Body Talk with Riza Santos
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2008 - 12:00am

Aside from new friends, guess what Riza Santos, 2006 Miss Earth-Canada, gained inside Big Brother’s house? Seven pounds, would you believe?

“It was because I ate a lot of peanut butter inside; in fact, I ate a lot maybe because we had so much down time and I was stressed-out,” laughed Riza who was among the 15 housemates of the ABS-CBN reality-TV Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition 2 (won by Ruben Gonzaga of Davao) who spent 84 days together. “Now, I have to work out double time to shed those excess poundage.”

Asked what was the best lesson that she learned “inside,” Riza gave a famously “beauty contest” answer.

“Dealing with people from all walks of life in different situations. Remember, I had to live with these people 24/7. And that’s a lot of time! Also, I learned more about myself more than anything.”

Before winning the Miss Earth-Canada crown (after competing in three other contests, one of which declared her Miss Teen Philippines-Canada), Riza was in school finishing Biological Sciences, preparatory to a medical course. She also served as a soldier in the Canadian Army.

A pure Filipino (her father, Ruel Santos, is from Bulacan; her mom, Dina Buenaventura, from Bataan) born in Alberta, west of Canada, Riza said she’s 100 percent Filipino and 100 percent Canadian as well.

“I grew up in a huge Filipino community where there are around 40,000 Filipinos. There are more than 111 Filipino associations in my city and that’s how I learned how to speak Tagalog. I was brought up the Filipino way. I know a lot of Filipino dances; I know how to dance the Tinikling and Singkil. I come from a conservative family but I won’t say that my parents are strict.”

A Virgo, Riza stands 5’7", weighs 120 lbs. (from 125 when she came out of Big Brother’s house) and measures 35-25-35.     A contract artist of Viva Records, Riza aspires to be an over-all performer.

“I have experience in hosting but my forte is singing and dancing. I’m into acting now.”

What’s your regular diet?

“Oh, outside of PBB, I don’t even touch peanut butter. I eat healthy and I exercise regularly.”

Type of food that you like.

“I eat a lot of fiber — whole grains and cereals — and golden rice, and lots of fruits.”

Favorite fruit?

“Pineapple and suha. Actually, I love a lot of Filipino fruits. I don’t get most of them in Canada, like langka, lanzones and star apple.”

What about vegetables?

“All kinds, especially cucumber and lettuce.”

Type of food that you avoid?

“Pork. I eat a lot of fish.”

Do you take snacks between meals?

“I take three square meals a day and, yes, I do take snacks...crackers and fruits.”

And how much water do you take every day?

“Six glasses, but I should be taking more. Sometimes, I forget to drink water.”

Softdrinks, juices?

“No softdrinks for me. Juices, yes, lots of them.”

Coffee or tea?

“Tea. Green tea.”

Vitamins and minerals?

“I take multivitamins. Omega-3 Fish Oil.”

How much sleep do you get per night?

“Between six to eight hours.”

Favorite sleep wear?

“Pajamas.”

With the air-con turned on full blast?

“I don’t like air-con. I don’t get hot very easily.”

Any sleeping habits? Do you snore?

“I don’t believe so. I’m a quiet sleeper. I go to sleep fast. As soon as I hit the pillow, hayun, tulog na kaagad ako. I can sleep anywhere anytime. I’m quite a log when I sleep.”

Are you a pillow person?

“Not really. One pillow under my head is enough.”

Do you talk in your sleep?

“I don’t believe so.”

What’s the last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

“I pray.”

What do you usually pray for?

“For the safety of my family.”

And the first thing that you do when you wake up?

“I pray.”

How do you cope with stress?

“I work out. I run. I’ve done track and field for seven years, competitively. I’m very much a runner.”

What other sport do you dabble in?

“Badminton.”

You’re perfect from head to foot. Any part of your body that you think needs improvement?

“My tummy. I’m working on it right now.”

The most vulnerable part?

“None.”

And what part is your favorite?

“My butt. I used to do ballet, too. I’ve been told that I have a nice butt.”

What part of a guy’s body do you look at first?

“His eyes.”

You’ve been to several cities. What’s your favorite (aside from those in Canada)?

“The Greater Manila area, that’s why I decided to stay. There’s so much activity going on and it’s so exciting.”

Favorite hideaway?

“My room. I listen to music...Christian contemporary, pop-opera, R&B, hip-hop, country. I also read, science books, and religious and motivational books. And The Bible.”

Most women are afraid to go out under the sun. Are you?

“No, I’m not. I’m an outdoorsy girl; I love outdoor sports like hiking.”

Do you apply anything on your skin?

“Sunblock.”

How often do you see your doctor?

“Every six months.”

Your dentist?

“Once a year.”

Dermatologist?

“I don’t have one.”

Name three guys you think have nice bodies.

“Will Devaughn who was with me on PBB. Brad Pitt. Sidney Crosty, a hockey player in Canada.”

And three women...

“Jennifer Lopez. Beyoncé Knowles. Nicole Scherzinger (Pinoy member of The Pussy Cat Dolls).”

Using only body language, how would you make a guy know that you admire him?

“I smile at him. If he smiles back, then I wink at him.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphilstar@yahoo.com)

BIG BROTHER MISS EARTH-CANADA RIZA
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