Zara Carbonell

“There is no pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. Only a more golden version of yourself.”

Thus writes beauty queen Zara Carbonell in her newly-launched maiden book, espousing self-love and self-discovery. It is titled “Lost You, Found Me” and is published by Bookshelf PH with the  tagline: Navigating Through Life, Heartache, and Purpose in Your 20s.

Zara is the step-daughter of actor Cris Villanueva and her mom is Zhar Carbonell, a former fashion model who wrote the book’s Afterword. The Foreword, on the other hand, was written by Kiana Valenciano – the author’s close friend since high school.

Zara Carbonell with some of her besties, including Kiana Valenciano (left)

Zara first came to the public eye by placing as 2nd Princess during the Miss World Philippines 2017 tilt. Learning lessons from her defeat, Zara clinched her own place in pageant history by winning the first edition of Miss Tourism Worldwide 2018 held in Batam, Indonesia.

Proving that there are brains to match her beauty, Zara’s introspection in her book makes for a compelling read and her experiences are larger than life. Even though she’s only in her twenties,  there is so much older adults can learn from the pages too. She’s an admirable young woman of motivation and purpose.

A major part of Zara’s  wishlist was to “become a beauty queen”and “become a published author.”  The fact that she made them all come true proves that there’s no hindrance to the accomplishment of one’s life goals with the proper determination and focus.

But she also teaches us that things don’t come easy. The book begins with Zara’s painful break-up from her long-time boyfriend, and then continues with her adventurous travels to meet more people and see the world. After the wanderlust wanes, Zara recounts the rewarding time she spent in the start-up world, being part of as well as her preparations for her first big pageant. Then it segues to how Zara met Steven, the love of her life. She also touches on her own health scare, when she thought she had cancer.

We daresay that the book’s  release is very timely, considering that a lot of the graduates of the Class of 2022 don’t know yet what to do when faced at the crossroads of their lives. We like the book’s Reflection Pages which helps readers to write down, affirm and manifest their dreams. Zara teaches her own peers about the power of goal-setting and how self-love plays a role in leaving your own mark in the world.

“Lost You, Found Me” was launched last May 29 through a full sensory experience complete with songs, art, and food at the Ascott Bonifacio Global City. Chef Prince Patinio of Scott’s restaurant at Ascott prepared a delectable line-up of dishes representing the travels and turning points in Zara’s life.

Source: Manila Bulletin (