Thursday, December 18, 2008

RU Cover magazine article..

Above is a magazine article that was written about my participation on Survivor for a bilingual magazine in Houston called, RU. Articles like this are fun and I feel fortunate to have had my experience highlighted like this. All the gruelling time out there has given me many rewards, thankfully, cuz I sure know I didn't do somethin' so crazy and so hard, only to get voted off..ha, ha!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Brother's SEARS commercial!!

I write this with tears of happiness and pride for what my brother has achieved. The funny thing is, he was ALL that WAY before Project Runway. I will never forget when he called to tell us that he was being considered for the show. That day I got one of those chain emails about making a wish (I know..very a propos for the commercial you just viewed, right?), and I wished for my brother to be chosen for Project Runway. The very next day, while having lunch with our mom, Nick called to give us the good news. I was crying and screaming at a local restaurant, Aldino's, thank God the owner is a good friend. The rest, as they say, is history! A little side note: the sewing machine that my mom gave my brother, belonged to our beloved grandmother, whom we affectionately called "mamayita"...a word that when Nick was a little boy he made up. It is a combination of the word "Mama" and "abuelita." That perfect combination is what our grandmother, Rosina, was to us. Nick, btw, was her absolute favorite so I know she's definitely smiling and, if I know her, had a part in his success as her nickname for him was "Rey" or "King." For the longest time, I thought that was my brother's
My brother and I have always stuck together, as a team. I remember dreaming w/him of being the next Versace/Donatella of the fashion world. I'm thrilled that Nick made it all on his own, but he always includes me in his fashion shows and talks about my being one of his "muses," so, if you look closely enough, you'll see me in the commercial..I'm the model to the right of Nick as he takes a quick bow on the runway. See if you can spot me in the full version of the fashion show featured in the commercial, below. Everyone who knows me for the past 20 yrs. know that I ALWAYS wear my brother's gowns. In fact, see the Miss California photos below. The silver gown happens to be a "vintage" gown that was hand sewn by my brother almost 20 years ago!! As you can see, my brother is a genius! The green gown that I modelled in the video below, I wore to the Miss Universe pageant. There's a photo of me in that dress with my brother at the Miss Universe pageant in LA a couple of years ago.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Spokesmodel for KGS bikes

When I first saw the Ads for this bike shop, I was very impressed. The owner of the shop wanted to show/compare the strength/power and elegance of a competetion bicycle, with that of a woman. After a meeting with Kevin Sanders, I was thrilled that he felt I was a "perfect fit" to represent his product. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Kevin. Next, Kevin would like to see if we can do this Ad with myself and Manu Ginobili. Seria maravilloso!

Coaching the Miss California USA 09 Contestants!

We are thrilled with our winners: Carrie Prejean, Miss California 09 and Chelsea Gilligan, Miss Teen California
Mr. Keith Lewis and I met, 5 yrs. ago as co-judges for the Miss Texas USA pageant where the current Miss USA, pictured here with me, was running. She did not win the title of Miss Texas that year, although she was both Keith's and my favorite. After the pageant, we gave her some advice which she has been so kind to recount, that she applied our advice and credits Keith and I, in some way, for helping her ultimately become Miss Texas and then go on to win her current, Miss USA title.

For the 5th year in a row, Mr. Keith Lewis bestowed his faith in my abilities as Walking/Poise Coach for the 2009 Miss California contestants. It was, as it always is for me, an honor and an immense pleasure to work with ALL the girls. I won't elaborate as my dear brother blogged/bragged (:-) about my work: It was wonderful to meet our new Director, Shana Moakler, who is as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. Her whole family, ex-husband, Travis, recovering from the airplane crash burns was there supporting her and helping her with their 3 beautiful children.
It was also a pleasure to meet Chris Judd who was one of our "Teen" Judges. My mother is a HUGE fan of his from his appearance on "I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here," which he won $200,000 for his favorite charity.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Facebook | Rita Verreos

Facebook | Rita Verreos...I can't seem to Add the Video for the below event, so just click here and you can view the photos and video on my Facebook page.:-)

