Christelle Abello
Christelle Abello in a photo she posted on Instagram in August 2020.
@christelleabello via Instagram
Raised in the USA on Filipino roots
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2020 - 12:00am

The 2021 Ginebra San Miguel Calendar Girl is imported from California, U.S.A.

Christelle Abello, 26, may look familiar since last month she finished a semi-finalist in the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines pageant won by Rabiya Mateo.

The 2021 edition of the calendar is very timely as it captures today’s “new normal” at home in six different layouts (four of which are published on this page). With the theme “Ganado sa Bahay,” the calendars feature Christelle being “ganado,” motivated and productive even amid the COVID-19 pandemic — working from home, honing her creativity and discovering new skills and taking care of her body and well-being.

“More than just a pretty face, Christelle personifies our latest campaign ‘One Ginebra Nation.’ We were not only charmed by her intelligence, but also by her optimism, her courage, her never-say-die spirit, her heart for others and love for her kababayan,” related Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. (GSMI) sales and marketing manager Allan Mercado.

For Christelle, being chosen as the next Ginebra San Miguel calendar girl is an opportunity of a lifetime.

“I’m so thrilled. I’m so proud and honored to represent Ginebra San Miguel. I’m so grateful to be a part of such an iconic and historical brand,” she said.

To prepare for the shoot, Christelle made sure that she was both physically and mentally ready.

“I’ve been doing a lot of weights and cardio workouts. I’ve become accustomed to that lifestyle not because I want to look good physically but also because I want to feel good mentally. And I think that’s really important, especially at this time,” shared Christelle who at the start of the pandemic put up a fund-raising effort called Kapit-bisig Tayo to assist healthcare workers.

Christelle was born to Filipino parents. Her father is from Kalibo, Aklan (which she represented in the Miss U Philippines pageant) while her mother is from Silang, Cavite. She graduated with a degree in Communication from California State University San Marcos.

While she spent most of her life in the US, Christelle has always been in touch with her Filipino roots.

“My mom heavily enforced Filipino culture and values at home. She wanted my sister and I to learn Tagalog, and what better way to learn it than through watching teleseryes and movies. So, I grew up watching KathNiel’s Got to Believe, and A Very Special Love,” revealed Christelle who dreams of starring in her own teleserye or movie.

Christelle admitted that the never-say-die story of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also inspired her to pursue her other dream — to become a beauty queen.

Recalled Christelle, “Back in the day, my dad would tell me stories about (Robert) Jaworski and that even if the team was falling behind in a PBA game, people would still cheer them on and were confident that they would come back strong and win the game because of their never-say-die attitude. I think Barangay Ginebra resonates with Filipinos so well with who we are as people, resilient despite the adversities that come our way.”

Among those who became a Ginebra calendar girl were Pia, Arci Muñoz (2018), Kim Domingo (2017), Marian Rivera (2009 and 2014) and Sanya Lopez (2020).

How else did you prepare for the shoot?

“Well personally, I love to eat! So, I had to follow a strict diet and ensured that I worked out at least three times a week. I also believe in having a healthy body and mind. Prioritizing rest and cutting out any negativity was vital for my preparation. Siyempre, dapat parating ‘Ganado sa Buhay!’”

What kind of diet do you follow (what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner)?

“I love starting my day healthy. Breakfast can range from oats and grains to fruits and protein. For example, I love nilagang saba and pomelo because I love how much energy it can give me while also not being too heavy on my stomach.

“I tend to eat a heavy lunch so that I can keep it light for dinner. For lunch, I go for protein, such as chicken breast, alongside brown rice para good carbs, and steamed vegetables.

“For dinner, I usually go for egg whites and veggies.

“I also don’t eat three times a day only. It’s better for me to spread out my meals but in smaller portions. Snacking is a must for me or else gugutomin ko lang ang sarili ko if I only eat three times a day.”

How much water do you take per day (what about soda, coffee or tea)?

“Water lang talaga ako! I don’t drink coffee because I’ve never been inclined to drink it. Di ko siya nagustuhan once kaya never again did I have coffee. I love water and water will always be my No. 1 and go to drink forever.”

Food that you avoid and food that you usually crave for?

“I don’t necessarily avoid food because if I do, I will deprive myself which is unnecessary. I believe in proper portion control and as long as I work out to compensate for what I’ve eaten, then it’s a balanced and healthy life. When it comes to indulging, I crave all types of junk food! From chocolate to ice cream, lahat lahat, matakaw ako.”

What workout do you do and how often do you do it?

“At least three to four times a week! I usually follow a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and I also like to lift some weights because it keeps me toned.”

Vulnerable part of the body?

“Depends on the time.”

Part that needs improvement?

“Side stomach! My dream is to minimize my ‘muffin top.’ I also want to have stronger arms and legs.”

Favorite part of your body?

“My smile! Does that count? Hahaha!!!”

Favorite part of a man’s body?

“Depende sa man.”

How do you cope with stress?

“Cut out negativity in my life! I run to my family and loved ones for emotional support and love.”

Last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

“Brush my teeth, wash my face and drink plenty of water.”

First thing that you do as soon as you wake up?

“Workout if kaya ng body ko, hehehe!!! IF THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY!”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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