Bb. Pilipinas-International 2019 Patch Magtanong
Raymond Saldana/BPCI
Beauty Queen shares her fitness journey
WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2020 - 12:00am

Lawyer and Bb. Pilipinas International Bea Patricia “Patch” Magtanong is a perfect display of the endless possibilities available to a powerful woman.

She became the Philippines’ bet to compete in Miss International 2019 held in Tokyo, Japan where she stunned the crowd with her breathtaking performance. Patch managed a Top 8 finish in the prestigious pageant, proudly bearing the Philippine flag.

Naturally slim, Patch focused on weight training in order to develop muscle for the pageant. She also attended Core Classes in order to strengthen and tighten her abs, which is essential for a beauty queen.

Philippine Star: What led you to your decision to compete?

Patch Magtanong: I was invited to join Binibining Pilipinas in 2011. I was only 17 then, a sophomore in college. I had zero plans of joining. I wanted to graduate, go to law school, and become a lawyer, so that’s what I did. But throughout my four years of law school, I always found myself thinking about pageantry. By the time I was studying for the bar exam, I was pretty certain that I would join Binibini afterwards. Right after the last Sunday of the bar in November 2018, I met up with my mentor Atty. Nad Bronce and I told him I wanted to join Binibining Pilipinas 2019.

How did you look like before your competition prep? What was your diet like back then?

I had just come from five months of bar review when I started preparing for the pageant. That was five months of an almost completely sedentary lifestyle. I was pretty much sitting at my table reading 10 to 12 hours a day. I ate all my meals out and had Starbucks every day. I would go to the gym maybe once or twice a week. Towards the end of my review, I was already pressed for time studying so going to the gym became my last priority. Needless to say, I was extremely unfit.

What changes did you have to make to your fitness and nutrition regimen when you began your pageant prep?

The most important change I made was to eat a lot better. I used to treat myself to delicious, but unhealthy food. I would justify it by saying, “nag-aaral kasi ako, eh!” After I cleaned up my diet, I started to see improvements almost instantly. I paired it with going to the gym consistently. I started slow at first and there’s no shame in that. You don’t need to lift the heaviest or have the most intense program as long as you’re constantly improving.

What is the hardest part about preparing for a beauty pageant?

It would be building self-confidence and overcoming self-doubt. It’s one thing to do something out of your comfort zone, but it’s a completely different thing to do it in such a highly publicized arena. I had to find the courage in myself to try. That’s not something anyone can teach you or something you can train. It was a journey of self-improvement and self-discovery that I wouldn’t have had the chance to undergo had I not been brave enough to join.

What was your diet and training program for Miss International 2019?

For Miss International, I had to gain muscle. I didn’t restrict myself with the amount of food that I ate because I needed to build that volume but I always made sure I ate clean. Mostly greens, complex carbs, lean meat and fruits. I stayed away from sweets, junk food and alcohol but I’d make sure to give myself a small treat once in a while. I went to the gym three to four times a week.

What does it feel like to step on stage? Were you nervous, scared, or excited? Would you recommend it to girls who are passionate about fitness?

My first time was absolutely nerve-wracking. It was the first time I performed in front of a crowd my entire life. Not surprisingly, my performance was shaky and my hesitation was apparent in my face. But I found that everybody gets nervous, that’s something you can’t control, only manage. The best thing you can do is to prepare well. If you practice to the point where your performance becomes muscle memory, error can be minimized regardless of the nerves.

How did competing in pageants change your perception of fitness?

I learned that every woman’s body is different. We shouldn’t compare ourselves. I’ve met so many women both in Binibining Pilipinas and in Miss International, and each person has different body types and metabolisms which correspond to different diets and workout programs. What might work for someone else, might not work for you. So when starting your fitness journey, be patient. Learn what’s right for you, listen to your body and trust the process.

What message or advice would you give to aspiring beauty queens?

My message is to just take the leap, whatever endeavor it may be. I’ve missed out so many tremendous opportunities because I hesitated to just go for it. You never lose by trying. Either you win or you learn.

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