Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Patricia Fernandez during Ms. International beauty pageant in 2006

Vim Nadera: Have you tried writing?
Pat Fernandez: I used to have a fashion and lifestyle column in Showbiz Sosyal just for fun. I seldom get to blog.

VN: Please tell us about your thesis.
PF: The Correlation between Communication Apprehension and Pageant Preparation Techniques in Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2006.

VN: How did you defend it?
PF: (Laughter.) It was such a long time ago. My panelists were amused with the photos in the appendix.

VN: What kinds of book do you love to read?
PF: I like fairy tales, children's books, and inspirational stories. I usually go with the bandwagon when I read new stuff.

VN: Who are your favorite authors?
PF: Roald Dahl, Louisa May Alcott, and the Grimm brothers. I read the stories again and again. Their stories would never lose their charm.

VN: If you were a character in a story, who would you be?
PF: Sleeping Beauty, Gretel or Dyesebel. When I was young, I would usually ask my dad to read me their stories.

VN: Are you happy with your accomplishments?
PF: Yes. I’m in Solar Daybreak as Weather and Lifestyle Anchor. I am in Solar Headlines since last year too. I used to be in Good Morning Club; Princess and I; Cocktales; Balitang 60; Sapul sa Singko; Aksyon 41; Amaya; Pepito Manaloto; BFGF Luvcrazy; Eat Bulaga; Global TFC Filipino Ka, Sabihin Mo; Magkaribal; Solar Shop TV Live; and Unang Hirit. As a TV commercial model, for Southeast Asia, I was in the ads of Knorr / Royco, PH Care, and Colgate Total Whitening. Here, I had the chance to endorse Progress Preschool Gold, STI, Wings, Coca Cola Advisories, and Sun Cellular. On the other hand, I was print too -- in Wedding Flavors, Tech Innovations, Comfort Chinese Lifestyle Magazine, Philippine Tourism Feature -- and on the cover of Men’s Health with JC De Vera.

VN: How would you see yourself 10 years from now?
PF: On cam work will always be my first love and I wish I can do it forever. Ten years from now, God-willing, I want to have my own family and I will encourage my kids to read books and study foreign languages. I would also want to produce kiddie shows/movies and have my own preschool and/or orphanage with an organic garden and a colorful kitchen.

VN: What are your tips for future Patricia Fernandezes?
PF: Try to learn as much as you can from everything you encounter. There is always a reason when things happen.

PAT “PARALUMAN NG PANITIKAN” FERNANDEZ (Third of four parts) (May 20, 2013)

Patricia Fernandez (right) with Glady Duenas, Jo-anne Alivio, and Alice Dixon during the 50th anniversary edition of Bb. Pilipinas (Photo courtesy of Joyce Ann Burton's Adventures of a Beauty Queen

Vim Nadera: Walk us through the recent 50th Anniversary Edition of Bb. Pilipinas.
Pat Fernandez: Our opening walk was tear-jerking. It's such an honor to walk side by side with the other queens I admire. Aside from other triumphs, I was also thrilled when they showed a clip of when I got in the finals of Miss International. It's a first on Philippine television.

VN: Among the former winners, who is your role model? Why?
PF: Aside from our chairperson, Ms. Stella Marquez-Araneta, I'm blessed with a lot of mentors from Bb. Pilipinas. Among the queens who have coached or trained me are Patty Betita, Marina Benipayo, Karen Agustin-Ostrea, Denille Velmonte-Valera, Maggie Wilson-Consunji, Gionna Cabrera, Carlene Aguilar-Ocampo, Nadia Lee Cien Shami, Alma Concepcion, Jewel Loboton, Daisy Reyes, Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz, Melanie Marquez, and Gloria Diaz. It feels great when your sisters are there to support you. They are all women of substance.

VN: What can you say about Bb. Pilipinas?
PF: It's a fun sorority :) We inspire each other.

VN: Did being a Bb. Pilipinas give you an edge in, say, looking for a job?
PF: Definitely. I usually joke that I took a masters program in personality development because I trained for two years before I competed abroad.