SURVIVOR Dodgeball Tournament 08

Team Aarrgghh!!
For the second year in a row, I was fortunate enough to be invited back to Long Island to participate in one of the BEST SURVIVOR Charity events. Mr. Grant Stanis brings together 50 or so SURVIVORS to help raise money for several charities. Last year, we helped raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes. This year we helped raise funds for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research foundation, in honor of one of our own who is a TRUE Survivor of Breast Cancer, Jennifer Lyons. We had an AMAZING time! A little side note here, as happened to me on the actual SURVIVOR, in real life, for some reason, I am underestimated. Since this is something that I noticed very early on in life, I've learned to use it to my advantage, preferring to work quietly to achieve my goals, whatever they may this case, being the alst person standing on my team...both years in a row!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

News Paper Headline...SA Express News

Just as SURVIVOR FIJI wrapped up, I got a call from the Fashion Editor of the SA Express News, the fabulous, Michael Quintanilla. He, it turns out, was a big Survivor fan. Our first meeting was because he wanted to film a video of me at a very BIG event here in San Antonio called Niosa, during Fiesta: "Survivor Surviving Niosa!" When we met, he was so funny. He did kind of a double take when I introduced myself and said "YOU're Rita?" "Yeesss!" I said, wondering why he was asking me like that. OMG, I expected you to be more simple, plain, not like THIS!! Geez, he said, very sweetly, you look like a model!" Huney, compared to what I looked like on Survior, YES!! Anyhow, that meeting led to him brainstorming and coming up with doing a whole fashion spread for one of the Sunday Newspaper magazines: SPICE. This photo shoot, w/o question, was not just an honor because it was a feature article and the cover, but one of the highlights of my modeling career. THANK YOU so much, Michael and your whole team, Hair: Tina from House of Styles and makeup by Carrie and, of course, the fantastic photographer, Kevin Geil.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

STADIA Med Spa Spokesperson/model

Since last year, I've been the Spokesmodel for Stadia here in San Antonio. It's owned by the Facial Injury Dr. to our 3 time World Champions, the SA Spurs, and reknowned Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Jaime Garza. The Director of the Spa, an expert in Beauty herserlf, as she is also the Director of the Texas Miss, Teen and Mrs. Interational pageant. One of Kristin's former title holders, Mrs. International 07, Suzie Bootz, recommened me as a possible judge. Kristin, thus, invited me to be one of her "celebrity" judges in her pageant, which I was, of course, honored to accept. If you've read some of my other postings, particularly the "Leeza Gibbons" and "City of Hope" ones, you'll read what I'm about to rewrite: God always places "angels" in my path. Dr. Garza and Kristin Koether are more of these angels. Unfortunately, it's been VERY hard for me to find an "agent" here in San Antonio. I'm very ambitious, particularly when my career has to provide solely for my children. I haven't found the vision that I expect of myself in the agents in San Antonio. Receiving the sort of "stamp of approval" from one of the most renknowed producers in the world today, Mark Burnett, was like when I graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA. Then, faring on such a hard experience as was SURVIVOR, certainly showed me that "I CAN" do whatever I set my mind to. I'm still on the path of achieving my dream of becoming a tv presenter/host or anchor taking a bit longer because I've had to be not just the "talent, but my own agent, manager and publicist. GOD is helping me build my accomplishments, through these and so many other opportunities HE's placed in my path. Slowly, but surely, I am getting to where I'd like to ultimately be: the first Latina host on "The View."
Since becoming the Stadia Spokesmodel, I've been using their laser hair removal, manicure and pedicure services which I am so happy with. After putting my body through what I did on me, it's taken a couple of years to pamper it back to "civilization" status! lol.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

SURVIVOR LIVE! interview at CBS, NY

For all you SURVIVOR's an excerpt from an interview that I had so much fun doing shortly after getting "voted off"...booh!! Stephenie was sooo sweet and Dalton, who had already made me feel like the Survivor hottie with his write up about my performance on the Slip and Slide Challenge. I mention that it was my crowning moment, but NOT for the same reason Dalton had written that it was. For me is was because, part of the challenge was to make a basket and I did it!! Thanks to all the years of playing basketball with my little boy (and to practicing w/Mookie earlier on that day w/ For Dalton, who is one of the Top Writers for "Entertainment Weekly" magazine, it was the "Slip and Slide" part of the challege that he felt I excelled in. I'll try to find the article where he writes why, for those of you who didn't watch the show or read the article. Regardless, considering how grim things had gotten for my tribe, Ravu, and cosequently dull for the viewers to watch us, I'm glad I was able to revive viewership, according to Dalton...ha, ha. Check it out above right:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Red Carpet Makeup Emergency tips, from Starley Murray, starring....

