Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina has gotten plenty of flak these days, from her English communication skills to comparisons with current Miss Universe titleholder Pia Wurtzbach.
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Yet as the 65th Miss Universe pageant draws closer, the 26-year-old contender has exuded nothing but grace under (rather intense) pressure. Below are some of the inspiring messages she's shared on social media that we believe not only reflect her poise, but show just how much an impact they make when applied:
1. "As I start my journey as Philippine representative, to all my kababayans, please let us spread kindness. Let us all welcome our guests with open arms. Let them experience genuine Filipino hospitality and let the beauty of our hearts radiate as we host the 65th Miss Universe Beauty Pageant!" What we learned: Show common courtesy to whoever you meet, wherever they're from. We may not be in the exact position she's in, what with meeting people of all sorts of nationalities, but it never hurts to receive them (as well as our own kabababayans) with genuine Filipino friendliness and respect.
2. "Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson" What we learned: It's easy to be unappreciative of the highs in life, especially if so much time has passed since they happened. But even if you have finally gotten to where you want to be, Maxine reminds us to remember and be thankful for the events that led your there.
3. "Fill your life with adventures, not things. Love the nature." What we learned: The beauty queen encourages us to collect experiences and appreciate Mother Earth. She urges us to do things that are exciting and that can be felt, rather than live a life collecting or hoarding that which can be purchased.
4. "NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE the word itself says, I'M POSSIBLE'." What we learned: Sometimes, it's a matter of perspective. If someone like Maxine doesn't allow setbacks get in the way of learning and improving [throughout the competition], we don't need to either.
5. "I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink into a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. - Og Mandino." What we learned: Maxine has come a long way, and will stop at nothing to win the coveted Miss Universe crown. Talk about true determination!
6. "People can say anything about you. They can call you names but the most important journey in life bgins within you. Everything is worth it ever since I entered this world of pageantry. I learned how to love myself and how to appreciate my entirety. Yes, we are all different by colors, sizes, and shapes. We are extraordinary. We are flawed. We are unique. We are vulnerable. We are loved. And most of all, we can be the change that we want to be." What we learned: No matter what anyone says, we should learn to love who we are and what we strive to become.
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Photographs from Instagram.com/maxine_medina / Artwork by Jana Jimenez