On the Line with Ms. Philippines Universe 2009, Pamela Bianca Manalo
With the Miss Universe Pageant just weeks away (August 23, 2009) I wanted to meet up with Pamela Bianca Ramos Manalo to find out a bit more about our reigning Bb. Pilipinas Universe winner and what she’s been doing to get ready for the main event.
Unfortunately, our incompatible schedules ruled out a face to face; too bad because I was looking forward to meeting her – she was one of my Top 7 picks and on pageant night I couldn’t get close enough to congratulate her. Oh well, I got the second-best thing – a long chat on the phone!!!
Pamela Bianca Manalo is a Paranaque lass who comes with a beauty queen pedigree to die for: her older sister Katherine Anne Ramos Manalo holds the Bb. Pilipinas-World 2002 title and was a finalist in the Ms. World Pageant and her aunt happens to be the first-ever Bb. Pilipinas International, Nini Ramos Licaros.
In spite of that, her family dissuaded her from joining pageants. They were worried about comparisons between the 2 sisters coupled with the fear of her not winning anything. But Pamela Bianca Manalo had a childhood dream that would just not go away. It started on the day when her older sister won Ms. World Philippines in 2002 (Bianca was 15 years old then) she knew that one day she would walk the same stage and perhaps capture the same crown.
Pamela Bianca began modeling the year her sister won. With her classic beauty and towering height of 5’9″ (she is now one inch taller) it was hard to believe she was just in senior high-school. Her first commercial was a TV ad for Ysa Papaya Soap. Although she had found a lucrative career in modeling, Pamela Bianca continued her education and graduated from Assumption College with a degree in Advertising. From there she worked as a Flight Attendant and on days when she had no flights, she would work on modelling assignments. Her current TV ad is Pizza Hut’s Viva Lasagna where she bumps into a cutie and with the help of flying groceries, serendipity (and a lot of CG) they create a plate of lasgana. Check out the ad here:
I asked Pamela how she convinced her family to let her join the Bb. Pilipinas this year. She laughed and said that she went rogue and signed up for the pageant auditions without telling them. Her parents and siblings (they are 4 daughters in all) only found out AFTER she had been selected as one of the official candidates. By that time it was too late to stop her; Mom and Dad had to give her thier blessing.
Now that the Ms. Universe Pageant is weeks away, Pamela Bianca says her pageant classes together with the other Bb. Pilipinas winners are intense – they start at 12noon and end at 5pm. I asked for a run-down of what they had to study and it was QUITE a menu of subjects:
—French and Spanish at the Berlitz Language Center in Makati (where I used to teach English)
—A Review of Philippine History at the Eastwood Entrpreneurial School of Asia
—Walking Classes under the tutelage of model and actress Wilma Doesnt
—Make-up Classes at David Salon’s Academy
—Q&A Classes under her sister, Ms. World Philippines 2002 Katherine Anne Manalo
—Fitness Classes at Gold’s Gym under Pilates instructo John Jay Cuay (click here to see my interview with John Jay)
She says her diet is strict and beacause he’s trying to build shapely muscles and burn off fat (WHAT FAT, I scream in my HEAD???!!!!!) the nutritionist at Gold’s Gym’s has put her on a high protein and low fat diet. Pamela Bianca Manalo has to be in shape by the time she leaves for the Bahamas and D-Day is coming up fast – July 31, 2009.
I asked her if she was bringing anything special or sentimental on this trip of a lifetime and she said she’ll be taking along her 6-inch statue of Santo Nino – the same one she had sitting on the table of her dressing room table when she won Bb. Pilipinas Universe – and her rosary – the same one she was holding when she was crowned in Araneta Coliseum last March 7, 2009.
I truly enjoyed my noontime phone conversation with Pamela Bianca Manalo and was struck by her gentle voice and sweetness – also, she kept saying ‘po’ to me (which I find strange – do I sound old? LOLOLOL!!!) And although I couldn’t sense any prideful ego in the way she spoke, I could hear the pride she had in her sister Katherine Anne and her entire family.
Pamela Bianca Manalo knows she’s got tough competition in Bahamas but she is lifting it all to the Lord. And I’m hoping with that last name of hers, she’ll be bringing home the bacon. You go PAMMY!!!
by Joyce Burton Titular, the blogging beauty queen