by Yvette Tan
It is a bit intimidating seeing Maggie Wilson for the first time. For one, she’s taller than most girls, and her legs are almost impossible to beat. Once you get past that, however, you will discover that she is laid back and easy to talk to; her stories less guarded and more candid than others in the same industry.
At the time of this interview, she and new husband Victor Consunji had just made the headlines with the Internet leak of their steamy, for-friends-and-family-only pre-nuptial video, which shows the couple making out in various states of undress. “We had no intentions of that being leaked on the Internet,” Maggie says. “It was actually Xeng Zulueta’s wedding gift to us because we really, really wanted Jason Magbanua to shoot our wedding, but he wasn’t available. Xeng and Jason are really good friends so she figured why not shoot a pre-nuptial video, but not do the regular pa-cute or pa-sweet video. Victor suggested, ‘Let’s do something raunchier, different.’ So we decided to do a sexier take on pre-nuptial videos.”
While the video shocked many people (which begs the question: If they were going to be offended, why did they view it?), it also delighted others, and more importantly, resulted in many couples wanting to do the same. “I feel like it’s revolutionary, and I think we’ve started a new trend, which is awesome,” Maggie says. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion but at the end of the day, we love the video. Everybody I love—my friends and family—love the video. We all love the video and that’s all that matters. So haters, please.”
For Maggie being married is not much different from going steady. “We’ve been living together for a while now so when we got married, it was more a formality. It was fun and sweet. It was one big event. It feels the same. I have a new ring on my finger.”
Pop goes the question
“Actually, I didn’t like him in the beginning,” Maggie says of Victor. “He was not my type. I don’t like clean pretty boys. I don’t like businessmen, but he was so kulit that I finally gave in. Actually, on the third date, he told me he wanted to marry me, and we weren’t even together yet! Sabi ko: ‘You’re crazy. Don’t call me tomorrow,’ but he was super kulit. Eventually, I figured out that we have a lot in common. He is a lot like me, but a guy. I guess the more I got to know him the more there was no doubt. You don’t question.”
So when Victor popped the question after nine months of being together, Maggie automatically said yes. “Me being paranoid, I would ask myself every day if I was sure (because I’m just 2). The answer was yes,” she says.
There’s a 12-year age gap between Maggie and her husband, something that doesn’t distress her one bit. “All of my ex boyfriends were at least eight years older than I was. I feel that I’m more mature than a regular twenty-one-year-old,” she says. “I enjoy the age gap. I enjoy learning from him because he’s traveled more, he’s experienced more, and I like to see how he views the world. I’ve dated older than him. It wasn’t a big deal. It’s also nice because he treats me like a baby.”
“He’s very disciplined,” she says. “With work, with everything. He likes to keep himself looking good and healthy. I tend to slack off sometimes, but he’s there to push me and discipline me, and teach me how to stay on track.”
Home sweet home
Maggie’s taken some time off work to concentrate on being a wife. Before getting married she was hosting and playing the bad girl on the telenovela, Beauty Queen.
“We just got married so I don’t want to jump back into work. I want to take in marriage first a little bit: be home when my husband comes home and be the domesticated wife I’m supposed to be. Cook for him, be there for him, wake up and sleep next to him,” she says. Her husband wasn’t fond of the long hours acting entailed. “He wants me to be home, which is something that I need to get used to because I’ve lived independently since I was sixteen. I’m enjoying it. I started watching Nikita yesterday. I cook for my friends.”
If you’re lucky enough to dine on Maggie’s table, make sure she serves her mashed potatoes, one of her specialties. She can make peanut butter ice cream from scratch. “I’m a foodie, and that’s kind of how I got into cooking,” she says. “I started watching Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, Top Chef. I learned how to make ice cream, sorbets, hors d’oeuvres and regular food like pasta, steaks, and burgers.”
Although it seems like she’s doing the whole domesticated wife bit, Maggie is still very much her own woman. For one thing, she’s not one of those who will allow their significant other to dictate what they wear. She says as much to the hair stylist who has commented on the shorts and thin sleeveless blouse she wears. Although she likes staying put for now, Maggie isn’t one to make her life revolve around home, at least not yet. “I have a girly day maybe once or twice a month to see my girlfriends, but I don’t usually go out without Victor. It’s kind of like he won’t go out without me, and I won’t go out without him. It’s not a written rule; it’s just like that. We don’t want to be apart, I guess,” she says.
Maggie was working on Beauty Queen and planning her wedding at the same time. “I was really, really stressed out from September until the wedding day, but it was good stress,” she says.
Maggie is best remembered as an MTV VJ, a job that she enjoyed and misses, but admits that she wouldn’t want to go through again. “I miss going to concerts, hosting concerts, and meeting new people. I miss the people I worked with like Kat [Alano] and Sib [Sibulo]. It was fun while it lasted, but I don’t think I would do it again,” she says. “I feel that I’m more at peace with myself now. Sometimes, when you meet these international artists, they can be douches, sleazebags, whatever. (I’m not going to mention names.) And, you have to deal with them. How am I going to go to work and deal with that, and then come home and like ‘Hi honey! So and so is a douche, and I had to deal with him today.’”
