The Muntinlupa representative for Miss Universe Philippines 2020 could be Miss Congeniality personified. Maricres “Cris” Valdez Castro is one lady whose mission in life is to spread gentle warmth and happiness to people around her. And this is most evident in all the other beauty pageants she took part in prior to this. A shoulder to lean on and a sisterly presence to look up to – that’s her alright.
Cris is proud of her advocacy for #AdoptionAngels which addresses the plight of 1.8million abandoned children living in the Philippines. She believes that every child deserves a loving home. During one of her regular visits to its center, she prayed and played with the little ones and taught them about how they are Princesses in God’s kingdom and worthy of love. Her activities are reminiscent of the charitable deeds as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa once.
Now during this quarantine period, she has been sharing her time in Logistics Monitoring for the NGO called “Lawyers for Doctors” where they help supply and equip frontliners across 41 hospitals in Metro Manila, Palawan, Bicol and Davao. She has also been using her social media presence to inspire and call action. Thus far, three designers from two different organizations have donated over 300 masks and PPE suits in Manila and in the US. On Top of this, she negotiated for ventilators to be shipped from Washington to Philippine General Hospital in cooperation with friends in politics – former Brigadier General Oscar Hilman and Hon. Ria J Covington. The Filipino-American community deeply wants to help the Philippines during this difficult time. And at home, she started sewing masks by hand and gardening with her family to encourage fellow kababayans to grow in the backyard.
Lastly, she helped raised funds and food for orphanages such as the Tuloy Foundation, Meritxell Children’s Home, and have partnered with Target Fitness Muntinlupa to promote selling their t-shirts for a cause to feed hungry families in Metro Manila.
Sweet charity. This young woman’s heart is in the right place all the time. I hope many other individuals will try to emulate her good example.