by Jelly Candia, Hara sa FU 2019
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” -James 1:12
Amidst all the challenges I had gone through since day one of the Hara sa FU 2019 journey, I am still blessed for I know the Lord has guided me to where I am today. Indeed, everything happens for a reason.
Those who know me well are aware that I don’t usually do things that require much time for preparation because I already am a very busy person. The need to go to work at night, study during daytime and find some time to sleep has been my everyday routine which is why I really don’t pay attention to other matters at school. And that includes participating in the school pageant. Although to be a beauty queen had always been my dream, I was honestly scared that I wouldn’t pass the pageant screening.
However, when I received words of encouragement from teachers, friends and family, I thought, “What would be the worst thing that could happen?” So, I decided to sign up for the screening. At first, I felt really nervous and anxious for several reasons.
First, I was worried the other students would react negatively because of my very noticeable “scoliosis.” Second, I absolutely didn’t know what talent to perform and that made me even more terrified! Third, I am very self-conscious and shy to talk to people I hardly know. Nonetheless, I pushed backward all my apprehensions and still went on to pursue my childhood dream—which I almost gave up on—to become a beauty queen and be able to reach out to people through the title.
Initially, everything went well as planned or so I thought. During the first photoshoot up until the night of the pageant, I was being bombarded with challenges. I even almost decided to quit because of the woeful experiences I have encountered. Many could attest how I shed tears because of sadness and desperation. However, I’m still thankful for going through the hardships because until then, I would have never really understood the new environment I was facing – the world of pageantry.
I realized that a beauty pageant is not how people perceive it to be. There’s a lot of hard work, determination and passion entailed with it. Although the whole experience has left a mark on me, I learned to bounce back and instead, make the whole experience a motivation to strive harder and to never forget my purpose in joining Hara sa FU.
I am well aware that the crown signifies not just the title “Hara sa FU” but it is more of the huge responsibility. At first, I intended to advocate for the rehabilitation of the Banica River. However, I also wanted to share with my fellow Foundationites and the community, in general, some of the valuable lessons and skills I’ve learned throughout my life.
One of which is time management. Being a working student for two years now, I believe that I have mastered well enough the “art of time management.” And I would like other working students in school to acquire the ability to effectively manage their time and become more productive.
Conducting a forum or a talk with the working students as the audience is my main goal. I also would like to invite a speaker from the company that I work for whom I believe can contribute so much to the forum.
Eventually, other plans such as physical and mental health discussions will be initiated within the year with the help of my college (College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Architecture and Fine Arts) and the University, as a whole. I’m extremely hopeful for everyone’s participation because I know that together we can do more.
To all Foundationite ladies who also aspire to become a Hara, let me share this with you: getting on that stage was terrifying, but it was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned a lot about myself, my strengths, my weaknesses and the things I need to further improve on. I also learned that no matter how things end up, you should still be proud of oneself for putting everything you have and for giving your best. Also, don’t let nervousness or the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone deter you from achieving your goal because you might miss out on something extremely special.
Overall, I have gained valuable life lessons and skills from participating in this pageant. I hope you do the same too. Again, let us break barriers, change stereotypes, and bring change for all the women out there.
Thank you, Foundation University!