A breath of fresh air in Czarina Gatbonton
She wanted to be a tree so that she can bear fruit and help sustain life. It sounded much more sincere in the native tongue, especially coming from a sweet 19-year old Bulakeña named Czarina Catherine Ramos Gatbonton. Just like the tree that she wants to be, she is indeed a breath of fresh air in today’s intrigue-ridden environment. This 30th of October, she will bring that purity with her and represent the Philippines in the 60th Miss World beauty pageant to be held in Sanya, People’s Republic of China.
Just like many beauty queens that came before her, Czarina has always dreamt of being crowned as one someday. She has, in fact, been joining beauty pageants in Bulacan since she was five years old. During those innocent years, she would even wear a towel and wrap it around her neck and pretend to walk like a crowned queen. That innocence remains until today, though life’s experiences made her grow wiser and more confident.
One of the most eye-opening experiences she went through was when she figured in a vehicular accident in Bulacan early this March. Fortunately for her and her companions, they only came out with bruises. Needless to say, it made her realize how one event can actually shatter one’s dreams. It is this realization that made her stronger as a person, grabbing every break that comes along.
“I will come into the Miss World pageant thinking like I already won. I have been blessed with so many opportunities – 6 months of training with the best team, meeting and talking to a lot of people, studying new cultures. It’s hard and fulfilling at the same time,” says the beaming Czarina.
She is very appreciative of the pieces of advice given to her by past winners, including Venus Raj. She is overwhelmed by the amount of support that the people behind the Binibining Pilipinas organization have been giving her. The best piece of advice that she will take with her came from no less than the country’s first Miss Universe, Ms. Gloria Diaz, who told her to “relax and be yourself. Think like a winner.”
Young as she is, she knows that there is a bright future laid out ahead of her. She wants to be able to go back to school and finish her HRM degree. From there, she plans to pursue her bigger dream of owning a restaurant someday. She is as feisty in the kitchen as she is in front of the spotlight. Her specialty, she says, is sinigang na bangus sa sampalok and bola-bolang bidbid. Both are fish dishes, which is not surprising as she grew up helping her father who is a fisherman in an island village called Pamarawan in Malolos.
For now, Czarina has her eyes set on the Miss World pageant. When told that she just might become the first Miss World from the Philippines, Czarina flashed her pearly whites and humbly said, ”Like I said, I want to think like a winner and make sure that I enjoy the whole experience. Please pray for me. Gagawin ko ang lahat para maiuwi ang korona, dahil ang tagumpay ng isa ay tagumpay nating lahat.” Such inspired words could only come from a refreshing personality like Czarina Gatbonton.