VN: What are the ups and downs of a beauty queen?
PF: It's fun to help and inspire others in more ways than one. During our reign though it was quite a challenge to keep our bodies fit for competition because people (especially relatives) would usually say "You're too thin!" and they would fill our plates with more food!

VN: Have you also tried acting. What are your film projects ?
PF: I dabbled in several soap operas and sitcoms in GMA, ABS-CBN and TV5. I have a cameo role with Lovi Poe, Paulo Avelino, and Jennylyn Mercado in Regal Film’s The Bride and The Lover this month. And I have another upcoming movie in December.

VN: You graduated cum laude when you finished B.A. Speech Communication at UP. So you are more of a speaker?
PF: I enjoy communicating with people. By the way, I was a member of the UP Speech Communication Association and UP Social Dance Club too in 2003. I also love piano playing and swimming!

VN: What makes you beautiful?
PF:I try to stay positive most of the time through constant stretching, prayer, and meditation. When I can't manage it alone. I acknowledge the feeling and allow my friends to help me. I also list my blessings from God. Happy girls are the prettiest.

VN: What is your daily beauty ritual?
PF: Hydrate often and exercise my portion control. I don't deprive myself of the things I love. I eat almost every hour if possible -- in small portions.

PAT “PARALUMAN NG PANITIKAN” FERNANDEZ (Second of four parts) (May 13, 2013)


VN: Being the first Paraluman ng Panitikan, what do you intend to do about Philippine literature?
PF: I promote everything Filipino in every way I can. I am quite fond of watching Filipino plays, shows, and musicales. I always push performers, writers, and playwrights to guest in our show.

VN: As a former Miss International finalist, how can you help to promote reading and intellectual property rights?
PF: We do promote the value of education in Miss International. Majority of the finalists are multilingual and are quite adept in terms of intercultural communication. For Bb.Pilipinas, we read books to kids during our charity events. I attend whenever I can.

VN: How did you manage your life, as a student, while, at the same time, a beauty queen?
PF: I'm grateful my professors were very understanding when I had to fulfill my duties as Mutya ng Pilipinas on my senior year. I remember Ma'am Villy Buenaventura (bless her soul) even bought and promoted several ticket booklets when I joined Mutya ng Quezon City prior to the national pageant. I obtained thesis respondents from Mutya. For Bb Pilipinas, I was already working at the time I joined.

VN: All in all, you have four titles?
PF: More or less. Aside from the Miss International Top 12 Finalist and Bb. Pilipinas International – both in 2008 – I was chosen Ms. Natasha. Two years prior to that, during the Mutya ng Pilipinas, I was First Runner-Up, Best in Swimsuit, and Ms. Stesstabs Stressfree Beauty. But, before that, I became Mutya ng Quezon City Turismo in 2006 too. There I was proclaimed Ms. Bobson Jeans and Ms. Gibi Shoes.

VN: Any ugly duckling story when you were still a kid?
PF: I was Little Miss Basilan, Mandaluyong 1991. (My mom just didn't allow me to join Little Miss Philippines though I had everything planned already at that time). However I was terribly awkward during my gradeschool and highschool years. I just didn't care. I would wear anything my relatives would give me during Christmas -- regardless of the size. I had so many other pretty batchmates in Immaculate Conception Academy and St. Paul College Pasig. I only became UP's Centennial Muse after Bb.Pilipinas.

VN: How did you enter the world of beauty contests?
PF: I was an alto singer of the UP Singing Ambassadors from January 2005 to March 2006. Our conductor, Sir Ed Manguiat, took us to premier designers like Mama Renee Salud and Tito Pitoy Moreno for our choir costumes. I was very fortunate because both designers encouraged me to join. Mama Renee said I had the waistline of a kontesera (23" at that time) and introduced me to my pageant mentor, Mr. Rodgil Flores. Tito Pitoy, on the other hand, used to refer to me as his Darling Little Princess in his shows and made me wear all sorts of head pieces. He helped improve my poise and confidence and encouraged me every step of the way.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

PAT “PARALUMAN NG PANITIKAN” FERNANDEZ (First of four parts) (May 06, 2013)

A Bb. Pilipinas International in 2008, Patricia Fernandez (right) was crowned by poet Teo Antonio as this year's "Paraluman ng Panitikan" to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day at SM Mega Mall last 23 April.

