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It’s Good Housekeeping’s 17th anniversary, and mommies, it’s your month, too! Enjoy meaty reads on everything relevant to you—from deliciously simple cake recipes to stories of compassion during Pope Francis’s visit.
At today's press conference to launch Palmolive Naturals "Go Natural" campaign, the shampoo brand's endorser of three years, KC Concepcion, spoke about living a natural lifestyle in line with the brand's "made with 100% natural extracts" identity.
Says the model, actress, recording artist, talk show host and United Nations World Food Program National Ambassador Against Hunger, “Being in the entertainment business has taught me that physical beauty can only get you so far, and that what really makes you an attractive person goes beyond, say, how fair your skin is or how slender your arms are.”
Besides being beautiful inside and out by practicing healthy habits (whose value she says so many people underestimate—“For example, simple things like watching what you eat or exercising regularly will make a big difference in your overall disposition and physical well-being"), KC enhances her natural beauty through service. The United Nations World Food Program as National Ambassador Against Hunger encourages Filipinos to start wherever they are to make an immediate impact. “You can allow your internal beauty to grow by mentoring others in various programs, helping in your local community, or simply being a shoulder to lean on when someone comes to you for help. Not only will volunteering make you more beautiful inside, but it will add beauty to the lives of others as well,” she says.
KC answered lots more questions from and dazzled the press with her insights and opinions on everything from health and beauty to men and relationships.
Q. Can you tell us about your Go Natural Charm Bracelets?
I’m really an accessory lover, I always talk about it on my show, Simply KC. When I saw the TVC, right away I called Palmolive Naturals for a charm bracelet, not really for the prize, you know, but just to wear it on my show. You know, I regularly wear clothes from the same brand. I kind of mix it around with my accessories and when I heard about the bracelet, I personally called them and asked them for a bunch so I could wear them all together on my show so I’ve been wearing them for a week now.
I was already personally just excited about it. It just looks really, really cute and it’s not really pa-girl so you can really wear it with you to rock concerts or whatnot. And it works for every girl so that’s one thing that really captured my attention.
Q: If you were to choose five women who represent natural beauty, who would they be?
KC: Julia Roberts. She’s very vocal about aging gracefully. She hardly wears makeup and then she wears the tiniest bit of makeup when she goes to a public event. But in a lot of her movies, she’s always bare-faced so I really like that about her. Tyra Banks is probably also somebody who’s very open about imperfections because she’s known as a supermodel but in her show she makes it an advocacy to campaign for natural beauty also, you know. She’ll remove her pushup bra then (laughs) remove her makeup on air. That’s something I appreciate about her. Probably also…even somebody like Ellen de Generes, who’s naturally who she is…she’s proud of who she is. She doesn’t try to conform…and what you see is what you get. So I think that’s beautiful too.
Q: How about locally? Sharon Cuneta?
KC: Of course. Naturally, I would choose my mom. She’s somebody who has never taught me anything about being vain. Honestly, she has no regimen whatsoever. I guess in that sense you can say it’s like what you see is also her at her most natural because she really doesn’t have a beauty regimen like creams or anything like that. I walk into her bathroom and it’s seriously just the basics. Lastly, off the top of my head, I work with Laurence Ligier, founder of the Chameleon Foundation for abused and exploited girls. She’s French-Filipina but she’s a friend of mine but also somebody I work with who always reminds me, “Are you happy with this life?” She always checks up on me, She has survived all these life-threatening situations because of everything she does and she’s really all about being an authentic person even in work like this. She’s not jaded but she’s also not fazed by all of the glitz and glamor.
Q: So you’re saying is that beauty is not just superficial but something that comes from within?
KC: You know when you listen to it that way, it sounds very corny and clichéd but it’s true. There are so many beautiful women and I’ve said this before, that they’re beautiful, they’re perfect (whether bought or naturally born with it), but sometimes even in pictures we can really see [something]. And I don’t know if it’s like an aura or whatever, it’s like you can see that there are people who are not perfect who are so beautiful and you can’t really explain it. Whether it’s the vibe or the way they talk or what they say. But I find sometimes that just because you’re perfectly beautiful physically, doesn’t mean that I would find you beautiful. And it doesn’t mean because you’re not the most beautiful girl in the world with the best [features]…you can have eyebags and blotchy skin and still be beautiful. You can be happy and lonely and still be beautiful. I think some lonely people are beautiful. I think sadness is beautiful. Not only sadness, though, of course but. It’s also something about what a woman that feels. I think emotion is beautiful, somebody who really goes through feelings. What there is to feel at a certain moment I think is beautiful.
Q: You mentioned the word ‘authentic’. How do they go together—authentic and showbiz? And if they do, how many of the people in show business around you do you think are authentic?
