Herlene Budol, or more famously known on TV as Hipon Girl, won the hearts of viewers when she first joined variety program Wowowin as a contestant in one of its segments back in 2019. The 22-year-old's witty hirit made the audience laugh and the 100 percent real and easygoing personality she showed on TV captivated them even more.
Herlene went on to become one of the co-hosts of Wowowin after her segment on the show went viral on Facebook. While many may know her for her hardworking persona and comical lines on the variety show, did you know that she's actually experienced in pageantry?
In an interview with Pia Arcangel on GMA's docu-reality program Tunay na Buhay, Herlene opened up about her life before TV fame and shared that her infamous nickname actually originated from a pageant experience. Herlene has been joining beauty pageants since she was in elementary school. She recounted how she would always lose in every pageant, but that the failed attempts didn't faze her because it meant that she could just rejoin again next year. She also took it as another chance to make new friends. She even won Miss Congeniality in one of her pageants! "Parang nakakagawa po ako ng iba't ibang tropa, kasi taon-taon, iba-iba," she shared.
On how her nickname "Hipon Girl" came to be, Herlene shared that it started when she finally won a pageant, the Binibining Angono, in 2017. According to Herlene, some of the pageant fans couldn't accept her victory because they thought the other contestants had prettier faces and that she only relied on her slim figure. "Kasi po dati yung katawan ko po talaga, parang gutumin po yung katawan ko. Ngayon ho, medyo busog na," the 5-foot-9 TV personality joked. Herlene, however, didn't let the negativity get to her, and instead used it to her advantage.
Since joining Wowowin as a co-host, Herlene has also appeared in several TV projects in GMA, such as an episode of Magpakailanman (which received high ratings and positive feedback from viewers) and the teleserye Madrasta.
Catch the full interview here: