In the past few years, the buzzword in pageantry has been “advocacy.” Unfortunately, for many it will remain as just that – a buzzword that would help give relevance to their candidacy in pursuit of a crown. However, there are rare gems whose hearts are truly in the right place; their advocacy is not just a requirement but part of their life’s mission.
Katarina Rodriguez has won two national titles and was Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st runner-up. Like most of her contemporaries throughout her pageant journey, she was involved in charity work. She relinquished her Miss World Philippines 2018 crown last September 15, 2019. Although she has continued with her modeling and is concentrating on her acting career, Katarina’s efforts for the advocacies she believes in have not diminished.
During the Together, We Save the Children! event at the Marriott Hotel, Manila, Rodriguez finally spoke about a topic that is close to her heart. Empowered by the fact that she is the first Filipina Save The Children Philippine Ambassador she said, “As this is a celebratory event and this is children’s month, I thought it would be a great time to bring to front and center a current advocacy that Save The Children and myself will be focusing on. That’s the issue of teenage pregnancy. I’m hoping this is a topic that we can talk more about, to be more informed and to be more involved.”
Statistics show that 1 in 10 Filipino girls aged 15-19 is already a mother or is pregnant with her first child.
“As this watch is symbolic of the urgent issues of children I tell you. Teenage pregnancy is time sensitive and its impact grave not just in the present but the future of the country. It is interconnected with problems and issues like lack of education, poverty, malnutrition, unemployment and gender equality.”
Katarina Rodriguez proves that she does not need to be a regining queen to continue to be an agent of change and of good.
In the past, Rodriguez has carried several advocacies ranging from peace education, war on children, HIV/AIDS awareness, among others. But teenage pregnancy has always been the advocacy closests to her heart from the beginning. However, her pageant trainers felt that this topic would be too complicated, heavy, and controversial for a beauty contestant to champion.
Rodriguez said, “It’s funny how life works. Now that my pageantry life has ended, I am able to stand in front of all of you to talk about the importance of this issue.”
At the event, Rodriguez was given the honor of awarding the Save The Children Philippines Changemakers who are influential individuals both on media and social media. These changemakers have pledged pledging their commitment to continue amplyfying the voice of children and protecting their rights by providing platforms to nurture social conversation and mobilize public on issues affecting children.
Accepting the award at the event were RJ Ledesma, Lara Maigue, Janivce Villanueva and Marcie Linao. Celebrity awardees also included Boy Abunda, Dingdong Dantes, Dimples Romana, Sarah Black, Saab Magalona, and Iya Villan-Arellano.
As Save The Children celebrates its 100th year in 2019, a Save the Children Philippines Centenary watch was given to the awardees as a token of their recognition. Also present to welcome all the guest and awardees were Atty. Alberto Muyot, CEO, Save the Children Philippines and Ms. Naida Pasion, Chief Business Development Officer, Save the Children Philippines. – Rappler.com
Voltaire has 10 years experience in the fashion industry. He previously worked with a luxury clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, major in Fashion Design. He also holds a BS in Applied Economics and BS in Marketing from DLSU. He is now doing real estate but finds ample spare time to pursue his passions.