You were nervous doing this VMX shoot. Why? Is it the first time you’re doing a bikini shoot? 

 I’ve done bikini shoots before but there were a lot of us in the studio. It’s a lot different alone in the studio and the photographer is focused on you, flaws and all. I’m not exactly the slim type—I have wide hips and thick thighs. I guess there was bit of insecurity if I would actually look good in the photos. 

How can a beauty queen be insecure about how she looks? It doesn’t make sense! 

I guess sometimes we still fall for standards of beauty that are hard to achieve. I used to have this perception—and I’m working to overcome them—that to be considered a model you have to be slim, with all the diets and workouts that come with it. But I am built the way I am. Even our photographer Xander Angeles had to assure me that I look great the way I am. 

We guess the pressure really is stronger for women like you.

Mataas talaga ang pressure. It can get even tougher here in Pampanga because it is considered the powerhouse of beauty queens. It’s like if you’re from Pampanga you have to deliver good. You have to be active in your advocacy. You can’t just be a beauty, you have to stand out. 

You recently signed up with Viva. How do you see your showbiz career going?

I decided to join Viva to sort of take a break joining pageants. I was able to join acting workshops online already. I hope to be able to do commercials, build connections. I also told them that I’d be back in the pageant circuit in three years, hopefully to shoot for Ms. Universe. If you’re gonna dream, dream big na di ba?