As Binibining Pilipinas postponed its coronation night indefinitely due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, some Filipinos expressed hope that the candidates will use their spare time to focus on their respective advocacies and raise awareness on societal issues.
The national beauty pageant, initially scheduled on April 26, was moved to May 31 before its parent organization, Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Incorporated (BPCI), decided to postpone it indefinitely for the health and safety of the public.
Under the Inter-Agency Task Force‘s guidelines, public gatherings are not allowed in a bid to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
BPCI assured the public that it will still push through with the coronation depending on the government’s guidelines that will be issued in the succeeding months.
“Rest assured that BPCI still intends to hold the Pageant with its partners and sponsors as soon as the situation permits when the threat of transmission and infection is at its minimum,” it said on its statement.
‘Beauty with a purpose’
Meanwhile, the pageant’s cancellation prompted some Filipinos to call on the candidates to use this additional time for their respective advocacies.
“This is the time that we want you girls to spend your time working for your advocacies, not competing for a crown (smiling emoji). I’d love to see a world where women are queens on their own, giving voice to the voiceless and calling attention to societal issues that we have to address,” a Twitter user said.
Samantha Bernardo, a pageant frontrunner hoping to win the Bb. Pilipinas International title, was initially saddened by the deferred coronation night but added that it is an “opportunity” for her to better herself as a recently-licensed life insurance agent.
“I am focusing on myself now. Life must go on,” Bernardo said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
“It’s an opportunity for me to grow in this industry (life insurance). If I depend on Binibini and modeling, walang mangyayari sa ‘kin!” she added.
Bernardo campaigned for anti-malaria awareness and funding as part of her advocacy.
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Bb. Pilipinas candidates have advocacies and personal causes they support which would then be promoted through the pageant.
Organization with charity at its core
Bb. Pilipinas is the project of BPCI, a non-profit charitable organization that donates all of its earnings to various orphanages and daycare centers in Metro Manila, among others.
It also contributes to giving aid in relief operations in times of natural calamities, as well as undertake child welfare programs and help build houses for the impoverished.
Some of its recent initiatives include conducting regular child welfare programs in the Barangay Soccoro Day Care Center and the Philippine General Hospital Pediatric Cancer Unit.
BPCI also brings indigent children to watch Disney On Ice Charity Show every December, an event that they host.
The organization conducts beauty pageants as a fund-raising activity meant to benefit projects and causes for indigent and less fortunate Filipinos.
The pageant candidates are given the opportunity to be carriers of BPCI’s humanitarian mission to spread “peace and love across the nation” as one of its primary goals.
“Its (the organization) role in the upliftment of less fortunate fellow Filipinos through economic support generated from corporate sponsorships and other benefactors and donors is the basic reason for BPCI’s existence and relevance as an institution,” it said on its website.
“Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc.’s relevance as an organization lies in more than just the quest for the True Filipina Beauty—it is the gateway to many meaningful opportunities to be able to make a difference in the world, with its enduring commitment to various humanitarian causes,” it added.