It is not easy pinning down the Miss World Philippines 2018 Official Candidates for an online interview because of their busy schedules. So it warms my heart that #10 Paulina Labayo was able to indulge me with substantial answers on a few questions.
This lady is one of the underdogs in the competition this year. She does not have the popularity of a Katarina Rodriguez or the huge fan base of Pearl Hung. But on a stand-alone basis, she knows how to make herself stand out – both in words and in actions.
1) What sets you apart from the 39 other candidates of MWP?
“I have great respect to all of the candidates since most of them are more achieved and experience than i am at this point, so I just want to express how much I’m grateful to be competing with them! I consider myself a newbie and a total underdog in this game which i think is an advantage more than a disadvantage for me. My ‘innocence’ in pageantry keeps me charged and excited all the time! Everything just seems to amaze me so it’s automatic to stay attentive and positive in all situations, good or bad. Also, I get to discover a lot of new interests and capabilities about myself which is exciting for me as well. I think what sets me apart is the way I perceive this competition. I treat this pageant as a test of resilience and character of oneself. I never base my performance on my co-candidates or draw any comparisons because I believe in self-actualization being an effective empowerment for your benefit and for others as well. Because of that, I am naturally gentle and friendly. I can’t exactly say that I am fearlessly aggressive in competing because of my approach, but I believe that it’s the key in being able to do your best in this pageant and enjoy while you’re at it!”
2) Your talent is ballet dancing. How has this helped form the character in becoming the person that you are right now?
“From flexibility, poise, stage presence and even some quick stage make-up skills, ballet had taught me a lot. But I think the most important thing that I’ve learned is how to be gracious and graceful. My sister and I are lucky enough to be supported by our family in our passion. It is not very simple as it entails consistency, extra effort and expense. I’ve seen how hands-on my dad was when he would tirelessly bring us to every class and fix our ballet bun even though he had no clue how to at first. His efforts and determination are the ones that inspired me to try to be as persevering as he is. I am truly grateful for the wonderful experiences and opportunities born out of dancing. My ballet teachers and friends, who are like sisters to me, are also a big part of forming who I am today. Growing up together and helping each other on stage and off stage really builds a bond that is irreplaceable. Ultimately, ballet has been my source of happiness and fulfillment, an outlet that keeps me optimistic and passionate in my perspectives in life. I learned how to be graceful not just in the aspect of dance but also in character. I am able to apply this grace by treating other people with humility and respect. Today, ballet is now an avenue for me to earn, help, develop, and even advocate through teaching children. Without all those exoerience, I wouldn’t be confident enough to tell myself that I am equipped to be Miss World.”
3) What good will it do the Miss World Philippines Organization if you win one of the titles on October 7?
“As I’ve said, Miss World is a test of resilience and character. Anyone who will win, possesses that strength and is capable of bringing light and life to the vision of the organization. I am working hard towards being able to be that person the organization can depend on. In the event that I am chosen as the winner of one of the titles, I would magnify the organization’s true goal of promoting one’s purpose in her own special way. I am a person who is more focused on the intention rather than the presentation because I believe that who you are inside will reflect no matter what you do. I am hopeful that I am worthy of shining light on to others and be a blessing. I believe that through that, beauty is truly manifested. I am looking forward in being able to represent such noble organization and be that leader and image of hope and kindness not just through my advocacy but by also helping the advocacy of others.”