“Success is sweet and sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats” goes a popular saying. Christelle Abello and Kirk Bondad are walking testaments of this adage after experiencing a series of setbacks and challenges before emerging as the grand winners of Century Tuna Superbods Love Strong 2022.
For Filipino-German Kirk, his Superbods journey actually started two years ago when he experienced dejection after being disqualified from Century Tuna Superbods 2020. It was at the height of the pandemic and unfortunately, he came in close contact with someone who tested positive with the disease.
While it was discouraging, he ultimately understood that it was for everyone’s safety. “The focus is now because this is what I can control,” he wrote in an Instagram post regarding his disqualification.
Christelle, on the other hand, really had to think long and hard before joining Century Tuna Superbods 2022 which she thought was a risky decision. The statuesque beauty who was born in the United States, shares: “Coming back to compete again (for Century Tuna Superbods) was the scariest decision I faced as I no longer believed in myself.”
At that time, Christelle was still recovering from her biggest heartbreak which was missing a major beauty title. But through it all, both Superbods 2022 winners worked hard to see the positive side of these unfortunate events.
Both aimed to stay motivated to work on bettering themselves for the people they love. Kirk said: “Getting disqualified was one of the greatest blessings in disguise of my life so far. It enabled me to work on myself even harder, and connect with all of this year’s wonderful Superbods. Sometimes, we might not see it, but everything happens for a reason; we just have to let life do its thing.”
While Christelle learned the value of self-acceptance: “I learned to choose and love myself and be proud of the everyday triumphs I’ve accomplished, no matter how big or small. Pushing myself to find the strength within me to overcome and try again made me realize that I can live super because I love strong. I will forever stay strong to love myself, to prove that I can and to live the life I deserve.”
Even with the trials they both went through, they made sure their health and wellbeing were their top priority. Both fitness enthusiasts are believers of a sustainable and balanced diet and fitness. “Healthy to me is living with intention,” Kirk explained. For him, this comes with the practice of being active, consuming the right food sources, being in line spiritually and mentally, taking purposeful responsibilities, and sustaining meaningful relationships.
“With a healthy body, comes a healthy mind,” Christelle likewise noted. According to her, our bodies deserve the love and care that it deserves, even if that means having a slice of chocolate cake after an intense cardio workout. So whether life or health and fitness, Filipinos can look to the new Superbod winners Kirk Bondad and Christelle Abello to inspire them to get back up again, see the silver lining in what may seem as setbacks, and start their own journey towards bettering themselves as well.
“I want to inspire our fellow Filipinos to be healthy by using my platform to be authentic, real, and not perfect. I want to show the world that yes, working out can be hard, but can also be fun and done through other ways (games, friends). If I can show up for myself, so can you,” advised Christelle.
While Kirk concluded: “If you are genuinely into fitness and health and want to inspire others to do the same, your journey starts today!”
Held at the Harbor Garden Tent, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, both Kirk and Christelle bested 30 other Superbods 2022 candidates to take home ₱500,000.00 each, tax-free. Joining them to finish as the runners-up were Miss Environment International 2022 runner-up Michelle Arceo and fashion photographer Gee Plamenco Jr, who also won the Ageless Superbod award. They received ₱200,000.00 each, tax-free. All four winners will also get a year’s worth of Century Tuna products and other exciting prizes. Relive their Century Tuna Superbods 2022 journey and #LoveStrong stories on the Century Tuna Superbods’ official Facebook page @centurytuna or through https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPGFUvW3oJ8&t=6616s and Instagram @centurytunasuperbods.