Beauty queens, models to storm Born Brave stage, share own mental health stories

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BACOLOD CITY – Beauty queens and models storm the stage during the Born Brave fashion event in 12 October, donning masterpieces of illustrious designers from Bacolod, Iloilo, and Manila.

Queens and models alike shared their enthusiasm for the thrust of Born Brave, which is meant to raise funds for the Youth for Mental Health Coalition – Bacolod, and Happy Hearts Foundation.

Some even treat this event as very personal to them as they shared some of their mental health stories.

Bb. Pilipinas Bacolod 2019 Cassandra Chan shared that she deals with body dysmorphia.

Model Alanis Binova shares about her first time being here in the City of Smiles. | Photo and text by Jose Aaron Abinosa
Model Alanis Binova shares about her first time being here in the City of Smiles. | Photo and text by Jose Aaron Abinosa

“I have been dancing since I was seven years and with classical ballet, there’s a certain figure that you need to achieve. When you start young your teachers want you too look in a certain way. So growing up, I was very conscious on how I look and it affected my dancing. But one thing that helped me got through that is by talking to my friends,” Chan shared.

Binibining Pilipinas Puerto Princesa 2019, Jessarie Dumaguing during the conference. | Photo and text by Jose Aaron Abinosa
Binibining Pilipinas Puerto Princesa 2019, Jessarie Dumaguing during the conference. | Photo and text by Jose Aaron Abinosa

She pointed out that it really helps to have people to talk to and it helped her overcome her disorder.

Mutya Ng Pilipinas 2019 2nd Runner Up Samantha Bernardo, she used to work abroad and had to experience the loss of her father.

Bacoleña beauty, Cassandra Chan shares how she was able to conquer body dysmorphic disorder growing up. | Photo by Vanneza Estanol & text by Jose Aaron Abinosa
Bacoleña beauty, Cassandra Chan shares how she was able to conquer body dysmorphic disorder growing up. | Photo by Vanneza Estanol & text by Jose Aaron Abinosa

“I became fearless and a risk-taker without experience. And I overcame that one, by just having a really good support system that really love and care for you and talk about things,” Bernardo said.

Chan and Bernardo emphasized the essence of having a good support system.

“Talking about it, really helps spread the awareness. Not so much of (having) a big event, which also helps, of course, but it only starts small like talking to one another,” Chan concludes.

Bernardo, meanwhile, lauded the efforts of the fashion event, which she said could help address the issue on mental health.

Born Brave’s initial purpose is to support and raise funds to its beneficiaries.

Rodney Ascalon, director of Born Brave emphasized, that this is not only a fashion show but also an awareness campaign for the event’s two beneficiaries.

Ascalon said that the fashion show features pieces by known designers to be worn by the models.

Rodney Ascalon, Born Brave director shares the preparation and details of the fashion show. | Photo and text by Jose Aaron Abinosa
Rodney Ascalon, Born Brave director shares the preparation and details of the fashion show. | Photo and text by Jose Aaron Abinosa

“We will be showing the classy styles of Tony de Ramos, the wedding gowns made by the known Kat Padilla, the avant garde and high – end styling of Jet Salcedo and Chino Christopherson and exhibit the works of Domz Ramos, the official swimwear designer of Bb. Pilipinas,” he cited.

In relation to October being the month of Down Syndrome Awareness, Ascalon added that there will be a segment where children with special needs will take the ramp wearing collections from designers.

Videos about the advocacies will also be shown.

“We are planning to put in series of events like concerts and shows for the awareness of the advocacy and we are trying to reach a wide audience as possible,” Ascalon said of future plans.

The event was made possible through the efforts of Bacolod representative Cong. Greg Gasataya, who thanked all those present for their contribution to the event.

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