diana meneses | fhm october 2011

Finally, your very own cover! Parabéns!
Yes, that’s right. I’m very honored FHM got me for the cover. I’ve been asked to be on the cover before, but I wasn’t prepared yet at the time. Then I did a shoot for your 10th anniversary issue. Now, cover na ako and I’m very, very happy. It feels good!

Likewise. Before anything else, can you please tell the story about how you ended up on our shores?
I started modeling at 17 and I’ve been to China, Korea, Thailand, Singapore and here because of it. I first went here in 2006 to do a shampoo commercial and Xander [Angeles] was actually my photographer. After that first visit, I would always go back after a stint in another country ended. I met so many friends here kasi. Then I had to return in 2007 for a wedding of a Filipino friend. I’ve never left since. I decided to stay and I was just so lucky to get a regular job [at Eat Bulaga!]. Kasi when you’re modeling, you always have to go to a different place, adjust to different countries and cultures, and that was getting a little bit tiring for me. I know I can’t be a model forever, so I saw it as a big opportunity to become, you know, a celebrity or whatever you would call me.

And you never found this opportunity elsewhere?
Whenever I go to a different country, iniisip ko kung ano kaya ang makikita ko roon, sino kaya magiging friends ko roon and everything. Then I keep the good memories [I had there]. I realized the Philippines was the best country I’ve been to. I left some things here that were worth returning to, things that made me really Pinay by heart.

You became a household name thanks to Eat Bulaga!. What did you know of the show before you joined it?
I actually auditioned for the show because there was a bunch of Brazilian models who wanted to be part of a Filipino TV show. Some of them, kagaya ko, hindi marunong mag-Tagalog. But I think the effort I showed trying to learn your language was what convinced them to pick me. And I’m very, very lucky to still be a part of it after four years.