Not one to let go of a productive week with the opportunities that came with the visit, she was invited to the Philippine Embassy in Beijing. Below is the speech she made herself and delivered to the important guests in attendance. This is a long read but worth every minute you spend absorbing her words:
#Tnalak: Let the fabric of our nation be woven by dreamers!
“Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat! 早上好. Good morning. My name is Julia Saubier, a candidate for Bb. Pilipinas 2019 running for Miss Universe Philippines.
H.E. Jose Santiago ‘Chito’ Sta. Romana, distinguished guests, mga kababayan, thank you for extending your warm welcome to me today, and for allowing me to speak before you here at the Philippine Embassy in Beijing.
Having spent the last two years completing my Masters in Beijing, I know how important the work is that you do representing the Philippines in China and creating opportunities for Filipinos both within and beyond our borders.
Although we may have a different scope of operations, I believe that the foundation of our work is very much the same.
I want to tell you about the top I’m wearing today.
I chose what I am wearing because of the story of its creation, which I find both poetic and inspiring.
This top is made from t’nalak cloth, a traditional cloth from Mindanao made by a group indigenous to Lake Sebu, South Cotabato called T’bolis. It is hand-woven by traditional female weavers known as dream weavers, because the patterns of the t’nalak cloth are inspired by their dreams. The designs are unique, and no two patterns are the same. And the dream weavers can’t create a design of the t’nalak if they haven’t dreamed of it.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
I am here, because I, too, live inspired by my dreams.
As early as 7-years old, I had always dreamed of studying abroad. I wanted to travel, experience other cultures, and learn with the intention of creating a better future for my family, my community, and my country.
But at 11-years-old my father had a heart attack on a 14-hour flight from Manila to Amsterdam and at the backdrop of the financial crisis, my parents pulled my brother and I out of school because they could no longer afford it.
It was harsh to learn at such a young age that a good education was a privilege, and not a right, though it should be. But I knew if I wanted to continue to dream, I needed to pursue it fully, fearlessly, and relentlessly. I had many sleepless nights, shed lots of tears, and it was hard, but, I never stopped dreaming.
The next year, I was able to receive an academic scholarship to continue my studies at the International School of Manila, before graduating and receiving a full-academic scholarship to attend New York University Abu Dhabi for college. Eventually my studies brought me here to Beijing, where I’m pursuing a master’s degree on full- academic scholarship, as one of the first Filipino scholars at the Yenching Academy of Peking University.
I’ve pursued the past 12 years of my studies, an education that spans close to 60 countries, on full-academic scholarship. Every day of this journey has been an opportunity for me to enlarge my vision for myself and for my country.
Suffice it to say, I was able to pursue my dream of studying abroad. But with every country, every experience, every lesson, I only grew more inspired to continue to dream, to dream bigger, and without restraint.
I believe that you, too, are here, because you chased a dream.
You are diplomats,
You are leaders,
You are dreamers.
I am running for Miss Universe Philippines because I want to be a representative of the Philippines who lets the ethos of t’nalak inspire her work.
I invite you to share my vision for our country.
Let the fabric of our nation be woven by dreamers!
Because when we live inspired by our dreams,
When we create inspired by our dreams,
When we dream big and without restraint, the results are remarkable and uniquely very Filipino.
Thank you. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”