Age: 26 | Height: 5’6″
Hometown: Thompson, MB
Maria Cecilia’s humble beginnings were on a fish farm and vegetable farm in the Philippines. She is the eldest daughter of six siblings of very hard working parents.
She arrived in Canada in 2003 and now resides in Thompson and works closely with first nation communities.
Currently she is a Group Fitness Leader and Wellness Specialist with the Manitoba Fitness Council.
She specializes in group fitness, nutrition consulting, infant massage and fitness for elders.
She has managed to give many women and children suffering from overweight and obesity a new take on life, by removing pounds and inches from their bodies through exercise and by educating them on proper eating habits, nutrition, and being happy daily. She is considered to be a true fitness and wellness leader.
Thanks to Maria Cecilia’s encouragement and training, she has also inspired an elder with severe paralysis to walk again.
Maria Cecilia is a first degree black belt in Taekwondo. She is a strong leader and coach to over 160 current students. In the past five years she has influenced well over 500 students to greater achievements and even higher goals.
She has instilled in the students the importance of perseverance, humility, appreciation, productivity, education, self-respect, confidence, and laughter. She is a gold medalist, competing and conquering in patterns, weapons, and board breaking.
Maria Cecilia is a woman who believes in the whole world as her community. Two years ago she started a fundraising Kick-A-Thon to raise funds to assist in the building of an orphanage in the Philippines. In November, while on business and visiting family, she personally delivered a hamper full of school supplies collected from her clients and students.
Her fundraising continues this year as she works together with a bishop from Tanzania in an effort to collect much needed medical supplies and to build a school. Closer to home, she volunteers at the local YWCA and at the Boys and Girls Club where she teaches group fitness, dance and infant massage.
Her recent achievements include placing top 12 in the 2011 Miss Americana Latina del Mundo pageant and she has now been nominated for the 2012 Woman of Distinction Award.
Maria Cecilia believes that one should strive to be all she can be and that everyone should have a daily goal of happiness. She has an intense desire to travel and experience the many cultures of this wonderful world. Above all else, she values time spent with family.
Sponsored by: LABAN martial arts and fitness studio, Salon Aurora of Thompson, Winnipeg Costco, Birchwood Honda Winnipeg, Thompson Canadian Tire, Doug’s source for sports Thompson, Confusion Corner Bar and Grill Winnipeg, Zumba Thompson (Jen, Heather, Cami), Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, Nelson House Personal Care Homes, Friends and Family.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
Tagalog -- Philippine Language
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
My interests are Taekwondo, Dancing, Singing, Modelling, Teaching Fitness and Teaching Taekwondo.
I love the challenge of mastering the art of Tae Kwon Do.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I have been training in the art of Taekwondo for the past 5 years.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton and Taekwondo
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
The person that has influenced my life the most is my Taekwondo instructor, coach, and mentor, Mr. Chris Byrne. He has helped many parents, caregivers, and teachers educate children about respect and courtesy. His many teachings has made me a better fitness and martial arts instructor.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
My proudest personal accomplishment is when I became one of the top twelve in the Miss America Latina del Mundo in 2011.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
The most interesting thing about me is how easy it is for me to communicate with children and with elders. Many others have noticed how quickly they become comfortable with me.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
My ambition is to be a celebrity Fitness Instructor in the Philippines.
I am constantly upgrading and taking many courses to be even more qualified.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
Celebrity Fitness Trainer
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
Manitoba Fitness Council and LABAN martial arts & fitness studio
Area of study:
Fitness and Taekwondo
Are you currently employed?
Yes, I am self-employed.
If yes, what is your occupation?
I am a Fitness and Taekwondo Instructor.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I grew up on a fish and vegetable farm in the Philippines. I am the eldest daughter of six children of very hard working parents. I had many chores to do, including caring for my younger siblings and laundry by hand all the while trying to maintain my top ten position in academic achievements so my parents would be proud.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
One of the most interesting jobs I have had was being a health care aide and a server to elders in a personal care home. Working in the home I learned to appreciate the experiences of the elders. I have always enjoyed helping people and have a great deal of patience and understanding for seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are dealing with life-affecting illness.
List any volunteering you have done.
In the Philippines I volunteered at a nearby orphanage with feeding and cleaning.
I am currently a volunteer fitness instructor at the YWCA. I also run a Baby Boot Camp at no charge showing moms how to massage their babies which has numerous benefits.
What is your most unusual talent?
I can break wooden boards using different kinds of hand and foot strikes.
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
The most Interesting place I ever seen is underwater.
I went snorkeling and saw all different kinds of colourful fish and coral reefs.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
I hope to be a celebrity fitness instructor, married, and have a wonderful children.