Crystallizing dreams on the spotlight
Filipino-American Krista Eileen Kleiner is not a stranger to bright lights and admiring crowds. As a GMA Artist Center talent, she can move, project, and perform with such ease in front of the cameras, spotlights, and live audience. This self-confidence is sometimes mistaken for haughtiness, but 21-year old Krista takes it all in stride. In fact, this may just be her edge when she competes as the Philippines’ representative to the Miss International beauty pageant this November in Chengdu, China.
“I grew up in a society where people are candid and outspoken,” Krista opens up. “I have to admit that I still find it difficult sometimes when I communicate with new Filipino acquaintances. I have to make sure na hindi ako makakasakit ng feelings ng iba. Fortunately, the people I have met so far are really very warm and understanding.”
Krista is thankful that her mom made sure that she and her 17-year old brother do not lose their Filipino traits despite being away from the Philippines for most of their youth. This alone makes her realize that she also needs to imbibe different cultures that may be quite different from the environment she grew up in. Perhaps it is also Krista’s desire and willingness to learn new things, study various cultures, and meet new people that allows her to adjust to varying situations. Her experience with Latin crooner Julio Iglesias, with whom she went on a world concert tour, has also given her valuable lessons.
“Julio taught me to embrace the zest for learning. He told me learn more about the world and not to wait for things to happen. It is through constant learning that I can improve myself,” Krista continues.
It is not difficult for someone like Krista to absorb new things easily. She is an intelligent and well-rounded student with flair not only for academics, but for the arts and sports as well. She graduated with high academic honors from the Fullerton Union High School in the US. She went on to become a scholar at the University of California San Diego. She is a taekwondo black belt, and has won multiple awards in Latin ballroom, swimming, and tennis. She intends to take up a PhD degree in psychology if things fall into place after the pageant.
Her love, as of now, is still in entertainment. She has done co-hosting in TV shows, acting stints in a couple of TV series, and was a regular singer and dancer on SOP Rules. She was also the voice behind the theme song of GMA’s primetime TV series All About Eve. She wants to be able to record her own music album, and perhaps make more TV series and movies someday.
Krista is clearly a dreamer who is never afraid to share her dreams with anyone who has the same passion for life. It is this character that she hopes to bring with her to the Miss International competition so she can take home title for every Filipino’s pride. The cheering crowd, the air of competition, the bright lights – these are the things that continue to remind her that she is living a dream.