Miss World Philippines 2016 First Princess Arienne Louise Calingo.


Arienne Calingo on Dubai life and moving on

The Filipina beauty titlist with a master’s degree from Harvard called Dubai her second home for several years.

Miss World Philippines 2016 First Princess Arienne Louise Calingo told that she felt right at home in the emirate after moving here several years ago. Although she left Dubai in August 2021 to start law school at the University of Notre Dame, Dubai never left her heart.

“I live in the US now but want to work either in Manila or the UAE again,” Arienne tells She fondly remembers her life as an expat in Dubai, saying that she wanted to remain under the radar despite celebrity bells ringing every once in a while.

“Once, I was at Mall of the Emirates and a waiter noticed me. It’s cool but it also puts a bit of pressure on me to always look glammed up,” she says.

Moving to Dubai helped her build a lot of self-confidence. “Before, I wouldn’t have believed I could move to Dubai by myself,” she says. Arienne loved exploring JBR, Dubai Marina and art places like Alserkal Avenue. Karama was also one her favourite hangouts. “It’s like a mini-Philippines to me. And some of my friends live there,” she says.

Miss World Philippines 2016 First Princess Arienne Louise Calingo

She also loved taking photos. Her phone is filled with photos of UAE landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain. She continued the hobby in the US where she picked up an award for one of her photos. Arienne has also started going to the gym and playing basketball.

Clarity in grief

Arienne was pushed into a new direction following her dad’s death in 2021. “I was stepping out of my criminal law class to video call with my father one last time,” she recalls.

Her grandfather also died a month later. With family affairs to settle, Arienne quit law school to move back to the Philippines with her mother. “Despite our grief, these losses—especially losing my dad—have provided a lot of clarity in terms of my future goals,” Arienne says.

In 2022, she returned to Notre Dame to work as a specialist in communications. “I feel that the pain of loss has somehow empowered me to pursue my passions vigorously,” she says, “This is what my father would have wanted.”

Arienne aims to create more milestones in education, adding to her reputation as a real beauty with brains after she graduated with honors at Georgetown University in Washington D. and earned her master’s degrate in International Education Policy from Harvard when she was only 25. “I hope to honor and build on my father’s legacy, particularly in the higher education arena,” she says. PIA/Expat Media

This story also appears in the Expat Media Special Edition magazine

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