We all know how busy beauty queens get once they win that coveted crown. Whether they win the local or international stage, several projects will regularly pop up during their reign, and Miss World Philippines 2015 Hillarie Parungao is no different.
Currently, she’s still working to inspire Filipino women with her projects, including being the newest Jergens ambassador. But aside from doing pageants and modeling, there’s more to this morena beauty.
We sat down with her for a little chat over lunch to find out what else she’s doing during her down time, as well as some of her personal beauty and fashion tips that she picked up during her pageant days.
Do you have a vacation planned out for this summer? Any place in particular that you want to go to?
This summer I’ll be in Masbate because I’m doing a judging stint there. So, I’ll go there then extend for a day [to relax.] After that, we’re going to Coron, Palawan. I’ve been there, actually, around two years ago and It’s really beautiful there. I keep telling my friends to go there so I’m coming back. Not sure if we’re going somewhere overseas though… maybe Thailand.
What are your go-to products to keep you cool and refreshed during the summer season?
I have a [facial] mist with me and wet wipes. I need something that’ll clean my skin when I’m out. I also bring a travel-size moisturizing lotion.
How about refreshments? What’s your favorite?
I’m a lemonade kind of person. I buy every flavor of lemonade like pink lemonade, blue lemonade, whatever, as long as it’s lemonade! And I always have a bottle of water with me, especially in the car when I’m in stuck in traffic. It’s good not only for your skin, it’s also for health reasons because you need to be hydrated on the road.
What’s a beauty tip that you follow religiously?
Keeping hydrated and sleeping well. As much as I can, I really sleep eight hours, or have just more time of sleep if I can. Also, remove your makeup―that’s number one! No matter how tired [you are,] you need to do that.
When it comes to fashion, how would you describe your personal style?
I’m very outgoing so I like wearing comfy clothes. I’m more into wearing sneakers or shorts, or anything that looks summery. But if I get invited to events, I love going for something that’s more sophisticated and elegant like gowns. My favorites are from Mark Bumgarner, Jaz Cerezo, Anthony Ramirez, and Randy Ortiz.
Who’s your ultimate style icon?
Olivia Palermo! [That’s a] no-brainer! Sometimes Miranda Kerr with her street style and some of her classy looks, but Olivia Palermo is definitely number one. Also a few people on Instagram that I follow like Luisa Fernanda Espinosa (@luisafere)―she’s really, really stylish.
Since we’re on the topic of fashion and beauty, what are the most important lessons you’ve learned as a model and beauty queen in these aspects?
I think you just to be confident―that’s it. I think everyone has their own style [and] different preferences, and you have to be confident with what you want and what you like. Of course, I’m very open to suggestions, like whatever I see in magazines or online, I try to pick it up. But I still incorporate my own style.
How about with interacting with people?
You always have to consider mutual respect because, as I’ve said, we’re different people with different personalities. So whatever their opinion is, you just have to go with it and respect it. Don’t debate with them. Whatever you hear from outside, you listen and you learn from them even if you don’t agree with them.
We were told that you also did ballroom dancing.
Yes! I used to compete when I was younger. I started when I was six years old, I did Latin dances like cha-cha-cha, rumba, and tango. And then, I stopped when I was in third year high school because I wanted to focus on writing because I’m not good at multitasking. (Laughs)
Before, I used to [take] piano [lessons,] and [I stopped that] when I got interested in ballroom dancing.
Do you still do ballroom now?
I still do, for fun. I have a dance instructor at home, and I go to this dancing place in Solaire. Actually, it’s funny because the people in the class are older, and they’re asking me, “How do you have fun here?” I tell them that if you love what you’re doing, you should have fun with the people around you.
Name a celebrity that you would want to share the ballroom dancefloor with.
I loved Charlene Gonzales before. Have you seen her dance? She’s amazing! As for an international celebrity, I’d say Vanessa Williams.
What’s your favorite song to dance to at the moment, be it ballroom or at random moments?
I don’t think there’s anything in particular because when I hear something, I just dance along―even in the car.
If you didn’t pursue modeling and pageants, what would you be doing now?
I’d probably volunteer for medical missions because I took up Nursing [back in college.] So, I’d probably be up in the mountains right now [if I wasn’t modeling] because this is what I love to do.
When I started Nursing, this wasn’t something I wanted to do [at first.] But when they deployed me to the barrios and the far-flung communities was when I started appreciating my craft. I feel like if I’m a nurse now, I wouldn’t be stuck in a hospital. I wanna go around and do missions.
It’s something I still do now actually. Every time I go back to the province, I make sure that I have one charity event because it’s always nice to give back.
Photo courtesy of Vibelle