15 comments on “Transformational Possibilities: Gabriella Carballo

  1. I’ll share my two cents worth here as I want to steam off my lingering disappointment as an MU fan (it’s tiring). The MUP org has to walk a mile longer and be laser-focused in this particular edition to save their seemingly tarnished reputation. What I mean is, they shouldn’t be passive by simply waiting for those who will show up during the application period. Make the extra effort to actively scout for accomplished girls around the country who simply need the extra push to decide to join (the odds of getting ideal candidates are high). The current MUP org has only fielded 3 reps to MU thus far and only 2 of them made the successful cut. Having no winner yet, the local org has no laurels to speak of, thus, complacency is not even remotely an option.

    Hackneyed sounding this maybe, it is not about the number but the “quality” of participants who can potentially fit the new MU owner’s mold. To drive my point at the extreme end, you have Gabriela Dos Santos, the 20-year-old Miss Curacao 2022 (who ended up in top 5 and could have moved further if not for her non-directional response to the Q&A). There were only 3 candidates (scouted) who vied for the Miss Curacao crown. However, the quality of the crop of three was outstanding. First of all, she’s facially and physically attractive (as in the case of this year’s MU Top 5). Physical beauty should be a pre-requisite among aspirants, not a second-tier consideration. After all, this is still a beauty competition. With Ann being a transgender as MU’s CEO, my view is that even cosmetic enhancements, if needed to boost confidence, are no longer scowled.

    Because this is a beauty competition, being easy on the eyes is the baseline from which other important attributes of intelligence, leadership, passion and advocacy are siphoned out. For example, Gabriela founded the Light4change foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to raise awareness against cyberbullying (notice how strategically aligned this was for the 2022 MU edition). The Miss Curacao org nurtured that and supported her cause – making her advocacy efforts even more organic. In contrast to that are thousands of candidates vying for Miss Russia whose winners barely made marks in international competitions (they only got 1 MU two decades ago who was dethroned). In other words, it’s the “chosen” girl that’s highlighted here – not how flamboyantly crowded a competition is.

    Sift the batter carefully, MUP org, and get off from your high defensive chairs (as I know you read comments on Norman’s blog and you dismiss comments like this as “essay”). People don’t care if you end up with only 10 finalists this year (heck, Miss South Africa only has 12 on finals every single year). Don’t be lax and make your selection process as rigorous as needed. Once the MUP girl is chosen, guide her to be the best version of herself, support her personal passion and invest on her advocacy. Avoid too much intruding, remolding and controlling as you seem to do. Too much control will hide her organic self and lose her individuality (the lack of authenticity shows in the international competition where both blatant and subtle mudslinging or backstabbing is prevalent).

    The reality is at this age when social media is already intrinsic in our lives, let her engage and communicate with her fans and even critics to hone her self-expression. There should be a compote of what she freely shows to the public and what is curated from the corporate drawing boards. If she can weed out the non-essential criticisms to withstand and win over her harshest bashers to her side, that’s a sign of her innate ability to influence – a characteristic of being a “leader,” among other positive attributes. When fans are engaged, their eagerness to support her is much more heightened. If she decides to build her team of stylists and mentors or what not, give her the needed backup resources. That’s how you can truly empower her. We will never find a perfect Miss Philippines (that’s impossible). Let the chosen girl be secure even in the midst of her vulnerabilities and be accepting of/embracing her imperfections (don’t downplay or sweep them under the rugs).

    If she is happy with the team she works with, she will be energized, passionate and truly inspired. With those things considered, she will further strengthen her firm resolve to represent and win for the “Philippines” sash and become truly prepared to take on the prospective job of a newly minted Miss Universe (regardless of who owns the global brand). If our local girl wins, we all win and the local org’s corporate business gets the needed shot in the arm for it to persist.

    • @Ben, another excellent piece– pointed yet dispassionate! I hope you will write more often. This blog needs more insightful ideas from people whose educational discipline and professional experience can contribute to the development of pageantry.

