There are 4 As in our rep's name - just like the 4 Aces in a deck of cards (Photo credit: Chrome)
courtesy of TheEmeraldvideos
In the 5-card draw of poker, 4 of a Kind can be difficult to beat, especially if a player has 4 Aces in his hand. But then again, another opponent with Straight or Royal Flush can win in a breeze. That’s getting far ahead of this post, though.
What is so interesting about the name of Ariella Arida, or Ara Arida for that matter, is that she has 4 As. If these 4 As are likened to the 4 Aces in a deck of cards, what are her chances of achieving a 4-peat for the Philippines in Miss Universe?
Some quarters might say that our bet is another potential Top 5 placer, while the rest would counter with burning confidence that we should kiss our flickering hopes goodbye given their assessment that Miss Universe Philippines 2013 won’t hold a candle against this year’s batch of contendes, let alone her three predecessors.
But really, what are the four Aces of Ara Arida? Allow me to share my conclusions, then you can offer yours afterwards.
Ace #1: Her versatile face
Ara’s face can shift from one look to the next quite intriguingly. She can be your typical Southeast Asian beauty now then go completely into a hard-to-define-lineage mode after a different styling is applied.
Ace #2: Her catwalk skills
There is no question that pasarela is one of Ara’s strongest suits. She walks with tempered panache and glides like a gazelle. If she keeps on sharpening this skill even more, her style can outshine the criss-crossing gait of Janine Tugonon in Las Vegas last year.
Ace #3: Her over-all aura
One of the reasons why she won Miss Universe Philippines last April is the distinct quality of her over-all aura when she stood side-by-side the other Bb. Pilipinas Gold candidates. She registers so differently on the small screen as compared to how she comes across when face-to-face with the judges. I know that some of you have gotten tired of me saying that you should see Ara in person to fully appreciate her kind of beauty. But truly, you will be hypnotized by her charm and presence up close and personal.
Ace #4: The excitement and anticipation in Miss Philippines
This is the ace that won’t get credited to Ara, but Venus, Shamcey and Janine. And if she chooses to ride the wave they created, then she’d better hang on to the board with caution. Otherwise, a spill is not unlikely. It can only get her far enough. But if she strictly follows through according to game plan, then the pluses will stack in her favor.
On the other hand, it’s not all Aces in Ara’s hand. She has that one remaining card that could spell disaster when the going gets tough in the Q&A. Right now, I still don’t see her thinking on her feet well enough to secure a more spontaneous self in the Top 5. The tendency to sound rehearsed sticks like an oyster shell that cannot be pulled off a rock or a floating wood.
Of course, sounding rehearsed is not 100% bad all the time. If she doesn’t get the luck of an easily-identifiable question from one of the judges, though, then she just might scramble for an answer. Piecing together words and phrases is the hardest when a particular query is far from one’s train of thought or personal belief. Miss Universe specializes in fielding questions that tend to throw off nerve-wracked finalists like the tricky one Venus Raj got way back in 2010 (biggest mistake) or what Miriam Quiambao was asked in 1999 (a pregnant Miss Universe) or the religion-infused Q Shamcey Supsup risked to be firm with in Sao Paulo.
Will she make it?
At the end of the day, Ara Arida has what it takes to match any of the Top 5 placements in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Gunning for 2nd, 4th or 5th is not what all of us Filipinos are dying to get, however. Therefore, she should condition her mind beyond the strong pillars of a “For the Philippines!” hurrah and see to it that she uses all her innate resources to dig deep within and pull out answers that come straight from the heart and not solely from a mental notepad of trained thoughts and ideas. Right now, the Diamond Nexus Lab crown is still more than an arm’s reach away. But who knows? She may be able to inch herself closer than everyone expected.