Celebrity makeup artist Starley Murray asked me to model for her on San Antonio on video to see her Red Carpet Emergency tips. I was just happy to get a chance to wear one of my brother's designs..even if it was on a "faux" Red Carpet. I have faith that I will someday, wear one of his designs on a real Red Carpet..that is part of my "dream."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

TV Interviews on San Antonio Living, morning show, April 08

This is one of several TV interviews I am so fortunate to have gotten in these past couple of years. This was a "follow up" that I just found in my computer. I have so many videos that I need to add that I get anxiety attacks just thinkin' about the amount and where the heck they are!! I've been keeping everything in a pile in my room waiting till I get the "free" ha, ha, time I need to catch up...again, ha, ha.:-) I had a lot of fun doing these interviews. Thank you to Suzanne Ashe and Dawn Cole and, of course, Shelley!

TV Interviews!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rita goes to South Africa!!! ....(kinda :-)

My Season of SURVIVOR is currently airing in South Africa. Here's an article that just got published in their version of TV Guide. Before being "spotted" or recruited for the show, I had NO clue about SURVIVOR...hope that makes many forgive me for not making it farther in this gruelling game. Nevertheless, with the cards my tribe, Ravu, were dealt, I am really shocked and proud of how long I lasted. Now, I am way too clued I'm ready for ALL STARS!! ha, ha...or at least ready to take any Quiz on SURVIVOR cuz I got all, but one of the answers in this article right. It's official, I've become an obsessed SURVIVOR fan
On a sidenote, I, along with 3 of my castway members, Mookie, Earl and Stacy have started an organization: Start With One Life, to help children in South Africa orphaned by AIDS. We are currently looking for sponsors so that we can make the journey to South Africa. If you can help, please post a message here! or look on our website: Muchas gracias!

Emceeing The City of Hope event, in Anaheim, California

Thankfully, my new found "angels" from Ovations for the Cure were happy with my work as Emcee and, in fact, I managed to impress a pretty impressive lady herself, Ms. Cheryl Kennick, who is one of the Directors of the Food Industries that provide Food services to The City of Hope. She asked me if I would like to Emcee an event for them several months later, again in Anaheim. Hello!! Of course I accepted...I had NO idea it was going to be sooo HUGE!! I was freaking out when I arrived to find a big poster of me and tables for over a thousand people..Lordy!! Thankfully, I stepped up to the plate...and, at the end of the show...the part with the Male Models...I even got to join on the runway them struttin' my signature Miss Venezuela walk!!
The show was a huge success for the City of Hope, thanks to the hard work of EVERYONE at The City of Hope, in particular, my new friend/angel, Ms.Cheryl Kennick.

Rita as Emcee..for the "Ovarian Cancer" Stuart Weitzman Fashion Show

With my newfound friend/angel, Debbie Soprano, Chair, Ovations for The Cure
Thanks to Ms. Leeza Gibbons and Mr. Michael Gutierrez, a couple of weeks after meeting Leeza last year, I was asked to Emcee a #StuartWeitzman fashion show in Anahaeim benefitting Ovations For the Cure which helps raise awareness and funds for the research and cure of #Ovariancancer (see links section). I dedicate this post to the timeless, Patty Franchi-Flaherty, who founded this organization and will live on forever. Patty, you are an angel that I know is in peace, but not resting because I know that you are watching over us and making sure that we continue to keep your dream and fight alive. It was an AMAZING experience for me and the first BIG event for me as an Emcee. Some day, I will figure out how to edit and upload on You Tube so that I can upload this video and the other events I've Emceed. For now, with my two little ones to tend to, my time is still soo images will have to do :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

