Angelica Cayzer-Franck, a joie de vivre-marked, jetsetting businesswoman raised in Australia, has known our Miss Universe 2017 candidate Rachel Peters as a next-door neighbor in Phuket for over 12 years. She also happens to be besties with Rachel's mother Annie, a Thai resident. Angelica's daughter Sabrina, while much younger than Rachel, also attended the same school when they lived in Thailand. Hours before the competition, we sat down to have a quick chat with Angelica about living next to the Peters bunch.
Angelica's memories of Rachel growing up in Thailand are still fresh in her mind. “Right next door, next door…there was a fence between us. She also lived in another area. It’s a small beautiful community. I met her there as a little girl," she began.
“I recall when I first met her (Rachel) because I met her at Lakeshore in Thailand, at her godmother’s house. They were renting while they were building that development. She walked in and she was just beautiful. Everywhere she goes, shes she’s just so beautiful, one of those types you just knew would be a model, like for Victoria’s Secret—that caliber ‘cause she stood out from the crowd."
"This was about 12 years ago, that would have made her about 14? She already had the legs, her hair down to her waist, and the way she walked just made her stand out. By the way, She's a dog lover, animal lover, everything lover.”
Angelica Cayzer tending to business at Lemongrass House Dusit Thani, which has some of Rachel Peter's favorite VCO (virgin coconut oil) based products.
Sabrina herself has one tender memory of Rachel when she used to go to an international school in Phuket with her. "When I was a child, I used to go to school with her on a bus and it was one of the mini-buses. Whenever someone was entering the bus, she'd sit near the door and always open it and when she closed it, she'd always kick the door handle with her foot. I was like 5 or 6."
The Peters are known music promoters, and are also successful real estate developers. They do make a well-traveled bunch, Angelica said. She added how she and her daughters and the Peters all like the same family together. “They’re down to earth. Obviously, they do well for themselves but they don’t make you feel any less," Angelica stressed. "They’re very welcoming ‘cause I was a single mom, bringing up two kids. They always welcomed our family for food, for parties. I just had to be a part of that every single time."
She added, "I trust her (Rachel’s mom, Annie) enough to say, ‘Can you please look after my house’, or I’ll say ‘I’ll look after your house when you’re away.’ They drive the kids to school, or pick up the kids from school.”
The same bond between the Cayzer-Francks and the Peters extended to Rachel's teenager days. Australia-raised Angelica even introduced Rachel to some people she could connect with while the future beauty queen was finishing uni in Melbourne. Angelica noted how even with a well-to-do family funding her school, Rachel chose to still go the working student route for college.
"(She was working in the café like any university student would," It wasn't like 'Mommy, send me money every month,' no! She worked and she really immersed herself in Melbourne," she narrated.
Rachel's beauty didn't go unnoticed by foreigners even then, take Angelica's word for it.
"She was very popular there ‘cause, gosh, she’s just gorgeous! She walks into a place with this famous guy called Molly Meldrum, only the most famous guy in Australia," Angelica said of Rachel's encounter with the Australian celebrity, critic, journalist, and musical entrepreneur, "she walks in and Molly just said right away, ‘Wow, that’s a beauty queen!’ And she wasn’t even a beauty queen (then). He even said, ‘Are you modeling?’ and she was simply like, ‘No, I work at a café.'"
Angelica spoke of Rachel's natural tolerance for diversity in humanity because of her upbringing. "She's universal, totally. She was also brought up in Bahrain so she has an understanding and respect of other cultures and religions like the Muslims from the Middle-East, then you have the Christians and Catholics here in the Philippines, and the Buddhists in Thailand. Her dad's really, really level-headed, where she gets it from and her discipline she just gets it from her mom."
Rachel's compassion stretches out to even non-humans, Angelica vowed.
"I invited her over to the house one time 'cause I knew she loved animals. She loved animals, she had no fear of animals whatsoever. I had this snake called Goldie who was 14 years old and about 12 feet long and I invited her to come over telling her I had this huge snake. She came and she was mesmerized by this snake and started petting Goldie. A world famous-photographer called John Everingham who was with us, saw that moment happening [in 2008] and captured it and he said to her 'You are a beautiful woman!'"
[related: Love Actually: Rachel Peters Finds Her 'Second Home' In The Very Supportive Villafuertes]
On Rachel's manner and countenance, Angelica spoke of the sort of person we'd like to have right by us sipping on sangrias or mimosas by the shore. “She just makes you feel really comfortable and she asks a lot of questions… a lot of questions. In her own quiet self, she’s not boisterous, she’s humble. She’ll listen, she’ll wait, and then she’ll go on to that subject and ask because she wants to learn.”
Angelica currently spends her days in Manila, managing global spa products brand Lemongrass House locally from their main HQ in Dusit Thani. From this, she also had a bit of beauty scoop on Rachel and her mother! Did you know that both happen to be natural beauty product junkies and fans as well of Angelica's pure-sourced organic spa products?
"(They) only use cold compressed pure virgin coconut oil as face oil and for body, feet, hair, everything! (Rachel's) into natural and organic products, not as a trend. She was brought up that way, she was even healed by herbs when she was ill, no antibiotics (when she was younger) just like Sabrina."
Before flying to Las Vegas for Miss U, Rachel has also reconnected with Angelica's daughter Sabrina back in Manila. Together they've done outreach programs and attended various events and gatherings.
Sabrina Franck and Rachel Peters celebrating Rachel's birthday with friends in Tondo at a community outreach for kids this year.
Angelica (left) and Sabrina Franck (center) supporting Rachels' Siargao-based cafe, Bake Siargao
ALSO READ: Fitness Inspo: This Is How Intense Rachel Peters Prepared For The Biggest Competition In Her Life
Photos from: Instagram.com/rachelpetersx, Instagram.com/angelicacayzer, Instagram.com/anitasplendita, provided also by Angelica Cayzer-Franck