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Close Encounters with the Beautiful Kind: Ladylyn Riva

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While I’ve been covering and writing about the Bb. Pililpinas for the past 3 years or 4 years, it was actually my first time to have a chat with a candidate before the grand coronation night.

I had just finished a dinner meeting with a client when I saw a few colleagues having this animated chat with someone whom I first thought was Marian Rivera, so I approached their table to say hello. It turns out that it wasn’t Marian but Ladylyn Riva one of the favorites in this year’s Bb. Pilipinas.

She stood up, smiled and introduced herself and invited me to sit with them. Who was I to say no?

Although she had come from a long day of rehearsals Ladylyn didn’t show any signs of stress and was looking as fresh as if she had just come from a beauty spa.

She is one of the returning candidates of the Bb. Pilipinas having been part of the semifinalists in 2011. She is being trained under pageant expert Rodgil Flores’ Kagadahan Flores and her composure and bearing clearly showed that those long hard hours of training has been paying off.

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Lady said when she first joined Binibini it was to just to please her grandmother. “It was my lola who raised me, and she always thought I was born to wear the Bb. Pilipinas crown even when I was still a little girl. She was my biggest supporter, so when she passed away, I felt I had to give it one try for her.”

She admits competition has been tougher since the Philippines became a pageant power house with the wins of Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, Janine Tugonon and Ariella Arida, but the half German mestiza from Aklan, believes her experience can be a game changer.

“I think joining those other pageants in the past made me more confident and more determined to win the crown,” she added. “I worked hard to get this far in a pageant contest. There is no turning back, and I will surely give everything to get my votes up during the pageant’s coronation night. It may look easy on TV but it takes months even years of hard work and training to get ready for that one night and achieve that dream—my dream.

Besides her pageant experience Ladylyn is also a commercial model and aspiring showbiz personality. “If given the chance why not? Saying she’d like to do a movie with Robin Padilla or Piolo Pascual as her leading man.

We then shifted to the more serious stuff and tested her by asking some of the popular Miss Universe questions in the past, and I must admit she gave some very interesting answers.

What is the essence of being a woman?
“The essence of being a woman is not just to be a mother and bear children, but I believe you have to be productive in all aspects of your life. By being a good daughter, a supportive sister, a reliable friend and by making the most of your God-given talents.”

What is the one lesson you learned as a child that still affects your life today?
“I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is to never give up. No matter how many times you get knocked down you have to get back up because life will always be full of struggles. Always stay positive and show everyone that life doesn’t end just because of one problem.

What is one big mistake that you made in your life and what do you do to make it right?
“It’s not a mistake but more of a regret. I regret not spending more time with my grandmother when she was alive. She was the one who took care of me but I had to leave her because I was going to college. She was the one who taught me to be a fighter and inspired always pursue my dreams.

What Physical appearance do you want to change to be more beautiful?
“God created each one of us and made us unique so, I’m very content with what God has given me. I’d rather change and be more beautiful inside.

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What is your guiding principle?
“James Dean once said “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” And there’s also another by Mahatma Gandhi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

So as she sashays down the ramp on coronation night and debuts her “dynamite walk,” keep your eyes on Ladylyn Riva, as she may just be one of the surprise winners in this year’s Bb. Pilipinas.

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