Just a little over two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Maxine Medina, our lovely candidate for Ms. Universe. Maxine is in LA for a short vacation and to spend some time with her family over here.
We had a private party at my friends, Hydee and (her husband) Akima Abrahan’s pad. It was a night of fun with some of our friends, Jonas Gaffud of Aces & Queens (whom I also featured in my column some months ago) and Janine Tugonon, who also competed for Miss Universe in 2012.
Watching Maxine charmed everyone in the room, I was stunned at how this lady carries herself and how beautiful she is even without makeup. I am pretty confident that we have a great chance at grabbing the crown again.
I got to talk to Maxine that night and she shared with me the pressure she’s under for being the next Filipina to try to win the Ms. Universe pageant after just having won the crown last year.
She said there’s much pressure especially when some are hoping—or even betting—that it’s going to be a back-to-back win for the Philippines.
And I definitely understand where she is coming from, because not only did we (Philippines) win last year, Philippines has held a terrific record at Miss Universe pageant for the last six years. Since 2010, we placed four times in the Top 5 finalists, once in Top 10 semi-finalists and has won its third crown after 42 years through the courtesy of Pia Wurtzbach.
I asked her how she handles the pressure and she said she just wants to do her best and try not to prove anything but do what she can to make the country proud. I couldn’t agree more.
I told her that when I was watched in the Binibing Pilipinas competition, she was actually my bet for Ms. Universe. I knew from the start that she will make it to top 5. I am sure it wasn’t only I who had the same thought. I’m pretty sure a lot of people saw the potential in her.
Maxine hopes that she will also get the same support the the country gave Pia when she competed. “Sana full heart po kayo to support me. Hindi n’yo po alam ang feeling ng first timer, talking to everyone, thousands of people. Yung time na iyon super nervous ako and I admit that,”(I hope you’ll support me with a full heart. You don’t know what the feeling of a first timer is, talking to everyone, thousands of people. At that time I was super nervous and I admit that.), she said during an interview on TV Patrol.
Maxine has a background in interior design and graduated from the Philippine School of Interior Design and De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. She designs residential condominiums. She started modeling since the age of 18, and is a member the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP). Like her 2016 batchmates Kylie Verzosa (Bb Pilipinas International) and Jennifer Ruth Hammond (Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental). Members of the organization include models Kelsey Merritt, Katarina Rodriguez, Miss World Philippines 2014 Valerie Weigmann, and more.
Long before joining Bb Pilipinas, Maxine made her way to the limelight through numerous product endorsements, TV commercials, and print and runway modeling gigs. This gorgeous lady who stands 5’8 tall came from a family of models and beauty title-holders. Her father, Maximo Guillermo Medina, is a former commercial model and a flight attendant, whilst her mother, Maria Fe Medina, is a former model and a senior bank manager. Her aunt, model Gem Padilla-Thomas, was also a former Bb Pilipinas title-holder as Miss Universe Philippines 1990.
Maxine also told us that she tried to join Binibing PIlipinas in 2012 due to contractual obligations, it didn’t push true. This was also confirmed her mentor, Jonas Gaffud.
“Third time’s a charm” may have worked for most of the Binibining Pilipinas candidates, yet it wasn’t the same for Maxine. While she has a lot of things in common with former candidates as far as wit, poise and beauty are concerned, unlike Janine Tugonon and Pia Wurtbach, Maxine won the pageant in her first try (not including the one in 2012).
Maxine is in a steady relationship with actor and model Marx Topacio, who is also part of PMAP. They have been together for 5 years.
Well, to our beautiful candidate, Maxine Medina, it was a pleasure getting to know you. You can rest assured that I, along with your friends and Kababayan from this side of the world, will support and cheer for you when you walk on that stage. Good luck and stay as humble and charming as you are.
Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration. To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at [email protected]