instead. But because home schooling requires me to take a more specialized course, I had to take up business administration rather than accounting, but I don’t regret that choice. Studying this course really made me want to start my own business one day.
What sort of business are you planning to put up?
I’ve always wanted to own a restaurant. When I’m not inside my apartment studying, I usually hang out in bars and restos to relax and take my mind off things. I want a place that’s chill and inviting for people who just want to unwind and clear their heads. I’ve also been practicing a lot on my cooking skills since I have all this free time on my hands while I’m alone in my apartment, ha ha!
What’s on the menu at your resto then?
My friends said that my Chicken Teriyaki was really good but I’m sure they are just being nice. I’m not really sure what I want the theme of the restaurant to be yet, but I’d also like to learn how to cook some classic Filipino food as well. I was never really as passionate about cooking when I was back home because I never really had to cook anything. My mom would usually take care of those things. I guess the passion arrived out of necessity so I wouldn’t starve to death, ha ha!
It does seem like you got this living alone thing down.
My mom always used to say that I was pretty capable for my age, but I think I’ve learned to become even more independent ever since I started living alone. I’ve always been careful with money even when I was still a kid. I believe that, “Hindi mabubuo yung isang milyon kung wala yung isang piso,” so even though I’ve been doing relatively well here in Manila, I haven’t really made any big buys on anything I don’t really need. It’s probably also my accounting background taking care of my wallet.
What have you been doing in Manila other than studying and chilling?
I’ve been trying a lot of new things lately. Before I went to Manila, I would’ve never thought of joining a show like Pantaxa. It really allowed me to get in touch with my sexuality and be more confident in facing my fears. It was a really helpful experience for me to grow as an artist even if I’m slowly trying to get other gigs that are less sexy so I could explore other career options that might open for me. I can’t rely on modeling for the rest of my life and I really want to get into acting for TV and movies.
We’re kind of sad to hear that but at least we’ll be expecting to see more of you on primetime or on the big screen!
I hope so, too. I really enjoyed acting in the indie film Latay, which was directed by Carlos Morales. It was one of the first times that I didn’t have to act sexy or look pretty in front of a camera. My character was more of a pabebe rather than alluring. I enjoyed being out of my comfort zone because it allowed me to draw from different sides of myself in order to act the part.
How did you learn how to act for your role?
I’ve joined some acting workshops here in Manila that helped me with the basics. But I think with acting, you just have to act naturally in front of the camera. If you’re not being genuine, you’ll really have a hard time conveying your emotions to other people.
But we’re pretty sure that you still look beautiful on camera regardless of whether you try to or not.
It does really help that some people think I’m pretty because, let’s face it, people tend to be a lot nicer when they find you attractive. It helps a lot in getting gigs in modeling and acting, but it could honestly go either way when you’re applying for corporate jobs.
Have you ever been treated unfairly because of how you look?
There’s always that stigma of models being pretty on the outside but lacking in the head. I’m not quite sure if I ever had any first hand experience with this because I tend to choose who I work for very carefully. While most employers today don’t really care how you look as long as you do your job well, I’ve heard that some people actually get intimidated by models or think badly of them just because of their occupation.
How do you feel about those kinds of people?
I think it’s really unfair to the people you’re hiring if you base a person’s capabilities on how they look before you actually get to see how they work. Just because they were once a model or any other job, it doesn’t mean they can’t excel in other things besides that. I want to prove that to people.
And we feel like you’re definitely on your way to accomplishing just that.
I’m just really thankful to God for all the blessings he’s given to me ever since I started living here in Manila. Honestly, I was scared at the first few months I was here and I never expected for things to going as smoothly as they are now; it’s like I’m dreaming, ha ha! You can never know where life can take you so I’m just enjoying things as they come.
Producer Mary Rose A. Hogaza Photographer Kevin Cayuca Stylist Kristine Toribio Makeup and Hair Lea Vanessa Ancheta