Miss Universe Philippines 2020 candidate Patricia Mae Santos of Pampanga is someone you might call a selfless transporter. For the past six years now, she has been working as Flight Attendant with the country’s flag carrier. And she would be one of those crew members who will never hesitate to take those flights scheduled during the most important holidays and events every year. Be it Christmas, New Year, Holy Week, Valentine’s Day and the like, she would always be present and ready to be of service to the Filipino traveler. If that’s not enough, she would also volunteer to be part of sweeper flights intended to repatriate stranded countrymen in another country.
When the COVID19 crisis hit the country and Philippine Airlines cancelled a big chunk of its local and international flight operations, Patricia was not prepared to just stay home and do nothing. Ever the adventurous and giving person that she is, a partnership with Lugud Balen Movement was formed where she – once again – tackled the role of a transporter. She would drive to hospitals and government checkpoints to give food to frontliners. And she also does donation drives to orphanages – part of her outreach program the past years.
If that’s not enough, Patricia also worked closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in going to indigenous communities in far-flung areas to distribute food and necessities. You can say that this national pageant aspirant – who still feels ill at ease wearing her sash during these field activities – literally treks rocky terrains under the scorching sun along with an army of soldiers while happily bringing gifts of joy and hope to people who have become almost forgotten amidst the pandemic. Aside from this, she takes the time to study on more sustainable approaches to move forward by participating in meetings with AFP and Lugud Balen.
And what about her book drive?
“I know this pandemic has affected so much mentally and emotionally. But I know the power of a book so I’ve also started my book drive where I lend out or give out books in checkpoints to be picked up by those who want them. This way I can convince them to stay at home and still be entertained and learn from a book. Passing a book for me is like passing knowledge and learning. I make sure that despite this busy schedule, I still get to have quality time with my family and keep myself safe for their sake.”
What else does Patricia need to prove then?
“My advocacy is women empowerment. This initially stemmed from my past where I was bullied for my big eyes and skinny frame and morena color. I’ve gotten past this phase of insecurity by empowering myself. From there, I learned firsthand that when you empower a woman, she will gain confidence and with this she will be able to do so much more for her community. This power creates a ripple effect and influences her actions that will benefit not just her but the community as well and in whatever sector she deems needed to be touched…”