FULL TEXT: Binibining Pilipinas 2021 Q&A segment

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
FULL TEXT: Binibining Pilipinas 2021 Q&A segment
Binibining Pilipinas 2021 candidates at the Q&A portion
Binibining Pilipinas via YouTube, screenshot

MANILA, Philippines — The new set of beauty queens that will represent the country in international pageants were crowned earlier at the 57th edition of Binibining Pilipinas at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. They are:

  • Masbate’s Hannah Arnold won the Binibining Pilipinas International title
  • Cavite’s Samantha Panlilio got the Binibining Grand International crown 
  • Cagayan de Oro’s Cinderella Obenita bagged Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental
  • Batangas’ Maureen Montagne won Binibining Pilipinas Globe
  • Eastern Samar’s Gabrielle Basiano is the 1st runner-up
  • Valenzuela’s Meiji Cruz is the 2nd runner-up  

Completing the Top 13 were:

  • Manila’s Patrizia Garcia 
  • Iloilo’s Karen Mendoza
  • Oriental Mindoro’s Graciella Lehmann
  • Angeles, Pampanga’s Francesca Taruc
  • Albay’s Jashmin Dimaculangan
  • Quezon Province’s Patricia Babista
  • Rizal’s Honey Cartasano 

Here is the full text of the Question & Answer portion of the pageant:

Question: "If you could speak to all Filipinos abroad, what are you most proud of as a Pinay despite the grueling and difficult pandemic situation in the Philippines?"

Patricia Garcia (Manila):


"Filipinos are known to be resilient people and we have proved this because we have overcome the pandemic, although the pandemic may not end. But we see that Filipinos are fighting strong even if they are undergoing progress or they lost their livelihoods, they're fighting for their families and my purpose here as your Binibini is to be able to help all Filipinos become stronger and inspire them as well. Thank you."


Question: When is it okay not to be okay and when is it not okay to be not okay?

Karen Laurrie Mendoza (Iloilo):


"You know sometimes, it's hard to move on especially that if we lost our loved ones, when we're depressed, when we have anxiety, but most of all, when we want to move forward in life. You know, my favorite saying is from a movie in Disney, ‘Inside Out,’ is 'Embrace your sadness because in embracing your sadness, you will feel happiness afterwards'."


Question: In what ways can a female public servant or politician can be more effective than a male politician?

Gabrielle Basiano (Borongan, Eastern Samar):


"Well, I really understand that all of us are doing our best to give the best service to everyone. And I can say that men servants are very strong when it comes to making decisions and with women, they are very passionate when it comes to the things that they are doing, and they're very sensitive with the feelings of the other people and that's what makes women servant different from men."


Question: Given the pandemic situation now in the Philippines, should vaccination be a choice or a mandate?

Ma. Francesca Taruc (Angeles, Pampanga):


"Vaccinations should be a choice. I still remember the days when we were all longing for vaccines to be created. And now that vaccines are available, we tend to get hesitated because we fear of the side effects. But I encourage everyone to choose to get vaccinated because this is the big step for us to move forward and to protect ourselves and our loved ones."


Question: What are your thoughts about romantic relationships which began and developed on social media during the pandemic?

Graciella Lehmann (Oriental Mindoro):


"To be completely honest, there is nothing wrong with love and relationships that (come) from social media. Because as we all know, we have harnessed the power of social media and this is something that we should celebrate. Because love knows no time, love knows no place, even at social media, we can meet someone and we can be in love."


Question: These days, beauty queens are also considered as beauty athletes with all the training we undergo. What is your message of inspiration to all Filipino athletes who are competing in the forthcoming Olympics in Japan given the pandemic situation? 

Meiji Cruz (Valenzuela):


"As a candidate myself, I understand and I completely agree that we are like athletes because we are required to be, basically we are required to give our 100% passion and focus on whatever we will do. And to our athletes, I know that you are also waited for this to happen again and this will happen again in Japan and it's a good sign and it means that there's hope."


Question: When we emerge from this crisis, what positive things you foresee happening to humanity in general? 

Jashmin Dimaculangan (Albay):


"Something positive that I have witnessed during the pandemic is how resilient and adaptable people are. We have been put through a lot the past year but still, we find ways to help one another and find ways to help. And at the end of the day, as long as we put our generosity and charity first, then together we can heal and we can get through this crisis."


Question: Think of something you learned that you did for the first time during the pandemic which you consider as the most life changing of all. 

Samantha Panlilio (Cavite):


"One thing that I did during the pandemic was actually cook food for frontliners because I love to cook and I also have a food blog which I do in my spare time and it was such a fulfilling and humbling experience. You know, helping these people and helping contribute to the people who are actually in the frontlines helping us Filipinos and so I hope that what I did inspire other women to also help out one another because the only way that we can survive and heal and recover through this, is if we help one another."


Question: Fake news, bashing, rants and the like are abound on social media. Why do you think they should not be part of the new beautiful even if they encourage social interactions on this platform?

Patricia Babista (Quezon Province):


"Social media is such a beautiful technology that has given us but there is always limitations. So I hope that in social media, we will create a space where there is no hate."


Question: (Amid) the hardships and suffering the world is facing now, if you're given a chance to face God and ask Him one question, what would it be?

Honey Cartasano (Rizal):


"Having a chance ask God, it is why, but I know that everything happens for a reason. We may be facing pandemic right now and there's so much uncertainty. But this reveals that every Filipino has a heart of a hero. So thank you God for everything, even though we're facing this pandemic. Thank you to all of the Filipino heroes. Thank you."


Question: Given the reach and power of social media, do you believe that genuine freedom of speech exists in the Philippines nowadays, why or why not?

Hannah Consencino Arnold (Masbate):


"First of all, freedom of speech is a basic human right that we all must remember. And it is important for democracy. And with our upcoming election, we definitely need free speech. For example, on Twitter, we are limited to few characters and what I've seen from these tweets has been powerful and has helped me think about who I would like to vote for in the upcoming election."


Question: Now that compassion is needed more than ever, what is your most recent acts of kindness and how these affect others?

Maureen Montagne (Batangas):


"During the pandemic, I was in Siargao and together, friends and I bonded together and we created a Siargao community kitchen. It was a trying time, everyone felt how hard it was. Our hearts were heavy, but together we rose, together we supported our communities and provided our hot meals and assistance to everyone on the island and helped as much as we could. And for me, it proved that together, a community conquers all." 


Question: How important are luxury items like bags, clothes, jewelry for a woman when the national economy is down and struggling?

Cinderella Obenita (Cagayan de Oro):


"In life, we always find ourselves in a crossroad of choices. Women always have a choice whether to prioritize luxury items, but while we are facing a pandemic, and also they have a choice to embrace a concept of a new beautiful, which is responsive to the needs of the time, adaptive to the change of times and I think I would choose to be that woman who understands the problems of the Philippines, the problems of my community, so that we would be able to uplift each other and I would be that kind of woman who will comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

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