When asked if there is a magazine title about her, what would it say? Lucky Penny says, “The New Age of Beauty”
Talk of people in love and you talk of people who are lucky in life.
So when it seems everything’s coming up lucky for businesswoman/philanthropist Jennifer Helen Wiegel Sarmiento, it is because she has always looked at love and life thru rose-tinted glasses. Thus, after a fashion, her cup overfloweth. Not that she is an overly optimistic kind of woman; it is just that as a Libra – her birthdate: September 25 – she is born with a heart that is in the right place, beating with innate generosity and sense of balance in everything she does and in dealing with people who happen to come within the range of her intuitive radar.
Add to that, her Libra zodiac sign has been this year under the glittering limelight courtesy of the heavy influence of Jupiter – in astrology, it is the biggest planet and stands for luck, growth and expansion. No wonder that in the prestigious Mrs. Globe Classic pageant held last June in Las Vegas, USA, Penny – as she is called by family and close friends since she was a little girl – is, well, the lucky and very surprised recipient of a new global award, “Woman of the Year,” the first for a Filipina. In that pageant which saw the beautiful women from all the American states and several countries in Asia, Pacific and Europe and Africa gathered under one roof, her overwhelming charm and elegant poise added two more awards to her winning streak: Best in National Costume, People’s Choice.
The past few years have also been incredibly wonderful for Batangas-born now Cebu-based Penny who garnered a few firsts in the local haute monde. The Philippine Cancer Society honored her in 2014 as one of the ten Philippines’ Best Dressed Women, subsequently inducting her as one of its Ambassadors for Life. Then in the same year she was a main feature in the glossy book “Fabulous Women of the Philippines” by top portrait-photographer Rupert Jacinto. Also in 2015, Penny brought home the crown “Mrs. Asia International Metropolitan” making her the very first Filipina to win in the annual pageant held in Malaysia. Her national costume, designed by one of her fave designers Philipp Tampus, also won the judges’ nod as the best. Not surprisingly, Gawad Amerika Foundation then awarded her a trophy for her outstanding socio-civic contribution in the upliftment of Fil-Am communities.
That is also the aura – in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Middle English, aura means “gentle breeze,” a speculated subtle emanation around the body – which she exudes and so subliminally expresses in and through her life-long goals and endeavors. First, as the Muse of a gentleman from Samar, Penny has then become a dutiful beautiful wife, still providing the inspiration to husband Congressman Edgar Sarmiento and the thriving family-owned construction company; second, she is the responsible and disciplinarian Mom to three achiever kids Andrew and twins Jennifer Elaine and Jasmin Ellen.
Women’s Journal recently had a high-noon talk with this pragmatic businesswoman and philanthropist who rounds up her tri-dimensional persona by scaling up her fondness for the postive things in life with her own inarguably good taste and – as a woman who has for now got it all –”new age” wisdom. Here, some quotable quotes from the Globe’s Woman of the Year” herself:
Women’s Journal (WJ): What’s a typical day for Penny?
Jennifer Weigel Sarmiento (JWS): I start my day with a prayer, I always start my day right, then I do boxing and then I get ready to go to my office. After that, I spend time with my kids – we either go out to eat or sometimes I cook at home. Sometimes I go out with my LOVES group or my gay group in Cebu, or when I’m in Manila I spend time with my Twinnie Ofie and a few other close friends. I end my day with a prayer. That’s also something I teach my kids: to start and end a day with a prayer.
WJ: Any beauty secrets?
JWS: Wash my face with mild soap that’s compatible to my skin, eat healthy, exercise and sleep. I sleep a lot, that’s my secret, I take my beauty sleep very seriously.
WJ: What is your fashion philosophy? And who are your favorite designers?
JWS: Classic, elegant and simple. That’s how I dress ever since, I love Jun Escario, Philipp Tampus and Cary Santiago. Luckily they’re also my good friends. I also love some European designer labels.
WJ: What is your purpose in life?
