“I have my own share of personal struggles in the past because I always feel the need to meet society’s idea of perfection. I am now ready to stand up and break the barriers we have long been keeping. I am phenomenal because I AM A WOMAN and not ‘just’ a woman.”
22 year-old Noreen Victoria Mangawit is the representative of Kalinga in Miss Universe Philippines 2020. She is a proud member of the indigenous peoples with which she takes pride in knowing the language of her ethnolinguistic group. At 16, she learned how to live independently when she moved to another city to pursue her studies. Back in 2018, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences Major in Economics and Minor in Political Science from the University of the Philippines Baguio. Prior to such, she was elected member in two honor societies. Concurrent with her studies then, she was a museum volunteer for Museo Kordilyera. She is now a proud civil servant who loves to serve the people.
“I have learned that to be a beauty queen in this modern age is to be a leader and a role model as well – the kind of person that I have always aspired to be when I was little.“
So for Noreen’s cause, she believes that it goes beyond doing lip service.
”Advocacy entails devoting yourself, your time and effort in studying how to actually impact a sector(s) in society. The Philippines is diverse in terms of the various cultures we practice. Thus, we need to reiterate the importance of cultural relativism. Indigenous peoples have always had their own voices and I would like to use my influence and this platform to help amplify their voices. It is time to start a conversation on the most important yet overlooked part of our society – its people.
“Being a beauty queen is not a requirement in instigating change. I want to show my community that it is our responsibility to look after one another. We can only thrive in doing so by being educated on the things that affect us as individuals and as a community. I want to be able to contribute in this process. To echo Miss Universe 2019 Zuzibini Tunzi, a modern empowered woman is someone who is not afraid to take up space. Keep leading!”