An hour before the interview — as I walked across the studio in Yvonne’s Creative Showroom, Miss Singapore World 2009 Pilar Arlando flashed me a million-dollar smile, without any idea that I was going to interview her. I have to admit that won me over immediately. Clearly, there was more to this beauty queen than met the eye.
City News spoke to Arlando as she was being fitted for her competition outfits. She donned a gorgeous red V-neck evening gown detailed with silver sequins and diamante beads for the first round of her photo shoot. Next, she changed to an elegant yellow Peranakan-inspired gown — the outfit that represents Singapore’s “national costume”. Each time the photographer asked her to pose this way and that, Arlando obliged with a smile and a quick reply “sure. There were no airs about this young lady. During the sportswear photo shoot, she gamely posed for the photographers and even did a split, wowing everyone with her flexibility.
|Arlando in an elegant yellow Peranakan-inspired gown|
By day, Pilar Carmelita Anastasia Arlando is a 20-year-old student studying in MDIS. She majors in travel, tourism and hospitality management. Her exotic and good-looking features come from her Portuguese-Dutch mother and Indian-Chinese descent father.
“My first love is dance,” said the Roman Catholic, in explanation for her acrobatic poses. Well-versed in contemporary jazz, ballet, hip hop and modern dance, Arlando has been dancing since the age of 5. Amidst her busy schedule, dance is the one thing she makes time for — it’s her platform for self-expression. It’s no surprise then, dance would be her display during the talent segment of the Miss Singapore World Pageant in Africa this coming December.
Arlando has two upcoming pageants and school examinations all happening over the next six months.
|Arlando with her acrobatic poses|
“I just have to take it in my stride, these are my responsibilities,” said Arlando. “I take it a day at a time, plan my time wisely. This season has taught me a lot of time management and to treasure my time.”
|PHOTOS: Gary Sim
As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Arlando has a deep passion for community work and projects. Get her started on the topic and she’s not likely to stop soon. As she reminisced about her involvement at the Down Syndrome Tea Party, Action of Singapore dogs Tea Party and Bowling Session with the Down Syndrome Association, she is filled with giggles and wistful looks. What sparked her passion was a 16-year-old girl she met at one of the Down’s Syndrome events. “Arassi was what really drew me closer to [the Down’s Syndrome Association] and wanting to help them more”
It’s obvious that Pilar Arlando isn’t your average Singaporean girl. This beauty with a purpose chose to celebrate her recent birthday at a children’s home. “I told my Mom, I wanted to do something different and meaningful for my birthday this year.”