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During the Miss UP 2014 Talent Night at the University of the Philippines Cebu’s Covered Court Thursday night, someone in the dressing room intently kept staring at my candidate Niña Sayson and then couldn’t help remarking her on her stunning face: “You know what, you are so beautiful. You look like Mother Mary.” What a superlative compliment, I thought!

I was flattered for Nina, because I knew that even before I started putting on her makeup, she already exuded too much of pulchritude that it’s impossible not to feel a bit tense as I tried my best to just enhance its nature without overdefining her best features.

Back when she texted me, I remembered her to be one of the beautiful bride’s maids at her cousin Genellen Siao Sanchez Ponce’s wedding in Malabuyoc late last year, wherein I regretted running out of time and not being able to do her makeup. I remembered that she was the demure, pretty girl who, upon entering the make-up room, I thought was a Pond’s model, thanks to her rosy white skin and glow. I learned later on that, indeed, she’s a freelance model in Cebu City, and then I discovered by myself that she’s a fabulous writer who has contributed to Sun*Star Daily and written must-read blogs. Am I amazed! As I always am, at beautiful and brainy girls whose command of the written word is excellent like Nina’s.

So when my former pageant mentee Kate Almeida said to me that she wheedled her cousin Nina, a third-year Mass Communication student, into trying me as her makeup artist for Miss University of the Philippines, I couldn’t wait for this coming Thursday’s pageant night at Mariners’ Court, Port Area.

Please vote Nina Sayson for the People’s Choice Award. You have until midnight before the Feb. 13 coronation night to cast your votes. It’s simple. Just click the link below and click on the “like” button below Nina Sayson’s photo.


Thank you very much.


Hair & Makeup: ARIEL ALLERA