Press Release

Binibini Queens in a touching visit to ailing kids


It was a sweltering afternoon. The Binibining Pilipinas Queens, dressed in red, casual Binibini shirts, piled into the lobby of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City with anticipation. Among the many activities during their reign, they look forward to this kind the most.

The August 2 outreach was arranged by Dairy Queen, a supporter of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc., as part of their CSR project called “Upside.” It was a short visit; a fleeting time spent with kids with ailments no child should ever have to deal with.

“It’s always really challenging in these situations because your first reaction is you feel sad for them. But we do not want to show them and the families that we’re sad,” noted Catriona Gray, the statuesque beauty that will represent the country at this year’s Miss Universe pageant in Thailand in December.

The visit was laid-back in nature; not an intimate face-time in the ward, as these visits usually go. The out-patient children were brought to the lobby, where they were showered with toys, and enjoyed a short balloon twisting program and a bubble show. For merienda, Taco Bell snacks were served to the participants, as well as sweet treats from Dairy Queen, making the kids even happier with their world-famous Blizzards. The Queens spread out to each spend one-on-one moments with the kids and their families before a cacophony of picture taking and selfies ensued.

“We always try to smile at them when we give out toys, and just help them be kind of distracted from their situation for a few minutes. Even if it’s small, I think it makes a difference,” Catriona said. Bringing a little joy to the lives of these kids with cancer is important to the Queens, as is “the ability also to inspire them—maybe there’s a little girl there who wants to be a beauty queen,” she added, smiling.

“Staying positive in situations like this is important,” echoed Jehza Huelar, who will represent the country in Miss Supranational 2018 in Poland this December as well. “Positivity gives hope and hope elicits a smile. Smiles give strength to the family, and to the patients, especially.”

“My biggest realization after today is that no matter what we are going through at the moment, there is always a reason to smile and choose happiness,” said Michele Gumabao, the volleyball pro-turned-beauty queen who is first to compete on October 22 in the Miss Globe 2018 pageant in Tirana, Albania. She likewise underscores the importance of family, and having the support system around the children – and hopes activities like this would be memorable to the young ones.

Michele added, “I went to the event wanting to bring inspiration and motivation. But I actually left being more inspired and motivated seeing those kids fight and be happy. I am so thankful and blessed to witness that. We all deserve happy days and I am glad we were able to be of help bring happiness to all those kids.”

Eva Patalinjug, who also competes in the Miss Grand International in Myanmar this October, noted the importance of being a beauty queen goes beyond the physical aspect of it, or the title they carry. She feels theirs is a responsibility, to be “beacons of light; a source of inspiration and image of strength not just to the less fortunate but also to people around them.”

Catriona summed up the experience for all of them. “Advocacy has always anchored me throughout pageants,” she shared, noting how it keeps her grounded in the midst of the glitz and glamour that surround them. “It reminds me every single time of why I have been given this platform. It isn’t just there for my self-gratification. It is there to be used for others.”

Catriona summed up the experience for all of them. “Advocacy has always anchored me throughout pageants,” she shared, noting how it keeps her grounded in the midst of the glitz and glamour that surround them. “It reminds me every single time of why I have been given this platform. It isn’t just there for my self-gratification. It is there to be used for others.”

Binibining Pilipinas International 2018 Ma. Ahtisa Manalo, first runner-up Vickie Rushton, and second runner-up Samantha Bernardo were also with their sister Queens during the outreach.