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MANILA, Philippines – The top 11 candidates of Binibining Pilipinas 2023 weighed in on various topics at the Q&A segment of the pageant’s coronation night on Sunday, May 28.
Each candidate was given 30 seconds to respond to questions from celebrity judges. They discussed topics such as advocacy, personal values, and body positivity. Here’s how they answered:
Lea Macapagal, Dinalupihan, Bataan
Did you choose your advocacy, or did your advocacy choose you, and why do you say so?
I grew up with the underprivileged, marginalized sector in Dinalupihan, Bataan, which is our indigenous people, Aetas. I grew up with them, I played with them, I even went to the same school with them, I even supported their education by producing laptop with the help of our LGU and this advocacy did not choose me, because up until now, they work in a construction company, the indigenous people of Bataan are the heart and soul of my construction family, and I am proud about it.
Trisha Martinez, Laguna
What truly wins to you, is it love or character?
As the youngest member of the family, I have a very loving parents, my siblings, ate, and kuyas has instilled the value of love in me, so I was told that the world would hurt me, but I learned that in all aspects of life, you have to choose love, and I have learned that my love will always be bigger than all things even if the world is hurting me. So I will choose love.
Katrina Anne Johnson, Davao del Sur
What are you most unapologetic for when it comes to your personal values?
What I am most unapologetic for is my authenticity, my honesty, my sincerity. My parents really instilled those values to me at a young age, showing me that you can accomplish anything in the world that you put your mind to, as long as you’re loyal to who you are and who you are in your heart. And I really hope that I’m able to inspire other people standing on this stage showing you that even if you may not fit the societal norm, if you are who you are, then you are able to show that to the world.
Mary Chiles Balana, Hermosa Bataan
Many observe that we live in a polarizing society now. Do you think that it is appropriate and polarizing for a beauty queen to express her political views?
As a beauty queen, as a queen who stands in front of everyone, it is important for a queen to express her political views. A queen must know how to stand on her grounds and be able to express herself because it’s true understanding what’s going on in our society, that we would be able to know what to do, and that should come for us queen and as well as to our leaders in our country. So again for me, it is important that we can express our own political views without being biased.
Anna Valencia Lakrini, Bataan
In what ways is a beauty pageant candidate aiming for a crown similar to a politician running for an electoral post?
As someone who’s joining for a second time, I know that a beauty pageant has a platform on which we can talk about causes that are dear to our heart. My cause that is dear to my heart is nutrition. And as a nutritional scientist, as an advocate for proper nutrition, I know that in advocating with this platform from Binibini Pilipinas, we can inspire so many people. And a politician can inspire our whole community. And so can we.
Jessilen Salvador, Aklan
In what ways have you been kind to yourself and maintained happiness in your personal space amidst the challenges of joining a beauty pageant?
As I have said before, I joined Binibining Pilipinas to conquer my fear, to be in this very stage. And the kindness that I gave and I have gained in this pageant is that I have a sisterhood that always been there for me And then you know, that sisterhood in Binibining Pilipinas really matters and until the end, they will really matter and they will always be there for you no matter what happens. Thank you.
Kiaragiel Gregorio, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija
Beauty queens stated in an interview that removing the age requirement in beauty pageants may delay a pageant’s hopes in pursuing a dream. What are your thoughts on this?
Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with increasing age limits within pageantry. This is because as women, we are here to be of service of the people in front of us and the people that we conspire and be a vector of hope to. And becoming a beauty queen, we are able to inspire a lot of people and be a vector of hope in order to pursue our purposes. For example, I aim to pursue my advocacy in inspiring humanity, reducing inequality, and in stronger [unclear] within.
Angelica Lopez, Palawan
What makes you a binibini who walks the talk and who is beyond mere self-promotion?
I stand here tonight because it is my mother that instilled me the values and the morals that I’m using to be the woman that I am now today. A woman who has the strength, courage, and tenacity. The strength to decide for herself what she wants really works hard to achieve it.
To also have the courage to face any obstacles of life and tenacity to hold on to her wisdom of choice. And I believe that it’s always a dream come true to be here and that is why I am a binibini that I’ve always meant to be.
Atasha Reign Parani, General Trias, Cavite,
Social media definitely creates a movement. However, some observed that these are shallow and non-lasting connections. Being in the age of 16, what are your thoughts on this social situation we are facing now?
As a public figure and as someone from ABS-CBN who gives service to the Filipino, what I believe is that in social media, it’s not just connection, but as well engagement and touching other people’s lives with the heart that you have. A heart of gold. And for me, my advocacy is for the children. The children who have been domestically abused. And if I were to imagine, to inspire them and see that younger self of mine in the mirror every single day, then I would do it another time. Like it’s my ultimate last chance. And I just really want to show everyone that with social media and every platform, you can still move people and the world. Thank you.
Jeanne Isabelle Bilasano, Albay
You undergo a lot of hard and heavy training to turn you into a total package candy. My question for you is how do you balance good health and dieting?
As a Filipina, it’s important that we take care of our body, but at the same time, I want to advocate for good body positivity. Because at the same time, it can be hard on Filipinas to maintain their figure. And I want to tell everybody that no matter what size, shape, or figure you are, as long as you’re proud of your body, as long as you’re happy with yourself, that’s the best thing that can be to be in the perfect shape. Thank you.
Loraine Jara, Bulacan
My question is, the dream of becoming a queen can literally be costly or expensive. What are your sentiments on the high cost or expenses a pageant candidate faces when joining a pageant nowadays?
Coming to this pageant, I am weaponless, no experiences. This is my first national pageant. However, I am very happy that I always feel the love and support of my family, the people around me. And I am proud to say that I persevere and I am very grateful that these people show their love to me. And through that, I am capable and I am fearless. And because of that, I believe that dreams should not be costly. Because once we become fearless, our dreams become lived. – Rappler.com