Place of birth: Manila, Philippines
Date of birth: May 11
Sun Sign: Taurus
School/college: Philemon Wright High School, Canada; Heritage College, University of Ottawa, Canada
High point of your life: Meeting my husband and the birth of our wonderful child, Niall
Low point of your life: I was actually training for the Olympics. The plan was to take up sports as a profession. During the last basketball match of my final year in high school, I went up for a rebound and came down with a six foot woman sprawled across my knee. I got selected in the Ontario All Star Team, but later, the injury had its impact and changed the course of my life.
Currently I am : Loving, laughing and living
How did Miss India-Canada happen?
My parents are into academics and are far removed from the glamour world. I enrolled in it just for laughs.I didn’t even have a talent to mention in the form. I remember my dad, who was dead against the idea of me joining the pageant, taught me a passage from one of Rabindranath Tagore’s plays called Chitra for the talent round. That was my first acting on stage. I won the pageant and that brought me to India.. I won the pageant and that brought me to India.
One superpower you wish you had...
Teleportation, so I can be with the people I love at the drop of an electron.
What was your first impression of India?
That one cover story changed the course of my life. I signed up with the Miss India pageant and travelled to small towns across India looking for contestants. That’s where I came across the biggies of the fashion fraternity--Mehr, Queenie, Anna Bredemeyer, Rhea Pillai, were all part of it. It was their time, they were stars then. And I was just entering their world. Then shows and ads started happening. My two-month India trip extended to 6 and then the week I was supposed to leave came an offer to do a screen test for Star TV, which was just about to get launched in India. As luck would have it, I got selected!
How did television happen?
I signed up with the Miss India pageant and travelled to small towns across India looking for contestants. Then shows and ads started happening. My two-month India trip extended to six, and in the week I was supposed to leave came an offer to do a screen test for a television show. As luck would have it, I got selected!
A cartoon character you resemble...
Speedy Gonzales. I’d say we’re both little speedsters.
Your most treasured possession?
The accumulation of all my travels.
Can you live without the luxuries of a city?
When my son was born in 2009, my husband and I moved to Sri Lanka with him. We lived in the lap of nature by the beach. My son would run barefoot on the sand in his diapers. We came back in 2013 to enrol our son in school.
The most filmy thing you have done...
Signed a film opposite Jackie Shroff, of course (Aar Ya Paar, 1997).
What has changed since you’ve become a mother?
I wake up at 6.30 am to ready my kid for school. I have become more responsible. I don’t do the bizarre things that I once did without blinking an eyelid.
Your most interesting guest on Vogue BFF...
Ranveer Singh. He was a whirlwind and had my head spinning to the point that I don’t remember half the things that happened in that episode. I am curious to know what he is tripping on!
The mantra you live by...
Get a grip on yourself, be thankful for what you’ve got, and go ahead and reach for the stars.
If you were on Tinder, what is that one thing that will make you swipe right for a guy?
Authenticity... maybe I need to create an app that can measure that. Or better still, not use an app for this kind of thing at all!
Your epitaph would read...
It would describe me as worldly, a little wild and... still going places.
Movie: Whiplash (2014), because it conjures up the most memorable moments of my youth and my dedication to training
Comfort food: My mom’s incredible Filipino/ Indian cooking and Pizza Margherita Napolitano
Holiday destination: Canada and the Amalfi Coast
Book/author: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Song that lifts my spirits: People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield
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From HT Brunch, April 16, 2017
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