Prior to the finals of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2017 last Friday night, Ilene Astrid de Vera of Cebu was already one of the top favorites to make it as one of the winners. While some observers noticed that her journey to the crown had its share of mild downs in the process. She was initially voted Darling of the Press then became middling in impact shortly after during the Swimsuit Competition in Hannah’s. She moved up once more when the whole group went to Alta D’Tagaytay for the Long Gown Competition, she started moving up more steadily and never looked back ever since.
What was running inside her head the moment her name was announced as the big winner? And how is she starting her game plan for Miss Asia-Pacific International 2017 which is less than two months away?
“As cliché as it may sound, I was shocked when my name was called because all I was aiming for was the Top Model of World title. I did not expect too much from myself even if I did all my best.
I’m planning to stay longer here in Manila to train myself. Out of all the titleholders, Im the one who has the least time to prepare so I really have to do double time. I also obviously need to lose more weight so you can expect to see me more at the gym. Im also very excited to work with the Mutya ng Pilipinas Organization for the rest of my reign.”
“It’s already enough pressure for me being chosen to compete for the pageant. Mutya ng Pilipinas was my first national pageant and winning it seems surreal. I just want to do better than my best and make all my trainings and sacrifices worth it.”
And some final words to your supporters and followers in Cebu?
“I just want to thank everyone who believed in me from the very start. To the people who pushed me to achieve more, my handler Jonas Borces, my KF family, my friends and family, have been very instrumental to my success. I’m living my dream, our dream for Cebu and now the Philippines. I will make you all prouder.”