When it comes to Filipinos and pageants, 2018 was a milestone year. Just days before Catriona Gray brought home the crown for Miss Universe, artist and philanthropist Aditi Ahuja was crowned at the Mrs. Universe 2018 pageant, held last December 10, 2018 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino.
Ahuja, 39, represented West Pacific Asia and competed against 88 contestants from around the world. She won the crown and award for Mrs. Universe Joy 2018 and Mrs. Universe Generosity 2018, a recognition of her social work endeavors in the Philippines.
“I was overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude for this title,” shares Ahuja. “For me, it completely depicts what I am, my heart and my work, it’s a consolidation of my advocacy and beliefs—when we care for others, our own strength to live increases. The passion to help is equivalent to the passion to lead a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.” She adds that with her win, she wants to spread awareness amongst the young women and kids of our society to believe in the inherent potential of
becoming happy in whatever circumstances they’re born in, or currently experiencing.
For nine years, Ahuja has been involved with local institutions that support her advocacies related to children and young women. She works with the Mahavir Foundation to provide artificial limbs to the handicapped, the Tahanan Ng Pagmamahal to provide homes for abandoned children, Marilac Hills to aid sexually abused girls and women, the Nazareth Home to support single mothers, and the Ms. Possibilities Foundation to support women and children with special needs.
Born in Lucknow, India, Ahuja moved to the Philippines in 2009 with her family and began a career as a contemporary artist alongside her charity work. She put up her first solo exhibit, The Spiritual Magma: A World-at-Large Series at the Qube Gallery in Cebu on October 2015. Currently, she runs Sprout: A Comprehensive Art Curriculum, an art and creativity enhancement workshops on weekends, and plans another solo exhibit by early 2020.
An occasional model, Ahuja has also been recognized as one of Manila’s Best Dressed Women in 2017, and does modeling assignments for a cause.
Mrs. Universe was founded in 2007, with its inaugural pageant held in El Salvador. The competition is open to married women ages 18-55. It takes pride in recognizing honorable women in society, and providing them with a forum to share their advocacies, as well as solutions on how to help their local communities.
ON JOINING HER FIRST PAGEANT:
“This was my first time to participate at a pageant at this global level. When this came my way, I had a thought-provoking reflection and knew I was going for it and giving my best. Moreover, I wanted to experience the entire process, be a part of one of the most reputed pageants, meet a circle of influential ladies across the globe, build associations, and also make my friends, family and the entire community proud.”
ON THE ROAD TO THE CROWN:
“It was like riding on unchartered oceans with each day testing you with a new challenge. I knew our every move was under evaluation through the highly demanding days. Aligning myself with the expectations of the pageant and preparing to be one of the top 88 women from all across the globe was exciting, thought-provoking, and nerve breaking at the same time, but the support of friends, family, and my community was unbelievable. “
ON GIVING BACK:
“I believe none of us are complete without the spirit of giving and pursuing a difference in the societies we live in. We as human beings must not function in isolation, but care about our society at large. If each one of us start thinking this way, the world would be a better place.
I follow a concept of oneness of life and environment that is instituted by a Buddhist philosophy of Soka Gakkai International. It’s based on the humanistic philosophy of compassion, and love and courage, thus leading to global peace. Practicing this further opened up my path towards social work. Contributing and making a difference in the society has made the whole journey of life more meaningful and rewarding. “
ON FINDING BALANCE BETWEEN BEING A WIFE, MOTHER, AND CAREER
“Managing this symphony of different roles is self-energizing. I’m blessed to have a very supportive family, a very caring partner, and kind and loving kids who trust me. It definitely gets challenging, but my passion to create value in every moment of life is what gives me the courage and compassion to keep all of it afloat together.”
Holy Week Must-Haves
Going on a trip? Look stunning and stylish on your Holy Week trip with these must-haves.
There are plenty of ways to spend the Holy Week. Some people prefer to stay at home and fast while some people prefer to go out of town to spend the week. Contrary to the belief that traveling during this time is risky because of the superstition that evil spirits are lurking amongst us, most people actually enjoy going to beaches or mountains to have a fun and relaxing time with their family or friends during the long holiday.
Of course, planning the trip took some time for you and you’re cramming on your shopping on what things you need to bring with you on your vacation. That is why we listed a couple of things that you must pack with you on your trip because we want you to look good and stylish during this Holy Week.
Benefit Gimme Brow Gel and Bad Gal Bang Mascara
Waterproof makeup is a must when going on beach vacations. The Benefit Gimme Brow Gel and their Bad Gal Bang Mascara are best brought when it comes to trips like this. Have fleeky brows using the Gimme Brow Gel with its formula that is created with microfibers that makes your brows full-looking. Their Bad Gal Bang Mascara also makes your lashes pop with their gravity defying formula that even after a long day, your lashes will surely still have that volume. Both of these products are water-resistant and long lasting so you don’t have to worry of having to retouch while you’re enjoying your day.
