By Kristhel Hannah Baluarte | News Editor
Vol. XCI No. 5
Aug. 28, 2019
The night on the 24th of August, eleven women adorned the stage at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex, donning with glamour and grace. There to covet this year’s title as the 73rd Miss Silliman, as one of the anticipated events of the Silliman University (SU) Founders Day Celebration.
All candidates danced in rhythm to the music, they strutted and swayed their way toward the stage as the crowd tirelessly yelled for their college or department. From eleven candidates, turning down to five, only one emerged with the Regalia crown on her head and hailed as the 73rd Miss Silliman.
The crowning moment was a flashback to the 2017 Miss Silliman Pageant Night, with College of Computer Studies (CCS) and High School candidates holding each other’s hands at the center of the stage with the left side of the arena yelling “CCS!” and the right side yelling “High School!” The sort of cheer that starts from the back of their throats and ends up loud in the whole arena.
Everyone was already on their feet waiting for the host to announce this year’s Miss Silliman and as the arena went dead silent, he resoundingly announced Alexandra Kaye Tuale, Miss High School as Miss Silliman 2019.
The other newly-crowned members of this year’s Royal Court are Miss Silliman Cover Girl, Julianne Marie Amador (College of Computer Studies); Miss Headline Girl, Girlie Rosales (College of Nursing); 1st runner-up, Kyla Sarita (Institute of Clinical Laboratory Sciences) and 2nd runner-up, Bon Louise Rana (School of Medicine).
During the Pre-Pageant Night, Tuale held everyone’s gaze as she performed her live rendition of a Disney classic piece “A Whole New World” that landed her a spot in the Top 3 Best Talent and she was included in the Top 3 Advocacy Speech in fighting for gender equality.
Tuale garnered two out of the five special awards: Miss Photogenic which was revealed that night with a portrait of her during the Glam Shoot and the Designer of the Year award, in recognition of her designer, Tony Deramos.
Aside from garnering special awards, Tuale was also named Dental Ambassadress – an award given by the Negros Oriental Dental Chapter to the candidate with the highest percentage based on the following criteria: individual slogan making with their photo (40%), written exam (10%), tooth brushing demonstration with daycare kids (10%) and community education method and kid handling (40%).
Each candidate on this year’s pageantry is given the opportunity to describe their insignia of a Silliman Woman. As for Tuale, the insignia of a Silliman woman is FAITH.
For her, a Silliman woman is more than wearing a crown on her head. Her faith is the foundation of her character which she anchors in the SU motto: “Via, Veritas, Vita” – one that armors her heart.
In the lowest points in her life, Tuale realized that rediscovering faith is much harder than discovering it. With this year’s theme, “Discovering the Insignia of a Silliman Woman,” she thought that faith is what makes her more driven and be persistent even in times of weariness.
In line with her insignia, she anchored this in her preliminary question: “As a Miss Silliman candidate, how would you articulate or explain in your own words your understanding of this year’s SU Founders Day theme: ‘Living the Fruits of the Spirit by Grace?’” She said faith is at the center of this year’s anniversary logo. “Faith is at the heart not just of this institution, but of this theme, and faith is the mother of all other more beautiful things we can be,” Tuale added.
For her winning answer, Tuale also emphasized faith in her final question: “How important is living the fruit of the Spirit in achieving the whole person education?” Tuale said, “It is so easy to lose faith but faith which is the fruit of the Spirit has brought me here and I believe that faith will bring me even farther.”
Even though she’s the youngest among the candidates, Tuale’s been told as too idealistic both a Silliman Woman and a Miss Silliman. However, she chooses to be idealistic because of her undoubted faith. Faith in the good of everyone and the good our university has to offer. Furthermore, she will have faith that as the day passes by, we, as an institution all evolve in character, competence, and faith.
Being crowned as Miss Silliman 2019, Tuale in a way feels like it’s the littlest of revolutions but a mission she’s very keen to take on. Moreover, “With or without the crown, I’ve been brainstorming for more advocacy implementation and am very excited to continue. I will also be thrilled to support my 10 Ates’ advocacies as well — especially, Ate Julianne’s (CCS, Miss Silliman Cover Girl) which is fighting fast fashion,” Tuale said.
When asked what her first step would be as the Miss Silliman 2019, she hilariously said it would be to step out of her 6.5-inch heels that she had been wearing throughout the pageant. But on a serious note, she would like to speak with and learn from fellow gender equality advocates such as the Head of Gender Studies and the Dean of the College of Law before the year ends. After that, she would gladly partner up with the respective Junior and Senior High Student Councils for implementing her advocacy.
Her advocacy, “Everyone Matters,” pivots on redirecting everyone’s attention to the true meaning of gender equality.
Tuale’s plan for her advocacy would certainly involve tackling the false brand of gender equality. She wants everyone to understand that gender equality as a whole does not stop at “girl power” or “all men are trash.” First, she plans to social media as a platform to be constantly proactive about her advocacy. Second, she wants to hold focus group discussions and planning different events such as fundraisers and amazing race type events that will challenge gender stereotypes. Third, she would love to have a RuPaul’s Drag Race-esque show dedicated for the LGBTQ+ family in the university.
For now, she is working on funding, creating workflows and people to partner with, so eventually all her plans and ideas will become avenues in serving all members of the gender spectrum within the Silliman community.
Indeed, her insignia as a Silliman Woman have steered her into the path as Miss Silliman 2019. She truly captured everyone’s attention because they too have faith that she will not only win the crown but also be heard for what she genuinely believes worth standing up for – everyone.