Riza Santos, the 20-year old Filipino-Canadian beauty, first captured our attention when she competed for Miss Earth last year. Now, she's inside the Pinoy Big Brother house being watched everyday, 24/7.
The soft-spoken Riza admits that this is her first time to be living independently, away from her parents. She's the second among three siblings, two girls and a boy.
But living away doesn't mean leaving for the unfamiliar. Riza stays with her cousins in Makati.
She came to the country and signed up with Viva Artist Center. She hopes to jumpstart a career here.
"I did acting classes back in Canada. I was going to a Vancouver acting school. But I ended up doing my undergraduate in science. It's kinda like a last minute change. But I do, I really love acting."
"[I hope to] get into more singing and dancing, that's what I'm working on. ‘Coz my forte is singing and dancing, that's where I want to be," she said. She even performs a soulful ditty of "Lady Marmalade."
Before entering Pinoy Big Brother, Riza finished shooting some scenes for Waiting for Love, an Aga Mulach-Anne Curtis starrer.
Aga made a good impression on Riza: "He was so nice. I remember watching him in his movies when I was younger. I was starstruck for the first time. He has great skin. He's a great guy. He's been working out."
She hopes to be paired up in the future with some great guys like Richard Gutierrez, Piolo Pascual, Luis Manzano, and Sam Milby.
Riza admitted that she hasn't had a boyfriend. Neither is she looking for a Filipino or Canadian for a boyfriend.
"Depends on the person. Whatever race or nationality he is, he has to be a man of integrity, a man with strong moral values and [is] family-oriented."
For a newbie and for someone who has lived abroad, Riza says that she's prepared for the intrigues that would come to her, because she believes she has a good family behind her.
Riza excitedly shares that her parents are coming over for Christmas.
"It's so funny. I've never been here in the country for Christmas before and I'm already hearing Christmas music. I mean, back in Canada, I don't hear Christmas music three days before. I'm excited on how things will be like here," Riza said in wide-eyed anticipation.
Since she will be staying long here, Riza took up some Tagalog lessons to help her out in her showbiz plans.
"Minsan nahihirapan ako pero mag-ta-try ako mag-Tagalog ngayon. Tapos na yung mga Tagalog lesson ko at mas komportable akong mag-Tagalog," Riza effortlessly said.