Origins Vitazing SPF 15
One thing we’re all worried about when going on vacations is how we can protect our skin from the sun. The Origins Vitazing SPF 15 will surely come in handy when going to vacations. It’s a moisturizer, a foundation and a sunscreen, all in one product. The Origins Vitazing SPF 15 will help you look fresh and clear while protecting you from damaging your skin from the sun exposure that carries UV rays.
Maryan Mehlhorn ‘Fusion’ (Hibiscus) Underwired Bikini
This swimwear by Maryan Mehlhorn will definitely bring you that confident vacation vibe this Holy Week. The luxurious bikini is designed with a mixture of prints that will make you look stylish and fashionable as you enjoy swimming in the waters or sunbathing in the sand. Made and designed to fit all shapes, this swimwear will surely make you look and feel elegant yet sexy once you wear it at the beach.
Lilly Pulitzer Castilla Cover Up in Resort White
If there’s anything you can’t be without when going to a beach, it would be a cover up. Cover ups always create the look, especially on photos. There are many kinds of cover ups available but this one from Lilly Pulitzer just looks so stunning with its flowy cloth and tassel designs which would really add the beachy vibe to your outfit. Plus, it matches the Maryan Mehlhorn swimwear mentioned earlier.
Dolce and Gabbana Butterfly Acetate Glasses
Look classy throughout your vacation with Dolce and Gabbana’s Butterfly Acetate Glasses. These square-shaped glasses would not only protect your eyes from the sun, but it would also make you look stylish and cute when you wear this at beach. Definitely, it will match any outfit that you choose to pair it with.
Cult Gaia’s Gaias Ark Bag
The Ark Bag from Cult Gaia is a staple and a classic to the brand. This bag from Cult Gaia is made from bamboo and it displays its iconic arc shape that not only is stylish but is also easy to carry with you wherever you go. It’s also very spacious and it can carry all your beach essentials such as sunblock, sunglasses and your camera.
Lapin House Straw Sun Hat
Known for its style and function, a vacation look is never complete without a cute floppy hat. Lapin House’s Straw Sun Hat would really look cute on you with its white ribbon band on top that would totally match the Lilly Pulitzer Cover Up or any outfit that you’ll be wearing. It’s also big enough to protect your face from direct exposure to sunlight and we want none of that.
Lady Rustan Dei Thin Cross Strap Sandals
A simple yet stunning sandals would complete your vacation look and adding a Lady Rustan sandals in leather should do the trick. These sandals would be perfect with any outfit that you have in mind and it’s good for walks on the sand. You can either get the brown one or the white one for the perfect beach look.
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
A polaroid camera is always a must when going on a vacation. Capture precious moments with Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ6. It’s better than your regular polaroid camera because it prints bigger films that will capture the beauty of every scene that you take, may it be a landscape of a place or it can just be a picture of you and your loved ones that you went to vacation with.
Enjoy a Funtastic Easter Sunday with the Kids at Rustans
Easter is just a skip away, and for kids it’s really a super fun holiday.
Egg-citing treats and surprises await them at the Rustan’s Easter Party on Sunday, April 21, 2 p.m. at the Rustan’s Children’s Department, Ayala Center Cebu. For a minimum single receipt purchase of P 3,000 from the Kids’ Department, come and enjoy the following:
Sure to delight kids are a selection of food carts filled with yummy sweet and savory snacks.
Easter Egg Hunt
The Easter Bunny hid many colorful Easter eggs at the barnyard for our precious little hunters to find. Hop along and join the search for a chance to win special prizes from our different kids’ brands. Each participant also gets a Kinderjoy egg!
Easter Egg Decorating
Kids get to design and take home their one-of-a-kind egg creation at the Easter egg decorating station.
Crayola Art Activity
Let your kid’s inner artist shine. Make a splash with pastel shades, bright patterns or rainbow colors.
Lego Building Contest
Fancy building an Easter bunny or a giant Easter egg? Let kids’ imaginations take flight with the Lego Building Contest at the Lego Corner. Exciting prizes are in store for those with the most creative and imaginative Lego creations.
It’s going to be a very hoppy Easter celebration at the Rustan’s Department Store.
For more information and updates, visit https://rustans.com.ph and @rustansph on Facebook and Instagram
Here’s What Cebu’s Restaurateurs are Preparing for Easter Week
“For Most Holy week days, we’re most likely out of town. But buona pascqua is huge in Italy. So when we’re in town, we’re spending Sundays around the kitchen. We do gnocchi in all sorts of forms. We’re rolling it, then pan frying, adding reduced liquid , adding meat. Using cauliflower to make it healthier. And how can Easter be without a sweet? A Burnt Caramelized mini “otap” Tart with pear is our choice.” —Kate Anzani, Anzani
“One day this Holy Week, it’s going to be ribeye, mashed potatoes, puttanesca pasta for dinner and homemade tacos & margarita for the afternoon. Other days, we dine out.” —Jan Rodriguez, Weekend
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