With the title Miss Universe Philippines 2017 literally added to her crowning glory, Filipino-British Rachel Peters, 26, sashays into the public limelight, figuratively as a beautiful flower at the forefront of the agency Kagandahan Flores’ roster of talented models and beauties.
As part of a beauty queen’s noblesse oblige, Rachel recently granted Women’s Journal a little of her time for an interview which, at it turns out, somehow defines the anima and animus behind one of our more intriguing – the Stars say “unusual” – beauty-pageant titleholders. Here, excerpts from the talk:
Women’s Journal (WJ): Describe yourself in one word.
Rachel Peters (RP): It would be “compassionate” because I often find myself caring for others before myself.
WJ: What is it about you that not many people know?
RP: I used to be a competitive swimmer in high school. I guess that’s why surfing is something that comes quite naturally to me – I’m very comfortable in the water.
WJ: What makes you beautiful?
RP: Well I have a beautiful mom and handsome dad so I was blessed with good genes – ha ha – but am really a firm believer that beauty comes from within. Everyone is beautiful in each own way …and I believe that I am a good person, always trying to help people wherever I can, so that’s what makes me beautiful.
WJ: What’s the best thing about your life?
RP: I would say the people in my life because with them, their love and support, I can literally do anything I can ever imagine.
WJ: What’s the one thing about you that you would want to change?
RP: It would be my shoulders because they’re so big and hard to pose with!! Ha ha ha
WJ: If you could repeat one memorable experience in your life, what would it be?
RP: It would be the Binibining Pilipinas coronation night because it’s very rare that all the people I love are under one roof – but that night it happened. But, as much as I remember everything that happened, it all flew by too quickly.
WJ: What would you want to do right now, on the spur of the moment, that would not have consequences?
RP: I would take 6 months off – 3 to travel the world, to eat good food and the other 3 to live in Siargao, to tend to bake and get better at surfing.
WJ: What’s your favorite way of spending free time?
RP: When I have some free time I definitely like to get out of the city and go to the beach for some fresh and vitamin sea. Surfing is always a plus!
WJ: How do you destress?
RP: I love working out so I normally start my day in the gym, boxing or doing yoga, then I’m good to go!
WJ: If you could exchange places with anyone right now, you’d exchange places with?
RP: I’m so happy and blessed to be where I am at this point in my life so I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone. I’m in a position where I can make a difference, where I have a voice and am in a state of continual growth.
WJ: If with one wave of your hand you could solve a world’s problem, what would it be?
RP: I’d choose to solve poverty. In Manila you see it everyday. It breaks my heart to see families on the streets, children who are deprived of education and imagine that this is just Manila . .. Poverty is a problem all over the world and if we can eliminate poverty then I feel people will be happy, content with their lives and, in turn, there will be a huge decrease in crime rates.
WJ: What is your biggest fear? How do you fight it?
RP: I’ve always had pretty bad stage fright. It took a lot of me to get back on the pageant stage, I was constantly stepping out of my comfort zone but if it wasn’t for that experience I wouldn’t be where I am today… If you have a dream or a goal, do whatever it takes to reach it because you can do anything you ever imagined – and so much more if you just believe in yourself!
WJ: What advice would you give young people about dealing with their problems?
RP: I would say... to remember you are a spec in the universe. There are people out there who have no food to eat, no parents to go home to and who are sick with illnesses that cannot be cured. Whatever it is you’re dealing with, work at it… it may take time but everything happens for a reason so just keep on fighting and doing good to people around you.
WJ: What’s the one valuable lesson you learned from your parents:
RP: To be nice to everyone around you, no matter who they are!
WJ: Who would you pick as your best friend in the industry?
RP: It would be Elizabeth Clenci.
WJ: To what special cause would you espouse or support and devote your time?
RP: I would devote my time and effort to helping to educate children. Also I would try to save every single abandoned and abused dog in the world!
WJ: Being a beauty title holder, what are your expectations? What are the changes that you are encountering now?
RP: Obviously there is a lot of pressure because all eyes are on me as I prepare for the Miss Universe pageant, but I am trying to enjoy every moment as I work on myself to be mentally and spiritually strong when it’s time to step up on stage again.
WJ: How would life be had you not won the beauty title?
RP: If I wasn’t crowned Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2017, I’d be living in Siargao and tending to my café – it’s called Bake and we only opened last week.
WJ: Describe the guy you will marry.
RP: I would marry a guy who loves and appreciates his family. My mom always told me that the best way to judge a guy is by seeing how he treats his mother… Family is very important to me and a guy who loves his – and is respectful towards my own family – is crucial.
WJ: If you could settle for life in another country, where would it be?
RP: I would live in Italy because I love being immersed in different cultures and I love Italian food so I would never go hungry there! ha ha
WJ: Choose one woman, not necessarily a beauty queen, who you think represents everything that the modern Filipino woman is today.
RP: I don’t know much about styling but I would have to say Liz Uy. She started from the bottom of the fashion world in the Philippines, paid her dues and is now very visible in the international fashion world. I love her style, how she stays true to herself and still helps to promote and celebrate local Filipino designers.
WJ: What’s in your future?
RP: My plan years from now: I hope to be a mother one day and can’t wait to pass on all the life lessons my mom taught me as I was growing up.
What the Stars Say . . .
Rachel Louise Peters (born 20 October 1991) has the Sun in Libra – Moon in Pisces
Her reserve and shyness are her strengths, for in solitude and timidity, she builds up strength and inner poise which, when expressed in the world, lends her personality a peculiar charm that comes from her reserve.
She is sociable, capable of wide popularity, yet, however charming and gracious she may be, people sense that she has depths they cannot probe and an air of mystery hangs around her that increases more interest about her.
She’s impressionable, romantic, just and sincere. She is capable of grasping abstractions and intricacies, both mentally and emotionally and she has a trick of appearing very obvious and plausible when she may be actually very subtle and involved.
She can outguess almost anyone for she is a born diplomat or detective. The crooked ways are straight to her, and, utterly honest herself, she can scent a crook at five hundred yards and track him/her down.
She is intuitive rather than intellectual, and she gleans knowledge from observation rather than from deep study. She is a student of human nature and knows her fellow men with a disturbing accuracy. She is capable, however, under the spell of romance or adventure, of being fooled in people. This is when she fails to follow her hunches for she is not likely to go far wrong when she follows her secret heart.
This is a position that can bring her considerable prestige through dealing with the general public, and which will make her felt in whatever circle she moves; she has an unusual personality. She can change from expansive to secretive in a minute and is capable of falling into moodiness which can be very dangerous to her peace of mind. She feels the woes of the world keenly; inequalities depress her. She is a lover of justice, and of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
If with some aspect, she has a highly idealistic mind, artistic and conscious of social needs. This is a position of the philosophic Utopian, rather than of the revolutionary, who will none the less work practically for the betterment of the people and for her own betterment.