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Bb. Pilipinas International 2021 Hannah Arnold on Beauty, Fitness, and Mental Strength

Bb. Pilipinas International 2021 Hannah Arnold on Beauty, Fitness, and Mental Strength

Can you imagine what it’s like to be scrutinized and judged by your looks while your social media presence and answers to media questions are also nitpicked and broken down? This is just part of what a beauty pageant contestant has to go through, and it does not end after she wins her title.

In this special #CoffeeWithKai series, we meet the new queens of Bb. Pilipinas 2021. They share beauty tips, fitness tips, and mental health tips that can help you.

[Transcript]

Kai Magsanoc: Hi, everyone! Welcome to a special edition series of #CoffeeWithKai here on Hello Doctor Philippines. My name is Kai Magsanoc, I’m the editor-in-chief of HelloDoctor PH.

So today, we’re gonna talk to one of the 4 new Binibining Pilipinas queens of 2021. Please join me in welcoming Binibini 17, Miss Hannah Arnold, our Binibining Pilipinas International.

Hi, Hannah!

Hannah Arnold: Hi, Miss Kai, and hi to all the viewers of Hello Doctor PH. Thank you for having me.

KM: I’m glad that you’re able to join us today despite the weather. Is it not affecting you? You’re not under the weather?

HA: No. Actually, yes, I’m feeling a bit sorry for a lot of the girls. They are getting a little sick from the weather change, but luckily my immune system is staying strong.

KM: Okay, well later on, you’re gonna tell us about how you’re doing that.

Hannah, so first things first, you’re one of the new queens, so maybe we cannot assume that our 200,000 viewers on HelloDoctor know you already. So if you don’t mind, please tell us more about our new Binibining Pilipinas International.

Tell us more about yourself, Hannah.

HA: Yes. So hi, everyone. To those who don’t know me, I am Hannah Constantino Arnold. I am a Filipina-Australian, I’m 25 years old, and I proudly represented Masbate in the recently-concluded Binibining Pilipinas.

Let’s see, what else? I’m a graduate of Forensic Science. I am a model here in the Philippines and I was a sleep scientist over in Australia, so a bit of the best of both worlds there. And I’m very excited for my upcoming journey towards Miss International.

KM: Okay, speaking of the journey, Hannah, what was the Binibining Pilipinas journey like?

HA: Yes, so actually I joined in 2019. That experience really helped me grow. I discovered what my weaknesses were, and what I needed to strengthen. And then I found what was my strength, and used that as my advantage.

However, back in 2019, I didn’t quite walk away with one of the crowns, but because I found such a family within the organization, they have that saying, “Once a Binibini, always a Binibini.” That’s why I decided to come back, and I joined again in 2020.

And then it was delayed due to the pandemic, and then our coronation was on July 11, and I’m just so glad that I pushed through and I kept on chasing for that dream.

KM: Yeah. Okay, well first of all, Pia Wurtzbach, she never gave up on her Binibini dream, so I’m glad that you joined again and you kept at it. But Hannah, what was the reason why you joined the beauty pageant?

Because we know it’s not easy, it’s a lot of pressure, and maybe even exhausting days because of rehearsals and activities. But why did you want to become a beauty queen?

HA: So when I was 6 years old, I was actually in a beauty pageant in Masbate, and I won the title of Baby Queen 2002. And actually in that moment, I really loved the spirit of the community, how my family was so excited, and just the feeling of being a queen, it really stuck with me throughout my whole life.

I would always reflect on that moment, and I really wanted to be back on that stage. So it really wasn’t a hard decision for me to choose. I really just told my parents, “Hey, you know, I really wanna join beauty pageants.”

So again, in 2014, I joined Miss Philippines Australia, because I grew up there in Australia. And I was just such a fan. Like you mentioned, there’s Pia, there’s so many beautiful girls that have represented the Philippines, in so many amazing pageants, and it’s more than just the physical aspect of it. It’s the platform and how they use it, and how they help the community.

That’s what I loved about these pageants, so I really wanted to take it one step further, and that’s why I came for the biggest national pageant here in the Philippines.

KM: Yeah, so you won your crown last July 11, so it’s been a little more than two weeks of being our Binibining Pilipinas International. How has it been for you so far?

