Kisses Delavin exudes confidence, intelligence, and beauty as she continues her quest to the Miss Universe Philippines 2021. Kisses, whose real name is Kirsten Danielle Delavin, is one of the Final 30 candidates and a Fan Vote winner in this year’s beauty pageant.

She represents her hometown Masbate. The former Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) housemate is no stranger when it comes to beauty contests as she has previously won in local competitions like Miss Masbate and Miss Kaogma before entering showbiz.

Kisses recently sat down for The Purple Chair Interview Presents of Batalk channel (Boy Abunda Talk Channel) on YouTube.

An only child, Kisses talked about her fondest childhood memory. “With my mom and dad in Masbate. I remember when I was three or four years old, my dad liked to bring me sa mga lakad niya. For example, I was in front of his motorcycle then I would fall asleep because of the fresh air. I think that is one of the most vivid childhood memories that I remember.”

Kisses is at ease in front of the camera since she was young. She shared how she became a Natasha model. “When I was six years old, we had a vacation here in Manila and then I was discovered by Ahensya Modelo. I was very comfortable in front of the camera. I enjoyed posing and trying on different dresses. I think it was just something that I enjoyed.”

However, she experienced insecurities when she had braces in high school. “In elementary, I was a model. But I really had an awkward two years in high school. I felt insecure (because of the braces). I felt like people were laughing at me but that was not true because I looked fine looking back. So what I did was I joined beauty pageants because I didn’t like feeling bad about myself.”

At a very young age, Kisses already showed interest in beauty contests. She joined her very first when she was three years old. It was during the Miss Teen Campus when she still had braces on her teeth yet she still managed to win first runner-up.

The former Pinoy Big Brother housemate as a kiddie beauty contestant and when she joined Miss Masbate.

Here are some parts of our conversation:

How was it growing up as an only child?

“It was just me and my ates in Masbate. My ates ay sila iyong mga kasama namin sa bahay. They would teach me how to tie my hair because my Mommy and Daddy were both busy at work. I longed for an older or little sister. I think if I were to change something, gusto ko talaga ng kapatid. Pero masarap maging only child kung mahal na mahal ka ng parents mo.”

You were a miracle child. You were the second pregnancy of your mother.

“I had a sister. Her name was Kaitlyn. She didn’t survive because she was a premature baby. She was born six months old and she didn’t survive all the complications. She lived for one year and eight months.”

Were you sickly as a child?

“Yes. When I was a kid, I suffered viral encephalitis. I had five percent chance of living because grabe iyong complications during that time. I had to be airlifted to Manila for hospitalization. I was able to live through this unscathed. My case was studied by doctors as to why I was able to survive. The doctors wanted to find out why I was able to wake up from a coma. I was comatose for almost 24 hours and the high possibility was that I would be brain dead. But I woke up and I looked for my Mom and Dad.”

Because of that experience you became grateful.

“Yes, Tito Boy. Because when life gives you a second chance to live, you’ll really feel grateful, with the help of my Mom and Dad. Ever since maliit ako at ‘pag magpapasaway, my Mom and Dad will remind me, ‘Kisses, second chance mo na ito to live. Sige ka, kung maging masama ka ganito, ganyan.’”

Why Kisses?

“When my mother was in labor, she saw another envelope on the side na may nanganganak din I think and may ‘Kisses’ pong pangalan so my mom said, ‘Oh, I like this name.’ But I already had a name Kirsten Danielle so she nicknamed me Kisses.”

Were you spoiled?

“Siguro noong maliit pa ako pero not in a sense na nang-aaway. Iyong gusto ko lang iyong pabili ng ganito, ganyan. When I grew up, I realized that my Mommy and Daddy were hard workers. I remember when I was a child my mother and father would work from Monday to Sunday. I learned the value of money. That’s why the first time that I had baon na money was when I was in first year high school because I didn’t like to spend money that much because I knew how hard it is to earn money.”

Tell me the story of your first beauty contest when you had braces.

“It was Miss Teen Campus. My classmates, who were my close friends, were so shocked. They could not imagine. One of my best friends, Kennan, knew how I’d like to play. When she saw me backstage at the screening, she was like, ‘What?!’ She could not grasp the idea because it was so out of character for me. It gave me a sense of power because I was so shy but when I stood on stage, it was like I had to force myself to forget about negative things.”

You won Miss Masbate and Miss Kaogma. What were your most unforgettable experiences in these beauty pageants?

“My most favorite part was the start because every time I decided to join, it was always the last minute. For example, in Miss Masbate, I was in La Salle. I had to talk to my teachers, ‘I need to do this. It’s tomorrow. I had to fly there.’ In Miss Kaogma, I just turned 17. So pwede na kasi 17 ang minimum (age) sa Miss Kaogma. It was in CamSur. I told my Mom, ‘Mom, I need to join. It’s in CamSur. Let’s go.’ So we had to fly immediately to CamSur. Mommy said, ‘Panalunin mo huh. Mahal iyong ticket (laughs).’”

What did you learn from those contests?

“Jumping in before you are ready because in Miss Masbate and Miss Kaogma, also in PBB, I would always think, ‘Oh, I should give myself like three or more years.’ But where is that belief coming from? I think it’s the negativity that I’m not yet good enough. I’m too young. But once I eradicate that thought and just soldier on, it’s such a brave feeling that rushes to me. It’s so empowering.”

How much involvement did Mom and Dad have?

“Si Daddy sa first swimsuit photoshoot ko, ‘Ano ba iyan…’ And then when I fit swimsuits at home, sabi niya, ‘Baby ko, ano ba iyan? (laughs)’”

You went to La Salle. What happened?

“My stint in La Salle was very short because of PBB. I think it was one and a half years but one of the happiest moments of my life because I was in an organization. It’s a theater org called Harlequin Theatre Guild. From 6 (p.m.) to 10 p.m., we were always at the org making props and plays. I love my La Salle year.”

You’re very pretty. Sa La Salle, may mga nagparamdam ba at nandoon ba si Daddy?

“Well, wala naman pero I remember my father because the condo where we were staying was just in front of the entrance of La Salle. Ang ganda ng dress ko during my first day of school. I really dressed up. I looked up and saw my father. He was like an eagle. I said to him when I went home, ‘Dad, bakit mo naman ako tinitingnan papunta ako sa school.’ He said, ‘Tinitingnan ko lang baka kasi ano eh.’ Sabi ko, “Si Daddy talaga.’”

You wanted to get into show business. Why?

“Ever since I was a little kid, my Mom and Dad would always tell me that I was able to live through everything. For example, I had dengue twice and I had five platelets left that my doctor said if I weren’t in the hospital at the right time, I could have been gone. My mother and father told me that maybe I have a mission. So I looked into my skills and thought this was the right job for me. So if this is what’s for me, I will really do my best and I enjoy showbiz also so it’s not too much of a stretch.”

Another important lesson that you learned in show business.

“You’re your own advocate. You’re your own protector. You’re your own knight. So you have to fight for yourself because we know some people like to bash but there are also some people who would say they like you and they genuinely do but they don’t see you, your work. You have to discern.”

I wish Kisses the best of luck on her journey to the crown. The coronation night of Miss Universe Philippines 2021 will be held on Sept. 25.

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