by Isabela Page

It started with the ambitious idea of sending a Miss Cagayan de Oro beauty queen for the first time in a national pageant. Previous groups who handled Miss CDO pageant all wished the same way- but it proved to be more complicated than just sending an official representative because apparently it will take not just money to elevate the idea, but sending the right girl with the right attitude, potential and commitment is another thing.

Miss CDO organizers JCI Senators Gigi Go and Gean Cesar both agree that  it should begin with the lady who wants it, not just taking the opportunity because it was presented to her. And so Bea Alvarez- Miss CDO 2014 has that. She asked and worked hard for it. She has to give up a lot of her time with family and friends, to focus in physical training, runway coaching, mentoring and a lot more. She even have to hold off her employment plans just to focus on the Miss Philippines Earth 2015 pageant.

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Well, okay- we have the right lady now for the slot. But apparently that was not enough. A dedicated team is needed to give her the right mentoring and the resources needed for the pageant. There came the two women behind the success of Miss CDO- JCI Senators Gigi and Gean- both successful in their own field, took the initiative to carry on the task of sending a representative of Cagayan de Oro to national pageants- even if it means having to finance its related financial requirements. Thanks to the City Tourism Council headed by its Chairperson Mdm Dorothy Jean Pabayo and Kagay-an Festival Chair Eileen San Juan – the plan took off without significant concerns. Bea went on to audition for Binibining Pilipinas and Miss Philippines Earth.

Thereafter, #teamcdo was created whose core members are loyal supporters of Miss CDO- Dennis Almazan (runway coach), Albert Rivera and Mark Christopher Yaranon (Oro Fashion Designers Guild), Juniel Doring (Designers Assembly), Emmanuel Mulawan (artist and costume designer), Sheldon Frias (hair and make-up), Phillip Vallespin (photography) and the Mags team (casual wear). Just recently, Bea won 2nd place in pre-pageant major event of Evening Gown Competition, while Mulawan designed the enchanting eco-gown, Doring is responsible for the Cultural wear which will be featured during the Coronation night along with his white gown for the opening production number. Rivera designed Bea’s official Coronation Night gown.

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JCI Senator Gigi admits, it was not an easy breeze considering that going to national pageants entails a lot of preparation through training, mentoring and focus by the candidate. In doing so, the support team should be equally committed to provide all the necessary logistics support the candidates need. Go continues, “ going to national pageants is not for everybody who aspires. She has to have the heart and mind to focus on it because bringing the name of your city is a delicate task”.  JCI Senator Gean on the other hand, who provides 24hr mentoring said “ it can be very stressful at times for both the candidate and the team coz theres a level of expectation that you want to achieve. Our participation is not a walk in the park- it’s a responsibility that we take seriously. Our goal is to bring global awareness to the eco-tourism situation of the city and of course to bring home the crown.”

Bea with her environmental advocacy of organizing earth warriors in universities and young professionals with its hashtag #whosaidyoucant, is looking forward with so much excitement and anticipation as the Coronation nears. “ I want to inspire others to chase for their dreams in whatever opportunity there is. They should not wait for things to happen, but make sacrifices for these dreams to happen”.

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Bea and 40 other candidates from all over the country will vie for the title of Miss Phils Earth on May 31, 2015 at SM MOA Arena. This is will be aired same night by ABS-CBN by 10pm.

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