Reigning supreme: Ariella Arida

By METRO Magazine

Posted at Apr 07 2014 03:30 PM | Updated as of Apr 10 2014 07:02 PM

From volleyball player…

This statuesque beauty is definitely so much more than just a pretty face.

“I was very sporty. I was part of my school’s varsity volleyball team and I also took up running after college,” reigning Miss Universe third runner-up Ariella Arida said.

During her down time, she is pretty much like the rest. “My pleasures in life are very simple. I like watching TV, going to the gym, and hanging out with my friends.”

A Chemistry graduate from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos, Ariella ventured into entrepreneurship when she started her own perfume business. Prior to becoming the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013, she worked as a technical sales representative selling food grade chemicals and also had several modeling gigs.

Being a beauty queen was not something she dreamed of, initially. “Joining a pageant, for me, was like wishing to be a superwoman someday. I used to think that kind of dream was impossible,” she said.

Never one for sitting on the sidelines, Ariella took steps to make that seemingly impossible dream happen. Before joining the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, she prayed hard for a sign telling her that she was going in the right direction. Fortunately, it came and sealed her commitment to join.

Even so, she knew there were no guarantees. “The training before and during the pageant were some of the most awkward moments of my life, especially when I was learning to walk in five-inch heels! I really had reservations: I found it uncomfortable to be onstage, projecting, doing poses and smiling in front of the camera. I was not used to doing those so I lacked the confidence. That’s where the insecurities kicked in,” she recalled.

Ariella was not one to be put down for so long. “I tell myself to be calm and determined. These help lessen the pressure and push me to focus on what I have to do. It not only reminds me to have a positive attitude but to enjoy what I am doing as well.”

Ariella pushed herself to undergo trainings until she got every bit right. She kept an open mind in knowing herself, embracing her strengths as well as her weaknesses.

“Working hard really pays off. Once you get used to it, the confidence will start to build up. It’s that confidence in yourself that makes you look more beautiful. Don’t let another person decide who you are and who you should be. Being beautiful is being you,” she said.

To red carpet royalty.

One of the best pieces of advice given to her by a mentor was to claim that she is a queen.

“Behind all the glamour and fun are the hard work and determination that you put into it,” she shared. “It challenges me to become beautiful. More than maintaining the physical aspect, this job also comes with responsibilities and duties to society. The journey towards becoming Bb. Pilipinas made me a better version of myself. It has made my life more meaningful because now I am able to help and inspire those around me.”

For Ariella, wearing the crown is a responsibility and it is with pride that she embodies the ideal Filipina heart and soul. “Our being Filipino is something that we should embrace fully. We should be proud of our distinct features, and most importantly, our values.”

Ariella sees only possibilities in the future. “I don’t usually draw up plans. I grab opportunities that come to me and make the most out of them.”

She embraces life and all it has to offer, giving back as good as she gets. “My perfume business is still ongoing, but there are other things on my plate now. There may also be other opportunities that come unexpectedly and I can say that I am ready to face whatever they may be.”

Ariella has already proven that she walks the walk and talks the talk. For this formidable woman, there can only be greatness ahead.

Always a go-getter, Ariella is ready to face life head-on.

“Limitations only exist if you allow it. Dreaming has no limits. No matter how young or old you are, no one can stop you from believing.”