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This model/cover girl swears she?s just your average girl
STATUESQUE ISABELLE DAZA SAYS she?s a normal girl who does normal things. She goes to school, hangs out with friends, and likes going shopping, just like most college girls. It indeed sounds normal, yet her celebrity status, billboards, and endorsements can?t be shaken off so easily.

Isabelle arrives at the shoot on a lazy Saturday morning in a chirpy mood. She changes outfits with ease, without complaints, and gives small suggestions to friend and makeup artist Solenn Heussaff midway through the shoot just to have a little more fun with the look. ?Let?s try purple lipstick,? she says. She is evidently very comfortable in front of the camera, dancing by herself to the photographer?s music in the lull between shoot as the photos are being reviewed.

?I have this bad habit of unconsciously dancing to music playing in a store while shopping, and my sister always asks, ?Do you realize what you?re doing??? Isabelle confesses.

One may think a young celeb like her would be vigilant about her public appearance to the point of paranoia, but the 21-year-old isn?t afraid to keep things real.

In good company

?My friends and I like to do normal things,? she says. They enjoy watching movies, going out, hanging out in each other?s houses, playing Rock Band, ? ? simple fun stuff,? Isabelle concludes.

She once hosted a memorable get-together where her mom prepared Filipino food and laid out a banana leaf on the table for everyone to eat on with their hands.

?At first, they were like ?Eww, I don?t want to use my hands but before we knew it, people were already asking for their second serving of rice!?

In the end, friends passed each other food, ?kamayan? style without fuss.

Isabelle travels with friends, to Europe recently, and is planning a camping with them in December. ?Apparently there will be a six-hour hike up the mountain, but the boys aren?t telling us girls anything! They?re making it sound like we?ll be roasting marshmallows and singing songs,? she says.

The Early Childhood Education student at De La Salle University says that just like most people, she can?t ignore the recent economic slump. ?I want to learn to cook well and my friends and I set up theme dinners because we can?t just keep eating dinner out all the time.? She adds, ?Plus you know what?s going in your food.?

Learning to cook well is just one of the numbers of short-term goals Isabelle has set for 2009. Other goals are learning how to salsa, taking up self-defense, becoming CPR-certified, and an overall goal of becoming healthy.

Last year, she set a goal of learning Spanish, which she accomplished. ?I do it just to improve myself. But I?m not planning where I should be five years from now, I just go with the flow.?

Style files

A fashion inspiration to many, Isabelle says she in turn, enjoys Rachel Bilson?s style. ?Her style is very achievable for me. She is low-key and doesn?t always sport the ?It? trend, but she always looks super cute and glamorous.?

She also admires good friend and stylist Liz Uy?s flair and likes the effortless ?model-off-duty look.?

Isabelle says that her personal trick to shopping is reserving items before buying. ?My friends tease me and say ?we?re going shopping and Isabelle is going to reserve everything!? but it helps me decide better.? Her rule? If she can?t sleep and thinks about it, then she returns to buy it. ?Now all my friends do it!? she says with a laugh.

?I?m still a student,? Isabelle begins, ?and I still ask for allowance.? She admits that many might assume that her work gives her license to live extravagantly, but Isabelle exercises wisdom, saving all her earnings. When it comes to being recession chic, she advises, ?It?s knowing what you want versus what you need ? Because I always ?need? new shoes.?

At the end of the shoot, Isabelle thanks everyone and leaves the studio without once displaying even a hint of air. Her sweet demeanor extends all throughout supporting her assertion of being a normal college girl. She says at the end of the interview, ?My friends and I just always do really, really goofy stuff! Like when you enter the cinema and it?s dark, I always dance and go wild there, because I feel like no one will ever see me!? Not quite average, but definitely real.

I?m listening to ? the soundtrack of ?(500) Days of Summer?! And I?m also listening to some French artists like Carracoal

I love watching ? ?Gossip Girl? for the clothes and New York City and ?Glee? for the song remixes! I?m a frustrated singer! But I don?t watch too much TV because I don?t have time.

My current favorite fashion trend is ? The boyfriend polo. Girls who wear oversized long-sleeved shirts that look like their boyfriend?s shirts with shorts. I love that!

But I could never see myself wearing ? A hat? I don?t know, I just can?t pull it off.

A great way to save money is ? not to order drinks at a restaurant and just drink water. I do that also because I just love water!

When it comes to guys ? He has to make me laugh. You?d think I?d be attracted to someone physically first, but I?m not. He has to be witty.

My friends are ? Sarcastic! We all get along because we have the same humor-dry!

I would love to travel to ? South America next year with all my loved ones.

In 2010 I would like to ? Graduate!