Friday, July 31, 2009

I Got Heart

Please join me and friend Tip Fallon, Director, for a fundraiser to support his non-profit.

Date: Monday, August 3, 2009
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: Olazzo in Downtown Silver Spring
Street: 8235 George Ave
City/Town: Silver Spring, MD

I Got Heart aims to empower teens who have overcome considerable life challenges. For more information about the event and the organization, please visit their website:

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meeting with GSCM

Growing up, I never even considered being a girl scout. My sister and brother went off to camp every summer, and I foregoed kayaking and getting my boating license for learning about the stock market and other related topics from my dad. True story-- my dad traded often I remember. Since he worked the night shift at Hopkins, he 'hired' me to take notes about how his stocks were faring throughout the day. And so began my interest in business.

I digress.

Back to the girl scouts, because it's not just about tagalongs and thin mints any more. These are young girls actively involved in their community, gaining confidence and taking part in activities that are sure to create lifelong friendship and memories-- sounds similar to pageantry don't you think? I didn't doubt then, that the they would warmly receive the message I had to share about my platform, No Body's Perfect. This week, I met with the Directors of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland at their headquarters in Baltimore to plan the presentations I would be making at PAVE Camp.

PAVE (Project Anti Violence Education) is a peer led camp that brings to light some of the most challenging issues that young people face today-- this years topics include healthy eating (by yours truly), gangs and substance abuse. A "Don't be mean, Go Green," theme is surely in line with the nation's increasing focus on the Earth and our impact on it. Even one of the final questions at Miss United States was geared toward that contestants role, if any, in being more environmentally responsible.

These two presentations and a final appearance at their carnival is just the beginning of an exciting relationship! For more information visit their community outreach site:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Miss United States 2009 Pageant RECAP

I can't possibly do my time in Vegas justice, which might be why it's taken me a week to get this post up. What I should have done was taken notes along the way, write little reflections-- would have been a great way to fill the hours I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get to sleep. I'd say it took me the entire week to adjust to the 3 hour time difference.

DAY ONE: I shouldn't actually count the day of travel but it was so terrible I couldn't not share the details. Surprise! Tiara (Miss Jr Teen Maryland US) and Mrs. Smith were on my flight. They did the smart thing and checked in everything. By the time I had boarded the flight, my arm was so weakened by the weight of the gowns I had carried on I figured I'd pass out on the plane. On any other day that may have been true, but today just happened to be the most turbulent ride I'd ever taken. Within 30 minutes I had my handy white paper baggy in hand and made a b-line to the lavatory. Too much information, I know.

DAY TWO: "Be You," was exactly what I needed to hear when I arrived. It was a message that was relayed by all the 2008 queens at orientation. After months of preparation, what more could I do but be myself, try my best.

DAYS THREE to FIVE: And for the rest of the year, Ricky Martin's Cup of Life will never sound the same. Hours upon hours of dance and stage practice can pretty much ruin a song, any song. Ole ole ole!

Other than Ball Gowns and Bowling Shoes, the Fashion show and impromptu runs to the mall with Joy, the rest of the week was much of the same: gym, coffee, rehearsals, lunch, more rehearsals, and sleep. Repeat. Special thanks to my NPD classmate Alissa and her company KMS California for their glorious hair refresher spray that kept my locks in order during the hustle and bustle of the week!

DAY SIX: After morning interviews and Semis I felt great and so did the entire Maryland delegation!

DAY SEVEN: Em, Tiara and Radiah (yes, I owe you $300 haha)-- I do not know what I would have done without you. There's a bit of sacredness when it comes to the sisterhood we've grown to have and I am so proud of each of you. Thank you for raising me up when my spirits were low.

I was bummed. On the other hand, there was comfort in the idea that win or lose, I pursued a dream I thought might never have happened in the first place-- I would still be Miss Maryland United States and well, that's a huge honor in and of itself. Congrats to AZ, GA, KY, NC, SC and WV for making Top 6!

Celebratory sushi dinner at Koji-- a perfect way to wrap up a rollercoaster of a week!

To the USO class of 2009, thank you for giving me more things to aspire to-- we have all been blessed with a unique opportunity to serve our states, keep in touch. XOXO

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Miss United States 2009 Pageant in Pictures

Where do I begin?! For now I'll post my favorite pictures and recap the week after I get a good night's sleep!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The man, the myth, my trainer

Thanks for pushing me the past two months Dan, my trainer at Bally's White Marsh!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

All I can say at this point is that I'll give it all I've got!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photos from 4th of July by Bill Millios

As promised, Bill's take on the Annapolis 4th of July festivities: Visit his page at:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Like clockwork

Call it nerves, call it whatever you like, but INEVITABLY, the week before I compete... I get sick. And this weekend, exactly one week before I leave for Las Vegas for Miss United States... you got it-- sore throat and headcold that just won't quit.

If anything, it's been a much needed opportunity, to sit back, relax and regain my focus. I don't ever remember having a moment to look back on that weekend in May when I won. I actually won Miss Maryland US! But here was no turning away from finals, appearances, summer school, interviews, a new internship and a bit of travel-- and from the looks of things, my schedule is not slowing down any time soon. Now two months later, I have to ask myself, where did the time go!?

A few days ago I ran into the grocery store with my dad. We ran into a Filipino couple who had stopped us in the produce section to chat. The Filipino community in Baltimore is preeeeeeeetty small so when you don't know someone, well, ya get to know them! And mid conversation my dad enthusiasitcally inserts a "well I'm Arce, and if you want to meet Miss Maryland, here she is!" Ordinarily I'd be fine with such an introduction, but it was raining that day, hence the sweat pants and I had just gotten back from the gym when my dad picked me up, hence the everything else that was wrong with that scenario. In short, I was in no position to be meeting and greeting people!

Search for a camera, camera phone, video camera, etc ensues. No luck. But I do promise to send them an autograph card.

The point is, it's exciting! I've been given a unique priveledge of representing a state that has provided me with so much-- my education, an appreciation for diversity, friends and family etc. To everyone who I have met on this journey and those that have stood by me long before it began, thank you-- I hope you have enjoyed this ride as much as I have!

Operation Get Well starts today-- now accepting apple juice, throat losenges, tea and vegetable soup!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

To celebrate our nation's independence, Em and I were invited to be a part of the 4th of July parade in Annapolis. And we (and our feet!) couldn't have been more excited to ride in the back of a 1900 Oldsmobile with Ron and Katherine kindly escorting us through downtown and the waterfront! Blast! I forgot to bring candy and other give aways. Luckily the float behind us had plenty of Skittle packs to spare to keep our energy up for almost 2 hours and we were welcomed by a vibrant crowd the entire way.

And many thanks to our photog for the day, Bill Millios-- just wait for these fabulous photos!