Isabelle Daza: Ready for her close-up
THE DIALOGUE - Raymond Gutierrez () - March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Warning: Looking at Isabelle Daza’s family tree might leave you feeling incapable and doubtful of your skills. On one side there’s the Diaz clan, known for their beauty and accomplishments in the arts while her dad is from the renowned Dazas, a last name synonymous with culinary excellence. Gifted with a bloodline that seems to be bursting with talent, it was only a matter of time before Belle would come into her own. With years of showbiz offers being thrown her way, it is only now that Belle found it appropriate to sign the dotted line and trade her private life for a chance to be in the spotlight. She recently inked a hefty three-year contract with media giant GMA, and says she’s finally ready to grab hold of the opportunities. With this latest move, she has joined cousin Georgina and BFF Solenn, girls who don’t need last names to be identified, in the new league of beautiful faces taking the reins of their status and seamlessly merging fashion and entertainment. With her wicked sense of humor, charm and candor, I can attest that Belle will have no problem standing out and succeeding, all on her own.

YOUNG STAR: Do you know that there’s an online petition for you to join Miss Universe? How do you feel about that?

ISABELLE DAZA: I don’t take that too seriously. I’m touched that people feel that I could represent the country. Inno Sotto even offered to make my gown (laughs) but it’s not something I think about. I’m very proud of my mom for winning the crown, but I just don’t think it’s for me.

You were always apprehensive about entering showbiz, why enter now?

I simply wasn’t ready. I wanted to do everything that I could, finish my studies, study abroad, learn different languages, etc. I wasn’t ready for the intrigues and everything else that comes with it. But now it’s 2011, I’m done with school and I think it’s the right time.

A lot are entering showbiz nowadays, especially from our group of friends (Solenn, Georgina, et cetera). Are you ready to be compared to them?

I’ve been compared and put against people all my life but it doesn’t get into my head. I don’t feel that pressure because I’m very happy for Solenn, Liz, Georgina, Anne, etc. We learn from each other and we help one another.

Bright lights: Get ready for Belle!

You’ve been labeled as an “It girl” for many years. Are you sick of it yet?

I feel happy because it’s a positive label, rather being labeled as something bad like “slutty.” (Laughs) I’m happy that people think that way because you get to be a part of something alongside beautiful and talented women. But I also don’t wakeup every morning thinking, “I’m an It girl.” It’s just humbling and flattering.

With you entering showbiz now, does that mean that you’re ready to move on from that label?

I guess it’s going to be the next stage of my life. I’m ready to try something new, try new challenges. I’m also scared and hesitant because there are a lot of really talented people in the industry. It’s a difficult industry to get into. I guess I’m just preparing myself for the obstacles I have to face.

What advice does your mom give you?

What advice does she not give me? (Laughs) One thing that she told me that really left a mark is that you have to sacrifice a lot to gain a lot. And I think that applies to everything in life and not just showbiz.

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

I don’t speak Tagalog. They always ask me if I know how to speak in Tagalog. I grew up in Manila and I’m proud of it. I think it’s a shame when people think highly of themselves because they can’t speak the language.

Your dad is part of the Daza clan, what’s your specialty dish?

I do a really good ham and cheese omelet. I also just got this new waffle maker so I’ve been experimenting with waffles. (Laughs) I’m more of an eater rather than a cook.

Party time: Isabelle Daza jumps into the spotlight as she celebrates Young Star’s 15th year!

You grew up being very sporty, how did the transition from laces to Louboutins happen?

I still play a lot of sports, I also have this inner boyish side and I get along with boys easily. I guess when I started modeling, when Ben Chan offered me to become the new face of Human, that’s when it started. That was my first photo shoot, and my whole family went with me, which was really embarrassing and funny. Eventually, I had to go to events and do fashion shows, dress up more, which I love to do anyway.

Your mom landed a role as the Pinakamagandang Babae sa Balat ng Lupa. Are you willing to reprise that role for TV or a movie?

I really don’t know. I’m open to the idea but I don’t want other people to think that I’m copying everything that my mom did. I want to have my own mark and do something for myself too. But if it’s something I’ll enjoy, why not? Our generation is really different so if it’s a project that will generate interest, why not?

What skill do you have that people aren’t aware of?

I ride horses. Ever since I was a kid, I was training to be an equestrianne, but I stopped. Now I’m taking up horseback riding again. I also really love children and I used to be a preschool teacher.

You’re currently studying French as a second language. Can you say your current state of mind in French?

Je faime. “I’m hungry.” Learning French is so much fun.

What do you think will be your biggest adjustment as you enter showbiz?

Time management.

What’s your dream role?

I want to start with hosting. My first show, I’ll be hosting a game show with Mr. Manny Pacquiao. I’m excited because I like getting to know people, making them happy. With acting, I’m still trying to figure that out and take workshops.

You were once names as Preview magazine’s Best Dressed. Who are your red carpet heroes?

Rachel Bilson, she’s understated but stylish. I also like Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo. I feel that having personal style is better than following trends. I’ll follow trends but I won’t go overboard.

If you were to invite five people to dinner, who would make the list?

Oprah, Angelina jolie, Taylor Swift, Natalie Portman and Barack Obama.

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