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Binibini hopefuls inspire young cancer patients

/ 02:08 AM April 07, 2016
BINIBINING Pilipinas candidates  with cancer patients at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center

BINIBINING Pilipinas candidates with cancer patients at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center

This year’s batch of Binibining Pilipinas pageant hopefuls lived up to the catchphrase, “confidently beautiful with a heart,” made famous by 2015 Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, when they spent time with cancer patients at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City last month.

All 40 aspirants took part in the “charity day” organized by pageant sponsor Dairy Queen, which saw them playing with the young patients, sharing stories with the parents, and distributing gifts and snacks to the underprivileged beneficiaries of the government-run medical facility.

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Women from the medical field are among this year’s contestants.

Angela Lauren Fernando, a graduate of medicine from University of Santo Tomas, who is currently taking her internship at Makati Medical Center, said activities such as the one they participated in give the patients “happiness and hope.”

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Fernando, a 24-year-old Kapampangan, also said patients’ parents also benefit from such visits. “They’re down, and this gives them the opportunity to see their children happy. When parents see them smiling, it also makes them happy.”

Fellow Kapampangan Roshiela Tobias, a 22-year-old operating room nurse, said “through our presence, we inspire them.”

Karen Ibasco, a 25-year-old medical physicist and teacher from Manila, said “activities like this brighten the patients’ day.”

“I joined Binibining Pilipinas to help patients like them. I see it as a platform to make people aware of sickness like this,” she said.

But the ladies said they see themselves benefiting more from the activity.

“It gives us the inspiration to be a model to other people. We also hear their story, fighting the struggle of a life-threatening disease we’re lucky not to have. So, I look back at my own struggles and tell myself, ‘I can do this. Because if they can handle their problems, so can I,’” said Fernando, who aspires to become a surgeon or pediatrician after her internship.

For Ibasco, visiting patients with cancer is a source of motivation to further pursue her passions.

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“You get the opportunity to be grateful for what you have, to appreciate life,” said 2015 Miss Intercontinental first runner-up Christi Lynn McGarry, who also graced the affair. “It gives me hope because they are able to stay positive in the darkest situations.”

Holding charity activities, McGarry said, also uplifts the image of the pageant, by promoting the concerns of children and other sectors in need.

Get to know more about the 40 candidates in a special program, dubbed “The Road to the Crown” on ABS-CBN’s “Sunday’s Best” bloc on April 10 after “Gandang Gabi, Vice.”

The 2016 Binibining Pilipinas coronation night will be staged at Smart Araneta Coliseum on April 17, with a telecast on ABS-CBN’s “Sunday’s Best” bloc on the same evening.

Xian Lim and KC Concepcion will host the ceremony, together with 2014 Binibining Pilipinas first runner-up Laura Victoria Lehman as backstage correspondent.

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TAGS: Beauty Pageant, Beauty queen, Binibining Pilipinas, Entertainment, Miss Philippines, Miss Universe, pageant
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