She wants to do more hosting in the future though, especially since she doesn’t think she’ll be doing soaps for a very long time, if ever at all. Given a choice, it’s what she prefers over acting, anyway. “The hours are shorter. You get paid to talk and ask questions. You don’t really have to act. You can be yourself. You get paid more, and you get to meet a lot of people which is great,” she adds.
If you were to go back in time to 10 years ago, and tell a younger Maggie Wilson, the daughter of a Scotsman and a Filipina based in Saudi Arabia that she was going to be a Filipino celebrity, she would have laughed at you. “I thought I was going to be either a tennis player or an interior designer. I was playing tennis since I was five, all they way until I left Saudi Arabia. I was pretty good at it, and I thought maybe one day I could play in the U.S. Open or Wimbledon, and then I moved here. I didn’t know anybody so I stopped completely because I didn’t know where to go. I had no friends when I moved here,” she says. “I try to get my husband to play, but he holds a racket like a baseball bat. I haven’t played in a while, but I’d love to.”
She says that she hasn’t visited Saudi Arabia in eight years (though her parents come to the Philippines at least once a year), but plans to visit the country soon with her husband. “I want to show him where I grew up, how I lived. I want to take him riding with me. I used to ride. I used to show jump as well. I lived on a ranch for three years, and that’s where I really got into tennis and riding.”
Living in the Philippines wasn’t a big shock however, as she used to travel a lot with her parents, going to the UK and the Philippines, which both her parents prefer because of the weather.
Although she goes into a slight trance when she talks about Arabian food, Maggie says that she doesn’t really miss living in Saudi. We don’t ask why, but we quiz her on what it’s like to be a woman in a country famous for its strict gender rules. “It’s a very strict society. Women have no power in Saudi Arabia. Women are not allowed to drive. We have to wear the black robe, which is called an abaya, and occasionally the scarf, which is called the tarha. Not many women are allowed to work. If a woman wants to work, you’re only allowed to be a nurse, domestic helper, doctor, or a waitress,” she says.
One of the most memorable things she did when she moved to the Philippines, career-wise, was participate and win the 2007 Bb. Pilipinas-World. We had to ask: are the stories about the backstabbing and fighting behind the scenes true?
“There are some girls that are a little snarky and sly,” she says. “When I competed in Miss World, Miss Venezuela stepped on Miss Northern Ireland’s foot. She broke her shoe right before we were about to go onstage, and she did it deliberately. Miss Northern Ireland was crying, and no one was helping her. I felt so bad I was like ‘Come here. Come here.’ and I basically tied whatever together, and she managed to walk onstage. They’re out for blood over there. They’re all sweet and nice in front of the camera, but at the end of the day, it’s still competition. Things start disappearing. You have roommates. You’ve got to watch out. You don’t know whom your roommate is allowing into your room when you’re not around. It happens. A bunch of girls lost jewelry.”
Thankfully, Maggie’s beauty pageant experience was a good one. She roomed with Miss Malaysia, who had the same personality as her and who, like her, didn’t let anyone else into their room. Also, she made friends with the Latinas. “They’re the most competitive of competitive. Beauty pageants in Latin countries are a huge thing. If you win, you’re treated like a queen. You’re an instant celebrity,” she says. “You’ve got to make friends with the Latinas because they’re out for blood.”
Sky’s the limit
Though Maggie is happy, content with taking her time before she jumps back into the industry, she’s already planning for when she goes back to work. “I probably won’t do soaps anymore. The hours are long and the locations sometimes ridiculous. Maybe I can do a lifestyle show, something light. I’m looking into designing swimsuits with Sandra Seifert. We’re going to be partners. We live in a tropical country. There’s always a need for swimsuits.”
All that, plus: “We’re already trying for a baby. I want a boy,” she says. “He married me so that he could get me knocked up whenever he wanted.”
There’s also talk of travel, one of the most important overseas agendas being the honeymoon. “We postponed our honeymoon because our wedding was in December and everybody from around the world flew in for our wedding. It’s a bit diyahe to ask them to come here and then leave them after the wedding, so we’re postponing it to this fall. We plan to go to Europe. There’s the trip to Saudi Arabia, and we’re attending a wedding in the Dominican Republic in July,” she says. “With my line of work, I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been experiencing what a lot of normal people aren’t able to experience. I want to backpack around Europe. I want to go to Africa. I want to travel, but other than that, I think I’ve pretty much covered everything I’ve wanted to do.”
And really, you can’t argue with that.
Photos by Juan Caguicla
Styled by Patrick Galang
Make-up by Xeng Zulueta
Hair by Felicity Son
Published in the March 2011 issue of UNO Magazine
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