With the beautiful and generous, Leeza Gibbons

This was the second time I've been so lucky to meet up with Leeza. I first met her thanks to one of the BEST agents I've had thus far, my mother, Raquel. She told me Leeza was in town, San Antonio, for the opening of her first "Leeza's Place" dedicated to care for caregivers, specifically, those caring for Alzheimer's patients, such as was Leeza's mother. I was very lucky that it turned out that one of my dearest friends, Miguel Gutierrez, whom I had met when Coaching the Miss Latina Crown contestants 3 yrs. ago, was now Leeza's right hand here in San Antonio. It was he who immediately introduced me to her and we clicked instantly..thanks to being "fellow" REality Show contestants. In fact, in the speach she had given that afternoon, she spoke of how gruelling and out of the box "Dancing With the Stars" was for her. She just about fainted when I told her I was on SURVIVOR. She was so sweet and told me how impressed she was with me. A couple of weeks later, I received a call from Miguel asking me to step in for Leeza as Emcee for a Stuart Weitzman fashion show in Anaheim, CA, benefitting The Ovarian Cancer Organization. WOW!! I will post a video about that event soon, I hope!! and what that one led to. THANK YOU SOO MUCH, Miguel and Leeza!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Outstading Achievement in Entertainment Award

This was an unexpected honor that I was given last year by Mr. and Mrs. Duran, owners of the largest Spanish language newspaper in San Antonio, LA PRENSA. I was given an award in the field of Entertainment for my participation on CBS's Reality Show, SURVIVOR FIJI. It was a wonderful night for me as I was with my family: my parents, Jim & Raquel and my two incredible "pitufos" as I call my two children. I also had new "Survivor" fans there supporting me, Ken and Teresa Kiel. Mr. Kiel was a big sponsor for an event ( I had participated in the weekend before w/several SURVIVOR colleagues from past seasons. My family and friends could not have been there, however, had it not been for the generous support from Mr. Bart Keyes and Col. Rene Brown from the US Army and also, a dear friend, Mr. Al Luciano, who attended the event with his beautiful daughter and sponsored me with tables so that my friends and family could attend. THANK YOU so very much to all of you for being there for me and for your faith in me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Slideshow of Beauty Pageant Photos

Photobucket Album
To View a slide show of this album, click on this image, then, click on the "slideshow" option on the Photobucket page.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My work as Official Coach for Miss California USA 06-present

With Tamiko Nash, Miss CA 06 and Jessica, Miss Teen CA 06

With Tamiko Nash, Miss CA 06

With Megan Tandy, Miss CA 07

With the Directors of Miss CA USA, Keylee Sanders and Keith Lewis

This video was made by a wonderful Producer, Angela Shin, from Videojug as she chronicles, very quickly! my work as Coach for Miss CA USA last year...another controversial year for us!

How To Walk Like A Beauty Queen I became a Beauty Queen Coach is kinda a long story so...go grab a glass of wine and have a seat! So...I'm gonna have to take you back to 1988...yes, I can't believe I just wrote that...some of you reading this were probably born on that year! was that year that I became Miss Municipio Vargas..and entered the prestigious Miss Venezuela finishing school headed by the Master, Osmel Sousa. One side note- how I ended up there is, coincidentally, very similar to how I ended up on SURVIVOR...I was "spotted" at the Venezuelan consulate. This seems to be a running theme in my life, btw. In spite of my and my brother seeing me as an ugly duckling! I went forward w/running for Miss Venezuela because it was more a dream of my fabulous brother, Nick (of Project Runway fame). Now, fast forward to when I moved from Mexico City to SA. My then husband had been laid off and his plans of starting his own Ad Agency in SA, fell through. I saw it as an opportunity to re-start my career...well, I kinda had to!! My brother suggested that I contact the Miss USA organization. I did so and almost immediately, I received an email from the wonderful Gail and Al Clark, Directors of the Miss Texas USA pageant, inviting me to be a judge that year. Crystle Stewart ran that year & was my choice, but didn't win. I remember her coming up to me after the pageant to ask me for suggestions that could help her to win. I remember her giving her advice about how she had worn her hair..and urged her to get a public speaking Coach. She did so..She's the current Miss Texas USA.:-) There, I also met, Keith Lewis (pictured above) owner of The Morgan Talent Agecy in LA. Several months later, he became the Director of the Miss California USA pageant and when he did...he hired me to Coach his girls. My first one: Ms. Tamiko Nash. To the surprise to many at that pageant, it seems controversy wants to follow our Miss CA Tamiko was first runner up to Tara Conner..yes, the one who ended up in rehab, yet still kept her crown. Yes, I was very upset about this, cuz Tamiko came so close, TWICE, to becoming Miss USA..and I just don't agree with allowing someone who's brooken the rules to retain her title..what are the rules for then? Tamiko is a winner, regardless. In fact, you can catch her as one of the Price Is Right models!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spokesperson for TAHITIAN NONI

