WATCH: Behind The Scenes With Metro.Style Cover Girl Katarina Rodriguez, Plus 10 Cool-Girl Things About Her!
Beauty, brains, and brawn—Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st Runner-Up and Metro.Style's first cover girl Katarina Rodriguez may be a beauty queen and top model, but this global Pinay and former athlete sure is more than just a beautiful face and body, too! This 25-year-old's life journey thus far has taught her valuable lessons that allow her to have wisdom beyond her years. When she's not conquering the stage or the runway, she is slaying in life and its different aspects.
Here are 10 fun and interesting things about Katarina, plus more photos from her Metro.Style cover shoot:
Top by Ha.Mu Studios, pants by Mikee Andrei, and earrings from Flutter Statement Jewelry
1. Her childhood dreams were far from modeling. While some young girls dream of a glamorous life as a model, young Katarina saw herself living a far more colorful and out of this world (literally!) life. “I wanted to be part of the circus for a really long time. It’s so colorful and exciting! I loved elephants; elephant is one of my favorite—if not my favorite—animals. I loved movies that had big productions, fireworks, and I thought, when I was young, the closest you could get to that is the circus,” She told Metro.Style. “When I got over that phase, I wanted to be an astronaut. I loved the stars, the moon, the planets. And my older brother was into that at the time, so I found interest in it as well.”
2. Although it’s an unpleasant experience, Katarina thinks that, at some point, people need to go through some form of bullying, to strengthen one’s character. When she was in middle school, Katarina started out as a student who was never really noticed until she got more active in extra-curricular activities, and she became one of the cool kids. That’s when she got bullied, but that experience not only showed her who her true friends are, it also “gave me such tough skin now.” On bullying, Katarina says, “It’s part of life. I think every person really needs to go through that.” Today, bullying has taken on a new form with online bashing, and Katarina has experienced that as well. The models on Asia’s Next Top Model Season 2 and the Binibining Pilipinas beauty queens that she worked with would ask her, “Do you not get affected?” To which, she would reply, “I don’t know these people. I will never know them. They are not really justified to say anything. As long as I know that I’m not hurting anyone, and I haven’t offended anyone, I’m okay. Anything else anyone says, I don’t really mind.”
3. She failed her first two exams on her Introduction to Philosophy class, and that was what motivated her to take up further studies in Philosophy. Katarina enjoyed her Philosophy classes in De La Salle University. She says, “What kind of influenced me was a professor of an Introduction to Philo class in La Salle. I was very into the class. I would always raise my hand and ask questions. I was so interested. Our professor gave four exams, and that’s what you’re being graded on. The first two exams, I failed. I was like, ‘Why did I fail? How did I fail? I know this stuff.’ After the second exam, I asked him, ‘What’s wrong? Why am I failing? What did I do wrong?’ Then he explained to me how you are supposed to answer philosophical questions in essay form. Once he explained it, the last two tests, I got a hundred, because it made so much sense, the logical order and how to explain things.”
Vest dress by Norte, necklace by Hermès, diamond stud earrings from Uber Finds, and suede boots by H&M
4. Her favorite branch of Philosophy is existentialism. Oxford dictionary defines existentialism as “a philosophical theory or approach which emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of will.” On why she loves existentialism, Katarina says, “It helps you. It makes you think of the background of things. It makes you expand your thought process.” After taking the meaning of existentialism to heart, Katarina became more mindful of her actions. For example, back when she was a contestant on Asia’s Next Top Model, she had a hard time getting the best photo in the photoshoot challenges. Once she thought about how existentialism is supposed to work in this kind of situation, she realized there were other things she had to consider to get the best photo, such as the lighting, the angle, and what is required by the client or director for the photo.
5. She believes that, to have a successful photoshoot, the trust between the model and the photographer is very important. Katarina starred on the first Metro.Style cover, wherein she worked with some of her friends in the industry, like stylist PJ Almera, makeup artist Katchie Mejias, and hairstylist MJ Rone. But it was her first time to work with photographer Ria Regino. Even so, there was obvious chemistry between them as evident in the stunning final photos. Katarina shares, “This is my first time working with Ria, but we had this bond that you have to have because we are working. I have to trust her, and she has to trust me. I have to trust that she will get a great shot of me. She has to trust that I will give her my best. It’s really cool, right? It’s just a complete stranger who you’re kind of collaborating with and it’s this rhythm that goes back and forth. We connect.”
6. Being a beauty queen is more than just having a beautiful face. “I kept thinking what makes an international beauty queen, and I realized it’s a series of things: the styling, the manners and the etiquette, and the branding and packaging. It’s the combination of all of these things, and you kind of have to perfect each one in your own way and weave them together to create that international beauty queen.”
Swimwear from Negritas and bangles from Uber Finds
7. Her fashion style icon is Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo. Although she prefers “chill and really basic clothes,” there are also times when she likes to dress up. Recently, she’s been trying on trendy and statement-making outfits. But her closet staples include “nice pair of jeans and really comfortable t-shirts. I like standard colors—black, white, blue. I invest in basic items and basic apparel.”
8. She can do full makeup in 20 minutes! Because she was so used to having full makeup on (and doing her own makeup!) throughout the pageant, Katarina admits, “Now, I can’t even go outside with my face not made up.” The current beauty trends she is experimenting with are “rose gold tones, purply eyeshadows, nude lips, and bronze eyshadow.”
9. After the Miss Intercontinental 2017 coronation night, Katarina stayed in Egypt—where the pageant took place—for two more weeks. What was the best part of the trip for her? The food! “I’m not a foodie. But for some reasons, in Egypt, I wanted to eat everything. The food was so good.” Her favorites were kofta and feteer.
10. Forever bitten by the travel bug, Katarina hopes to see and experience more places here and abroad. The places on her bucketlist include Greece, any place where she can see the Northern Lights, Capetown in South Africa, and Australia.
Off-shoulder sweater and hoop earrings both from Uber Finds and pants from Norte
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Ria Regino
Videography by Emem Borito and Viann Montalba
Styling by PJ Almera
Makeup by Katchie Mejias of New Monarq Creativx using Nars Cosmetics
Hairstyling by MJ Rone for Revlon Professional
Shoot assistant: Judy Arias