Established in 1947, Miss Silliman is Asia’s oldest existing pageant. It has crowned sixty seven ladies, all with different stories to tell. This year, who among the 10 refined ladies from the different colleges will prove that she embodies the values, morals, and traditions of a real Miss Silliman? Who among them will bring home the 68th Miss Silliman title?
Marie Rexbelle Yurong is this year’s College of Arts and Sciences representative. She lived for 10 years in Cainta, Rizal before moving to Chicago with her mother. She describes herself as someone who finds humor in sarcasm and likes to mess around with her friends. She hasn’t come up with a clear plan for her future yet, but her main goals are simply to be happy, stay positive, and keep moving forward. As for this pageant, she aims to do her best and make the most out of this rare experience. “I want to gain confidence and self-assurance. When people see me, I want them to say that right there is a girl who has flaws and accepts them—not only tolerates them, but wholeheartedly accepts them,” Marie says.
Mary Ann Monda from the College of Nursing believes that the essence of a Silliman woman in its purest form is one that is reflective of one’s faith and true self. She likes this year’s theme because it reminds not only the candidates, but also other Sillimanians, of the value of recognizing and embracing one’s true self and acting or behaving in a way that is reflective of one’s faith. This lady is a perfectionist and really strives to attain high grades ever since she was in elementary. Mary would want to convey a message that each and every person is unique and that each embodies a certain innate spirit reflective of one’s faith and true self that is incomparable.
Institute of Rehabilitative Sciences representative, Dorothy Jane Cedino, says that she has always been the athletic type of person. She shares that joining pageants like Miss Silliman is something outside of her comfort zone and something that she never thought she could do. Being a pastor’s daughter, she believes that there’s nothing wrong with a titleholder expressing her religious faith. Faith for her plays a big impact in molding a person. For her, the opportunity to join Miss Silliman only comes once, and she only wants to do her best despite any pressure and criticisms.
“I will always stay the same. Even after this pageant, win or lose, I will stay the same.” These are words from Institute of Clinical Laboratory Sciences representative, Vanessa Kimberly Ganser, a woman who chooses to focus on the bright side of things. She is a simple woman who values and upholds faith and principles. Her idea of a woman of substance is inspired by her mom – confident, passionate, hardworking, and true to herself. With this in mind, she is determined to go as far as she can in this pageant, with the help of her family and friends. She even quoted a message from Mother Teresa which says, “It’s not what you do but how much love you put into it that matters.”
Coming from the College of Education, Gladys Maurice Drilon believes that one can achieve his/her ambition through determination. As a future effective educator of the society, her ambition in life is to be able to raise both tangible and intangible aspects of a student. She also believes that dancing will make a person healthy not only in the body, but also in the mind. Her motto in life is: “Strike while the iron is hot.”
Hailing from the School of Public Affairs and Governance is Agatha Yola Bayocboc who describes herself as a versatile, simple, and respectful woman. She believes that these qualities best describe her personality as a student, a citizen, and a daughter. She shares that being part of Miss Silliman is not just an achievement for her, but also a life-fulfilling experience, which can potentially turn into a legacy. This young lady dreams to become an effective and respected general consul someday.
Representing the College of Mass Communications is Miss Brightside, Queenie Maria Guibao. She tries to see the good in life and in people. She tries to be open to the ideas and opinions of others and to respect them even if they are different from her own. She also chooses to be crazy and quirky because life’s too short to be taken seriously. Queenie thinks that Silliman University, as an institution, must be just like the quintessential Silliman woman—open-minded, free-spirited, and a service-oriented individual who devotes herself to the pursuit of things that excites her to her very core. She knows that it is only through excellence that she can glorify the Almighty God.
Sophia Cassandra Diago used to be a shy lady who was afraid of meeting new people until she became the College of Business Administration representative in Miss Silliman. She says that she wants to be like Ariel from The Little Mermaid who is unafraid to speak her mind and brave enough to chase after her dreams. Like Ariel, she wants to use her mistakes as tools in learning and becoming a better person. For her, joining this pageant is a chance to make everyone look back and remember what it means to be a Sillimanian and a chance for her to unleash the Silliman woman in her.
Daphne Marie Borromeo from the School of Medicine wants to be a great doctor in the future. She wants to achieve her dreams in life and live it with no regrets. Daphne shares that she wouldn’t want to change herself for the pageant, but only want to present herself for who she is. However, she confesses that there are a few technicalities that need to be learned. And she shares that just for fun, she’d do whatever she wants like flipping tractor tires.
Being a politician’s daughter, Raina Inez Baldado from the College of Engineering and Design, grew up differently. Raina shares that for the past 19 years of her life, she has lived behind her father’s shadow. This is why she sees herself in Merida in the movie Brave because she is a woman who knows what she wants and a woman who fights for change. Now, it’s time for her to get out there, to be more than her father’s daughter, and make her own legacy starting with the journey of the Miss Silliman pageant.
Who among them will prove that the quintessence of a Silliman woman cannot only be found in beauty, but also in the brain and the heart? Find out on the Miss Silliman Coronation Night on Aug. 24 at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.
Photos from the Ms. Silliman Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/MissSilliman2014)
By Rhobie Ruaya & Kathryn Ballesteros