It is interesting to note that – as early as March, 2019 – Miss Universe Philippines 2023 candidate Eileen Gonzales already wrote an email to the Miss Universe Organization expressing her wish and intent to be part of the pageant if only single mothers are allowed to join. Encouraged then by the inclusion (and acceptance) of transwoman Angela Ponce of Spain during Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok, she messaged the organization, as follows:
”Good day! I am Eileen Gonzales, 22 years old from the Philippines. I have been joining beauty pageant since I was 15 years old and it has been my dream to have a crown and a title as a Beauty Queen. However, things started to change when I got pregnant 2 years ago and that made me lose hope at one point. I have been dreaming to join Binibining Pilipinas but sadly, they wouldn’t allow a single mother like me to join anymore because of your Qualifications. I have been also a Miss Universe fan. I watched Miss Universe last year and witnessed that you allowed a Transgender/Transwoman to join the pageant. That gave me hope, that maybe, or possibly in the future, you will also allow single mothers who are naturally born women to join your prestigious pageant.
I believe that Miss Universe’s Advocacy is about
Women Empowerment which means, that we, women, can empower each other regardless of our status in life.
I believe that the courage of single mothers should be honored as it brings hope and inspiration to the next generation. I would be truly delighted and grateful if you consider this petition to allow single mothers to join Miss Universe. Praying for this to happen. By doing so, you will make light brighter at the end of the tunnel as we thrive to make our dreams come true.
Thank you so much for the time reading my mail! More power!”
Fast forward to 2023. She is now one of forty (40) ladies (and one of three mothers) vying for the title of Miss Universe Philippines 2023. It is a wish granted. It may have taken almost five years and one global pandemic to happen. But she is now realizing the dream that – if she works hard on – could be the ticket to be part of Miss Universe. Let’s see what fate has in store for her in the nationals, and if she has what it takes to achieve an historic win in Philippine pageantry.