Big hair, shimmering jewelries, an hourglass figure, and an iconic walk. What does it really mean to be a beauty queen?
Known as one of the few countries that consistently gets the most prestigious crown titles, the Philippines has branded itself as a pageantry powerhouse over the last few decades. And with the recent wins of Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray, the country now has become top-tier.
Like basketball courts in every Filipino street, it’s almost impossible not to have pageants in every barangay. And quite new to the scene is Geraldine “Dindin” Abique. Born and raised in a humble neighborhood in San Vicente, Palawan, a young girl dreamed of going to places—Eiffel Tower to be specific. But little did she know that a casual walk in her town would bring her to a destination that isn’t part of her itinerary.
A story to remember. Dindin was nowhere near ready when a pageant scout asked her to represent the Indigenous People’s Village in Mutya ng Malagnang 2022. It was a serendipitous moment for Dindin because the girl who was meant to represent the title had an accident right before the final casting, making the seat left open filled by her.
While her lack of pageant experience means she has a slim chance of winning, she didn’t see it that way. And so she said yes—despite her reservations.
Dresses, Gowns, and Bikinis
Just like Megan Young, whom Dindin considers to be the image of a woman she aspires to be, she didn’t let the idea of being a beauty pageant rookie hold her back from trying—something that brought her unquantifiable wins.
Out of all the clothes she had to wear, her confidence to rediscover herself is her favorite. She saw the world as a stage where one could play the lead role, instead of staying behind curtains.
She embraced change, and it was beautifully reciprocated.
Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen
The search for the first-ever Miss Paragua Coastown was crucial. Many questions were posed to the delegates to properly identify which story sheds light, and which heart has been carved out of authenticity. The question now is: who are we looking for?
Advocacies play a major role in beauty pageants. The majority of women want world peace, equality, and education, and then there’s some, like Paragua Coastown, who advocate for sustainability.
Following the success of 26 themed township projects comes Megaworld Corporation’s one-of-a-kind concept that will change the lives of the Filipino people: the birth of the first sustainable eco-tourism township, Paragua Coastown. The township believes that in order to promote sustainability, it must address three issues: the environment, society, and community. Dindin, fortunately, has a heart for all three.
And the Winner is…
“No IPs will be left behind,” says Dindi during the preliminary interview. Trying to compose herself, she expressed that being a part of the indigenous tribe has given her a deeper understanding of what it means to live; an advocacy that seeks to protect the indigenous community from displacement, and for all of them to take space in society with equal opportunities.
Launched last September was Dindin’s program called SAPN or Sariling Atin Paunlarin Natin, which aims to provide livelihood for her fellow tribemates through the production of banig, a handwoven mat used for sleeping by most Filipinos. The program has gained massive traction, which has made it a success.
Dindin described her life now as a colored painting. Starting out young, she would casually do charitable works in the hopes to better the lives of others. During her casual interview with Megaworld, she says “Bata palang ako pangarap ko na ‘yung tumulong sa mga kapwa ko katutubo. Looking back, lagi akong nag-iisip ng mga charity works na gagawin ko kapag naging successful na ako. Akala ko matatagalan
pa bago ko magawa ‘yung pangarap ko na ito, but now here I am starting to make a step for my ka-tribo…” and now the dream is slowly unfolding right before her eyes.
A pageant title doesn’t just mean getting to wear a sash and a crown, it also means having great influence in everything that you do—no matter how big or small.
Dindin proved to us that purpose has its magic, that having a dream shouldn’t be scary, and accidents can be seen as a beautiful encounter. She may have just gotten her crown recently, but her love for her tribe already made her a queen ever since. Now, I ask you, what makes a beauty queen? Well, anyone who has a heart that radiates love and sense of purpose. And that could be you.