      • I hope MUP is listening and adopt this unsolicited yet significant advice as its agenda henceforth: “Once the MUP girl is chosen, guide her to be the best version of herself, support her personal passion and invest on her advocacy”. To be a “Phenomenal Woman”, and now a “Transformational Leader”, investments should not be on physical aesthetics enhancements and some crash courses on Q&A, but more on value-based experiential learning through her advocacy. This will give the MUP brand a distinct competitive edge over all other pageant brands. I believe this is the key to unlocking once more the door towards Pageant Powerhouse in the new beauty paradigm of MU.

  2. I’m actually conflicted with MU’s direction after JKN’ speech, which I find as pretentious, cheap and bordering on mania. I don’t trust her persona to lead a beauty organization legend that is Miss Universe. This has nothing to do with Celeste’s non inclusion in the semis btw.
    I’m not against feminism but not as JKN put it. There should be a balance, but that speech almost spew hatred towards the opposite sex which I find it weird since after all, HE was born male and that’s the reality of it no matter how deep his vajayjay is or how big his mountains are.
    I was actually horrified when I hear her voice, it was unreal and very disturbing. If didn’t expect to hear a man’s voice.
    I’m glad the Jinnie Mai had to courage to cut off her drama on stage by screaming “tell us the winner”.

  3. Mukhang tahimik ang kapaligiran at hanggang ngayon hindi pa mawaglit sa kaisipan ang kanilang pagkadismaya sa katatapos na timpalak, Talagang ganyan ang buhay hindi araw araw ay pasko. Maghahanap po tayo ng mga karapatdapat na kalahok sa patimapalak .

  4. Mr. Blogger, you plan to turn this into a serie like the Blog Bites : Miss Earth 2012 (with 98 posts)? And wasn’t she the one @ Cool Brew was raving about? 🙂

    It’s a Cebu mold, apparently. I got Wynonah Buot, Nicole Borromeo, & that BBP-MWP alumna (I recall her guitar-themed NatCos)… An Origin model, so tall. Which sash would she get in case she joins – Province, a City, or a Town?

      • Ilene de Vera! 🙂

        Cebu has done well at MUP. With the exception of the 2021 ‘Mandaue City’ if I’m right, every one they sent has placed.

        (Si 2021 ‘Mandaue City’ ‘yun’g nag-Swim Challenge na naka-roller skates sa container yard, a vlogger by trade wasn’t she? That was FUN. Puhon, Mdme.AJKN will transform MU to be equally colorful, lalo’t we anticipate a sunny tropical venue.)

      • Can they trim down to just the cream of the crop the number of candidates on Finals night ? There is only one crown ( even if they hand out 3 , only one matters ) There is no reason why there has to be 30 finalists. 15 or a dozen is enough to present to the nation a spectacular bevy of Pinas beauties ( yes beauties , it is still a beauty pageant , like Miss International or Earth and not like Miss World )

  5. The way I understand what Miss Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip really looking for every candidate of Miss Universe is simple and clear. She gaves us several hints. Number # 1 the Miss Universe crown or simply known as Force for Good crown. Miss Anne wants women to be a force for good meaning she wants action inspired by genuine concern with others. We can’t win the Miss Universe crown if we just rely on the beauty of the candidate. MUP Org must focus not on face value but the accomplishments of every candidates. I hope MUP will seriously invest time and money looking in every corner of the archipelago regardless who she is, as long as we will send a strong representative in the MIss Universe 2023.

    • @Gabriela, absolutely correct! JKN wants MU to be a search for a holistic beauty. Obviously she embraces the view that true beauty is not just physical, but cerebral and values as well. I believe we have a lot of these in the Philippines. Just looking at past contenders, there have been many that were ignored because of the overfocus on pasarela, mestiza looks, English fluency, etcetera. It comes to mind some contestants in the recent past who are community organizers, would-be policewomen, public school teachers, and an active participant in village-level tribal affairs. And then there this academic achiever who even got a scholarship in the USA after failing to make the cut in last year’s contest. I hope MUPH would encourage this breed of exceptional young women and develop them further on transformational leadership. MU may have shifted the paradigm on beauty but we can show that all the more we will be competitive in this new landscape.

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