Most newly crowned beauty queens would always say, “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” not for Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Luigi Gomez.
“It has sunk in and I want now to feel my role as newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021. I only have a short time before I go to Israel for the 2021 Miss Universe pageant. I want to focus on my training because I want to be very much prepared,” Gomez said during the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 press conference held at Hilton Manila recently.
Becoming part of the Naval Reserve Command, with the rank of corporal, after completing the citizens military course training under the 82nd Marine Battalion of the Naval Reserve Center of Eastern Visayas in January, Gomez was promoted as Sergeant Reserve Philippine Navy this month.
She can be called up for duty anytime there is a shortage of soldiers during a conflict or calamity. Gomez is competing in Israel where its women undergo military service for two years and many past representatives of Israel in Miss Universe had a military background like Miss Israel 2004 Gal Gadot.
“When it comes to my advocacy, I have it already even way before the Miss Universe Philippines pageant started. And this platform is what it is for, for us to serve our fellow Filipinos,” the 26-year-old Gomez said regarding her advocacy on youth empowerment through sports.
A boxing, airsoft shooting, and scuba-diving enthusiast, Gomez is one of the founders of the BEYouthfulPH non-government organization which aims to raise funds for the rehabilitation of youths who had trouble with the law, through the conduct of sports clinics to promote discipline, values, and healthy lifestyle.
“One of the best tools to develop character-forming values, independence, and build physical and emotional strength is through sports,” Gomez said.
“I wish I would be more confident because it’s quite hard to be out in public and to be graceful all the time. People think we already mastered everything that we do. We still make mistakes when people expect us to be perfect. I still have my insecurities and doubts and I want to recognize that,” Gomez said when asked what she would want to wish to help her in the Miss Universe pageant.
As an openly gay beauty queen, a Navy reserve sergeant, and community development worker, Gomez thinks she’s in a much stronger position than before to be able to help improve the lives of LGBT+ youth members and to fulfill her aspiration for acceptance and inclusivity, especially, equal rights and protection for the younger generation who are victims of bullying, harassments and other forms of violence.
* * * *
Newly crowned Mrs. Universe-Philippines 2021 reflects on winning the title
Fresh from her crowning as Mrs. Universe Philippines 2021, Claudeline Cuntapay-Molero obliged for a short interview regarding her successful journey in the pageant for married women.
“Honestly, until now, it hasn’t sunk in yet that all these are happening. But I really believe that God gave me this title because at first, I asked for a sign from Him if I really have to join this pageant,” said the 41-year-old, mother to three children.
“Actually, we are going to discuss with the Miss Universe Philippines organization what our activities and projects will be. But at the moment, I’m continuing with what I promised to do and with what I’ve started to help my townmates and the communities through my CLAUDE advocacy, which means ‘cultivating livelihood activities, underscoring development, and empowerment from women and children welfare, and hopefully, to expand further my advocacy with the organization,” said Molero.
Molero, who will compete internationally in Seoul, Korea in November, gave a good description of her work in her winning advocacy video. ‘In the words of Joyce Banda (former Malawi woman president, the seeds of success in every nation on earth are best planted in women and children.’ “Unfortunately, in most communities, including in my hometown Davao del Sur, many women and children have lesser opportunity to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life. As a woman and someone who grew up immersed in volunteer work, addressing the needs of women and children, my advocacy will be centered on them.”
“First, I finished my studies, second, I have succeeded in business and third, I have my family, husband, and children who give me strength and inspiration,” Molero replied when asked what she considered her three biggest achievements in life. “And fourth, if I may add to that, winning as Mrs. Universe Philippines 2021,” Molero added with a laugh.
“I want to thank everyone who helped and believed in me. I promise, again and again to help the people of Davao del Sur the best way I can,” Molero said.