KC: I think the media right now should know more about that than me because you’ve seen everyone and it’s your job to cover stories about everyone. But being an authentic person in showbiz for me, subjectively, grounds me. Because I realize there’s so much machinery, you know, being employed by a company. You realize it’s so easy to replicate personalities, to replicate “image,” to replicate the packaging of a certain person or celebrity. It’s so easy. There’s a fine line between personal and professional in this work. And one thing that broke my heart last year was the realization that it’s so easy for companies to replicate it for business. It’s like we’re products. So being authentic and whatever is real. And I think it’s why we’re all…it’s also why I wanted to name the show ‘Simply KC’ because we go through real life situations and it really grounds me. It goes back to the basics, to what’s simple and real.
And then you can only go so far with copying somebody or trying to like create an image that you’re more expensive or classy…or you know…in the end, somebody you may not be. So I always, right now, I’m more protective over what’s real for me because that’s what makes me me that’s something that I will carry for the rest of my life in or out of showbiz. And it reflects on all the things that I do—you know, with my album, everything from the look of the album to the show that I have now to the topics that we talk about. Just all of the things I do right now. Everything is a reflection of what’s real about me, my personality. That’s hard to replicate. Because really, bringing a team of people to fabricate all that stuff for a certain celebrity and just expect her to that for the rest of her life for her career.
Q: How do you live a natural lifestyle? How do you live without meat?
KC: What I eat on set—it’s so easy to bring chips and pica pica or baon kasi you don’t know what [to expect]…if you’re on location. It’s not like you can send somebody to buy food every three hours. I really get things that are easy to prepare. And for some reason, my favorite baon food are kind of weird. First of all, I go to this Eastern medicine doctor who coaches me on healthy food and healthy eating. And whenever I’m sick or I want to boost my metabolism, he gives me really natural capsules and products that…instead of energy pills, I take cayenne. He gives me cinnamon, something like that.
He also taught me about this fried seaweed…ano talaga, galing sa ilalim talaga ng dagat. I’m such a nerd! Protein-wise, it gives you as much protein as beef. Basta you have to eat it three times kasi pag once lang, lasang tubig dagat eh. It becomes like seaweed salad. It comes in packs…I eat it with tuna siomai that I get from the store. Then I bring a steamer. Minsan nga kawayan lang. Kahit sa sasakyan, nagluluto kami (may mga plug, yung sa lighter...) And then tea, coffee.
Also, I have never been such an avid fan of sleep as I am now. I don’t even know how I can run four days straight with only an hour of sleep each day. And I think it’s because in between, when I’m not working or when I’m not talking to somebody or when I’m not needed for a scene, I just sleep. And it really gives you so much energy throughout the day.
Q: On the average how many hours of sleep do you get?
KC: A night? Mahaba na yung four hours…five hours.
Q: Is there anything you want to change about yourself now or in the future or have you ever considered undergoing any major procedures?
KC: Well, I’ll start with what I really appreciate—I have nothing to do with it because it’s genes but, in my mom’s side, we can be morena when we want, we can be mestiza when we want. Kakatawa pag nasa taping kami [I hear], ‘Ay hindi pala kaputian si KC.’ Hindi ko lang masabi hindi niyo lang alam ang effort ko para lang hindi magmukhang maputi. Every two weeks, I use a self-tanner that I buy from Paris that my friend sends me every two months. I like it since it’s so subtle, di ba, hindi halata. I like it because it gives me a little bit of a tint. Like ito, naka self-tanner lang ako nito. Now I really like being tan and bronzed up but there are times when I wake up, I feel like being really fair so I don’t do anything and I just kind of let it stay that way. And I really like that…that I can be both. But at the same time, kung anong kinagusto ko, yun din yung parang weakness, yung ano namin weak link kasi when we get scarred or sugat. E ako pa naman ma-motor, ma-jetski, ice skating pa lang, ano na, nagkakasugat na talaga ako. We are keloidal. So I have a really long scar on my knee from a motorbike accident. It’s been there for 11 years and it has not gone away. And it gets really red…and it’s really gross. Nagke-keloid. Namamaga siya. It doesn’t heal properly.
Q: What have you learned about relationships from your parents’ example that you have applied in your own life?
KC: The hardest part was, growing up, naturally you wish for your parents to be spending more time together if they’ve broken up. So it was very hard for me as a kid to see my mom in her relationships with her boyfriends through the years and my father with his relationships with his girlfriends through the years. And for a kid, that’s really hard to understand. You get so close and all of a sudden, they disappear and then go on to the next relationship. And you get scared bringing people close to you again because they can leave any time. And I’ve gone through a lot of that on both sides.
