Former MTV VJ Belinda Panelo-Lizardo pursues dream of finishing school at UCLA

by Nikko Tuazon
May 20, 2017
Former MTV VJ Belinda Panelo-Lizardo will pursue Global Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Remember former host/commercial model Belinda Panelo-Lizardo?

Those who lived through the 90s would remember her as the lady who starred opposite Paolo Fabregas in a Coke TV commercial, where the latter told her, "Bridesmaid ka lang."

Fast forward to 2017, she is a mom based in the United States, and is finally going back to school to finish her studies.

The 42-year-old former MTV VJ will soon start her classes at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Former MTV VJ and colleague G Toengi made the announcement through an article she wrote about Belinda for the US-based Fil-Am community publication, Asian Journal.

A post shared by bee_panelo (@bee_panelo) on

In her interview, Belinda said, "I feel truly honored.

"UCLA is one of the top institutions in the country and the application process is highly competitive as you know."

Belinda, or "Bee" to her close friends, has always wanted to go back to school to finish her studies.

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However, she didn't have the time to take the big leap because of her other priorities, including her family.

Bee narrated, "I’ve been wanting to go back to school for a very long time, but the timing never seemed right.

"As the years went by and I got older and older, I realized that I could no longer rely on timing.

"I needed to leap and trust that everything would fall into place."

Bee started her career as a video jock back in 1999 after winning MTV's VJ Hunt with KC Montero.

Soon after, she married tennis champ Joseph Lizardo, and is now a mother of two.

The couple relocated to New York City back in 2003, and moved to California recently.

A post shared by bee_panelo (@bee_panelo) on

During the interview, G also asked her friend why she chose to go to UCLA.

Bee answered, "When I was first looking at schools, I knew that I could only apply to those that were close by, because I have a family and it wouldn’t be feasible for us to pick up and move.

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"Luckily, I live five minutes away from UCLA so it was really a no brainer!"

Bee said that she's pursuing Global Studies.

"I wanted to study something that integrated many different disciplines that I was interested in," she explained.

"Global studies seemed to fit the bill as it borrows from anthropology, sociology, economics, history, and political science.

"Additionally, as I’ve gotten older and have become a mother, my interest in global affairs and how it impacts our own community is now very personal."

A post shared by bee_panelo (@bee_panelo) on

Now that she's squeezing in her time to study while taking care of her two kids, Bee said time management is the biggest challenge she's currently facing.

She said, "Trying to balance family responsibilities with school work has been a master class in organized chaos.

"There are many more dishes in the sink and the mountain of laundry is laughably limitless, but hey, I got an ‘A’ on my last test.

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"In addition, being an older non-traditional student carries a certain stigma that you can’t just shake off sometimes and admittedly that does bother me on occasion."

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Former MTV VJ Belinda Panelo-Lizardo will pursue Global Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
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