Daisy Reyes: Beauty queen, businesswoman and public servant
Vanessa A. Balbuena (The Freeman) - January 23, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Don’t be surprised to see Manila-based beauty queen and actress Daisy Reyes in a drama guest stint over the local Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) Channel 47.

Accepting a short role in the Visayan series “Baylo Ta” (Mondays-Fridays, 8 p.m.) as the girlfriend of the character played by Cebuano businessman Glenn Soco was a small favor she was happy to do for a good friend.

“I got involved in this show because Ms. Aida Patana is very close to me,” Daisy began. “We met each other because of her wine business and eventually, she became my distributor for my Daisy Papaya Soap. Then every time she goes to Manila, we are always together. When she feels down, I took up the role of guiding her in a Biblical aspect. She’s very kind, and since this is her first time producing a soap opera, I wanted to support her.”

Patana, aside from co-producing “Baylo Ta” with CCTN through her M-Talents Events and Promotions company, also portrays the female lead.

After her beauty pageant stints, Daisy plunged into show business and made 26 films in the seven years she was active. The most outstanding was the critically-acclaimed “Cariño Brutal” with Rosanna Roces. On national television, she was last seen doing a cameo role in GMA-7’s primetime series “Legacy.” Daisy was also a recording artist with two albums under her belt.

These days, she oversees two thriving businesses (Daisy Papaya Soap and a salon, which also carries her name) and enjoys a fulfilling career as a public servant. She is also married to an Indian national with whom she has a nine-year-old daughter named Gabrielle Lauren.

While all that responsibility is enough to diminish the glow out of any hard-working woman, Daisy has impressively maintained the regal face and figure of a beauty queen. This, she attributes to an active lifestyle. “I’ve always been very athletic. Badminton used to be the sport I often played, but now I’m very much into golf. All it takes is really just discipline.”

That self-discipline also comes in handy in her position as government official in her native city. Politics, after all, is where all sorts of temptations abound.

Despite the public’s skepticism towards celebrities like her running for office, she believes the purpose of a beauty queen doesn’t fall far from that of a politico. “Beauty pageants involve not only glamour, but also charity work. Being a beauty queen doesn’t purely involve physical beauty, it should also involve personality and character. It should always be beauty with a purpose and with a mission. As a city councilor, I make sure I fulfill my purpose and mission which is to be of help and inspiration to others, most especially to women.”

She said she was one of those who used to believe that one need not run for a government post to be of service. She has since changed her mind.

“Ngayon na nasa politics na ako, ngayon ko naintindihan na iba pa rin kung ikaw mismo. Syempre being an actress before, maraming nagtitiwala na ibigay yung tulong nila sa akin, para ako ang magbigay sa mga tao. If one was just an ordinary person, ibibigay mo lang, and you’re not sure if your help will reach the deserving people, or kay kapitan lang o sa kamag-anak niya mapupunta, di ba? At least now, I can really make sure that they are channeled in the proper direction,” she explained. 

A corrupt system should also not hinder those who are genuinely seeking to be of service, Daisy added.

“Before Christ pa, meron nang corruption. It’s all in the Bible. What’s the difference now? Lahat ng nangyayari ngayon, nangyari rin sa Bible. The question is, hahayaan mo na lang bang ganoon? I’m not saying kaya kung baguhin yun. We have an individual purpose and role in this world. Ang kaya ko lang naman in my own little way is be an inspiration to women. Tulong na yun. If the public perceives you as that glamorous celebrity, gamitin mo yun as an opportunity and a challenge to inspire people.”

Back in 1995, Daisy joined Mutya ng Pilipinas and took the second runner-up position to Maricel Morales. She was, however, awarded the Mutya ng Pilipinas Expo-International which allowed her to compete in Ecuador for the Miss Expo-International pageant, where she placed fourth runner-up.

Then in 1996, she trained her eyes on Binibining Pilipinas. The sweet-faced music lover clinched the Bb. Pilipinas-World title. While she failed to land in the top ten of Miss World held then in India, Daisy was awarded Miss Personality out of 89 contestants.

But she wasn’t done. In 2009, when she was already a mother and a wife, Daisy was tapped at the last minute to represent the Philippines at the Mrs. World pageant after the original Filipina candidate backed out. Held in Vietnam, she managed to reach the top 12.

This gives Daisy the sole bragging rights of representing her country in an international pageant thrice.

With these international experiences to back her up, Daisy makes it her mission to hold personality development projects in Pateros where she talks about values like love, patience and spirituality.

“Nagagamit ko rin yung pagiging beauty queen ko to inspire them. Our world now is very materialistic, lalo na yung mga bata ngayon. I hope to inspire them na hindi sana sila masyadong magpapadala sa ganyang mga bagay. They should learn to value themselves.” Photo by JOY TORREJOS

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