Bb. Pilipinas International 2023 Angelica Lopez admits being introvert, counts Catriona Gray as inspiration
MANILA, Philippines — With 2023 Binibining Pilipinas International Angelica Lopez’s explosive performance on the pageant stage, no one would suspect she is an introvert. But she is, and she also grew up with insecurities that seemed almost impossible because of the confidence she displayed before her audience.
“A lot of people were criticizing me, that I cannot be a good speaker, I cannot be a good spokesperson because I’m shy, I grew up an introvert,” the newly-crowned queen told the Inquirer when the pageant’s winners engaged in a round of interviews with members of the media at the Owner’s Circle at the Araneta City in Quezon City a couple of days after their coronation.
The sophomore psychology student at the Palawan State University said she found the courage to conquer her fear of facing people because she thought of others who are in the same situation she was in.
“I want to prove to them that I’m not only speaking for myself, I’m also speaking in behalf of these kids, and the young women who look up to me,” she explained.
Inspired by Catriona Gray
Lopez said a Bb. Pilipinas queen inspired her to offer herself to others, and to work on the causes close to her heart—2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray who also hosted the national pageant’s recent coronation show where she won.
“I was with her during her reign (as Bb. Pilipinas) in 2018. I also won in my city that time as Miss Puerto Princesa 2018, and we went together for a university tour, for HIV/AIDS awareness. I was really inspired by how strong she is as a woman,” Lopez shared.
“Aside from that, I was moved by how she really speaks her heart out, and her mind, to really inspire other people and to uplift the voice of those unheard. And just like her, we have the same advocacy on the less fortunate,” she continued, saying she chose to help the needy because she also experienced having less in life when she was growing up. She worked the cash register of a neighborhood eatery before, where she also had her share of serving tables.
Now that like Gray, she, too, is a Bb. Pilipinas queen, Lopez said she hopes her victory could also inspire other people. “Aside from resiliency, it’s all about promoting your own individuality, that no matter how many people say you are different from others, you will always stand out because of your own characteristics, values, and morals that you hold on to,” the new queen said.
Lopez cited the value of embracing one’s individuality. “That is what really makes us move really forward ahead in life. If we know ourselves more, we can do better. And no matter how many challenges we encounter along the way, we can always overcome it,” Lopez added.
“I really want to strengthen that message of hope to other people. That’s what I want to relay to them, and I hope I can inspire other people and be motivated by my story,” continued the new queen, who will represent the Philippines in the 62nd Miss International pageant next year.
Lopez won her national title at the 2023 Bb. Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at the Araneta City on May 28 in a field of 40 aspirants. Anna Valencia Lakrini captured the Bb. Pilipinas Globe crown, while Katrina Anne Johnson and Atasha Reign Parani finished as first and second runners-up, respectively. EDV