Isabelle Diaz Daza is destined to be famous. The mere mention of her last names conjures up images of fame and glory. Diaz comes from her mother Gloria, Miss Universe 1969 and 2006 Star Awards best-supporting actress. And Daza comes from her father Bong, whose family has made cooking both a famous profession and a classic art.
"Sabi nila, I look like my mom," is how Isabelle describes herself. "Pero my mannerisms, sabi ng mom ko, parang I'm like my dad daw."
Isabelle was in her second-year education studies at De La Salle University (majoring in early childhood education) when a modeling opportunity knocked—banged actually—on her door.
Ben Chan, the man behind the Bench clothing line, who also happens to own the Human clothing line, had been nagging her mother for years to get Isabelle's services. Isabelle was still in high school at Assumption College when she caught Ben's eye. But Assumption is apparently strict about these things.
"Hindi ako puwede mag-model kasi nasa Assumption nga ako," Isabelle says.
When Ben learned that Isabelle had graduated from high school, he went after her again.
"Tinanong ulit ako," she recalls. "At first, parang ayoko. Parang I didn't know if I could do it. Pero sabi ng mom ko, i-try ko." Now Isabelle's billboards are gracing the main thoroughfares of Metro Manila.
She's actually the third celebrity child to endorse the Human brand. The first was KC, daughter of Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion. KC was followed by Luis Manzano, son of Vilma Santos and Edu Manzano.
With her first earnings as a product endorser, Isabelle bought an iPod. "Meron na ako noon," she says, "pero nakita ko 'yong bago, 'yong me video, parang ang galing. So, 'yon 'yong una kong binili. The rest of the money, sineyb ko na."
Her being a giant billboard model has brought her instant fame on campus. Or is it notoriety?
"Minsan, sa school, parang, ano, inaasar lang ako ng mga friends ko. Pag ini-introduce nila ako, wala na akong pangalan—'yong model Human, o kaya, 'yong anak ni Gloria Diaz. Sana, like, meron din akong pangalan."
But she has learned to roll with the punches and the jokes. Isabelle is a very well-adjusted kid, after all. In fact, when her parents separated (she was then only six or seven years old), the resulting life-changing situations did not bother her. In fact, it has even affected her positively.
"Kasi, parang, I still see my parents. 'Tapos, they were friends naman. Actually, now mas naging good friends sila. Like, we go out to dinners, 'tapos palaging nandito [sa bahay namin] ang dad ko, ganoon."
Joking, she adds: "'Tapos, dalawa 'yong allowance ko, dalawa 'yong birthday gifts ko, Christmas gifts... So, okey lang, ang dami ring benefits."