Saturday, October 1, 2011

2011 Meet the Misses v.21 - Miss Aruba 2010

The One Happy Island of Aruba is one of the premier Caribbean destinations offering a stunning paradise with warm and sunny weather and pristine beaches. It is one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba is located in the Southern Caribbean, 27 km north of Venezuela. The island is generally flat and its highest elevation is Mount Jamanota raising 190 meters above sea level. Aruba enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean and tourism is its main industry concentrated in Palm Beach that is home to high rise hotels and shopping districts. This safe and stable island has Dutch roots and a government founded on democratic principles. Aruba has had a turbulent history, from Amerindian inhabitation to Spanish and Dutch rule. In 1986, Aruba achieved is separate status as an autonomous entity within the Dutch Kingdom. With a Dutch foundation and international influences, Aruba has become a modern nation with advanced infrastructure, meeting the needs of its people in such areas as education, social welfare and medicine. Oranjestad is Aruba's capital and its home of 33,000 of the island's 100,000 inhabitants. Papiamento is the lingua franca of the islanders that was born as a result of the linguistic interaction of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and West African languages. Dutch, along with Papiamento are official languages. English and Spanish are widely spoken. Aruba debuted in Miss World 1964 and finished in second place in 2001 with the unforgettable Zizi Lee. This year, Aruba will be represented by the spectacular Gillain Alicia Berry, Miss Aruba 2010.


The Times of Beauty proudly presents Gillain Alicia Berry, Miss Aruba 2010, in an exclusive interview for our interview series, Meet the Misses.

1. Give us an introduction of yourself
My name is Gillain A. Berry, I was born on August 6, 1987 in Jamaica and came to live in Aruba at the age of six. My native language is Papiamento, I’m also fluent in English and Dutch and I do speak Spanish also, but not as fluently. I’m a Model and currently working at Aruba Bank. I have an Associate of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, I studied Hospitality and Tourism Management. I'm going to pursue my Bachelor Degree in International Business and management in Leeuwarden, Netherlands next year. I’m a pescaterian, which means that I only eat seafood! One of my favorite things to eat is Sushi. I don’t play any sports, but I do love working out and I practice my new found love for Yoga.


2. Tell us a bit more about your country and hometown
Aruba is located in the Dutch Caribbean, approximately 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Aruba is a mixing pot of different cultures and about 47 different nationalities. Aruba’s Carnival is one of the country's greatest celebrations that draw a lot of tourists to the island. A time where Aruba’s culture and creativity are put to display with colorful parades with dancers and bands on the streets, Queen Elections and Road March contest, just to mention a few of Aruba’s Carnival Activities.

3. What does it mean to you to represent your country at the 61st Miss World finals?
It is a huge honor to be able to represent my country at the 61 st Miss World competition! I don’t take this lightly. My country had the faith in me and has shown me much love and support, I feel like all of Aruba supports me. I’m very proud and grateful to have been given this opportunity.


4. If you have to choose a song to describe yourself, which would choose and why?
The song that best describes me is Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield. I’m so positive and happy for no reason sometimes, it’s like I have happiness stashed away in my pocket or bag somewhere.



5. How would you describe a typical day in your life?
On a typical day I wake up early in morning the at 6am and get ready for work. Work starts at 8am and after work I’m off the Gym where I do one to one and half hour of workout on machines and one hour of spinning class. Sometimes I do a combination of Gym and Yoga. My schedule is quite unpredictable at this stage with my preparations. As part of my preparations for Miss World, fittings and training are part of my daily activities. As the days to Miss World 2011 draw closer I will be dedicating my time solely to preparations.


6. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself married to a wonderful and successful man with two great kids… owning several businesses one of which a nutrition center especially for vegetarians and pescaterians. I see myself also being a part of the Miss Aruba Organization helping Aruba exceed in the pageant world around the world.

7. Which well known person from your country you most admire and why?
My island is filled with many people who stand out on various areas, but Mr. Ronchi De Cuba, the President of KOMA models (my modeling agency) has had a great influence in my life and therefore my admiration for him. Ronchi has not only taught me about modeling and the fashion world, but Ronchi has also taught me a little bit about marketing and business, books aside. Ronchi has showed me that’s its perfectly fine to stand out and not to blend in with the crowd! I admire his tremendous creativity and his work ethics.


8. If you had to choose any other country to live in, which one would you choose and why?
I would still choose to live in Aruba. Here in Aruba the people are friendly, you have great business opportunities for entrepreneurs, there are great beaches, and lovely weather. I would choose to live in Aruba, but I will travel the world! It’s good to travel to different places and get a taste of different cultures and lifestyles, but I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else but in Aruba.


9. After the Sendai Earthquake, nuclear energy has become a focus of attention. Are you in favor or against the use of this kind of energy as a way to reduce the dependence on oil?
What happened after the Sendai Earthquake is a warning to all of us around the world. We can’t forget that global warming is an ongoing situation that needs continuous monitoring. We as human beings tend to be focused on more immediate and visible threats while there are other threats which are less visible burring until it’s too late. We need to explore more renewable energy sources instead of nonrenewable energy sources which cause pollution and harm to the environment, nuclear energy is a nonrenewable form of energy.


10. What do you think is the worst kind of human injustice or prejudice happening now?
The worst kind of prejudice or injustice happening now in my opinion is racial profiling. People of a certain culture, background, religion, nationality and/or race are being placed in a certain category and treated differently. This dehumanizing issue has been on the rise over the years and has become a worldwide problem. Our human rights are continuously being violated when it comes to racial profiling.

11. What are your duties as Miss Aruba?
Most important duty is to be a role model and motivation for the youth and especially the young women here in my country. Also to be the face of my country, to promote Aruba everywhere I go, because Aruba is truly one happy island, the one destination you sure wish to visit.


12. What role can social media (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc) play in the life of a beauty pageant titleholder?
For me for example, Facebook plays an important role in the sense that it allows my Facebook friends to get to know me a little bit better and see all that I as a beauty queen contribute to in my year. My followers can get to know that there is more to the person in the picture.

13. What does it mean to be a human being?
Being a human being means been given the opportunity to live on this beautiful place called Earth. To some it can be heaven on Earth or hell on Earth, but the reality is life is what you make of it. I believe I have been placed on this Earth to make this world a better place and to contribute to society.


14. What do you feel is your purpose in life?
I believe my purpose in life is to be a Human Rights activist. I remember that as a child the "Feed the Children" commercials on TV always impacted me to see there were so many children and their families out there who were suffering in such a manner. I could easily imagine myself in their shoes, but at the same time wanting to help them with at least a hug and telling each one of them that everything is going to be alright. I believe that this is one of the reasons why I don’t like to complain about what I don’t have, but I'm grateful for what I do have.

15. Share a message to your supporters and readers of The Times of Beauty.
Always stay true to yourself!

and finally...
Personal Motto: Happiness is not a feeling, it’s a choice & Attitude determines Altitude
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Color: I don’t really have a favorite color, being a model I have learned to appreciate all colors, it just depends on the occasion.
Favorite Song: Love you More by Celine Dion
Favorite Movie: Gladiator
Favorite Book: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephan Covey
Favorite Singer/Band: Celine Dion
Favorite Actor/Actress: Actor - Denzel Washington, Actress - Natalie Portman
Favorite Hobby: Modeling
Favorite Sport: I don’t play much sports, but I love doing fitness workout and doing yoga.


SPECIAL THANKS
Renny Lacle, National Director of Miss World in Aruba
Gillain Alicia Berry, Miss Aruba 2010

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