Blue Lagoon: Meet Our Cover Girl Janine Gutierrez

Blue Lagoon: Meet Our Cover Girl Janine Gutierrez

The beaches and limestone cliffs of Palawan seem like they’re straight out of the pages of a fairy tale and the lakes in Coron are so beautiful and pristine that it’s enchanting.

MU: What’s something about the Philippines foreigners
never know about?

JG: Almost all Filipinos know how to speak
English! There are about 150 different dialects used among the
islands in addition to our national language which is Filipino but
we also use English to communicate. This is a big plus for
travellers that need to get around because everyone is naturally
very accommodating. Filipinos are known for their incomparable
hospitality and warmth.

And we make delicious beer!

MU: Best street food?

JG: Isaw! It’s grilled chicken intestines on a
barbecue stick which you dip in spicy vinegar. It looks pretty
crazy but it tastes delicious.

MU: You’re half Spanish, half Filipina, what do you
think are your strongest Filipino and Spanish

JG: The Filipino culture is similar to the
Spanish in many ways because our country was a colony of Spain for
333 years. In the language, the streets, and the food, Spanish
influence is everywhere. I think the best combination of both is
how the Filipinos and Spanish are always very passionate in the way
they live and love. Both cultures are known for their warmth and
how family ties are very important. Filipinos are known for being
selfless and hardworking and I guess being exposed to both cultures
has also taught me to stop for a siesta and to always share and
enjoy the fruits of my labour. And of course, we all love good

MU: What’s your favourite bar in Manila?

JG: 71 Gramercy is a rooftop bar on the 71st
floor of a Makati City high rise that gives you an incomparable
view of Metro Manila while listening to the country’s best DJs.
During the summer they have sunset sessions for happy hour. The
Manila sunset is a must see!

MU: Your dream campaign to model for is…

JG: Dolce & Gabbana

MU: Backstage, or on a shoot your go-to songs

JG: Anything by Passion Pit or Beyoncé!

MU: Your modelling career is really picking up, is it
difficult to balance acting and modelling?

JG: No because they’re similar in a lot of
ways. They both require you to get out of your head, just let go
and appreciate the moment.

MU: Which takes priority?

JG: Acting is my priority. Modelling is the
insanely fun bonus level in a video game that I always look forward

MU: Do you think the modelling world is limited in the

JG: I think there is so much untapped talent in
the Philippines that deserves global attention.

MU: You didn’t begin your acting career until after
college; do you think it’s important that actors should finish
school before entering the industry?

JG: There is not one formula for success that
works for everyone. I’ve always believed that education is a
priority but then again, that’s not something that comes
exclusively from a classroom.

MU: If you weren’t an actress, what would you be

JG: It was my dream to become a diplomat. The
idea of meeting people from different cultures while still
representing my own and getting to see the world was something I’d
always wanted.

MU: What excites you about the acting industry in the

JG: That there is still so much to be explored
and that it hasn’t reached its full potential yet. Only a few films
have had global recognition and I like that I get to witness the
growth of the film industry. Everyone is still very hungry and
everyone is waiting for that one movie that will win the country an
Oscar or that one actor who will make it worldwide. Pressure always
gives dramatic results so I think it’s an exciting time right

MU: Coming from a family of actors, did that inspire you
to become an actress?

JG: Yes, I was exposed to the industry at a
very young age and I grew up watching my relatives on television
and in movies. It always amazed me how they could embody different
people and be complete opposites of how they were in real life. I
guess I’ve always wanted to see for myself and find out why they
loved it so much.

MU: You’ve received a lot of media attention recently,
how do you stay grounded?

JG: My awkward teenage photos! Just

I’ve always known that hype is fleeting so it doesn’t really get
to me. I just focus on my work in the hopes of one day making work
that will stand the test of time and inspires. I’m also just really
enjoying everything and taking it day by day.

MU: What Filipino actor do you aspire to be

JG: My personal idol is an actress named Lovi
Poe. She’s still very young but she has an incredible career to
date of TV shows, box office movies and indie films. I like that
she isn’t afraid to try different roles and be part of various
stories. One of her films even made it to the Cannes Film Festival
and I dream of doing something like that one day.

MU: What do you always carry in your

JG: A selfie stick

MU: What’s next?

JG: See the world 😉

Editorial shot by BJ
and styled by Tona Stell with co-stylist
Liz Uy and assistant
Danae Dipon. Hair
by Ethan David and make-up by Amanda Padilla. Words by Monica Urquijo Zobel de

Gutierrez made her TV debut in 2011, and now regularly
stars on the Philippines’ broadcaster, GMA Network. A true Filipina
sweetheart, the Ateneo de Manila University graduate has graced
magazine covers from Preview to Metro, and was the face of designer
Vania Romoff’s recent campaign. Janine joined the SUITCASE team in
El Nido, Palawan, for our cover shoot.

Monica Urquijo: What’s special about the

Janine Gutierrez: The Philippines is an
archipelago of 7,107 beautiful islands so there is definitely
something for everyone. There’s the bustling city and nightlife of
Manila, beautiful islands with pristine beaches as well as some of
the best diving spots in the world, even mountain regions where you
can camp and watch the sun rise over a sea of clouds.

MU: Which is your favourite island in the

JG: The islands of Palawan. Every time I’m in
El Nido or Coron I feel like I’m waking up to a dream.