Brave Spirit: Chiara Romulo Squillantini
The stunning Chiara Romulo Squillantini is truly an understated beauty. Admittedly not really one to dress up or wear a lot of makeup, Squillantini gives off an easy-going, unassuming vibe that is instantly likeable. Born and raised in Manila, she grew up playing sports and nurturing a competitive spirit. “Being competitive can be good and bad,”she grins. “It can be good that in that it pushes me to be the best that I can be, but also bad because it makes losing so much worse… Growing up playing sports really helped me a lot in life, as it taught me how to work under pressure, to never give up until the very end, to concentrate and focus, and to play hard but work harder.”
Having just recently begun her college life abroad—taking business administration and Marketing at Chapman University—Squillantini is excited about in this new phase of her life. “So far, the experience has been amazing!” she beams. “This is my first time living abroad and living away from family, so this is kind of my first taste of the ‘real world.’ Living in the States, I have to be independent and do things by myself. I feel a lot more grown up, and I’m not scared to be alone. For me, the best part is how much freedom I have.” While she enjoys this time to grow away from the family, she truly values the fact that her family is with her a hundred percent of the way, even when she’s miles away. “Family is so important because they provide love, support, and shape your moral values. They will stick by you in any situation and they will believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself,” she reflects. “They help you a lot with personal growth as you experience both joy and sorrow with them. Even if they can be very harsh, they will always tell you the truth, even if it hurts.”
“Family means unconditional love. There is no judgment. Even if there are arguments, they will always be there to protect you.”
1. Is there a specific life experience that has helped shape you into the person you are today?
I think what has shaped me the most about who I am today is the fact that my family has always been such an integral part of who I am. They’re very hands-on with my personal life. (Laughs.) There’s a boon and a bane to everything. But, really, they have always been there to guide and direct me. When I was growing up, of course, I couldn’t really understand it. They always seemed so strict. But they’ve been very successful in keeping me grounded. I’m also really close to my brother, we’re actually only a year and a half apart. It’s just great to have my kind of support system in everything that I do. My family is so close-knit and I think it’s great. My tias are messaging me, my grandmother even Whatsapps me. Really! We’ll all be in Seoul and I’ll send her pictures of what I’m eating. (Laughs.) So that’s been really great.
2. Take us through a typical day.
Because of my body clock, I wake up at 6 a.m., no fail. I’m a morning person. First thing I’ll do is open my emails and check whatever I’ve missed. After that, I’m with my colleagues—we’ll meet and get stuff done. Then, maybe, just do a few more meetings and then in the afternoon, I’ll try get a workout in. I visit some of the studios as part of the stuff I do. The biggest perk about my job is that I get to go to work in my workout clothes and do my meetings in them, then sneak a workout in.
3. At the time of this interview, you’re flying out to Madrid tomorrow. As you’ve said, you love traveling, and you truly travel a lot. Why is it such a passion? What is your favorite city right now?
I love exploring the world. I love to be able to immerse in different cultures. It’s one of the things I find most humbling. Especially here in Manila—sometimes we tend to get a bit jaded, a tad closed-minded. When you go abroad, you see different cultures and different people, you get reminded that you are just a speck in this world. There is just more to life than just your life, a life beyond your work and your routine. Otherwise, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited has to be Edinburgh, in Scotland. It’s just so beautiful! Edinburgh is the city where J.K. Rowling actually wrote Harry Potter, on the second floor of a café. So, when you go there, it feels like Harry Potter come to life. Their schools feel like castles, everything feels surreal—it just feels like you are transported to a different world… And those are my kind of places—places that take you somewhere else and you feel transported from how things look and are here in Manila.
4. If you can travel to any place in the world, where would you go?
If I could travel anywhere I would travel to a place I have never been to: Australia. I would love to visit Australia because it looks so beautiful and relaxing. I would love to go hang out at the beach and do fun activities such as surfing on Bondi Beach, play beach volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, and other beach activities. I would love to visit the famous Sydney Opera House and harbor, as well as the great parks, delicious food, and drinks, and apparently there are lots of free stuff to do. More importantly, there are kangaroos everywhere! I have yet to see a kangaroo. I love how you can just go for a run outside and you’ll see kangaroos along your trail.
5. What are you most excited for in your future? How about in five years’ time?
In five years’ time, I may probably be fresh out of college and going straight to graduate school. I’m not really sure where or what I am going to do, but I hope it’s something I’m passionate about, and that I am happy. I consider myself to be a creative person, as I like to think outside the box to create unique and artistic ideas. This is why I hope to work in the field of marketing and advertising. I love trying to think of catchy slogans for a club or even a witty Instagram caption.
This feature appeared in Metro Society Magazine
Written by Justin Alexandra Convento
Photography by JC Inocian
Makeup by Patrick Alcober
Hairstyling by Mong Amado