With a name like Marina Pura Abad Santos Benipayo, one would think that the lady is a throwback to the Carnival Queens of long ago. But not this Marina. She is every inch a modern Filipina who, in her pageant time, held the title of Miss Maja Pilipinas 1992 but ended up representing the country in Miss World instead. That’s the twist of fate that favored her. And the lost opportunity of the original Bb. Pilipinas World 1992 Marilen Espino who contracted chicken pox just when she was ready to experience the once-in-a-lifetime experience of going to Sun City in South Africa. Marina-to-the-Rescue mode.
After fulfilling all her obligations to BPCI, Marina went back to modeling and her star on the runway soared higher than ever before. After all, she was already a beauty titleholder and her constant appearances in fashion shows were enough to interest a lot of people, especially the uninitiated who never knew that she was already at the top of her game before joining Bb. Pilipinas 1992. Through the years, she was on an eternal quest to reinvent herself as a career person, while maintaining her status as one of the country’s top runway divas and a driving force behind the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP). She became a writer for Philippine Daily Inquirer with her own column – ‘Bylines‘ – where she always unleashes her penned thoughts and opinions on an assortment of subject matters. And wanting to impart her knowledge and inspire the young ones, she took on teaching/training stints at the School for the Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). But what really hooked her up to the masses are recurring acting stints in some of ABS-CBN’s Primetime Teleseryes like “Mirabella” and “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin” (I Will Just Love You Tomorrow). She is now part of the network’s stable of character actresses who will never run out of projects if she chooses to sign up for all the offers. On the personal side, she continues to sustain a healthy and loving relationship with Richard Go (actor Ricardo Cepda to you) and is able to build a strong bond with the latter’s teenaged kids and vice versa. She has two sons – Mark and Joshua – from her marriage with César Vincenzo de Sequera.
Good luck in all your future endeavors, Marina! And may my style of writing for your Senti Sunday Special merit a passing grade. 😉