By Evo Joel Contrivida

“I’ll be great on stage come pageant night.”

In less than three weeks, Maxine Medina, the country’s bet in this year’s 65th Miss Universe, will prove to everyone (especially those who have doubts that she cannot muster herself come question and answer portion), that she will give all her best to the most important event of her life. Although some are suggesting she has to use Filipino language in order to convey her thoughts, but she insists that she will definitely answer in English.

During her recent official send off as Bb.Pilipinas-Universe, Maxine said that it is most fulfilling for her to compete in her own motherland rather than abroad, and its the same position that many pageant wannabes wish they had, and to achieve her goal in exploring Philippines first before travelling to foreign land.

Although she is armed and ready to showcase Filipino hospitality, values and culture that this 7,100 island country is giving to the universe, but most of all she is prepared to explain to the candidates our own dishes, and even suggest that the beautiful ladies from 86 countries must try our well-loved boodle fight of eating Pinoy food and delicacies.

“To be honest, from the day I won (Binibini), I’ve been texting everyone for help, this is something new to me, the world of pageantry is a big thing, not just for myself, but for the whole country, and I really work hard for it.” Medina added.

Amidst the pressure, Maxine maintained to be humble and focus on achieving her goal for the crown, she believed that she has what it takes, and that she has the heart that this nation need to empower everyone for a better tomorrow.

“I’ve been training 24/7 in my life, I’m actually learning, I’ve seen myself grown up, evolving, in my communications, speaking in front of many people,  and I realize it’s fun.” Medina said.

She had all the help she need claimed the 26-year old Interior Design graduate from Quezon City. Her Binibini family made sure that everything she needed for the pageant is provided. Even if the Philippine Government is not spending a single centavo for this hosting. Maxine is satisfied after knowing that President Rodrigo Duterte is watching her live come coronation night on January 30 at SM MOA Arena.

“Since our President will be there, I think the whole government is supporting me in Miss Universe,” she smiled.

For her gowns, Maxine said it is one of the hardest part in preparing for the pageant, that is selecting what best gown to wear, with the board of Binibini she officially chose Rhett Eala creations for national costume down to the long gown competition, and she made sure that Filipinos will be proud of what she will wear and assure everyone it will be a blast.

Regarding her advocacy, she stood still on creating educational awareness for the youth of today regarding HIV, and of course, making a positive impact for women in changing their lives for the good of the country.  She is confidently sure that she has enough skills and knowledge in making a voice to these causes.

“I will relate it to my personal experience, and through my skills I hope I could use the crown to empower women, to touch lives and transformed them to be the best persons that they can, because in life you only have one chance to be yourself, to be the best of  what you have,” she said.

As the hometown candidate, Maxine is one of the strongest contenders, so far, as this is the third time the country is hosting Miss Universe. And with all the help she is getting, she still appealed for prayers so she can hurdle this once in a lifetime event, and of course, a blessing from up above, and that is a back-to-back crown for the Philippines.

For Maxine, reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach is the most beautiful Miss Universe she had ever known. “She is my friend and I’ve known her for a long time, and she makes me proud for all the things that she had accomplished for the past year,” she ended. Philippines previously hosted Miss Universe pageant in 1974 and 1994.

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