HA: It’s been amazing, like I’m lucky to meet you here, even if it’s through Zoom. I’m meeting so many amazing people. I’m hearing your stories, people are listening to mine.

And one of the greatest things so far is the Department of Science and Technology is listening to what I have to share, because I am an advocate for education, and an advocate for investing in science and technology, so I’m so glad that people are listening and want to collaborate.

KM: Okay, so speaking of your advocacies, Hannah, why did you choose children’s education and science and technology? Why those two?

HA: So like I mentioned, I did grow up in Australia, so I was very privileged to have amazing access to education, and I kind of took it for granted. My mom would always tell me the stories of her schooling when she was growing up in Masbate, her and her siblings, they really struggled with the distance they had to travel, the access to school supplies, and every year when I would visit Masbate and my relatives, I would also see those struggles were still there.

Even after so many years, they still didn’t have the best access. My parents, my siblings and I, we really started donating school supplies and things like that from a young age, from when I was younger.

And of course when it comes to pageantry, with that platform, it’s such a bigger platform that you can really create your advocacy in a bigger way. So I created a page called Books of Tomorrow, because the saying that I have is, “With a book, a child can learn to read today, and with a pencil, they’ll write their own future tomorrow.”

So I’m so grateful that people are really listening and following and wanting to donate school books, writing equipment, libraries, and I’m so excited for more communities that we’re going to reach.

KM: Okay, so that’s the Facebook page, right? Books of Tomorrow?

HA: Yes, yes.

KM: For all our viewers who are tuning in, please like and follow Hannah’s advocacy. The Facebook page is Books of Tomorrow.

So Hannah, of course we look at you and we wonder, “How do I become as gorgeous as Hannnah?” So let’s talk about the different aspects that you’ve been working on maybe in your daily life, even before you joined the pageant, and then maybe after you joined the pageant.

Let’s talk about fitness first. What is your exercise or workout routine? And what do you do when you don’t feel like exercising?

HA: So honestly, during 2020 when the pandemic and lockdown started, I honestly was quite lazy, and I really let myself go with the diet and exercise. I didn’t find the motivation anymore. I would save the YouTube videos, I would save the Instagram videos where people were working out, and I’d tell myself, “I’ll do that later.”

But honestly, I wouldn’t move that much.

And then when I realized how much it was affecting my mood, and how I wasn’t really accomplishing my goals that I needed to complete in the day, I would just start off small. So a simple task such as jump rope, skipping rope, or even if you don’t have a skip rope, you can just pretend and jump in the spot, I would do that to start the day. Just for a few minutes in the morning.

And then a few sit-ups at night, that’s how I would begin. And then I enrolled in some core classes, because thanks to online, Zoom and everything, we can still work out and connect to many people. So that’s what I was doing in preparation for the pageant.

And now, I have become a little bit more busy, so I am just trying to at least move my body for about 30 minutes, whether it’s just walking up and down the stairs, or again, just pretending to do the jump rope. It really helps.

KM: Okay, so jump rope, and then sit-ups at night, right? Okay, got it.

Okay, so how about your diet? Because they say that’s the bigger part of what keeps a person fit. Not the exercise; it’s what you eat. So tell us about your way of eating, Hannah. What do you do to stay in shape?

HA: So for breakfast, I really do like to have something light. A porridge, some oats, or a cereal, that’s how I like to start the day. But if also there’s some pineapple juice, orange juice, something quite refreshing like that. And then I do make sure that I have my vitamins, so I have multivitamins, or I take a Vitamin C, how you put it in the water, and then it helps you feel a bit more energized for the day.

And then for lunch and dinner, honestly, I will eat anything that my tita will cook. So traditional Filipino dishes, lots of rice, lots of gulay, whatever ulam, I will eat it. I honestly wasn’t really depriving myself of anything during the pageant, even now.

Actually just before [this], I had unli Korean barbecue, so I’m really eating anything and everything, just as long as I’m remembering to move my body for a little bit everyday.

KM: Right, so it’s really balance, not deprivation. What is your guilty pleasure, Hannah? In terms of food?

