Bella Ysmael's Road To Self-Discovery During A Pandemic
Bella Ysmael’s Road To Self-Discovery During A Pandemic
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Bella Ysmael’s Road To Self-Discovery During A Pandemic

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Read below an excerpt of this month’s cover star, Bella Ysmael.

Related: Queen In The Making: Bella Ysmael Reveals Her Future Plans

Like all things, the Miss Universe Philippines competition took the a nosedive when the pandemic. What started out as a quick pause stretched out to a long and uncertain limbo that’s still happening as of today. Listening to Ysmael narrate what happened, it was like we were reliving 2020 again. “I guess there was a point right before the pandemic hit in March where I kind of felt like, ‘Oh my god, I’m giving up!’ You know? I felt like I wanted to give up. I felt so tired, I’ve had no sleep, everyday we have something to do: I have to go to the designers, I have to visit this [place], we have a sponsor visit—it was quite exhausting especially for me because I guess I consider myself a homebody,” she says.

HERE COMES THE SUN – Bella Ysmael has her eyes on the universe—but in the meantime she’s focusing on herself with help of Avignon Clinic who taught her the value skincare.

Neon Yellow Dew Nautilus Sleeved Dress by JAN GARCIA, Yellow belted flare pants by YVES CAMINGUE

Like all things, the Miss Universe Philippines competition took the a nosedive when the pandemic. What started out as a quick pause stretched out to a long and uncertain limbo that’s still happening as of today. Listening to Ysmael narrate what happened, it was like we were reliving 2020 again. “I guess there was a point right before the pandemic hit in March where I kind of felt like, ‘Oh my god, I’m giving up!’ You know? I felt like I wanted to give up. I felt so tired, I’ve had no sleep, everyday we have something to do: I have to go to the designers, I have to visit this [place], we have a sponsor visit—it was quite exhausting especially for me because I guess I consider myself a homebody,” she says.

ABCH necklace letter B, leather sandals, large chain insignia necklace (used as bracelet), CH Lovers bracelet, and insignia cuff all by CAROLINA HERRERA; Chromite bodysuit by LA GLAMOUR BIKINI; Reese oval Hoops by SHOPMONICA JEWELRY; CHER Body Chain by STONERIVER

“So there’s that point. And then the pandemic happened. And they were like, ‘Okay girls, we’re going to take a break first for a week.’ And then in my head I was, like, ‘okay great, I can rest!’ Without realizing that, oh my gosh, it’s a pandemic. I didn’t realize back then. We were all thinking, okay, it’s just a week break and then we’ll be back. Until it kept extending and extending and then things started to get crazy and we were all stuck at home and we were like, is the pageant even continuing? Is it still going to happen? And it came to a point where we were having a meeting and they said, ‘Okay girls, we’re pushing through with the pageant on October.’ And this was around, I think it was June. So we’re like, part of us were like, ‘Okay great, it’s happening!’ And another part of us were like, ‘October?! We’ve been at it since January or February.’ So there was also another point where I was like, do I still want to continue with this?” 

We all know that Ysmael soldiered on, and while she didn’t win the chance to represent the country in the Miss Universe competition, she did win over a lot of people—many of whom are now campaigning for her to compete again.

From the outside, it’s odd why someone wouldn’t just join again, as past winner Pia Wurtzbach did—twice. But the thing is, committing to something takes a lot. Most of us can barely commit to daily exercise. Ysmael says it more eloquently,


It’s a beauty pageant—it’s about beauty. But, that’s actually one of the things that I love about modern pageantry— it’s about a whole lot more than what’s on the outside.

Bella ysmael

“Especially me being a first-timer on a national level of pageantry, it was really scary. But then, through this journey, in pageantry, I realized that the intensity of having to wake up three, four hours before your call time to put your own makeup on, because there’s no glam team provided for example, having to beat traffic, having to carry yourself on top of four, five, six-inch stilettos all day and still standing up with a smile; being able to be kind to everyone because you don’t know what they’re going through and even if you’re having a difficult time, you don’t want to pass that negativity on to them. And they’re just excited to see you.”

ORANGE CRUSH – Thanks to an active lifestyle and Avignon Clinic’s Ulthera Ultimate Lift, Ysmael is able to maintain her physique pageant ready

Knit midi dress by ROD MALANAO, Reese oval hoops andMarine queen pendant necklace (used as anklet) by SHOPMONICA JEWELRY, Tábertha in Deep Red by SEBASTIAN AND SAVANNAH

Visit the new and elevated Avignon Premier Clinic at BGC, Fort Victoria, 5th Ave Corner Rizal Drive, Taguig. For more updates, head to avignon.clinic and follow them on Instagram.

Photography DOOKIE DUCAY
Creative direction JANN PASCUA
Art direction and Production design NICOLE ALMERO
Fashion Direction JEB FRONA and LYN ALUMNO
Styling GEE JOCSON assisted by IAN REY
Beauty Direction TRINA EPILEPSIA BOUTAIN and MIA CASTRO
Makeup GUILLY VALENZUELA
Hair JEFF VALENZUELA
Shoot Coordination ERICA LUNA and LOUIS ESGUERRA
Shot on location at SHUTTERSPACE STUDIOS

Read more about Bella Ysamel and her Miss Universe Philippines experience in MEGA’s July 2021 issue available on ReadlyMagzter, Press Reader and Zinio

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