I used to be overweight back in elementary. Despite being friendly to my classmates, I was not able to escape bullying because of my looks and my body. And as a bullied person would usually feel, I lacked the enthusiasm to go to school. I even forced my mom to go to school with me as I was terrified by the bullies’ presence.
Looking back, I am proud I did not turn out to be a bully, too. And if there is one thing being bullied taught me, perhaps, that is to carefully choose the people whom I will be spending my time and energy with. Truth be told, I built a wall for myself and I do not easily trust people as much as I used to because that’s what led me to be too soft in the first place.
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As guarded as I am, I think that what makes me remain grounded is that I always think positive and see the good in everyone. When I flew to Cebu for my homecoming last August, I felt nothing but genuine love and support from the Cebuanos and I am always reminded that there will always be people who would appreciate you.
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The trauma of being belitted made me a stronger person—something that helps me as a beauty queen. Pageants are full of critics. Bullies taught me to be more firm. What matters is that I know myself, my values and my capacity, not how people perceive me.
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Interview by Angela Sy | Photos taken from my account | Banner image by Kang Garcia