Kuan On One: BINI Aiah

Ever wondered how the stunning BINI Aiah Arceta transformed from a shy girl to the confident queen we see today? Join Kuantie Melai Cantiveros as she sits down with BINI's visual, Aiah, for a heart-to-heart talk in ‘Bisaya.’ 

In the second episode of “Kuan on One” on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube Channel, Aiah spills the tea on her journey to confidence, how she turned moments of rejection into stepping stones, and found her true path. Don't miss out on this fun and heartwarming conversation that's sure to leave you feeling inspired!

Many people admire her beauty, and some playfully compare her to 'Mama Mary.' When this was mentioned to her, BINI Aiah smiled humbly, as if showing traces of the shy girl she once was in her hometown of Mactan, Cebu. She recalls feeling lacking in confidence and out of place in certain school cliques, which she considers her earliest experiences of rejection.

Shyness is often viewed as a barrier to confidence. However, Aiah turned her shyness into a strength by changing her mindset. Instead of seeing it as a flaw, she embraced it as a personality trait that could be managed and overcome.

She then began addressing her shyness in a way that felt authentic to her—starting with modeling, which eventually led to her interest in joining beauty pageants. Aiah's confidence grew steadily, enough to convince her to audition for “Pinoy Big Brother Otso” in 2018. Her bold move thrilled her family, who wholeheartedly supported her during the auditions. Despite making it to the third round among hundreds of hopefuls, Aiah didn't secure a spot as a housemate.

Facing rejection once again, she accepted her fate. One night, following her failed PBB auditions, Aiah dreamt of the “Star Hunt” logo, which she initially dismissed. Little did she know, it was a subtle sign of an even bigger opportunity on the horizon.

Her manager persuaded her to try out for “Darna.” Aiah, unsure why she should even attempt, felt she couldn’t measure up to the auditionees who seemed more mature and taller, and felt more beautiful than her. When she was given the script in Tagalog, she became even more discouraged because her first language is really Bisaya, and she messed up her line delivery. However, her manager had a plan. They went to the “Darna” auditions not expecting to get the role, but hoping to catch the attention of “Star Hunt” production team.

Once again, she faced rejection. But then came a new direction. Several months later, just before starting college, she received a call from a “Star Hunt” staff asking if she was willing to travel to Manila to train for a girl group being formed by their talent management arm.

Coming to Manila wasn’t easy for Aiah. Her family was in Cebu, and she was the last member to join the group called BINI. The others had been training for months, so Aiah had a lot of catching up to do. "I was really intimidated because they already had a bond. I felt a bit left out because they had all these inside jokes," Aiah shared. However, she quickly found a friend in Colet, whom she approached as soon as she learned that Colet was also Bisaya.

But those were just the beginning of the challenges for Aiah and the rest of the girls. The pandemic and ABS-CBN shutdown were back-to-back crises that would test anyone's resilience. But perhaps due to her Bisaya roots, Aiah was courageous and never gave up. Their group continued training during the pandemic, separated from their families and confined to a house, even though uncertain about their careers, and even though unsure where they could even perform the dance routines they practiced so diligently.

Their hard work eventually paid off. Initially, the girls were in disbelief about their success because everything happened so quickly—it almost felt too good to be true. But as people started flocking to see them and their song "Pantropiko" began to play everywhere, reality set in.

"I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Many times we've felt lost, questioning ourselves, 'What is all of this for?' But in the end, we just let it go," Aiah expressed. "I always say, 'Let go and let God.' I remind myself, 'Lord, I know there's always a reason, whether it's rejection or redirection.'"

"This is the reason," Aiah concluded.

And if there's anyone most proud of her, it's her family back in Cebu. She shared that on her last visit home, as soon as she stepped out of the van, old neighbors were already calling out her name to take photos with her. It turns out her mom had spread the word around the neighborhood that she would be arriving that day. Her family must be so proud! For Aiah, her parents and family are her greatest source of inspiration and strength.

Even in matters of love, Aiah experienced redirection, having been torn between love and career at one point. She realized that you can't have both at the same time, and that there's a right time for everything. She's grateful to have made the right choices.

That's why Aiah's advice to young people looking up to her is to recognize that rejection is normal. "It's not the end of the world," she emphasized, explaining that one rejection can open doors to many more and even greater opportunities, guiding you toward the right path. So, let these rejections steer you in the right direction.

Dakong Problema

In the next segment, Melai challenged Aiah to a fun Q&A to test her pageant skills. They picked questions from a bowl, and Aiah's first question was, "What does 'kuan' mean to you?" Her quick wit shone through as she replied, "For me, the 'kuan' of your 'kuan' is 'kuan.'" In other words, 'kuan' is inexplicable.

Now, let's get a bit more serious. When asked what she would do if she had a million dollars, Aiah initially thought about starting a business with the money, not just for herself but also to support her family. 

Ultimate Yawyaw

Wrapping up the episode, Melai commented that one of the things she admires most about Aiah's journey is her courage. Aiah never gave up no matter how tough things got. Melai also praised Aiah's attitude and wisdom, noting how they help her stay focused and undistracted by others' opinions.

For Aiah, her story is proof of the power of trusting the process. Even when faced with doubts and easier options, she believed that challenges teach valuable lessons. "Just breathe," she concluded.