HA: Of course now that traffic is picking up again, and most of my commitments are quite far away from my house, I will usually ask the driver if we can go through some of the fast food drive-thrus, and I’ll always get chicken nuggets and fries. I think I need to limit myself a bit more, be a bit more disciplined.

KM: Well that sounds like the BTS Meal. Are you a fan?

HA: Yes, yes, that’s the one. I hope it will stay for a lot longer.

KM: Yeah me too, I love the sauces, they’re really good.

HA: Yeah, they’re so good.

KM: Alright, how about hair and skin care, Hannah? How do you take care of your skin? I’m sure people look at you and they say, “Ah, she has naturally good skin.” But I think — I’ve met a lot of beauty queens, the 2013 batch for example, when I was very active.

So that was Megan [Young], Bea Rose Santiago, the ones who won their titles also, so I know there’s a lot of work that goes into it. It’s not magic, it’s a lot of care. So how do you take care of your skin?

HA: Yes, so like you said, I haven’t always had this clear, glowing skin. When I was growing up, as a teenager, I really had bad acne, there was a lot of scarring here, and it was because I used to do ballet, and I wasn’t taking care of my skin. All the sweat and everything, I really wasn’t washing my face properly.

But now, I really make sure that after my interviews or commitments are done, I will remove the makeup. There’s micellar water, something not too harsh on your skin. And you have to make sure you know what your skin type is.

So mine is combination [skin], it can be dry and oily, so I just make sure I’m getting the correct products, and I am still figuring out which ones those are, but so far, it’s going well.

And just making sure I get 8 hours of sleep every night, and drinking lots of water throughout the day. That’s really the best way to help your skin and your hair.

KM: Okay, got it. Thank you for that. Very easy to follow tips. Thank you, Hannah.

Of course, the last aspect — we’ve talked about physical health, but I think one of the most important aspects of health that a beauty queen should be able to manage is her mental health. I cannot imagine the way you are subjected to being judged, objectified, it’s a beauty pageant.

We put more substance — our personality really helps us stand out, but at the end of the day, there’s a lot of pressure. You’re being compared to the other candidates. So in the last Binibining Pilipinas, you were being compared to 33 other beautiful women.

So tell us about how you take care of your mental health, Hannah. And when the pressure is on, what kept you centered?

HA: Yes, so like you said, there were other candidates that we were competing against, but one of the great things about pageantry is when you become friends with the other girls, you realize how much you have in common. So going through a beauty pageant, through the pandemic, was so hard on all of us. And we actually had group chats, we would message each other, check up on each other, see how we were feeling.

And by me expressing exactly how I felt, there were days where I wanted to rant, or cry, or just different feelings. The fact that the other girls were there to listen, it really helped. That’s one of the best with the friendships there is you really understand what we’re going through.

Of course, my family and other friends were there to listen, but being able to talk to the other candidates truly helped with my mental health. Especially in that last rehearsal week, just before coronation, we were in the hotel together, and you could feel the stress, the anxiety, and nerves throughout the hotel.

So really being able to just sit down, and chat with each other, shake it off, and have fun, that really helped.

KM: Okay, so the community, and the support system, right?

HA: Yes.

KM: Okay, well thank you so much for spending time with us, on this rainy Wednesday afternoon, Hannah. Before we end the interview, what is your message please, to the viewers of Hello Doctor PH? Aside from your advocacy, how else can they support you in your journey to be our next Miss International?

HA: Yes, so thank you to everyone that is watching. Thank you for watching HelloDoctor PH. I’m sure you’re always getting a lot of tips and tricks from watching this show.
Definitely, if you would like to follow my journey towards our 7th crown for the Philippines, please do follow me on social media at Hannah Constantino Arnold on Facebook, or arnoldhannah_ on Instagram.

And the way that you can support me is simply just pray for me and the other girls that will be raising our flag on the international stage.

And please stay safe. I’m sure I’ll see you all online, or hopefully, in person very soon.

KM: Okay. Alright, Hannah, thank you so much.

So that’s our Binibining Pilipinas International 2021, Miss Hannah Arnold. Stay tuned for the other Binibining Pilipinas queens in this series of interviews. Until then, this is Kai Magsanoc of Hello Doctor PH. Happy Wednesday and be well!

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Written by Kai Magsanoc Updated 3 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.
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