So there was a time I didn’t actually believe in marriage and I was so scared of getting so close to people because I just always thought they’d leave. But I realize it’s really up to your mom or whoever [is near] you to control that and to discipline you. Because had my mom not put her foot down and told me, ‘Your papa and I are living separate lives. You have no right to think ill of anybody that comes into his life. You know, it’s not the woman’s fault that they’re in your life. And he doesn’t love you any less because he’s with somebody else.’ And same with her. ‘The happiness a man can give me, children can never give me.’ In the same way the happiness I could give her, as her daughter, a man could never give her.
So had she not really sat me down several times to really explain that to me I would have just come out a monster, honestly. So that was something I learned that everything is relative, and you shouldn’t be afraid to let go of your life. And if they leave, then you roll with the punches. It should never be talagang a hindrance sa sarili mong life kasi it doesn’t mean that because your parents lived a life like that, you should live a like that or it’s gonna happen to you.
Q: Has it taught you to be more selective with men?
KC: I would think so. Not in the beginning (laugh). I think it also kind of made me more experimental and open. But now that I’m older, I’m glad…there are things you go through when you’re younger, but now that I’m more, you know, not a teenager anymore, it makes you more careful. Because I really don’t like heartbreak. I used to be an avid fan of heartbreak. It made me feel alive.
But now it’s like, you just have so much work. I mean, in a good way. But if I, I cannot give my extra energy to healing a broken heart. You know what I mean? So, yes, in that sense I’ve become more selective?
Q: Do you believe in marriage now?
KC: I believe in it but I’m not going to in the next…any time soon. But yeah, I’m (naturally) excited. I came to realize, marriage means, I’m sorry to quote Sex and the City, this is really pathetic but, it says, tradition creeps up on you. I kind of believe that because honestly I’ve had different [forms of family] through the years. First was my parents, then when that didn’t work out, it became my grandma and her relatives and then when my stepfather came in, we totally discarded that. It became the Pangilinans. And now Papa’s in the picture and so the Concepcions are around. So I’m just really excited to come up with my own traditions…my own set of family…but that’s later on.
Q: Do you have a target age for marriage?
I’ve always wanted to be a young mom but I changed my mind. There’s so much I can still do and I think I’m not cut out for that [yet]. And it’s just a full time job. I don’t know.
Q: What would be your ideal age to get married?
KC: Maybe like my late twenties…like 29. And a half. Or maybe 30.
Q: Does your mom agree?
KC: She’s wanted me to be married since I was born!
Q: How long have you been endorsing Palmolive?
KC: Palmolive was what kept me here [in the minds of people] while I was [in Paris]. Hindi maubos maisip ng mga tao na…akala ng mga tao nandito pa rin ako because nga… May mga tumatawag sa’kin, “You know I want to say I miss you but I don’t because I see you everyday.” Mga kaibigan ko…na minsan depressed na depressed ako pero…Kasi I left when I was 18 and got back two years ago so for six years? It’s been really good here.
Q: What is your criteria for choosing which products to endorse?
KC: Well, actually, I would leave that to my manager, though I always said, it has to be something that I use talaga. I’m glad that there are so many offers but I’ll leave this to my manager to answer…
Q: Your personal criteria?
KC: If it works for me and if I am able to use it. For example, everyone knows that for 11 years now, I’ve been pesco-vegetarian and for six months of the year, I don’t eat fish. So I’m pesco-vegetarian half the year and for the other half, I’m totally vegetarian. It’s for health reason also. It started out as for preference. I really don’t like the taste of certain food. So I’d be lying to the public because they know for 11 years now how I eat. So if all of a sudden you see me endorsing like a pork product or something or a beef product, then obviously I’ve converted back to being a carnivore or…things like that.
Q: How would you describe your partnership with Palmolive?
KC: We’ve gone through so much. There was a time, they were with a whole different agency…no, no, corporate changes. And recently, I’ve been able to shoot in Bangkok. Before that, things were being greenlighted just by the local office then it became it has to be greenlighted by New York then it has to be produced in Hong Kong or Bangkok. And then, and I just…everything changed. It’s become more…simple or complicated, I don’t know which one it is. But we’ve gone though a lot. They trained me with the VO ad. If Palmolive hadn’t…I learned that much in terms of the craft. It’s an international brand…because they have the right connections. Now it’s just so much fun going to Hong Kong and then shooting there and flying back home.
Q: You must be very happy.
KC: I am. Anything I endorse, I’m always happy.
Every single receipt purchase of at least P99 worth of Palmolive products entitles you to one free Palmolive Go Natural charm bracelet which can be claimed at Palmolive booths every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in supermarkets nationwide. Get a chance to win an exciting Nature Trip package to Boracay, Davao, Bohol or Palawan.