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Feature Story

Inside and out, a beauty to behold

Shamcey Supsup does the tsunami walk on the road to health and wellness.

By Maan D'Asis Pamaran


A lot of girls dream about becoming Miss Universe when they grow up. Shamcey Supsup was not one of them. “It was my mom who was very insistent that I join. I finally gave in last 2011, because it was the last year that I [could] be eligible age-wise.” Her mom Marcelina, a civil engineer and former beauty titlist in her own hometown, believed that joining Binibining Pilipinas would help Shamcey develop poise and, well, personal presentation. “I was never a girly girl. I grew up with my dad as my mom was working abroad, and whenever she came home, she would be horrified at what she saw!” she laughs.

From galis to finesse

“I played outdoors all the time and I got so dark and thin—and I had all this galis! She would buy me girly dresses, but I went back to my tomboyish ways when she left again. I only got dressed up for occasions like the prom, since I was already in Manila by then. By the time I was in college, I was still very comfortable in jeans, T-shirts, and rubber shoes. Makeup? I only learned how to use it when I was already preparing for the pageant. Even during the swearing in ceremony for the licensure exams, my makeup was all wrong!” she grimaces. Shamcey, who graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines and topped the licensure exams in architecture, says that jeans and tees were a necessity, and wearing heels was next to impossible as she recalls rode public transportation to school.

“I had to learn how to apply makeup, walk in heels, and carry a gown with finesse. It was hard work, and I honestly never thought that I would win against all the other girls who seem to have been preparing for this longer than I have. All I really wanted to get from this was the experience of having joined, and being able to improve myself. ’Yun lang,” she grins.

Backstage, while they were waiting for the winners of the Binibining Pilipinas to be announced, Shamcey recalls saying a prayer—but not for herself. “I was asking God to give whoever the winner will be for help and guidance. I knew how stressful it [would] be for her, and all the things that she may have to give up in order to work for the crown. When I was called, I said, ‘Lord, bakit mo sa akin binigay?’” she laughs. “Of course, I was also very happy, especially for my family who supported me all the way.”

Pain with gain

Her diet and exercise routine were also something that needed work, especially when she had gone on to vie for the Miss Universe crown in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Her earlier thoughts of all the sacrifices that had to be made rang true. “I was on call, I could not schedule my own activities. Then I had to work out at the gym—a lot!”

“I was always thin, regardless of how much I ate. But they told me that I had to be lean and toned. That was what my instructor had me work on several times a week, for two hours a day. And each gym session had me carrying heavier and heavier weights. There was even a time when the instructor would punch me while I was carrying weights—to help with my core strengthening!” The gym work paid, off, though, she says. “I came out of the regimen really toned in my arms, legs and abs.”

Her diet was also something she worked on. “Since they wanted me to build more muscle mass, I had to cut down on my carbs drastically. Hindi pa naman ako sanay na kumain ng walang rice. They wanted me to eat more ulam instead of rice, and they also made me drink whey protein.” She shudders, “Kahit chocolate-flavored siya, I still found it hard to drink that.”

Her secrets to staying slim before the Miss Universe pageant were maintenance and moderation. “We stayed at the hotel for a month, because there were a lot of activities that were mapped out for us. I made sure to do exercises in my room, because we had no time to go to the gym. I also allowed myself to eat. I saw my fellow candidates na hindi kumakain ng tama. Lahat sila nakapila sa salad bar, while I would eat other types of food. I saw them getting hungry again after a while, kasi siyempre hindi sila kumakain, and then they would load up on unhealthy things like cookies during the breaks.”

She gives a bit of caution when it comes to dieting. “A nutritionist was able to tailor-fit a diet according to my needs. Hindi pwedeng kung ano ’yung diet ng iba, gagayahin mo. I tried that once, when I observed another candidate cutting down her rice intake to a cup a day. I thought that since ’yun ang ginagawa niya, ’yun ang tama. I [did] that for two weeks, when people started commenting on how unhealthy I looked. Ang liit-liit na ng mukha ko! I went back to a cup a meal and I started looking and feeling better.” 

As for her skin regimen, she says a good makeup remover is handy to have around. “I did not know how to properly remove makeup before, and I ended up looking like I had black eyes in the morning! I learned that you really have to take care of your skin and remove all traces of makeup before you go to sleep.” This is a far cry from the glamorous and glowing woman in the pale green figure-flattering dress recently pictured with her fiancé during their formal engagement rites.

Shamcey says, “After Binibining Pilipinas, I realized, it is all about being confident. Kapag feeling mo maganda ka, that is how people will see you.” Find out more about the secrets of her confidence in the August issue of HealthToday magazine.

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