Beauty queens and the pandemic: A world of quarantines

Posted on Jul 09, 2020

Posted by: Voltaire E. Tayag - Rappler


We talk to candidates from two of the country's most-anticipated pageants

While beauty pageants and activities related to them are barred under existing quarantine rules, it's no question that the queens, aspiring queens, and the organizations they're under have been doing their own activities to ease the impact of both the pandemic and the quarantine on the most vulnerable. 

Even though the Miss Universe Philippines Finals has been rescheduled to October 25, 2020 and the Bb. Pilipinas 2020 finals is postponed indefinitely,  I've purposely written a combined piece because, at this difficult time, it's important for the biggest industry players to have a united spirit for both Filipinas and Philippine pageantry.

Many expect them to be perfect queens but I reached out to the candidates of both pageants only wanting for them to be themselves. I asked them: “What are your immediate plans when we are allowed to go out under GCQ?” and Who is the first person you will visit the moment we are under GCQ?”

Bb 21 Hannah Arnold,  Masbate 

Almost every day last year I was commuting to get to all my modeling jobs as I live in Fairview and most jobs are in Makati or Pasay. I used to complain about the waiting time for the MRT and UV express, but once we can go out under GCQ, I will spend that day taking all public transport possible, no matter how long I wait in line, I will never take it for granted again. (Shout out to the UV Express conductors from Quezon Ave MRT, I miss you). 

I am very lucky that I have been with my parents for one week now so, the next person on my list to visit (after I see the Romantic Baboy Pig) is my best friend Maria Isabela Galeria, this is the longest we’ve been a part since meeting in BBP last year.

Bb. 18 Karen Laurrie Mendoza, Iloilo City

Well, my immediate plans would be going back to Manila and check my condo both in Pasay and Araneta. I  need to be practical so I’m gonna pack up and ship my things to Iloilo to avoid more bills to pay and just get a new apartment when I have agendas and work in manila.  

I miss my pamangkins and my 98 year old Lola so I will visit them and give them a tight hug.

Bb. 25 Carina Cariño, La Union

As soon as it’s safe, I’m most excited to pay my utility bills! Apart from being worried about the increase in the numbers of COVID cases,  so was my worry on the increasing number reflected on my monthly utility bills. I don’t have a quarantine pass and I’ve tried settling my bills online but my bank was unfortunately not on the list of accepted payments. 

I can’t wait to see my special someone so that I can give all the hugs I’ve been saving while social distancing!

Bb. 36 Vickie Marie Rushton, Negros Occidental

There are a lot of things I want to do po because I really miss the outside world! Hahaha! I just want to go home before doing anything else and stay there for a while, enjoy the comfort of our home, be with my dogs, eat inasal, KBL, Cansi, ginataang lanka, puto with cheese for breakfast. Omg! Haha! Then maybe go hiking of time allows po. Being in nature really improves my mood and reduces my anxieties. I think I really need that after being confined for more than 2 months now. And of course, I look forward to seeing my Binibini sisters, the kuyas, and resume our activities. I miss everyone and everything we do in Araneta

My brother po. It is really challenging to make him understand what’s going on. We talk almost everyday and the first thing he’d say is “hello Vim, puli na (go home)”. I always tell him that I can’t since there are no flights. For the past few weeks he has been hearing airplanes passing by and he would rush outside the house and wait for me. It really makes me feel bad. I just want to go home because I’m sure he misses me just as much as I miss all of them back home.

Bb. 13 Samantha Bernardo, Palawan 

I will go out for a quick run and exercise in nature. Meet some of my clients under GCQ as well for our scheduled financial planning in preparation for New Normal.

I've been with my family since the lockdown here in Philippines. Given  a chance, I would love to meet by boyfriend as he is celebrating his birthday on May 31. Happy birthday babe! 

Bb. 16 Alexandra Mae Rosales, Laguna

My plans would be to go back to my work as soon as possible. The crisis affected my income and it would be a good step to rise from this pandemic. I am just hopeful that our company, which is Okada Manila, would rise and recover as soon as possible. 

I will definitely visit my family. I got stuck here in Manila and wasn’t able to go back to my hometown. Likewise, my dad is still stuck in a cruise ship and I will be happy if we see as a complete family again.

Bb 23 Gabrielle Camille Basiano, Borongan City, Samar

Being away from my dad in this pandemic always gives me worries despite of our constant communication through phone calls. So definitely, if everything is back to normal and we are allowed to go out after GCQ, I really plan to visit him in Tacloban to personally give him the warmest hug, catch up with him and my relatives and celebrate our safety. 