JWS: I am a wife and most importantly a mother of 3 wonderful young adults: my eldest son Andrew has his own business. I also have a set of twin daughters, Jasmin and Jennifer. Jasmin just got married to Ralph and she owns and operates Beauty and Beyond facial and slimming center. My other daughter Jennifer works for our construction firm and she also has a bag and shoe restoration shop with her boyfriend Kirby – it’s called, make it alive! I just want my kids to be happy and do the things that they love.
I also have four dogs. My favorite is Lucky, a shih tzu. She’s been with me for 12 years already. The others are Diamond, Billion and Ramsey Dollar. They’re also like my kids and I love them to bits.
I enjoy being a homemaker, I love making sure that the house is clean and beautiful. I always place special importance in ensuring that my house is a home – a loving, caring and sharing home.
Aside from motherhood of course, I also do some charity works because when I was young I saw how my dad was. He was a very helpful man, not only on the financial aspect, but overall he really was very compassionate. And ever since, I always share my blessings no matter big or small, because it certainly makes a difference. To be compassionate is also something I encourage my kids to be.
WJ: How would you make a difference in the lives of Filipinos?
JWS: I started one of my companies as my way of helping my country. I help people find better work opportunities abroad. Aside from that, I also like to inspire and encourage women, that they can be anything they want to be, and to not limit themselves. Women have a lot of potential, that’s why I’m very happy to have joined the W.I.N. foundation for we share the same values and advocacy – and that is to empower women.
And more about Penny from the digital pages of Mrs. Globe Classic Pageant
People describe me as: Outgoing and cheerful. I am a positive person. I always try and look at the bright side of things. Life is too short to be unhappy and that’s why I choose to SMILE everyday.
Special talents: I wish I could sing but what I can do really is cook. My aunt taught me from a very young age. They passed secret recipes that I hold very close to my heart. I can cook my specialties for hundreds; maybe someday you can join and taste my recipes in the future.
Famous moments: When I was crowned as Mrs Asia International Classic 2015, Best In National Costume in KL, Malaysia. But most of all my special moment is to give birth to my children and become a mother. That’s when I realized that we don’t live for ourselves but for others especially for our children.
Something unique or quirky about you: My love and fondness for my dog, Lucky. I bring her everywhere, she sleeps besides me and I don’t know what to do without her.
What is your personal philosophy?: I believe in the power of kindness. It creates an endless chain of positivity that means the world to everyone
Why is this important to you? To inspire people and prove that age is just a number and kindness is universal
Your best asset? My best asset is my positivity. I always look at the bright side of things. Your attitude and outlook in life says a lot about who you are.
As a woman of empowerment, what is your “magic”? My magic starts in my heart, a heart who is ready to love, to care and to share. I would like to share this magic to all the women of the world and I hope I can have the opportunity in the world finals of Mrs Globe Classic 2017.
What hashtags best describe you: #contented because I know I’ve done already my best in everything
What food would we always find in your refridgerator? Bacon! I just love it. I can’t live without it!
What is your favorite family recipe? Our own version of spaghetti. It’s unique with my own secret ingredient and lots of CHEESE.
What is your guilty pleasure? I believe in love and romance so I always watch telenovelas. It makes you feel lots of emotions and I am not guilty doing it.
What household chore to you actually enjoy?I enjoy cleaning. It’s something therapeutic about arranging to ensure the home is clean and tidy.
Favorite family ritual: Going to church together because the family that prays together stays together.
If there were an extra hour today I would: I would pray because there is so many things in life to be thankful for.
In my beauty bag you would find: My eyeliner. The eyes are the windows to the soul so you have to make sure you make it pretty.
I just learned: That age is just a number, that you can do anything and everything where you put your heart into.
I stay fit by: At 51, I discovered boxing and I absolutely love it! It keeps me physically and mentally fit. It challenges me to be a better version of myself everyday.
How did I ever live without my: FAITH. Because even in the darkest moments of my life, I always rely on my faith. It can move mountains and nothing is impossible with God
______ is the new black: Orange
If there was a magazine title about you, what would it say? The New Age of Beauty