Not Pinoy enough? Binibining Pilipinas 2019 multiracial candidates speak up
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo, Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) - May 29, 2019 - 2:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — When Catriona Gray won as Miss Universe 2018, among the issues raised about her win is whether she won the crown for the Philippines, her mom’s homeland which she represents; or for Australia, her dad’s home country where she was born and raised.

Since then, to avoid confusion, Filipino pageant fans have been clamoring for a pure-blooded Filipina to represent the country in international beauty contests. 

In a recent exclusive interview with Philstar.com, the mixed-race contestants of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant address the issue on who deserves to represent the country more: a pure Filipina or a half-breed?

Miss Zamboanga April Short

Miss Zamboanga at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas Jr.

“I really want a pure Filipina to represent the Philippines… The Philippines is really diverse. It makes me really proud being a Filipina. I have nothing against (mixed raced Filipinas), like me, I have the blood of an American. I just want like a pure Filipina to represent the Philippines.”

Miss Negros Occidental Vickie Rushton

Miss Negros Occidental at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas Jr.

“It’s fun to have different cultures. For me, I’m half-British and I don’t see anything wrong with that, for as long as your intentions are pure.”

Miss Maguindanao Resham Saeed

Miss Maguindanao at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas Jr.

“I think we’re all Pinoys in different ways. I think the term ‘exotic’ can be a little misogynistic because it puts us into this perspective that just because you’re mixed you’re not beautiful enough (or) because you’re half, you have these beautiful features. 

Have you seen Filipina women? I mean, we’re gorgeous! All of us are beautiful! I think being exotic is something that makes us standout. Like the hashtag being Beyond Beauty this year, for example, shows that our beauty is not just skin-deep. There’s more that we have to offer. And so let’s focus on the fact that we’re representing all our provinces. We’re all Pinoy, no matter how half, full, we’re all Filipinos in here, and that’s where our spirits should lie—in unity and cooperation.”

Miss Caraga Dia Nicole Magno

Miss Caraga at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas Jr.

“Everyone’s unique and it’s up to you to make yourself shine and express yourself more. We’re all Pinoys in any way that we can be. We’re different maybe in looks, but we like the same chicken adobo!”

Miss Cebu City Samantha Lo

Miss Cebu City at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas Jr.

“I think it boils down on how educated you are, how well-rounded you are. There are girls here, God bless them, they are so resilient. There are girls I've met, I heard their stories, I was just like 'God bless you,' I wanted to be like you when I grow up. So there's no advantage. It's just who you are, what you choose to do with the choices you made and with the knowledge you have,” said the Filipino-Spanish-Chinese beauty, adding that if a pure-blooded Pinay would undergo cosmetic procedures, then she, too, could look like a half-breed.

Miss Isabela Anne Barker

Miss Isabela at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas Jr.

“I think that it doesn’t matter that I am half, because that does not make me less of a person. I grew up with Filipino culture and I know more about the culture of the Philippines than many pure Filipinos abroad.”

Miss Daraga, Albay Julia Saubier

Miss Daraga, Albay at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Facebook/Binibining Pilipinas

“I don't think it's necessarily an advantage or disadvantage. I think it just gives us a different perspective. I grew up in the Philippines, but my dad is French and my mom is a Filipino, so I was always exposed. I'm really open and that makes me curious about the world and I think that this platform and position is really a global position, so the woman who stands there needs to be a spokesperson for our country...

“The power behind this platform is huge and if we can harness that and get someone who has that sort of advantage and perspective to put our country in the map and makes us globally competitive to create more possibilities and opportunities for us, that would be amazing. I think it boils down to your perspective, your experience, your vision, your voice, not necessarily your blood or your background, your credentials.”

Miss Masbate Hannah Arnold

Miss Masbate at the Bb. Pilipinas Parade of Beauties. Facebook/Binibining Pilipinas

“The one perspective that we have coming from other countries is that we have seen how developed those countries are and that's how we like to see it here and that's what we're sharing here with the girls with the community that what we like to improve here in the Philippines,” said Hannah, who is also Filipino-Australian like Catriona.

She admitted that if ever she wins, Australians were telling her they would also claim her as their own, just like they did with Catriona.

Catriona will pass her crown to her successor during Binibining Pilipinas 2019's grand coronation night on June 9. — Videos by Erwin Cagadas Jr.

Related video: Bb. Pilipinas 2019 candidates on not being Filipino enough (batch 2)

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