By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
A modest yet charming gal, Stephanie Monique Villavicencio was carrying her sash, “Mutya Pilipinas – Iloilo 2019” when she met us in a coffee shop for a short interview on Thursday.
The eighteen-year-old stunner was recently crowned as Mutya Pilipinas-Iloilo and is set to represent Iloilo City in the upcoming national pageant this August, the Mutya Pilipinas 2019.
Shortly before she flies to Manila for her pageant, Stephanie in an interview with Daily Guardian shared her victories, difficulties, experiences as a beauty queen and how all of these things depict some of her “real crowning moments”.
Emme: Was it really your dream to become a beauty queen?
Stephanie: Actually, being a beauty queen was never a dream of mine. Pero it started man gid when I was asked to join a pageant in school and so I thought, so what else would I lose. It’s a new experience for me, and I ended up enjoying it so sige-sige na dayon join ko sa mga pageants.
Emme: Is Mutya Pilipinas-Iloilo your first pageant?
Stephanie: It’s my second pageant outside school. I started when I joined Miss Iloilo National High School-Special Science Class (INHS-SSC) where it turned out to be my first crown in 2016. Then, I joined a much bigger pageant in our school, Miss INHS where luckily it became my second crown in 2017. When I was in Grade 11, I joined Miss Teen Iloilo in 2017 where I was crowned as the second princess. For Mutya, I joined because it’s just in time since college starts in August. My goal is really to join one pageant per year.
Emme: What or who inspired you to join beauty pageants?
Stephanie: Ang inspiration ko gid is my mom kay she really enjoys watching pageants on Youtube like Binibining Pilipinas and at the same time I also enjoy performing man. Another reason I join pageants is that I have an existing advocacy, it is entitled Project WON (Winning on Nutrition). It started two years ago in Miss Teen Iloilo. I am an aspiring doctor so my mom always told me na we don’t always compete for pageants but to compete for the advocacy so even after the pageant we decided to continue my advocacy so it is about educating the youth on proper health and nutrition. Aside from being an aspiring doctor, I also value education as much and that is why I always talk to my beneficiaries na if you want to be successful in the future you need to focus on your education but how will you attain your education if you yourself cannot be healthy.
Emme: What are the challenges or difficulties of becoming a beauty queen?
Stephanie: Living it up in your everyday life. Not only are you a performer on stage but you need to actually show it in your everyday get up. So I think personally where I struggle the most, because I have grown up to be simple, or sometimes would forget some manners and etiquette like my back would slouch. I am also a ballerina and I started doing it since I was three years old and while I receive compliments on being graceful during pageants I am still working on my walk because my thighs are turned out. So, I am having a hard time doing my pageant walk. I am also one of the shorter girls during my previous pageants and it’s a challenge because my competitors are way taller than me. I feel pressured but personally, I think having too much pressure on myself doesn’t work for me in winning so that is why I have told myself also that if I only enjoy and give my best and internalize everything that I have trained for, I could have a shot at being the top five.
Emme: What message would you like to impart, especially for students like you who also want to become a beauty queen?
Stephanie: If you have a goal or dream, always believe in yourself, that you would achieve it and above all be grateful because if you are grateful it would radiate from your heart. Don’t forget the people who have helped you in your journey. It’s not about winning the crown or not only beauty pageants, but you also have your own crowning moments as well. It may not be through beauty pageants but it can be what you’re passion is; may it be singing, dancing, sports. You don’t need to join pageants to have your own title but you can do it in your own way.
In the last part of our interview, Stephanie took the time to thank the people who have supported her, especially in her previous pageant.
“First, of course, I am thanking God for this wonderful experience. Aside from me asking for this experience or a way to develop myself, he gave me more. To my family, my dad, mom, and sister, aside from being there, giving their utmost support, in any way possible it may be emotionally, financially, physically, I would like to thank them as well. Thank you also to my makeup artist, Clint Dusaran, my relatives, friends, and classmates, pageant directors, and co-candidates. These people have made my journey in Mutya Pilipinas-Iloilo memorable,” she said.
As of now, Stephanie is busy preparing for her upcoming pageant in Manila this August.
At the same time, she will also be fulfilling her dream as a doctor as she is also an incoming freshman of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), taking up a degree in Bachelor of Science in Public Health.