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Beauty within: One woman’s view

By Pauline Songco

“There’s something much deeper than being beautiful,” says author Malu Tiongson-Ortiz. “Beauty is not just about how you look, how you are. It’s not what you see; it’s more of your being.”
While many women are drawn to the latest fashion trends offered by stores left and right, for Malu, beauty lies beneath the surface. “Being beautiful is a very important aspect in a woman’s life. But then, beauty can fade once you start seeing the person’s real character,” she explains at the launch of her second book, Ikaw na ang Maganda Book 2: Dress up Pure and Lovely.
Her first book, Ikaw na ang Maganda: How to be Beautiful Inside and Out takes inspiration from Malu’s experiences as a makeup artist. This follow-up book draws from Malu’s experiences in fashion and expresses her growing concern about the increasingly sexualized trends in women’s clothing.
“Well, I guess, it’s based on experience. Sometimes, my husband tells me that there’s something that I need to change because most of the time, we’re in denial, ‘di ba. But then, you realize it’s like our character kasi is like body odor. You don’t smell yourself, but everybody can smell you. And sometimes it’s painful. So when my husband and I separated, I realized that there’s something missing. And that’s when I began to realize that no matter what I do — go to the gym everyday, etc. — I cannot win my husband back. And now my focus is on how I can be beautiful inside.”
She continues, “As you get older, I think you get more focused on that. Other women, as they get older, they focus more on the outer. Because you get wrinkles. But I’m way past that na eh. I’ve been there. There was a time I was very fit, but at this point in time, you realize that at my age, there’s more to life than beauty. Real beauty comes from being who you are inside.”
When she was writing, Malu recalls, she realized that she learned more about herself. “You never realize na I’m like this pala kasi parang something is being revealed to me. I sometimes find myself even being rebuked, for example... what makes us ugly when we are domineering, when we are controlling or manipulative, you pause and you say, ganyan ako eh. But then I also see God has changed me a lot. And that’s because of the painful experiences I’ve been through. I always say that when women go through painful trials, that’s when God changes your ashes to beauty. It’s when you’re very down or very hurt, that’s when the real beauty will be revealed. Because you become humble. That’s real beauty for me — when there is joy, there is self-control, there’s peace.”
Ikaw na ang Maganda Book 2: Dress up Pure and Lovely also features fashion tips and techniques by personality development coach and ImageMaker Consultant Ginny Gonzales–Atacador. Homeschooling advocate, blogger and author Joy Tan-Chi–Mendoza also shares her insights on fitness and dressing.
Ikaw na ang Maganda Book 2: Dress up Pure and Lovely is available at OMF Lit Bookshops, Passages Bookshops, Philippine Christian Book Stores, National Book Stores and other leading bookstores nationwide for only P75.

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