Maria Isabela Galeria already knows her lifelong dream after getting her diploma in Nursing. When the time she received her license, she had already set her mind to pursue a career for fashion. It is a little‑known fact that she started first from being a model. She has always dreamt of seeing her face on the cover of magazines and billboards in EDSA. “It is one of the best decisions in my life. Every time I walk down the runway or strike a pose for [the] camera, it hits a different feeling in my heart,” Galeria said. Luckily, she got scouted by Yeoh Navarrete, her current stylist.

As she transitions to being a beauty queen, she got a lot of inspirations especially from her dad. Through her dad’s passion and interest in pageantry, it motivated her to join Miss Mandaluyong, a month before joining Binibining Pilipinas. “My dad has always been a fan of beauty pageants. I grew up watching Binibining Pilipinas annually with him.”

Spotted Beauty had a chance to talk to her, where she described to us her journey in reintroducing herself through her dreams and passions, shared her fashion inspos and beauty tips, and what she thinks to the future of pageantry and fashion industry.

Do you have plans in going back to the medical field?
If I have an opportunity to go back to school and study Medicine, probably after modelling.

Any particular beauty queen who you really look up to?
There is quite a lot of beauty queens I look up to, but my most favorite queen would be Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach! She is an example of an empowered woman and a woman of substance and a heart!

What are your memorable experiences or learnings from being a beauty queen?
As cliché as it may sound, one of the most memorable lessons I had as a beauty queen is to be yourself. In the world of pageantry, a lot of people will try to morph you into the typical beauty queen stereotype, but you need to be strong enough not to be swayed. You are your own person.

Were there specific situations that made you think you were living your life as a beauty queen?
When people ask for photos with me, it makes my heart flutter every single time.

Skincare hacks or beauty tips?
Do not forget to put on some blush!

Having all these experiences as a beauty queen, what sparked your love for fashion?
Growing up, I have always collected magazines. I have always been a fan of fashion ever since I was a child. Fashion has always been part of my life even before I joined pageantry.

What is like being a model during this lockdown?
Surprisingly, my career has been steadily good during this pandemic. I am forever grateful to God for giving me so much opportunities to showcase my skills and talent.

Is there a fashion piece that essentially describes your style?
Black Dress – Just chic and elegant!

Any icons who influenced your style?
Heart Evangelista, the one and only!

You surely like reinventing yourself. What can you share to anyone who wanted to pursue a career in the pageantry or fashion industry? Any tips for those who are just starting?
Do not be afraid to show your true self. Show confidence – confidence is the key to everything!

What do you think is the future of pageantry and fashion industry especially during this pandemic?
Bright! We are surely adapting to the new normal. Beauty pageants and fashion shows are getting back on track.

Lastly, do have plans on joining another national pageant?
Let us see! In God’s perfect timing…

Make sure to follow her Instagram account, @mariaisabelagaleria, for more updates on what she will do next. As always, she is going to surprise us!

Craving for some mouthwatering Spanish dishes? Visit Un Cuenca at Molito Lifestyle Center, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
For reservations, you may call or text them at 8815-4811, 09173161726.

Photography: Roj Miguel
Styling and creative direction: Robin Rodriguez
Makeup and Beauty Editor: Mauri Estrada
Hair Styling: Valerie Corpuz
Model: Maria Isabela Galeria
Words: Simone Sindol
Shot on location: The WRKSPACE

Special Thanks to;
Spotted Magazine Editor-in-chief Von Buenconsejo
Roman Sebastian of RS Creations
Ms. Farah Abu of Farah Abu Accessories
Chef Davey Estrada and Chef Paolo Cuenca of Un Cuenca Restaurant