This is something that came about in my efforts to look for sponsors for the Miss California Organization. It's a long story so sit tight. Believe it or not, I like to write more than I like to talk...that's a LOT, honey. It's not by accident that I am a literature major (from UCLA..gotta give a shout out to my alma matter). Alright, back to Tahitian Noni. Right before getting "discovered" to go on SURVIVOR FIJI, a wonderful Sales Rep. for Tahitian Noni came to me when I was working as Advertising Executive for a Spanish Language tv station here in San Antonio. He left me with some samples and I started taking the juice. I've always been really anal about taking care of my body.:-) My divorce left me starting from ZERO..having to figure out what the heck to do to provide for my children on my own. The Ad Executive job was SOO not me, but I had to do something so there I was doing that, along w/a bunch of other "jobs." One I had come up with is within the beauty pageant world. Tapping into my experience and training as a contestant for the Miss Venezuela pagaent..back in 1988..huney, I know I am givin' away my age, big time! Anyhow, one of the by products from this was that I was asked to judge the Miss Texas pageant in 2004. There I met a man who's since become one of my dearest friends as well as the Director of the Miss California pageant. He hired me as the Official Coach of the Miss California pageant which I've been doing for the past 3 years. Looking for sponsors for the pageant, I also found that Tahitian Noni has AMAZING beauty products so I started communicating with one of the Directors of the company. I had to put all this on hold when I was suddenly recruited and had to leave to play the game of SURVIVOR. Upon my return, I received a call from the Director that I had been communicating with, asking me if I would be interested in becoming a Spokesperson for the company. Coincidentally, I found Noni on my deserted island in Fiji and thanks to the information I had already read about it, I knew of all it's medicinal value. When my hipbones were scraped to the bone, and I gashed below my knee pretty deeply in one of the physical challenges, I rubbed Noni on the wounds. They healed soo completely that now NO ONE believes that I suffered those wounds on the show!! :-( Although I was happy to wear those scars as my Survivor Fiji battle scars, I am truly amazed at how this Noni fruit, which you can find here in their juice, cured my wounds, which, by the way, when our Survivor Dr. saw my wound, said I needed stitches! Noni was all I needed.

Go Army!

With Lt. Col. Rene Brown (Head of the # 1 Recruiting Battalion in The United States) and his wife, Carol, at the Induction of Honorores to The Sports Hall of Fame,at The Alamodome, SA, TX 07

This was an event that I did to help with a Blood Drive for our soldiers at Cowboys Dance Hall.

At the Army's Booth at the SA Rodeo, Feb. 08, helping them to inform possible recruits about the Army Advantage Fund

This was what turned out to be the first of MANY events that I was fortunate to be asked to do to help our soldiers. No matter what your viewpoint is about the war, you have to be thankful for these true heroes of our nation. My father is a World War 2 Veteran so this is also my way of thanking him, along w/all our soldiers, for their service to our nation. You can also find a snippet of a tandem parachute jump that I did with the world reknowned Golden Knights Team in January of this year on This I did to help them promote the Army Bowl. My little boy is a HUGE football fan and I was so happy to give him the chance to be a ball boy at the Army Bowl and thus meet the BEST highschool football players in the nation...You can see my 2 kids running up to me at the end of the video.:-) My little girl is a tough cookie, like her mommie! She was really upset that she wasn't allowed to do the tandem jump with me. Alain, well, he likes to cheer mommie on from the sidelines and that's just fine with me too! On another occasion, you'll see the image below, I went to the Army's Recruiting Booth at the famous San Antonio Rodeo in February to help them with their recruiting efforts to inform potential soldiers of an incentive called The Army Advantage Fund. I also wrote an article for the largest Spanish newspaper, La Prensa, helping them to promote this incentive. I will create a section called "articles"...someday, I promise!! where you will find this article.

