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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Like mother, like daughter

Showbiz Top i-News

Like mother, like daughter

Like mother, like daughter ...

Beauty runs in the family. Obvious, isn't it? The question is: Who's prettier, the mother or the daughter? I don't know what your answer is but mine is this: SAME.

At 57 (last April 4), Gloria Diaz doesn't seem to have aged since 1969 when, at 18, she won the Miss Universe crown (the first Filipina to do so) on the day man, Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, landed on the moon, prompting then US Pres. Richard Nixon to declare, "America conquered the moon but the Philippines conquered the universe!"

Isabelle Daza, one of Gloria's two daughters by ex-husband Bong Daza (who has remained Gloria's good friend), wasn't even a glint in her parents' eyes when that momentous event happened. Now 20, Isabelle (one of Gloria and Bong's two daughters, the other is Ava; the couple also have an adopted son, Rafael, now himself a father) is taking up Early Childhood Education at De La Salle University. Isabelle is an endorser of Century Tuna, Oil of Olay and Human (Bench clothing line).

Mother and daughter are the new endorsers of the Beverly Hills 6750 Multi-Specialty Aesthetic Institute, rebranded last February from Beverly Hills 6750 Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Institute (founded in 2006) which used to have another Miss Universe (of 1993), Dayanara Torres, as endorser.

Gloria and Isabelle sat down for a two-on-one with Funfare the other day after their media launch at the Beverly Hills 6750 clinic in Makati City (right next to the Shangri-La Makati).

When did you learn that your mom was Miss Universe?

Isabelle: When I was a kid, people would always come up to us and I didn't really know why. Then, people showed me her picture wearing the crown and I said, "That's why!" Ever since, I would bring her crown to school...for show and tell, you know. My teachers were thrilled.

When you watch the Miss Universe pageant, what fond memories come to your mind?

Gloria: You know, all I can remember are the good times; you never think of how hard you worked during the contest. They woke you up at 4 in the morning; you have to go here and there, put on make-up every day, pose for pictorials. But I realized that when you are 18, hindi ka pala napapagod; bale wala lahat 'yan. Being Miss Universe is not a one-year affair; it's a lifetime affair.

Doesn't being the daughter of a Miss Universe put pressure on you to equal, if not surpass, her achievement (also as an award-winning actress)?

Isabelle: I don't think so. I think my mom has accomplished enough for all of us to share. Being compared to her is very flattering. I don't feel the need to live up to her. As she has been saying, one beauty queen in the family is enough.

Don't you want Isabelle or Ava to follow in your footsteps?

Gloria: You know what, sometimes I think, like last Monday while I was watching the Miss Universe pageant, "Ano kaya if Belle joins the Bb. Pilipinas contest and she'll be there in Vietnam competing in the Miss Universe pageant? How will they introduce her?" Will it be a plus or a minus? Will they expect a lot from her because she's the daughter of an ex-Miss Universe? Being in a beauty contest should be fun; it shouldn't be a hassle, a pressure. It should be a chance for you to expand your wings. But what if she wouldn't win? That's the very reason why I always tell Belle, "Huwag na. Dito ka na lang."

What do you want to accomplish on your own merits?

Isabelle: Right now, I'm finishing Early Childhood Education. After that, I want to go abroad and take up a course in advertising and in business as well. I just wanna have several options. I want to learn Spanish because I'm planning to go to Spain next year.

As a mom, are you the controlling type, one who dictates on your children, who imposes yourself on them?

Gloria: I guess I am - in everything! When they were children, they would come to my room and I would check their teeth with my hand, "Did you brush your teeth?" If I found something slippery, I would say, "Go back; brush your teeth some more!" Yes, I may be a controlling mom but in the end, when they grow up, they will have to decide for themselves and pursue whatever careers they want. I cannot anymore impose on them. But I'll always be with them, behind them, supporting them.

What values do you instill in your children?

Gloria: Well, for example, if Belle wants to buy an expensive bag, I would say, "Why? What makes you think that a new, expensive bag will make you a better person?" The other day, she wanted to buy a Chanel or a Prada, and I told her, "Belle, what's wrong with your own initials? Why do you always need somebody else's name - on your shirt, on your bag? Just get a cheaper but good one at SM." I've never met anybody who said, "Wow, ang galing-galing ni Belle, ang ganda-ganda ni Belle, naka-signature bag!" But then, she would buy whatever bag she wants anyway if she wants to.

Any "secret" about Isabelle that you can share with us?

Gloria: She'll be embarrassed that I would reveal it but you know, Belle is very caring especially of poor children. She gets a sense of fulfillment and she feels good about it. Two Christmases ago, I was the victim because I had to pay for the goodies she gave to the poor children. It was biglaan, you know.

Isabelle: In my car, I keep biscuits, slippers and little things to give away.

You seem to be 50/50 Gloria Diaz and Bong Daza. What role does your dad play in raising you and your siblings?

Isabelle: I also grew up with my dad, you know. When they separated, it didn't really have a big impact on me. I always see my dad. He comes to the house and we have dinner. She and my mom have remained good friends.

Gloria: Bong teaches her how to cook and how to use the computer.

Isabelle: He comes from a family of chefs, so he always talks about food and wine...and traveling. He sent me to Paris last year and I met all his friends. I love Paris!

Do you meddle in Isabelle's love life?

Gloria: No, I don't. But I'm happy that she has a special someone who is wholesome, who is abroad.

Do you have the same taste in men?

Gloria: I hope not. She likes the wholesome type, I like bad boys - sometimes. Hahahahaha! But I have changed. I now like good boys (Like her boyfriend, banker Mike de Jesus. - RFL)

How are you similar to or different from each other?

Isabelle: When it comes to spending, I think I spend more - you know, on clothes, the usual.

Gloria: I always tell her, "Save; don't overspend." There are days when I don't have a job but nobody knows it. But I always see to it that in the house, we have good food and a car. I always remind my children to lead a moderate life and not to show off to anybody.

How do you preserve that Miss Universe look?

Gloria: It's going, going, going... But I'm trying to be fit and healthy. I exercise. Lately, I've been dancing... salsa, etc. Have I undergone cosmetic surgery? So far, no. The treatment I get from Beverly Hills 6750 is skin-tightening, non-invasive. You know, beauty is 90 percent youth and 10 percent maintenance. I think having a positive outlook in life helps make you look younger.

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