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HomeNational NewsEmpowering Resilience: Janine Gelera Shines at Inaugural Miss Philippines Pageant

Empowering Resilience: Janine Gelera Shines at Inaugural Miss Philippines Pageant

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Manila, Philippines – The inaugural Miss Philippines Pageant held 24 October 2023, at the iconic Mall of Asia Arena, showcased not just beauty and intellect but the unwavering spirit of Filipinos. Among the shining stars of the evening was Janine Gelera, a proud resident of Bacolod, who defied all odds to represent her city on the national stage.

Janine’s journey to the pageant platform was no walk in the park. Balancing her nursing education with her pageantry dreams presented a formidable challenge, but it was the lack of support from the organization that initially crowned her as Miss Masskara Bacolod World that added an extra layer of adversity.

Despite feeling like a victim of sabotage, Janine stood tall and persevered to represent Bacolod with grace and resilience.

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Photos by Jed Alcala, furnished by Riza Paula Lacson
Photos by Jed Alcala, furnished by Riza Paula Lacson

Miss Philippines isn’t just a beauty pageant; it’s a platform to celebrate the diverse culture, heritage, and traditions of Filipino cities and even international communities. When asked about the true identity of a Filipino and how she would share it with the world, the 22-year-old nursing student from USLS responded with remarkable poise:

“For someone who has been criticized, misjudged, deprived of opportunities, and unsupported by the people I look up to, I embody the true identity of a Filipino—a remarkable story of resilience and an unwavering spirit. I fought my way to victory in the Miss Philippines Competition, not just for myself but to represent the enduring spirit of the Filipino people.

Photos by Jed Alcala, furnished by Riza Paula Lacson
Photos by Jed Alcala, furnished by Riza Paula Lacson

We don’t let our dreams shatter, even when others try to pull us down. It’s in our courageous spirit, our resilience, and our unwavering faith in God that we find our true strength. This is what unites us as a nation. It’s the legacy we pass on to future generations, teaching them that no matter the battles or wars we face, we will always rise from the depths of adversity like a phoenix.

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Through my platform, I will be the voice that amplifies the stories of Filipinos who, like me, have faced and conquered hardships in life. I will be the influence that showcases our rich culture and the boundless warmth of our people. I will be the symbol of change, making a difference on a global scale. With empathy and conviction, I aim to show the world that our resilience is not just a trait but a defining feature of our identity—believing, rising, and uniting as one Filipino people.”

Photos by Jed Alcala, furnished by Riza Paula Lacson
Photos by Jed Alcala, furnished by Riza Paula Lacson

In this evolving era of pageantry, making it to the Top 10 is no longer solely about beauty and intellect but also hinges on online votes and the advocacy each contestant represents.

Janine is grateful for the opportunity and extends her heartfelt appreciation to her mentors and Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez who stood by her side.

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Her journey is a testament to the resilience deeply embedded in Filipino culture.

It is reminder that no dream should ever fail due to external pressures; one need only to believe in one’s self to overcome adversity and emerge victorious.

Janine Gelera’s shining example exemplifies the indomitable spirit of Filipinos, proving that, in the face of adversity, we rise and conquer with grace and strength.

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