My introduction to the charitable side of being a SURVIVOR

Many WONDERFUL things have happened in my life thanks to my participation on SURVIVOR FIJI 07. The first WONDERFUL thing, happened right after getting voted off. I'm sure you can ALL guess what that is: I got to EAT food, no more nasty black sea snails and sea cucumbers and unbearable salty sea weed for me..yipee!! Another wonderful thing that happened is that Mark Burnett, generously treated us non-jury members to another unforgettable trip..this time, NOT to a deserted island, but to the amazing city of Sydney! (I will add images from this trip soon, I promise). Right now, I want to let everyone know about one of the MOST wonderful things that happened when the show aired and I returned from my Press Interviews in NY after getting voted off :-( . I received a phone call from an AMAZING fan of the show, Tammy Schuster, in Michigan. She asked if I could come to Michigan to help her raise funds for a placed called The House of Hope where children who had been severely abused emotionally and physically were placed to rehabilitate and, give them the hope and tools they need to re-enter the stream of life once again. This invite was the beginning of what has now become a part of my life, helping charities all over the United States. All thanks to my participation on SURVIVOR FIJI. I am so thankful to all who have invited me to help and I will be naming you ALL as I catch up here. Thanks to my faith in God I have seen first hand how helping others, my own situation of providing for my children on my own, has become so much easier than when I was, paradoxically, selfishly focusing only on helping myself and my children.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

helping a local cause

Last summer, while watching our local morning show "Great Day SA," I saw this family asking for help to raise money for the surgeries needed to help Joshua Anguiano fight a rare brain tumour. I offered to come out and help them one afternoon that they were selling food at a local high school. Unfortunately, a year later, Joshua lost his fight. If you want to continue to help this family with continued expenses. His mother, Sandra, is a single mother, like myself, and is struggling with these expenses. I also did a segment on a tv show I was hosting on TELEMUNDO asking viewers to help. I will post that segment soon. You can email Sandra at:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rita's first time as Emcee

My hometown city of San Antonio was very excited about having the first ever person from here on SURVIVOR. As such, the minute I became "available" or as we know it better, was off the very strict "gag-order," I started getting wonderful invitations to do many things from, throwing the first pitch at a Missions baseball game..which, btw, when I practiced to do this with my son and his buddies, I was TERRIBLE. So bad that my little boy, came up with a last minute excuse not to attend the game :-(. His loss..I ended up throwing a nice pitch..right down the middle. I have to be honest, though, I did have a plan B and that's one I learned from my fabulous brother of Project Runway fame..and that was to wear a great outfit. I did have a video of this pitch, but my camcorder was lost on a recent trip to the happiest place on earth..Disneyland :-(. Anyhow, this image is for the very first event I was asked to Emcee locally. I have since become a member of their Advisory Board. It is one of the many causes that I have been helping in this past year.

GFC Commodites Instructional Video 08

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A year later!!

Better late than never! It's been quite a wild ride since being on CBS's, Survivor Fiji last year. Being a mommie of two small children who has to provide for them on my own. So, even if I didn't get the coveted title of "Sole Survivor," my chidlren have given me the title of "Sole Provider." :-) It's been practically impossible to keep everything I've had the blessing of doing in this past year, up to date. Now. I've got a pile of newspaper articles, magazine interviews, videos and so many photos!
In spite of being, thankfully, non-stop busy, I constantly get asked: "So, what are you up to?" Even though I have a website, it's non very user friendly so I haven't been able to upload everything there. Plus, I just had to finally modernize and start blogging. As much as I like talk, I love to write!! So, finally, here I am.
I am going to start from the beginning, kind of, you'll see, so be patient with me and, hopefully, I'll be up to speed in no time!