I was only a young girl when I fell in love. I fell in love with beauty pageants. I was in high school when I discovered beauty pageantry. Since then, like many Filipinos, I became heavily invested in the Miss Universe competition. The annual pageant became a tradition for me and everyone else of the same mind to gather so that we can support and cheer for Miss Philippines! Watching the pageant from our television, I would always be in awe of the contestants’ beauty and grace on stage. I admired the way they walked, talked, and carried themselves. It made me so happy seeing them being so confident! You could see in their eyes how proud and happy they were to represent their country!
Once, I attended a beauty contest as an audience. One of the contestants in that competition immediately caught my eye. I used to think that you can only enter beauty pageants if you have the perfect face and body. Compared to the other contestants she looked quite simple since her makeup and hair weren’t styled as extravagantly as the other contestants but she was oozing with confidence. You can’t help but be drawn to her. During the question and answer portion, that was when she truly shined. Everything she did and every word she said screamed confidence. She became my inspiration to try and join beauty pageants. That year my journey in becoming a beauty queen began. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I launched Sam version 2.0. A more confident and courageous version of Sam was born.
I know I’m not extremely beautiful. I’m not trying to humble-brag. It’s my honest opinion. I’ve learned that pageantry is not just about looks. You need confidence, intelligence, and charisma as well. But I wasn’t always this confident. When I was younger, I had insecurities as well. I felt insecure about my appearance especially my nose. The young Sam would never consider herself as a beauty. These insecurities and self-doubts only hindered me from doing what I wanted to do. So I fought against them. I competed in beauty pageants.
By joining pageants, I slowly destroyed the insecurities I felt about the way I look and it gave me the much needed boost for my self-esteem. Over time, I’ve learned to embrace every part of myself. I’ve come to love myself enough to know that I am talented and beautiful enough to compete and stand together with the other lovely contestants. I love beauty pageants because it has taught me so much about how to love myself no matter what.
Ever since I gathered the courage to finally join beauty pageants, I did not want to stop. I found myself enjoying every single thing about it! It made my days so much brighter. I was always game for any beauty contests, that given the chance I would even join one every day! I just loved it so much. Balancing both pageantry and my studies was challenging, but ginusto ko to. Throughout high school and college, I made time for both. Some days were difficult but I persevered anyway. I wanted both and like they always say, “If there is a will, there is a way!”. Those were the best years of my life.
My “beauty queen” days are on pause right now. Currently, I am a call center agent. I am very thankful to be part of the BPO industry. Going to work is a little scary because of the constant threat of the virus but like everyone else, I’m enduring it. The BPO industry is demanding but like beauty pageantry, it also helps its employees grow as individuals. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have an income and help my family, financially. Ever since I joined the industry, along the way I was able to hone my skills. Also, I’ve learned to be more mature and patient. When things do become too much to handle, I can always travel with my friends to distress. I have also a very supportive family that has always given me all the love and support I need. I know this is not the end of my pageantry days. I’m not the type of person to dwell on the uncertainties of the future because I like to focus on the present.
Falling in love with beauty pageantry has taught me to love myself in all of its imperfections. If I can accept myself and know that I am beautiful because of who I am as a person, then so can you! Life is beautiful and amazing! If you can dream it, you can do it. Know that anything is possible! I hope everyone who reads this realizes it too.