The se­cret to St­effi's win­ning streak

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - By KARLA RULE Photo by YA­SUNARI RA­MON TAGUCHI en­ter­tain­ment@the­free­

Eas­ily one of Cebu’s most pop­u­lar faces, St­effi Rose Pear­son Aberas­turi is hard to miss. With her bright smile and friendly aura, you might find your­self en­deared to the new­ly­crowned Binib­in­ing Cebu 2018. But lit­tle do on­look­ers know that it took a bit of gloom for her to re­al­ize just how brightly she could shine.

Known as Tepi or Tep­pay to close friends and fam­ily, St­effi was rough around the edges be­fore she be­came a beauty queen. Grow­ing up boy­ish, the fu­ture ti­tle-holder would shoot hoops and play bil­liards with her fa­ther. She pre­ferred much sim­pler clothes back then and didn’t even bother dress­ing up. Her sis­ter Crys­tal Star Aberas­turi-Kang, older by two years, in­tro­duced St­effi to a new form of self-ex­pres­sion.

“My sis­ter, she’s re­ally kikay and su­per girly so she in­flu­enced me a lot,” St­effi tells The Free­man. “She taught me how to wear clothes and put on makeup. Thanks to her I turned out this way!”

St­effi looks up Crys­tal Star: they were part­ners-in-crime, fren­e­mies and the best of friends. But she re­vealed it was a “great chal­lenge” to grow up with some­one as beau­ti­ful as Crys­tal. The way peo­ple show­ered Crys­tal with com­pli­ments did not go un­no­ticed for St­effi. She didn’t har­bor ill-feel­ings though but in­stead, she put Crys­tal – a Miss Man­daue 2011 1st run­ner-up, Miss Man­daue Miss Cebu 2014 4th run­ner-up and a Miss Philip­pines Earth 2014 Top 10 fi­nal­ist – on a pedestal.

“I never con­sid­ered her as com­pe­ti­tion,” St­effi said. “Rather, a best friend and an in­spi­ra­tion.”

While their par­ents aren’t form Cebu (her fa­ther is from Mal­it­bog, Leyte while her mother hails from San Fran­cisco, in Min­danao), St­effi grew up in Liloan. With just the four of them, St­effi’s par­ents kept a close eye on their daugh­ters, some­thing young St­effi didn’t fully com­pre­hend. Like any head­strong youth, she be­moaned her folks’ re­stric­tions.

“Grow­ing up, I never re­ally had the free­dom I wanted be­cause I have strict par­ents. I would al­ways com­plain and get mad at them be­cause I never re­ally un­der­stood their pur­pose,” said



St­effi, now more ma­ture and un­der­stand­ing. “As I grew older, I re­al­ized all the things they did was all for my own good and I’m thank­ful that I grew into the per­son they wanted me to be­come: a re­spon­si­ble, smart young lady.”

Now 24 years old, St­effi ad­mires her par­ents greatly. They are her big­gest in­flu­ence. Among the many things they taught her are hu­mil­ity and the value of fam­ily.

“It’s be­cause of my par­ents’ love that I am brought in this beau­ti­ful world and they didn’t only teach me how to hum­ble my­self to­wards oth­ers, but they taught me the most im­por­tant thing in this world and that’s fam­ily,” she said. “Be­cause of my par­ents’wis­dom, I am liv­ing my life full of hap­pi­ness and gen­uine love to­wards the peo­ple around me.”

She also con­sid­ers her par­ents as her great­est men­tors. St­effi be­lieves that ev­ery­thing starts at home, which is why she val­ues her fam­ily so much.

Per­haps, the re­stric­tions al­lowed St­effi to be­come more ami­able. When peo­ple meet her for the first time, St­effi said that peo­ple’s first im­pres­sion of her is that she’s a happy per­son.

“They’re right. The more they get to know me, I’m more bub­bly and funny,” said St­effi, who loves to read books and go on food trips.

When she’s not grac­ing one event af­ter the other in the metro, you might chance upon St­effi on the beach. She loves go­ing on trips, with the beach her happy place. Spend­ing time un­der the sun with her fam­ily is her ab­so­lute fa­vorite thing to do. Re­cently, St­effi went scuba div­ing and can’t wait un­til her next ex­cur­sion.

Join­ing pageants at a very young age, St­effi al­ready has a bunch of crowns un­der her belt. At first, it was the pres­tige and aes­thet­ics of pageantry that drew her in. See­ing all the beau­ti­ful, con­fi­dent women, St­effi loved the ex­trav­a­gant gowns and the sparkly crowns. As she learned more about the in­dus­try, the Tourism Man­age­ment cum laude grad­u­ate from the Univer­sity of San


be­gan to see be­yond the glitz and glam­our. “When I was young, I was al­ways fas­ci­nated by women wear­ing beau­ti­ful gowns. But what re­ally caught my at­ten­tion is that be­ing part of a pageant gives you the chance to in­spire peo­ple, touch lives, pro­mote your ad­vo­cacy and make a dif­fer­ence to your­self and oth­ers,” St­effi shared.

While pageantry is mere en­ter­tain­ment for oth­ers, for St­effi, it’s the thing that gave her di­rec­tion. While it was all fun dur­ing the countless muse com­pe­ti­tions she’s joined, her pas­sion for the in­dus­try has brought her to big­ger stages and plat­forms to make a change.

“I just en­joy and love pageantry. It gives me a sense of di­rec­tion,” St­effi quipped. “It’s a chance for me to share my pas­sion, tal­ent, pro­mote my ad­vo­cacy and for the peo­ple to hear my voice.”

Pageantry and modelling has be­come so much more than just a ca­reer for her. It has also

Binib­in­ing Cebu 2018 St­effi Rose Aberas­turi

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