Singer-actress Geneva Cruz has been crowned the Philippines' Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity for 2009 after a month-long battle that recently ended at PETAAsiaPacific.com.
The same online poll also revealed that Taiwanese singer-actress Barbie Hsu (Shan Cai of Meteor Garden) is considered Asia's Sexiest Vegetarian woman for 2009, and Bollywood superstar and heartthrob Shahid Kapoor as Asia's Sexiest Vegetarian Man.
According to information from the animal rights activist group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Geneva narrowly beat out Delara frontwoman and Eat Bulaga! host Lougee Basabas in the voting for the title. Runners-up included celebrities Yasmien Kurdi, Chin-Chin Gutierrez, and Raymond Bagatsing; TV personality Cory Quirino and FHM cover girl Alicia Mayer. Geneva also received more votes than international stars Natalie Portman, Hayden Panettiere, Russell Brand, and Leona Lewis.
Geneva has appeared on the cover of several magazines, including FHM. Her fame grew after the first album that she released with pop group Smokey Mountain went double-platinum. Not long after that, her first solo album, I Like You, also went platinum.
She has been vegetarian since she was 15. She decided to switch to a compassionate diet after she interacted with animals in their natural environment while filming a shampoo commercial.
"[We] were in this location in Palawan where all the animals were just roaming free! Free! All I had to do was feed one of them and say 'Natural!' We kept doing that, take after take... I couldn't take it anymore. Not after that."
Now a staunch vegan, Geneva says, "For me, being vegan is not about the diet. It's really about my love for all creatures."
Geneva is the longtime partner of former MTV VJ KC Montero.
"There's no easier way to put passion in your life than to put compassion in your diet," says PETA Asia-Pacific Director Jason Baker. "Geneva knows that going vegetarian is the best thing that you can do for animals, the Earth, and your health. Plus, she's living proof that being vegan keeps you slim and sexy."