Were you thrilled and excited during the last Miss Universe pageant show? A lot of people glued their heads to the television to witness how our candidate Catriona Gray aced her way through series of Q & A’s, swimsuit and long gown competition. We even hold our breath and silently pray that our candidate will bag the crown. A lot of us cheered and vied for our candidate. When Catriona Gray won the fourth crown for the Philippines, we celebrated with glee and thankful for the early Christmas gift.

In my early years, I am not too fond of Miss Universe and even looked at it as a mere beauty contest. In school before, between asking me to join a pageant or quiz bee, I would choose the latter any time. But with my Mom who is always an avid follower of Miss Universe pageant and meeting few friends from the office who went gaga on pre-pageant discussion and prediction, I came to understand their heart for watching the show.

Watching the show gave me an insight that in these types of pageants, it is not only the physical appearance and appeal that propels you to top selection of candidates. I noticed that competing in international pageants is also like competing in international sports arena. You should bring your whole game into the pageant to show what you can offer to be the next beauty title holder. It is not only after your looks but also how you answer intellectually and your attitude during the whole competition.

Her Focus and Determination
What I noticed about Catriona is her sheer immense of focus. Despite the bashing and the comments to her prior to competition she remained focus and determined on winning the crown. She does not mind the comment or even all these opinions around her. She is just doing her thing and strut her stuff. And you will notice that from the pre-pageant up to the actual competition night she looks poised and cool. She was even caught dancing to the songs of Ne-Yo.

It shows that when you put your focus and determination to achieve your goals, you are bound to get it. Do not lose the focus and eyes on the prize.

Turning her Failure into Opportunity and Blessing
Catriona is no stranger to beauty pageants. At her early age she joined Little Miss Philippines and competed twice in local pageants. She first represented the Philippines in the Miss World competition, but she did not win the crown and ended up as a runner-up. Some even captured her on stage looking disappointed as she lost the crown. After the Miss World stint, she did not accept the defeat but compete again to bag another title for her to represent in Miss Universe. Not only she represented the country as Miss Universe but also won the crown for her stellar performance. It showed that…

we do not give up after our loss, instead use our failure and loss as an opportunity to shine brightly than before.

Her Great Support System
Catriona is very creative and has a good taste on how to execute from her pose, gowns, dresses and even how she carries herself during the competition. But one will also notice that she always commends and mention her “creative team” who helped her with her hair and makeup, gowns, walk and even how she executed the design of her costume. It is also a plus that her parents and friends are providing full support. It is very important to select our support system.

In life, our friends, loved ones and discipleship group provides the support we need to keep going. It is a blessing to have supportive people in your life to cheer, encourage and motivate you. Pick you friends wisely and be a good support system to others as well.

Her Compassionate Heart
She has a heart to serve. Her experience on serving kids at Tondo, Manila helped her to become more sympathetic to the flight of children in depressed areas. She not only represents beauty, grace and brains but also a soft and wonderful heart to those kids she supports through her advocacy. This experience made her more compassionate and share the experiences of learning how to look at the positive side of things and “silver linings”. In addition, you would also see her easy-going nature for having to get along with most girls at the pageant.

Making an Impact
Catriona changed the game in Miss Universe by making an impact early on the pre-pageant program. She wowed the audience with her famous “slow-mo” walk which made her an early crowd favorite. She showed that when we want to achieve something and would want to make a good first impression, we need to create an impact that would help us to be easily recognized. Though I would not recommend performing the “slow-mo” walk during your interviews or meeting new people for networking, at least make a good first impression that would make people recognized you as someone who is reliable and dependable.

A genuine smile and good handshake are a good start to make an impact. In addition, always remember that when we want something, we need to enlist the help of our God through praying and daily communication with Him via devotion and quiet time. Nothing is impossible to achieve when we have our Lord God who answers our prayers and provides the direction in reaching for our goals and dreams.

When we work for our dreams, make sure that it is all glory to God.

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Candy Lopez is a full time mother, wife, IT consultant, part-time blogger. She loves to eat, travel, write and brush calligraphy,  watercolor and meet new friends at The Fulfilled Women.




Photo from CNN

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