Looking back at the year that was, Ariella Arida describes her 2013 as "very meaningful."
The Miss Universe 2013 third runner-up felt happy that she got to spend the past holiday season with her family.
"After a long time, nakasama ko na rin iyong family ko, kasi I've been busy, siguro for almost a year din dahil sa lahat ng trainings ko, and because nga I am preparing for the pageants.
"So, after that, parang finally nakasama ko iyong parents ko nang medyo matagal, so I'm happy."
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to talk to the beauty queen earlier this month, when she graced the launch of her very first magazine cover for Metro Magazine.
Ariella says she is completely overwhelmed by everything that has happened to her since she joined Binibining Pilipinas in April 2013.
About her first magazine cover, the 25-year-old says, "Sobrang overwhelming, kasi parang bumalik iyong feeling ko noong time na nanalo ako ng Binibining Pilipinas.
"Until now, sobrang surreal, hindi ako makapaniwala kasi dati binabasa ko lang pero ngayon ako na iyong nasa cover.
"Sobrang hindi ko... Overwhelming lang. Actually, I'm so thankful talaga dahil start of the year, ito iyong ibinigay sa akin ni God."
This 2014, Ariella is ready to welcome more opportunities that would come her way.
Does this include the possibility of stepping into a committed relationship?
Ariella laughed, "Ah, lovelife? Ah... Sana, ano.... Ano ba'ng meron?
"Happy naman po ako, actually. Kasi iyong priority ko naman is itong ganitong career, so kung may dumating, dadating iyon."
It's no secret that Ariella is being wooed by model-actor Ervic Vijandre, who is also known as Marian Rivera's boyfriend before Dingdong Dantes.
What is the current status of their courtship?
"Thankful naman ako na nandiyan pa rin siya, na sa hinaba-haba ng ano, andiyan pa rin siya.
"Hopefully matagalan niya pa, masustain niya pa iyong ginagawa niya ngayon.
"Kasi, from the start naman sinabi ko sa kanya kung ano talaga iyong priority ko, and feeling ko naman naiintindihan niya, which is good, so sana diyan lang siya, huwag siyang magsawa, 'di ba?"
What are the possibilities for Ariella to finally tear down her wall and say "yes" to Ervic?
"I'm not closing my doors naman, e. Hopefully, kung sakali, sana mapagsabay ko.
"Pero, this year, knowing my priorities, sana iyon muna."
Ariella is more than ready now to embrace her newfound fame, and to see what other opportunities are out there for her.
"Sana this year hindi na lang pagrampa iyong makita nila sa akin, iyong ibang version naman of myself, which is... I don't know, dancing, hosting, singing, acting. 'Di ba, lahat na?
"I mean, sa 'kin naman kasi, kung anong oppprtunity ang pwedeng dumating sa akin this year, sobrang go lang po ako, I'll grab it."
Ariella adds: "Gusto ko ng showbiz! Talagang i-we-welcome ko siya with open arms.
"Hopefully, this year, kasi hindi mo alam, e. Like, iyong nangyari sa akin last year, sobrang hindi ko rin lahat ine-expect, so...
"Basta ngayon, gusto ko na lang din hintayin kung ano ang mangyari, kasi ako mas natutuwa ako pag iyong mga bagay na unexpected nangyayari."