Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Measurements: 33 inches - 24 inches - 34 inches
Occupation/Education: Senior High School Student
Describe your childhood/growing up years (8-13 years old):
During my early childhood years in the Philippines, I had been sheltered and grew up timid. I wasn’t proficient at speaking in Filipino either, which reinforced my shy nature— though as years passed by and I grew more comfortable with the environment I was in, I started investing more in every hobby I found fit for myself. Although I had been shy, I auditioned for clubs in my elementary and even joined the Taekwondo varsity team for a few years. I also discovered my love for learning, which pushed me to be a consistent honor student and soon blossomed into my dream of becoming a doctor. After graduating elementary, I made the decision to break out of my sheltered upbringing and go to a non-international school that was close to my house, where I learned essential skills, such as commuting, going to school and home alone, and communication with strangers.
I also grew up without a physical father figure to look up to, as my father and I haven’t seen each other since I was 11. Growing up without a dad and being singlehandedly raised by a mother truly built my view on women and independence, and pushed me to be headstrong and stand up for myself and what I believe in.
My childhood was as happy as it could be, surrounded by nothing but genuine love and support for every endeavor I chose to immerse myself in. Every aspect of my childhood, even the bad, was necessary to build the woman I am now, and I am thankful to have had the freedom in decision-making at a young age.
What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
One thing was learning the value of breaking out of one’s shell, because I realize that I cannot live life through the lens of fear and self-doubt. I held back on numerous opportunities that to this day, I genuinely regret. Another thing is the importance of being headstrong, decisive, and independent. My mother had physically, single-handedly raised us, and more often than not, spent her time working to support us. Though we had nannies assisting us, I learned to be independent and to carefully curate my decisions at a young age because each decision I made would create an impact on our lives. While I did learn decision-making, such overwhelming responsibility took a toll on my decisiveness as I grew more anxious and pressured myself on every, tiny decision. In this light, I am slowly but surely learning to take things easy, be kinder and gentler to myself, and to learn how to ask for help when I need to, because independence does not, and will not ever, equate to isolation and individualism.
Most memorable moment:
The moment that brought much happiness to my young life is the One Direction concert I attended around 2015. I was 13 then, and though I was young, I had set such a passion for the group, that I stopped at nothing to get tickets, and even begged my mother for it to be a gift for my birthday. That particular concert remains to be a defining, memorable moment for me because I was just growing into my own person, barely even starting puberty, and in the process of building my own principles. That day taught me the most important value of all— valuing one’s happiness. To this day, I don’t think anything has matched the overflowing joy I felt that day, and to have such supporting parents that are ready to help me go for and prioritize things that would make me happy is such an important thing in life.
Why do you want to be Miss Philippines Earth?
After years of being terrified of taking concrete action with regards to going green and sustainable, I want to challenge myself and the inner changemaker in me to actualize what I advocate for and finally speak out more. Small eco-friendly actions definitely generate great impact, but concrete solutions are undeniably needed as the earth slowly depletes of its resources. Being Miss Philippines Earth provides a platform for me to not only carry into effect projects that I and communities alike want to launch for our environment, but also reach more people with my advocacy, causes, and hopefully inspire and educate them enough to become changemakers themselves.
For such a global problem like environmental degradation, more voices need to be heard, more hands need to create action, and more movements need to be done in order to create lasting change. I want to be part of those who are brave enough to lead and inspire people into a greener lifestyle, and to hopefully become part of feasible, visible changes made, starting with my own community and country.
What is your environmental advocacy and why did you choose this?
The cause I chose to advocate for is the Preservation of Marine Biodiversity. This advocacy entails the conservation of existing ecosystems that live in the seas, which are not only important for the environment and oceans to regulate climate changes and pollution, but also for provisional purposes such as livelihood and food source, which are significant to the Philippines, an archipelago— and my representative town, Atimonan.
One of the reasons for choosing this advocacy is because I started my journey towards being a changemaker for the Earth through attending webinars that discussed the ocean, its global problems, and what is being done to solve them. I realized how big the world truly is, and most especially our waters, and how hard it is to create concrete, viable solutions to protect and rehabilitate them. In this light, knowing that most of Atimonan’s livelihood is central around fishery despite the depletion in marine resources in the previous decade due to severe overfishing alarmed me, and pushed me to pursue this advocacy more than ever.
Preservation is something that demands feasible, long-term projects, and must be big on community engagement and education. Fortunately, this is something that Atimonan boasts. With the local government unit and I’s close collaboration to work on and monitor projects that pursue this advocacy, I truly believe that we can go a long way with preserving and rehabilitating our town’s marine biodiversity.
This advocacy not only preserves marine biodiversity and secures the Atimonanin’s livelihood, but is also a tool to learning how to respect these resources as a consumer of its goods and a citizen of a country reliant on fishery, and ultimately engage our communities and tourists to respect our environment and sustainably use and/or profit off of our marine resources.