Binibining Pilipinas International 2007 Nadia Lee Cien Shami.
PHOTO BY SUPPLIED
DUBAI – Filipino beauty queen Nadia Lee Cien Shami has called Dubai her second home.
The Binibining Pilipinas International 2007 moved here two years ago after being offered a job as a marketing executive for one of Dubai’s big companies.
“[Someone sent me a message] on LinkedIn if I wanted to work in Dubai. Although I had plans in mind, but not exactly Dubai. I was thinking Australia or New Zealand, you know? Opportunity only knocks once. [Just like] how Binibining Pilipinas came into my life. The opportunity [came]… everything aligned,” she told expatmedia.net on the sidelines of Man of the Philippines-Dubai, where she is one of the pageant judges.
It’s been a decade since Nadia last wore her crown, but the 30-year-old is happy to carve an entirely different path.
Here are 79 things that the beauty queen revealed:
6. She stopped attending college for a year to fulfill her beauty queen duties
7. After her reign as Binibining Pilipinas International, she moved to Davao to live a “normal life”
8. She finished Mass Communication, and also got a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Ateneo de Davao, Philippines
12. She’s Christian and she always finds time to read “The Word”
13. She used to work for Krispy Kreme Philippines
14. She relocated to Dubai after getting a job offer on LinkedIn
17. She now works as a marketing executive for Landmark Group’s five restaurant brands
18. Being a beauty queen has helped her improve her communication skills
21. Her Suunto watch for triathletes is one of the things she splurged on in Dubai
25. She thinks a lot of Filipino expats in the UAE are good looking and very smart
27. She prefers to be behind the camera
28. She spent her first two months in Dubai just touring the emirate
29. She has learnt to cook her own food and prepare her own clothes
33. She gets plenty of attention from Arabs
35. She also loves paratha and avocado shake
36. She also finds it a mystery why Filipinos are fond of beauty pageants
37. She thinks male pageants should get more media exposure
39. She watches Netflix at home or reads
41. She is a member of the Filipino exercise group 3F
42. She stays in shape by eating well and drinking a lot of water
43. She loves Thai food
45. His father has not yet visited Dubai
47. She’s only been back to the Philippines once this year
49. She asked her uncle to take a video of her family opening her first balikbayan box
50. Her balikbayan box contained chocolates, old clothes, toiletries and a comforter, among others
53. She goes to a small cafeteria in BurJuman for her dose of chai
54. She feels comfortable knowing there are many Filipinos in the UAE
55. Her grandmother was afraid about her decision to come to the Middle East
58. She answered Arabic because she wanted to talk to her father in his native tongue.
62. On a normal day, she has messy hair and wears a loose shirt
65. She loves fashion items for H&M, Mango, Forever 21, Splash, Iconic and Zara
67. On weekdays, her day starts at 6am
68. On weekends, her day starts with a 5am run
73. She beat depression by reading the Word, attending church and talking to friends
75. She’s focused on her career right now
76. She has plans of pursuing a PhD
77. She might have a family if the right man comes along
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