If you asked me 24 hours ago on what I knew about Mia Arcenas, I’d reply with – Ah, the cousin of Matteo Guidicelli in Bb. Pilipinas! Other than that, I barely knew the lady who’s representing Cebu in this year’s Binibini! Imagine how ecstatic I was when the beautiful people of ZeroThreeTwo offered me a chance to interview Mia.
After I sent her an email, I received a 6-page reply – a quick glimpse of her colorful life. The responses to my questions were so beautifully crafted that I am now hoping for a chance to talk to her in the future (wink). This article will introduce you to a Binibini named Mia Arcenas – a Binibini well Beyond Beauty and Brains!
Marie Irisha Arcenas has achieved much at an early age. She graduated with honors from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She pursued her flare for fashion by opening her own clothing and accessory line in Cebu. And now, at 21, she is about to conquer the beauty pageant world!
A pageant neophyte, she considers this an advantage as she will likely be more spontaneous. This may be true since some rampadora and beterana girls move with uber calculations, sound rehearsed and are usually branded as pageant-patties. There are a handful of ladies in this year’s official candidates who have titles in minor pageants already, but Mia is not intimidated. What sets her apart is her desire to best represent the Philippines internationally – her job as a proud citizen of this country.
Mia Arcenas believes her hard work, her willingness to learn and her pre-pageant preparations (She belongs to the camp of beauty queen maker Rodgil Flores and has received advice from respected Cebuana beauty queens) will ultimately result in her winning the crown. Mia is unfazed by the fact that Cebuana beauty queens are considered heavyweights in national beauty pageants. Cebu has Karla Bautista, Yedda Marie Mendoza, Karla Henry, Melanie Ediza and Anna Igpit (though a proud Boholana, Anna is already Cebu-based) to name a few. She understands that Bb. Pilipinas is a competition. Her strategy is simple – go with the flow, do what she can and see what happens.
More than her love for fashion and new-found interest in beauty pageants, Mia is first and foremost a proud Cebuana. She considers Cebu a paradise and is proud to share this to the whole world. Through her 100% locally made fashion goods, Mia is proving that Cebuanas are creative and can well compete in the global fashion arena.
I asked Mia a few hypotheticals in case her co-candidates visit Cebu. Where would she bring them to…?
Dine? Café Laguna, Abaca, Giuseppe’s, Tymad, Nonki, Café Elysa & Olio
Swim? Boating w/ Islands Banca & Dock in Pandanon and in Oslob with whale sharks
Chill? Bellini, Maya, Gilt, Cowrie Cove & Tops
Get a massage? Maribago Blue Water Amuma Spa & CHSM Home Service Massage
Buy pasalubongs? Tabuan (Danggit), Shamrock (Otap), La Fortuna Bakery (Hopia) and R&M (Dried Mangoes)
Shop for accessories? Mia Arcenas Accessories & Avatar
Spoken like a true Cebuana, Mia knows only the best this paradise has to offer. After reading her list, I literally exclaimed – LAYSHO!!! (Sosyal in Gay Lingo!) Beautiful, intelligent, creative, a proud Cebuana and, to top it all off, so laysho! There might be more about Mia Arcenas than what was in her 6-page reply. One thing is for sure though; she is a Binibini well beyond beauty and brains. She has a proud heart and a creative soul.
To close the interview, let me share unique personal information directly from Mia Arcenas.
- I always pray for guidance & strength in everything that I do.
- A guy should know how to be consistent with his words and actions for me to be impressed.
- The last time I cried was when the other Binibini contestants planned a well-executed surprise for my birthday. Despite our hectic schedules/activities that day, they managed to still squeeze in a 10-minute surprise of cakes with candles and gifts before we moved on to our next meeting.
032: What is the best piece of advice you could give a teenager growing up today?
Mia: The best piece of advice I could give a teenager growing up today would be not to rush love. When I was a teenager I was always in a hurry to have a boyfriend and I know some of my younger cousins are going through the same phase. Teenagers are easily jaded, therefore it is important for them to have guidance and to realize that they’ve got a long way to go. What’s important is to set their priorities, listen to their parents, and love will just come naturally when the time is right.
032: What worthy cause do you identify yourself and why?
Mia: Women empowerment would be the worthy cause I am able to identify myself with. Being a candidate of Binibining Pilipinas gives me a chance to celebrate womanhood, influence other women that they should step up their game, be inspired and chase after their dreams.
Mia: I truly believe in equality, which demonstrates that the gender of an individual doesn’t make him/her less or more than the other. With that said, Yes, I do believe that fathers are capable of doing the duties of a mother and same goes for women, they too can do any job that men are able to do.
032: What is that one experience in your life that molded your personality or changed your perspective in life?
Mia: The experience that molded my personality would have to be when I studied in Los Angeles for college. Living in a new environment, really opened my mind about the different people that we meet in life and the challenging situations that make us stronger individuals. It was an experience that definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone and that’s where I believe we really test our instincts and become wiser people.
032: What gives you peace of mind?
Mia: Knowing that everyone in my family is healthy, that gives me piece of mind. Two or three years ago my grandfather and uncle passed away because of cancer and it was a very difficult time for the entire family. We spent a lot of time and effort comforting, consoling, and researching on the best diagnosis for their sickness. From that experience, I learned that you never know when your time is up. That’s why we should always remember to cherish every moment and be constantly grateful.
032: What’s your message to your fans and supporters?
Thank you all for the support! Keep praying for me so that I can represent Cebu in the best way possible, and if I win I can then represent the entire Philippines in the international pageant. I love you guys, really!
Get to know more about Mia Arcenas as she answers the following one-liners:
Coffee or TEA
HEELS or Flats
DIAMOND or Pearl
PARIS or Venice
PIZZA or Pasta
Beer or WINE
LOS ANGELES or New York