Interview with Bianca Valerio, A Pesco Vegetarian

*First Posted 8/12/12

Bianca Valerio's friends are Top Filipina Models. Isabel Roces is lacto-ovo, Raya Mananquil is Vegan and Val de los Santos is a Pesco Vegetarian.

When I learned that she went vegetarian and became more energetic I had the chance to ask Bianca about her diet and how did it changed her.

Tell me about your vegetarian diet?

I'm a Pescotarian so I still eat seafood but no meat, whatsoever. Well, I figured, if Jesus fed the people fish, then that means I can, too, right? (Haha! :-)

How long have you been vegetarian? Why did you become vegetarian?

I've been pesco since March 13,2007. It all started when my boyfriend, Mikee Carrion decided he'd give up meat for Lent. Now since eating was and still is, our thing, I was pissed! After a few days, I decided, fine, I'll try it out too. Ironically, I've never turned back since then while he eventually returned to being a meat-eater.

Is it difficult to be veg? what makes it difficult?

Not at all! It's like quitting smoking, it's all in the mind. It's all or nothing. You just have to want it for yourself. I think the only thing that makes it difficult is that it's not readily available (veg meat and products) in the market. Then if it is, it's really expensive.

Being VEG in our country is actually a luxury-lifestyle. Strange since veggies are actually way cheaper than meat. That's why I loved it when I was living in LA last year, studying at Make-Up Designory. Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and pretty much all groceries have a big veggie meat section of everything under the sun! Although more expensive, it was worth every cent!

What changes did you notice in you when you became veg?

Well, more people find me boring, haha! The thing is, being Pesco, is not really the issue. It's not about eating meat for most people as they've gotten used to me being that way, especially since they know I'm a model. The thing is, I am OBSSESSED with healthy food and healthy living!

I was a chain smoker, junk-eating, bad habit type of person years ago. I gave up vices before I became veg but ultimately became engrossed in healthy living when I turned pesco. I never go to work without making baon my own food. They're all either steamed, grilled, organic and so on. I portion everything strictly and really watch everything I eat. It's not a punishment: I honestly enjoy it tremendously! Every healthy meal and snack to me is an ecstatic experience!

I never thought I'd become such a person. But ultimately, I love who I am now and the healthy lifestyle I'm living. I really do feel amazing inside and out because I know I'm really taking care of myself as a whole.
Since then, my skin has never been so healthy-looking. People think that going veg is a way to a sexier body. Hell no! If you're constatantly eating sugars, bad carbs and fried at that, then you're not a healthy veg. You're just veg, in my opinion. There's a thin line.

I've also been more energetic and I just feel lighter in general, physically and mentally.

What is the usual reaction of people who just knew you’re a vegetarian?

- Like I said, people always question why but they understand because of my profession. By my profession is just one tiny reason why I love eating healthy. I just love life and intend to live a long, prosperous one in health, love and laughter. So healthy eating by going pesco is a commitment I have to myself :-)
My best friends in the industry, Isabel Roces (lacto-ovo), Raya Mananquil (vegan) and Val de los Santos (pesco) are so happy for me because now we never have problems of deciding where to eat just to be considerate to the so-called meat-eater. Hunting for great veg foods is such a babaw joy!

How did you get into animal rights advocacy?

Isabel Roces and Raya Mananquil are members of PETA and it all started when I signed the NO TO FOIE GRAS appeal, then I hosted an event for LUSH (toiletries and cosmetics), which highly supports PETA and all its efforts. So from there, the rest, as they say, is history...

Did you volunteer in any organization?

No I haven't but on my own, I do my contributions by spreading the word on the pros and cons of going veg. I just try to live by example for others to see and that's what's important.

Where do you get your food?

Healthy Options, Salcedo Market, Bodhi and Shopwise

What is your favorite vegetarian restaurant?

CHIMARA in Greenbelt

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