How do you create a masterpiece, one that is a hallmark of beauty, elegance and sophistication? Take Rizzini Alexis Gomez, the reigning 2012 Miss Tourism International, for example. This 22-year-old, 5 feet 10 inch statuesque stunner, a Cum Laude nursing graduate from the University of Cebu and now a registered nurse, was no overnight sensation. Her beauty and confidence were the result of hard work, determination, will to succeed, building of confidence, and lots of prayers. For Rizzini, joining beauty contests is no walk in the park. Though she failed to win in previous contests she joined, she eventually won the Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism 2012 crown (where she also bagged Best in Swimsuit) and earned for herself a ticket to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the Miss Tourism International. But even after she won Mutya ng Pilipinas, she immediately buckled down to work. When preparing for major beauty tiffs, Rizzini follows a strict regimen, mainly involving developing stamina since beauty pageants are full of rigorous physical activities. For her daily physical activities, she says she swims and walks a lot, and even plays basketball if there’s an opportunity, more often with her father, former PBA professional player and now University of Cebu basketball team coach Roehl Gomez. She also swears that there’s no special diet. “Contrary to what people may think about beauty queens’ diet, for me, I can practically eat what I want. But then I compensate by working out, at least 4 times a week. I also consume protein-rich food but of course, I also eat lots of vegetables,” Rizzini says. Preparing herself emotionally also counts for this beauty when preparing for a major pageant. Reading her favorite books, mostly paranormal, romance, fantasy or adventure genres, helps calm her mind and divert her attention off a pageant even if for a while, and also helps her to relax. But of course, the most important for her is praying hard. “I was brought up in a very religious family, especially my Mom, who taught me to always seek guidance and wisdom from God in everything I do, whether preparing for a beauty pageant or even exams in school or the nursing board exams.” In terms of her looks and other facial requirements, Rizzini insists that being a beauty pageant contestant would entail some degree of help. “I have problems with acne breakouts, probably because I have oily skin. And surely these problems need medical assistance.” And to remedy this, she acknowledges the help of Dr. Mary Jane “Dr. MJ” Torres, who runs The Zen Institute, a premier medical spa in the country located in Bonifacio Global City that has become Rizzini’s favorite. She was lucky enough to have won treatment packages at The Zen Institute as part of her Mutya prizes, and this is what Rizzini truly enjoys as she goes there regularly. “I know that true beauty comes from within but I was also really glad to have known The Zen Institute, where they did wonders to my face problems related to acne and oiliness. Going to Zen made me even more confident in showing to the world true Filipina beauty is inside and out, and I thank Zen for giving me that confidence.” As to her future, Rizzini said her reign would involve lots of traveling, mainly between the Philippines and Malaysia. Once her reign ends, among this articulate Cebuana’s plans is to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing or maybe even go to Law school. “I’m definitely looking at those goals but of course, I’d let God decide on where I should go. I’ll just follow,” she said. “Rizzini is the creation and now a masterpiece! She lives a healthy lifestyle with a positive attitude. At her age and at this early stage of her career, she knows how to create a balance between mind and body. And of course, it is a duty to take care of one’s self from inside and out. She is the true example of a woman living in Zen’s guiding philosophy. She is a beauty ‘perfected from within,’” Dr. MJ emphasizes. The Zen Institute is located at the Ground Floor, Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st Street corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (856-2027), with branches at 69-D Scout Rallos St., Tomas Morato, Quezon City (441-1712; 412-2528), Sofitel Philippines Plaza Manila, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City (832-6957), or at the St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center, Maharlika Highway, Barangay 2, Sto. Tomas, Batangas ((+43) 778-4811). For more about The Zen Institute, visit www.thezeninstitute.com.