Jamie Ortega
On the night of January 12, 2011 I was on Facebook when Joann Tho messaged me to ask if I were also following the Miss Cebu 2011 pageant. I was. It wasn't only me but a great majority of our high school batchmates waiting on the Miss Cebu profile to announce the winners and post pictures. Before we knew it Mia Ali - our ex Student Council president and valedictorian was crowned Miss Cebu. Soon everyone's status was "Congratulations Mia!" and the whole batch and PSB rejoiced ;)

I've known Mia since the 2nd grade and she was always exceptionally beautiful and smart but also a very down-to-earth friend who enjoys corny jokes and a little mischief now and then (code: Jade, Joann, can of beer?). So when Mia won, "nagkalat ng saya ang buong batch", said Cyril Villanueva. We had a mini online reunion to celebrate. Well what can I say, our batch was made for greatness and this is only the beginning.

Honestly Mia, you have inspired a great deal of us and we are so proud of you! You are one humble gorgeous lady! :)

I decided I wanted to do an interview but I couldn't really start right away because a few weeks after the whole issue in Bahrain blew up. But here it is people, I hope you enjoy. :D

1. SOOO THANKS FOR AGREEING TO DO THE INTERVIEW :D How does it feel like to be a beauty queen? Do you feel any different? Are you treated any differently by people around you?

- Haha. Nothing much different. Same lang ng dati. In school, although it i know they're trying to treat me nothing more than a student but sometimes it feels like i'm under a double standard just because of the title.  

2. Did you always want to join beauty contests ever since?

Never. I'm sure you understand that. :)) Honestly, since Ms.UP I was just forced to join and then since I haven't got any stand on beauty pageants I just went with the flow. 

3. How has Miss UP, Miss Cebu, well actually, how has the Philippines changed you? I mean, I've known you as Mia, our classmate, our SC president, friend, joliv's bestfriend. You were more of a homebuddy, yet you were fun and could get crazy sometimes but still, very reserved. You were the leader, made sure people followed the rules but you wouldn't mind standing up to teachers. You were a bit feared but more loved, really. You've only gone out with the group a couple of times. You liked to joke around, oh hell you were a "joker", you had crushes, you liked tennis. AND I will always remember you would always say "If there's a will, there's a way". That's how I remember you. How much of that has changed?

- (in this question, it seems like i changed a lot no? pero di naman masyado. haha)  There are some changes of course, with me making my own choices and living away from parents but from the way you've seen me before, pretty much I'm still the same. Though this time, I get to go out more often though most of those are spent on school or Ms.Cebu stuff. I'm still a homebuddy and a really embarrassing corny joker (haha). Still am a huge fan of tennis. In fact I'm coming to be a fan of Philippine tennis too. And I still have a million crushes. My roommate is actually keeping a list of them (silly). Not the leader that I used to be though. The only org that I have been actively participating is our debate society. College is pretty hectic to juggle things.

4. What's it like being in a real pageant? Did you feel any of those intense rivalry among other contestants like in the movies? Were they ever mean to you? 

I guess you're referring to Miss Cebu. I've heard from other candidates who've joined other big pageants that rivalry does happen but in Miss Cebu, thankfully none. This might be too showbiz of an answer but they're all really friendly and real.

5. Did you ask your parents first before entering the pageant? What was your dad's reaction (him coming from a more conservative background)? 

I didn't tell my dad until I won. haha. Miss Cebu is wholesome, no bikini stuff so it was fine. The main role of a Miss Cebu is actually to promote the city's tourism. The tourism commissioners are conservative themselves so there's no conflict of interests. 

My mom knew but I guess it wasn't a big deal. She's not a big fan of pageants either. 

6. You cannot disagree when I say that you are now a celebrity, atleast our celebrity :) Do you ever get paparazzi or fans asking for your picture/autograph? 

Wow. Me? Celebrity? Maybe a teeny tiny bit. At least in school, in the newsroom (where I'm doing my internship this summer), in our neighborhood and maybe to a few people around, yes. 
Nah. Di naman paparazzi. We only get to be photographed by photographers during events or when may makakarecognize sa mall which rarely happens naman. People recognize pero hanggang dun lang.

7. I know you are super focused and boys will never come in between studies but can I ask, how is your love life? I'm sure you've got dozens of suitors! 

No boys. There are some na nagpaparamdam but nothing happens.  

8. Okay, what can we expect next from Cebu's fairest? :)

No more pageants for me. I should learn how to say No. haha. I still have the same goals as I had in high school so I'll still pursue them. Nothing to do with beauty queens. :)

9. A message to all your supporters especially the PSB family

Mahal ko kayo. Joke lang. Here: I'm sure you'd never thought I'd enter such competitions but I guess my competitive side was just challenged. Thanks for the likes and comments in facebook. They do make me smile. PSB holds a big part in my heart. 
10. Last question, do you get to keep all those gorgeous outfits from the beauty pageant?

Unfortunately no. But I get to be friends with designers who are very willing to lend me dresses when I need them. :)

(images from Facebook photos of Liezl Rigunay, Hannah Samal, Ryam Zapanta, Mia Ali, and Miss Cebu page. I do not claim any of these images.)


Anyway Mia, here's a message from one of your bestfriends:
To others she’s Ms. Cebu, but to me aside from having such title, she’ll always be my BFF my bestfriend, my buddy and my sister. I can attest and say she is an obedient daughter, a responsible student, a loyal friend, and the simplest and most humble person you’ll meet. 

She was my buddy especially when it comes to asking the teachers to postpone quizzes :))) A comrade that I know wouldn’t leave me in battle :) We were able to conquer and finish high school together with flying colors. Although in college we had to go our own ways and quite lost contact with each other I hope you didn’t think I ever forgot about you. Ofcourse not. I was your fan Ms.UP Cebu haha and now officially Ms. Cebu I guess so much has been happening to you now and I am very happy and grateful for that because I know you deserve it. I wish more good things for you. I miss our oh-so-long telephone calls back then just talking about how our encounter with our crush was hahaha that lucky guy! Who would have known, right? HAHAHA 

I miss both you and Liezl so much I hope we could make up for the lost time kaya we’ll be waiting nalang for our ticket to Cebu. Thank you dear :))) 

I’ll be here to support you all the way. God Bless. See you when I see you :) -Joliv

mia ali
5/14/2011 11:19:18 pm

aaaww gusto ko umiyak ng popcorn! Pwede ko ba kayo i-hug ngayon isa-isa? Nakakamiss bigla. THANK YOU JAMIE!!

5/15/2011 03:05:59 am

hihi your welcome. And I'm actually eating popcorn now :))


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Jamie Ortega