I really miss seeing my sister in person. Even though she lives in Novaliches which is not that far from where I am staying now, I can't still manage to visit her because we have to take into consideration of everyone's safety. But if we are already allowed to go out during the GCQ, she will be the first person that I will meet. But of course, extra precautions and being a lot careful should still be practiced for everyone's protection.

Bb. 7 Shanon Tampon, Caloocan City

My plan is to check our on going site projects, and my team kasi I’m still not allowed to go to sites, I need to pass a billing na din kasi sa general contractor  para magkafunds lahat ng suppliers namin, truly a domino effect sa construction field.

I want to visit my grandparents in Tarlac, Concepcion, dalawa lang sila sa house so I really what to check them out na and their needs para to make sure na hindi na sila lalabas ng house. 

Bb. 12 Vianca Louise Marcelo, Bulacan

My immediate plans after GCQ is to go back to work and to really practice the "new normal" life. I know it's gonna be hard but I think it's for our safety and for the best. In this crisis, I've realized a lot of things and in that, I'm going to work really hard on all the things that matter and set my priorities straight. And also gonna appreciate more the little things because the past months have been rough and still be thankful for giving me and all my loved ones good health. 

The people that I want to see after GCQ would be my nephews. I've been busy with BP activities and now this quarantine. I miss them sooo much. And I want to spend time with them as much as before.

Bb. 9 Patricia Babista, Quezon Province

Once GCQ is implemented, I’d probably take a look around the city and appreciate the less polluted views with proper protective gear and will bring some food packs with me too to give to the homeless people we’ll pass by. 

I have been away from family during the MECQ because of work so my mom will be the first person I’ll visit once we’re under GCQ. This is the longest we’ve been apart.

Bb. 15 Cindy Obeñita, Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental

My immediate plan under GCQ is to see my close relatives who have just been eased from strict community cordon. I would like to bring them fruits and some relief goods, too. I feel that during these trying times, it is family that keeps us hold on to hope that everything will be all right and that we will prevail with God's love.

The first person I would like to visit, bearing in mind all the necessary precautions during this GCQ, is my dentist at Premea. With everything that's going on around us, I feel that we shouldn't turn our face into a frown. Borrowing the immortal lines of Eraserheads, this COVID 19 pandemic will end in God's time, but for now "we'll get by with a smile." And that is what I hope to maintain – a beautiful smile that radiates inspiration to others.

Bb. 14 Hazel Joy Ortiz

I will arrange a meeting with my staff and follow up on the projects that have been postponed.

I’ll visit my mom who’s currently in Batangas, since I wasn’t able to see them for a long time because of the lockdown.

Bb. 22 Ruth Quin, Nueva Ecija

My immediate plan after the MECQ is to go back in catwalk and personality training. I want to fill up the days that I have been laid back on preparing for the Bb Pilipinas pageant. Also, I want to go back to community service. 

After the ECQ, I will go back to the province, (Cabanatuan City) and visit my immediate family specially my lola. I miss them a lot.

Bb. 8 Meiji Cruz, Valenzuela City 

I want to go to the beach. I want to spend time with the sun and the sea. Since the quarantine, I’m not getting enough sunlight, after all, we’ve been through, it’s the best moment to spend time with nature, be fully present, and be grateful for another life

My friends. I want to dine and have some wine and quality time with them. 

Bb. 33 Alexandra Faith Garcia, Olongapo City

I miss running outdoors! So for GCQ, I would definitely run since I haven't run for almost 3 months now.

I would definitely visit my boyfriend since he is the only one left in Manila during the ECQ. He has not seen any of his family or friends during this time.

Bb. 29 Honey Grace Cartasano, Rizal

There are plenty of things I want to do when we are allowed to go out however my immediate plan is to go to church with my mom as soon as we are allowed to do so. While observing strict physical distancing, wearing fashionable face mask (I guess part na ang face mask ng #OOTD natin) and observing other #newnormal when going outside. 

I'll visit Paolo Ballesteros and the rest of the team to do our usual bonding together. Before the community quarantine has been implemented, we have been actively training and it has been months since we saw each other which makes me really miss then and I just can’t wait to spend time with them again.

Bb. 11 Maureen Montagne, Batangas 

“The first thing I’ll do during once everything is safe again is to go to a karaoke bar to sing my heart out with loved ones! Karaoke is a huge stress relief for me so I can’t wait to sing Adele again with a tambourine and amazing company! The first person I want to see after quarantine ends is my mother.I haven’t seen my mom since last spring in Egypt. We live in different countries now so I really do miss her and this quarantine has made me grateful to have her in my life. I hope she can come to Manila soon to visit me with my dad!