EXCLUSIVE: Ageless Beauty At 42—Ina Raymundo Takes Us Through Her Story Of Active Living And Graceful Aging
Ina Raymundo has a smile that warms the heart and an aura that charms a room. Youthful in looks and in attitude, she catches the eye the same way she did when she first broke into show business as a fresh-faced teenager 25 years ago.
The inevitability of aging, as it seems, has never been a nemesis of hers, but rather, is something that she wears like a badge of pride.
An ageless beauty is what this mother of five, devoted wife, and lover of all things healthy truly is. And at 42 years old, Ina is the most stunning and confident she's ever been.
On Ina: 1) Leather jacket, inner top, and pants all from Mango. 2) Halter top from Cotton On. Pants from Mango. Earrings from H&M. 3) Black blazer, inner top, and pants from Mango. Earrings from H&M 4) High neck top from Giordano
The wealth in health
"People don’t believe me when I tell them that I have five kids. If only I could record their reactions every time!" Ina laughs with contagious exuberance.
Sporting a trendy, skin-tight black bodysuit and a pair of frill-waisted khaki chinos in preparation for her Metro.Style Ageless Beauty photo shoot, one quickly understands the disbelief many have about the size of her brood or her age: she's fit as a fiddle even in her forties, and her visibly svelte physique is all the proof one needs to know that she prioritizes active living like no other.
Her trim waist, glowing complexion, cascading curls, and bright eyes are all giveaways of her healthy lifestyle, and ultimately, it's what's to thank for why Ina looks as amazing as she does.
"[Beauty is] not just about your outer appearance, but also the inside. It’s really more about your health, because when you're healthy, it will show," she shares as a matter-of-factly.
Settling into her makeup chair, this actress and model goes on to talk more about how making the shift to healthy living was one of the best decisions she made in adulthood. Previously a heavy smoker and a regular in Manila's nightlife scene, Ina admitted that she stewed in unhealthiness for years until she became a mother to her first child at 25. Only then did she decide that major changes were due, as she was not only physically unfit then, but also dealt with gestational diabetes during her pregnancy.
She recalls, "Doon ako natuto. I learned so much from it. I learned the formula to living healthily: what to eat, how many servings of carbohydrates and fat, and even how to exercise."A few months into her new fitness regimen, Ina had discovered that she was, in fact, enjoying being physically fit more than she had anticipated. She willingly traded clubs and parties for the gym and a good outdoor run, and soon enough, it was goodbye forever to alcohol, empty calories, and irregular meal times and hello to a holistic diet, balanced food intake, and consistent sweat sessions.
As Ina continued to build her strength, endurance, and stamina, she noticed that all other aspects of her health improved, too: her skin regained its suppleness and her hair its sheen, stress became much more manageable, she was more energetic throughout the day, and overall, she became a happier and more level-headed individual.
And so, just like that, Ina was hooked on healthy living for life. "Working out" became part and parcel of her beauty vocabulary.
These days, she exercises at least five times a week with varying activities, and strictly eats six small meals a day to manage her metabolism and appetite. Lest others wishing to make the same changes she did be intimidated by her success, she tells them two things: it's never too late to start working out, and when that finally happens, start slow. She herself started with only 10 minute-long workout routines all those years back, but they eventually became the perfect foundation of all the circuit classes, Zumba, high-intensity interval training, and TRX sessions she regularly does today.
As she reaps the benefits of being a certified fitness buff, she regrets only one thing: she wishes she had jumped onto the exercise wagon sooner, but even so, is very much contented about where she is now.
"Nothing can stop me. I enjoy working out because it makes me happy, and being happy is priceless," says Ina.
The art of aging gracefully
Yet even with her commitment to a healthy lifestyle, Ina, who turns 43 this year, acknowledges that all bodies change—including one's face—with time. The process simply cannot be stopped, but what women can do to ease the transition is to practice the art of aging gracefully, which she defines in two ways: learning that less is more, and knowing when to stop.
She alludes to women (and men, too!) who resort to cosmetic procedures to reverse the effects of aging. While she recognizes the benefits of altering one's appearance to feel more confident and secure about one's self, she balances out the view with the very real possibility of becoming addicted to the practice and going overboard.
