Twenty-three year old model Deñia Elamparo is, by her own words, an "island hopper" and an adventurous soul, having lived on Guam, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, and several other countries so far. This part Filipina who hails from Yigo will always call our island home. She is currently pursuing a degree in college. And if she seems familiar to you, it's probably because she joined the Miss World Guam pageant in 2013 and landed the People's Choice Award. She was also on the pages of UNO for a previous summer special issue.
Aside from her education, Deñia also keeps herself busy traveling, having recently visited the Philippines, the land of her birth, and stayed there for a month. She's also trying to learn Spanish. We recently caught up with her and we're glad we did!
PHOTO BY CHRIS HIRATA
How would you describe yourself?
I like to think that I'm easy to get along with. I'm understanding and positive about life. I'm also very adventurous in the sense of exploring different countries. So far I've been to 7 different countries and counting, not including Guam and when I moved to Puerto Rico. I'm trying to learn Spanish on a more interactive level. I've just been island hopping. I was living in Hawaii for a few years and learned how similar their culture is to ours. I loved Hawaii and I'm sure I'll love Puerto Rico just as much, but Guam will always be home. 🇬🇺❤️
How would you describe your childhood and what would be a most memorable event in your life (it could be a happy or sad thing)?
I grew up in a humble home. My mom worked very hard to keep my sister and I fed. Something that I really remember was when my baby sister had to [feed on "am" rice water] for a bit because we couldn't afford [infant] formula. I couldn't describe the feeling I felt when I saw this. I felt so bad for my sister and, I promised myself that when I am older, I will help my mom. I want to give them a better life.
It's been four years since you joined Miss World Guam, what's your best memory of the event?
The best memory I have was when I finally saw the stage during rehearsal. It was so real, and I suddenly got very nervous. I didn't have a coach for the pageant. I would say I was very unprepared. At least, the next time I join a pageant, if I ever do, I know what to expect and what to prepare for.
How did you first realize that you have what it take to join a beauty contest?
I did the contest because it had a purpose. Although I didn't think I had what it took I still did it because, why not? This was a blessing to me because sometimes they don't come twice.
School and traveling. I am going to school online because I get to be more free to go places and still continue my education. Currently, I am in the Philippines for a month.
You have been part of a previous UNO Summer Special issue, what did you like best about the experience?
My favorite part about it was being able to meet new people and, of course, just getting to shoot and be published. I really think I've grown more comfortable in front of the camera, and doing shoots like that helped contribute.
What makes you sexy and attractive?
My wit and personality make me attractive. Beauty can only take you so far. Personality will take you beyond the imaginable.
How do you keep yourself fit?
I have to admit since I have been vacationing more I've had a harder time staying fit. Of course, I want to try and experience all the local foods of the places I visit. I try to stay slim by portioning my food or drinking a lot before I eat. When I am at home, though, I do go to the gym.
You also have a blog, "The World of Denia." Is writing your passion?
Writing is more of a hobby for me. I don't really go out of my way to write, but I try and do it when I can. My goal for my blog and Facebook page is to share my experiences with people who have adventurous souls like me. Some people ask me for advice for their next vacation, and I feel great knowing I can contribute to society even just in this way.
What things would you recommend to someone visiting Guam for the very first time?
There's so many things to recommend depending on what that individual is into! For outdoor adventurers like me, I'd suggest Sigua Falls. Sigua is a challenging hike. The heat almost makes it unbearable. The hike itself is amazing, but the destination is breathtaking.
You describe yourself as an "island hopper," so which islands have you visited, and which gave you the most thrill/excitement, and why?
I say that because of the islands I've lived in including Guam. I've lived in the Philippines, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. I love the islands. I love the lifestyle and the people. I love how respectful islanders are and how much they care for their people.
If you were to choose another island to be your second home, which would it be, and what would attract you to it?
Oahu. Yes, it's packed with people and traffic but it's perfect for me. It has the city life of Honolulu and the chill, island vibe of the North Shore. I've been there several times and I just love it. Plus, it's easier to do castings in Oahu since there are more modeling jobs available.
PHOTO BY CHRIS HIRATA
What's one thing that about you that a lot of people may not know of?
I don't really want people to know this because I do so much bikini shoots but I don't know how to swim. I can't stay afloat! I know, I know. I grew up on an island, but I was never taught how to swim. 😅
How do you de-stress?
I try and do activities but if I can't I surround myself with friends so that I'm not left alone with my thoughts.
What does a man need to do to catch your attention and hold it?
Just be true to himself. His smile, our connection, the way he is towards me. The perfect example is Edward, my mister. He has my attention and still holds it.
If you were able to travel for free to any part of the world that you've never been before, where would it be and why?
I'd go to Dubai. I really want to see how their life is there and experience it. I want to see if the rumors are true about most people having exotic cars. Plus, I want to find my dad there. Maybe I'll make a blog about my journey in doing that.
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