Ring girls must be some of the most difficult women to approach on the planet. Aside from being fit and pretty, they’re surrounded by professional fighters at work all the time—treat them wrong and they’ve got some scary workmates. Lee Jina, however, made us forget all about that with her self-deprecating humor and genuine enthusiasm. It’s good to know that these fight queens don’t necessarily have to be ice queens!
What was your journey to ring girl status like?
A famous Korean agency asked me to do it. I didn’t expect to get this job because I’m pretty small—I’m pretty, but pretty small, ha ha! But I got it!
So you had experience prior?
I’m a model in Korea, not an international model but now, I think I can be considered international. Ha ha!
We heard that one of your favorite job perks is the opportunity to travel?
Yes, I can travel around the world. That was my dream and now I can do it, [this summer I’ve been to] Manila, Singapore, and Thailand.
Do you like it over here?
Of course, I love the Philippines. I’ve been here only twice; this is the second event. I’d love to go for vacation. I love Filipinos and the Filipino culture.
Did you know that we are in love with Korean culture, too?
Yes, I know! Every time I'm walking on the streets, people ask me, “Ooh, is she Korean?” And they like me, and I like them too, ha ha!
We’re in love with the K-dramas especially, are you an addict as well?
I used to watch, but these days I am so busy so I can’t! Do you know Dokkaebi? It was a famous drama.
Everyone likes this Bok Joo show or maybe Descendants of the Sun…
I heard! But, no, I haven’t seen either.
We’ve also been curious, why do Korean girls always come in big groups? Even you ring girls come in a pack of seven!
Like girl groups?
Yes, girl groups, unlike say Beyoncé who is a solo artist.
Oh, Beyoncé she has an amazing voice, and she can dance and everything. But Korean girls, they usually like only singing or dancing. That's why they can mix. Some girls are very pretty, some girls are good at singing, some at dancing. I think that’s why [we always have big groups]—teamwork!
In this ring girl group, what is your specialty then?
Of course, dancing. I was a dancer! I had a K-pop dance group! Not professional, just underground with me and my friends. But you have to practice the whole day so it’s real difficult.
Is working out for One hard as well?
No, not at all! So easy and fun, ha ha!
So what’s hard then?
There is no hard part. I like every part of One Championship, ha ha! It’s a really good job!
Have you become an MMA nerd as well?
I’m still learning. I studied a few fighters, and I love Angela Lee! We had a shoot together before. I love her fighting style—she’s so strong, beautiful, and has a good energy. She’s never lost, did you know that?
Actually no, is she Korean as well?
Her mother is Korean... ooh, see that? I’m smart, ha ha! Good job, I’m learning!
Have you ever been in a fight yourself?
We went into jujitsu class for shooting. I enjoyed, but it was so hard! I usually just go biking.
Do you have a strict diet plan as well?
I eat a lot, but always keep myself like this. I love Korean barbecue!
We have a lot of those here, the eat all you can-kind especially.
Yes, they are everywhere [at home too]! It’s not often we get to speak to Korean girls, usually because they don’t speak English much. Is it like that back home?
Yes, it’s true, but some girls can speak English—like me, ha ha! I studied in university, I was smart! I think! I majored in accounting, studied a lot, worked at a bank for a few years, then I quit and started modeling.
We bet your coworkers were dead for you.
Yes, I was so popular you have no idea, ha ha! I got so many presents all the time—face like this and I work at a bank? People loved me!
What gifts do you like?
Just flowers. And ice cream. Those are what I like the most.
Do you have a boyfriend who gives those to you regularly?
I don’t have one. All my friends are my boyfriends. I don’t need one, ha ha! I want to travel more. I want to go Brazil, America, Paris, everywhere!
So you're just waiting for someone to bring you along then?
Waiting for someone? More like waiting for One Championship to bring me, ha ha!
Producer Mary Rose A. Hogaza Photographer Paolo Pineda Stylist Debra Bernales Makeup Janina Dizon Hair Rhoy Cervantes
Special thanks to City of Dreams located at Aseana Avenue corner Macapagal Ave., Entertainment City, Roxas Blvd, Paranaque. For more information, check their website.