There's a real danger in depending on invasive procedures to maintain youthfulness, and so for those who consider it a serious option, Ina stresses the importance of having self-control.
"I don't blame people who do it. It’s really to boost their confidence, and they really do look beautiful afterwards. But what's a waste is if they're already beautiful to begin with and they do these things, and then they end up looking different," she elaborates.
Hence, she suggests to keep cosmetic procedures at a minimum whenever possible. She uses herself as an example: she simply goes to her dermatologist for a monthly facial and intense pulse light treatment (IPL) sessions every three months. As a non-invasive procedure, IPL lessens the appearances of hyperpigmentation, texture inconsistencies, and open pores, among other things. Going under the knife is just something that's never appealed to Ina.
"I get offered many times to do things, but right now, I am just trying to age gracefully. I do not like it when people tell me, 'You need this, or you need that.' Let’s be realistic. I'm 42. I am not 25, so I can’t look like I'm 25. It’s really your mindset; you have to accept your age," Ina firmly advises.
As for skincare, she's a moisture addict just like her mom, and slathers the appropriate products on her face, body, and feet without fail ("I moisturize every single day even when it's extremely hot, and even if I’m oily. I don’t care!" she exclaims). In particular, she swears by Hyal-C Serum that's packed with Vitamin C that gives it natural skin-firming properties for her face, the old Vaseline and sock trick for her feet to keep them smooth, and once a day lotion application for everything else to keep skin feeling baby soft.
But at the end of the day, and spoken like a true health advocate, Ina says that nothing beats the glow that comes only from feeding one's body with the right things. Many women often discount the importance of eating healthily and exercising in relation to looking beautiful; more than owning all the high-end cosmetics and skincare products the world has to offer, it's what goes in—rather than what's applied outside—that matters the most.
Thank you Jennifer, Demi, Meryl, and Madonna, too!
Looking back at her journey to fitness, Ina gives herself a well-deserved pat on the back for how hard she's worked to get to where she is. On the days when she needs an extra hand to stay focused—the temptation to slack off never completely goes away—she looks up to the likes of other ageless beauties like Jennifer Lopez, Demi Moore, and Meryl Streep who represent their age groups beautifully.
These Hollywood heavyweights are constantly lured into adopting less than ideal lifestyles, yet have made the conscious effort to stay away from permanently damaging habits.
Legendary singer Madonna, in particular, will always have a special spot in Ina's memory as she was the first woman in entertainment she saw whose body type matched that of her pre-teen self and encouraged her to love her shape.
"When I was a little girl, I saw her ripped arms and I said, 'I like that!' I was able to relate because even at a young age, I had muscular arms; they already had cuts! People even mistook me for a boy because of them. When I saw her, I realized that I wasn't weird because there were other girls with muscular arms. I embraced them," she reflects.
And with that, Ina sends her own message of body positivity, too.
Once a skinny girl who had unproportioned strong arms, she had to work twice as hard to bulk up. In the past, she's dealt with her fair share of insecurities despite the self-confidence she enjoys today. And so, to women who are made to feel like they're too heavy, too thin, too curvy, too flat, or too much or too little of anything, Ina has one and only one message: ignore them, and just concentrate on being healthy.
In reality, there are a ton of body shapes that don't adhere to a single ideal figure. Rather than force themselves to fit into a predetermined mold of a supposedly "beautiful" body, women should aspire to be healthy, then everything else will follow: beauty, confidence, and happiness.
As a concluding thought, Ina says, "Everyone goes through aging, but you can definitely slow it down. That’s why it’s best to take good care of yourself by eating healthy, working out and having yourself checked regularly. It’s a lot of work especially for women, as they have more to check in their bodies. Be vigilant about everything, not just about your looks, but your health too.”
And that is how to be a woman free from the worries of aging, a woman who is happy and whole no matter the changes her body goes through, and no matter where life takes her.
Produced by Kate Paras-Santiago
Art Direction by Butchie Peña
Photography by Seven Barretto
Makeup by John Pagaduan
Hairstyling by Francis Guintu
Styling by Gelie Manansala
Liason editor: Francis Simeon
Video producer: Joan Ko
Videography by Pat Buenaobra
Video editing by Gary Encarnacion