Twenty-third of April has been witnessing how hard the National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO)-Philippines worked just to organize World Book and Copyright Day activities via literary food walks, seminars, and book fairs.

Hermanas mayores -- Atty. Andrea Pasion Flores, NBDB Executive Director and Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, NBDB Chair – found new partners not only in Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor, IPO-Philippines Director General but in the Department of Education, Korean Copyright Commission, Visprint Inc., Vibal Publishing Inc., Precious Pages, to name a few.

During the 52nd UP National Writers Workshop in Camp John Hay in Baguio City last month too, we took their invitation up as part of Likhaan: University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing’s meeting’s other matters!

Seriously, we took it though.

Yes, there was the master plan to dress up trucks in the heart of Ortigas business center, to assemble at the parking lot beside Prestige Tower where NBDB transferred, and to have a motorcade before yuppies – both young urban professionals and young urban poor -- just to prove this year’s theme “Reading Rocks, Copyright Rules.”

Of course, there was a variety show at the Events Area of SM Mega Mall A.

As expected, instead of ice skating, there were welcome remarks and all sorts of messages, acoustic performance and song number by Flying Ipis and the IPO Choir respectively, and announcement of winners and special prizes for, say, Frankie Torres and Joel Donato Jacob, who won in the NBDB-UP ICW Love Letter Writing Contest wherein we and ICW Director Jose Dalisay were urged to judge.

For sure, it would be incomplete without poetry reading.


Because it is in honor of great men of letters -- Spanish Miguel de Cervantes, British William Shakespeare and Peruvian Inca Garcilaso de la Vega – who died on 23 April way back in 1616.

By the way, it was also the date of birth or death of internationally renowned

writers like Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla, and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

So in 1995, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's General Conference in Paris considered it perfect to pay homage to books and authors, annually, on the 23rd day of April.

Eventually, it became World Book and Copyright Day as well as UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance.

When we got invited, we really remembered that word “tolerance”!

So, we extended it to filmmaker Khavn de la Cruz, sculptor Raul Funilas, and performance artist Martin de Mesa to jam with poets in English and Filipino such as Gemino Abad, Jose Lacaba and his son Kris and daughter-in-law Kit, Benilda Santos, Rebecca Anoñuevo, Roberto Añonuevo, among others.

However, National Artist Virgilio Almario tolerated it too but with a twist.

He wanted to make that red-letter day a month-long feast.

Next year, he wishes to start this Flores de Abril from the birthday of our National Poet, Francisco Balagtas, who turned 225 last April 2 also known as the Araw ni Balagtas.

That is why, being a Rio Alma that he is, plus being the newly appointed Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) chair, he tried to put certain Filipino touch to it!

With a big help from the KWF -- in cooperation with the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) and Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA) – he grabbed the very rare opportunity to avail the services of California-based Teo Antonio who happened to be in the country with his hardworking wife Sol as if they were here just to take care of business in the absence of his katalo, Mike Coroza, who was celebrating with the Thais after Bangkok was proclaimed “World Book Capital 2013.” 

Informally hailed as the “King of Balagtasan,” Teo easily revived the dying art of “pagpuputong” or crowning to the amazement and amusement of every mall moll around.

Even of the Gen X, or Y, whose vocabulary is limited to Eraserhead’s famous first line in Huling El Bimbo.

The Muse during that literary, and/or literacy, fiesta was, is, and, will be known as “Paraluman ng Panitikan.”

For 2013, she is none other than – Ms. Patricia Fernandez – a bookworm who is also an actress, host, model, print and broadcast journalist, and beauty queen who was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-International in 2008!

Vim Nadera: What can you say about your Paraluman ng Panitikan experience during the World Book and Copyright Day celebration last 23 April?
Patricia Fernandez: It was an overwhelming experience. It's quite rare to find guys who'll actually praise you through poems in public.