Miss World Philippines

Who is Gwendolyne Fourniol, Miss World Philippines 2022?

Ysa Abad
Who is Gwendolyne Fourniol, Miss World Philippines 2022?

Miss World Philippines' Facebook

The 21-year-old stunner from Negros Occidental bests 35 other candidates to win the Miss World Philippines crown on her second try

Gwendolyne Fourniol was crowned Miss World Philippines 2022 during the pageant’s coronation night, which began on Sunday evening, June 5 and ended up running until the early hours of Monday, June 6. 

The 21-year-old stunner from Negros Occidental bested 35 other candidates to take home the Miss World Philippines title on her second try. 

Second time’s the charm

Born and raised in France to a Filipina mother and French father, Gwendolyne grew up without much exposure to pageantry and even admitted that she didn’t even dream of becoming a beauty queen. 

It was only through her mother’s encouragement and after moving to the Philippines that she went in for a pageant screening. Gwendolyne made her debut in the local pageant scene during the Miss World Philippines 2021 pageant, where she made it to the Top 15. 

While she fell short on her first try, she was determined to take home the Miss World Philippines crown on her second bid. In her first interview as the 2022 titleholder, Gwendolyne said that she had thought of joining Miss World again because she resonated with the organization’s vision. 

“I’m mentally and physically stronger this year. I know more about pageants [compared to] last year where I don’t know much. And it’s after doing so much more research and really believing in Miss World and its purpose, that’s why I chose Miss World again.” 

Being a familiar face, Gwendolyne easily caught the attention of pageant fans. And as one of the frontrunners, she lived up to the hype as she delivered stellar performances in the pre-pageant activities. She qualified to become a finalist in the following fast-track events: Beach Beauty, Talent, Top Model, and National Costume. 

Her grit and resolve translated into her performance on the coronation night, where she bagged three special awards: the Miss Silka Award, winner of the Beach Beauty challenge, and Best in Evening Gown, before her eventual win. 

After her crowning, Gwendolyne said that it all boiled down to having a “winner mindset” from day one. 

‘Education is a right and not a privilege’

The Miss World organization is known for highlighting candidates’ chosen advocacies through their Beauty with a Purpose program. And for Gwendolyne, who considers herself a staunch advocate for education, she thinks the pageant’s platform will help her fulfill her “special purpose.” 

“It was a reminder to myself as to why I have the strength to keep pushing myself to my limits by joining Miss World Philippines organization a second time because I knew deep in my heart that I have a special purpose and that purpose can only be fully realized with a crown. It will empower me to fulfill my advocacy to empower children through education,” she said in a social media post. 

Gwendolyne has been working with Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation, Inc, a non-stock, non-profit organization that sends underprivileged kids to school. 

She said that ERDA is close to her heart as her mom, who grew up in poverty in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, was one of the organization’s beneficiaries. Through its program, her mom was able to earn a degree in psychology, and eventually work as a foreign household helper for a family in France. 

During the coronation night, Gwendolyne said that several ERDA volunteers were present in the arena to show their support for her, live. “I’m doing this for you,” she told them, adding that, “Education is a right and not a privilege.” 

In the question and answer portion of the competition, Gwendolyne was asked: “How do we cope [with] an education deficit accumulated due to the pandemic?”

And her winning answer was: “As an advocate of education, I do agree that during the pandemic we have suffered the most, but the children who have a lack of access to education have suffered the greatest. And working hand in hand with ERDA Foundation who empowered the marginalized Filipino, I believe by uniting benefactors and encouraging children and allowing them to go back to school especially during this pandemic will make this world a better place because education is the greatest weapon against poverty.”

In her Beauty with a Purpose video, Gwendolyne also emphasized how “educating a child is to save a man” and that when she’s crowned, she will “reach out to benefactors all over the world so [she] could build more schools with ERDA Foundation.”

Personal life

Gwendolyne pursued a degree in economics at Oxford Brooks in London, England. She speaks English, Filipino, and French, and has been tutoring several Filipinos in French. 

She moved to the Philippines when she was just 18 years old and has been living independently since then. “Growing up surrounded by French and Filipino culture, as well as being trilingual, has strengthened my desire for adventure and independence,” she said in her introduction video. 

“I moved alone to the Philippines but I wasn’t scared. I knew I was surrounded with kindness by the Filipino people,” she added. 

When she’s not busy with pageantry and her advocacies, Gwendolyne is also interested in traveling and music. 

Gwendolyne will be representing the country in the 71st edition of Miss World. She is vying to become the second Filipina to win the elusive Miss World title following Megan Young.  – Rappler.com

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