MANILA, Philippines – Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 Jennifer Hammond says there is definitely pressure for her to perform at this year’s Miss Intercontinental contest in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has to maintain or surpass the successful streak by former queens Kris Janson, who placed 2nd runner-up in 2014, and Christi Lynn McGarry, who placed 1st runner-up in 2015.
“Kailangan ko ma-maintain iyon or ‘yung progress na iyon. So the only way to progress is to win the title. After first runner-up, we have to win. So doon ako mas pressured,” she told reporters during the send-off party for her and fellow beauty queens Kylie Verzosa and Nicole Cordoves last September 28.
(I need to maintain that, or that progress. So the only way to progress is to win the title. After first runner-up, we have to win. So that’s where I’m more pressured.)
As for her fears about the contest, Jennifer said: “Sa lahat naman ng beauty pageant, there’s politics and I heard from some, off the grapevine, na medyo may politics. So ang fear ko lang is I don’t get the chance to compete with all of them equally and cleanly, parang ganun. Kasi I know naman that alam ko sa sarili ko na I’m prepared, and if I do what I would have to do, I’ll do well. “
(In all beauty pageants, there’s politics and I heard from some, off the grapevine, that there is a bit of politics. So my fear is I don’t get to compete with all of equally, and cleanly, like that. Because I know that I’m prepared, and I do what I would have to, I’ll do well.)
But despite these issues, Jennifer is focused on getting the much coveted Miss Intercontinental crown for the country. Before leaving for Sri Lanka, Jennifer went through a lot of training for walking, the question and answer round, and doing her own makeup.
Jennifer admitted that even with all the training, it was building confidence that she had to work on the most.
“Sa totoo, confidence – self-confidence. Kasi shy type ako sa totoo lang. And I would admit na nung Bb Pilipinas days, it was somewhat a set of pretensions na kailangan behave, kailangan regal, which I am not really talaga. Medyo boyish ako, medyo talagang laid-back, relaxed. And tapos medyo tagilid pa ako sa self-confidence.
(The truth is, it’s confidence – self-confidence. Because I’m really the shy type. And I would admit that during Bb Pilipinas days, there was somewhat a set of pretensions that you have to be behaved, you need to be regal, which I am not, really. I’m quite boyish, a bit laid-back, relaxed. And I was also doubting myself when it came to self-confidence.)
“Alam mo, hindi lang nakikita sa stage, pero sasabihin ko sa family ko, sa friends ko, sa love ones ko na natatakot na ako. Hala, manalo kaya ako? So yung mga worries na iyon, syempre those can bring you down,” she said.
(You know, it’s not seen onstage, but I told my family, my friends, my loved ones that I was afraid. Will I win? So those worries, of course they can bring you down.)
Before leaving for Sri Lanka, Jennifer had a chance to speak with Christi and was able to get more tips to help her during the competition.
When asked what tips she got, Jennifer said: ” Well sinabi nga nila [Christi and her mentors] na kailangan maging magaling ka in every aspect, yun. And kunwari, na fe-feel mo na hindi equal yung game, ganyan, don’t feel discouraged, and just do what you have to do.”
(Well they told me to be great in every aspect. And if, for example, you feel that the game is not equal, don’t feel discouraged, and just do what you have to do.)
Jennifer also got some motivation from her sister Louvette Hammond-Fowler, who was a former beauty queen.
“Well sabi niya sa akin na (she told me) she’s very proud of me and that I just should continue chasing my dreams and the family is proud of me. And that fact, it makes me want to make them more proud,” she said.
As for representing the Philippines, Jennifer said that she will just be herself when she competes with the other candidates.
“I think I’m an epitome of isang Filipina. Dahil lumaki naman ako dito, at yung mga values natin ay meron ako nun. So I will just show them who I am pero yung polished me. I would treat them with respect and be friendly with them as we are known to be really friendly people,” she said in a mixture of English and Filipino.
The Miss Intercontinental pageant will be on October 16. Good luck, Jennifer! – Rappler.com
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