Liv­ing her dreams




queen al­most did not make it, but thanks to last-minute per­sis­tence and the prod­ding of her han­dler, she gave the com­pe­ti­tion a go with nary an ex­pec­ta­tion.

Cou­pled with her youth­ful charm and af­fa­ble de­meanor, 22year-old Shaila Mae Rebortera won the au­di­ence of “Eat Bu­laga,” the coun­try’s long­est run­ning noon­time show, with her stun­ning video show­cas­ing Cebu’s nat­u­ral beauty, cul­ture and mustvisit at­trac­tions

for her chance at the Miss Mil­len­nial Philip­pines 2018 crown.

Thus, start­ing when she in­tro­duced her­self on stage un­til she gave her im­pres­sive an­swer dur­ing the pageant’s ques­tion-and-an­swer on pageant day, view­ers took no­tice and were root­ing for her. And while ad­mit­ting that she didn’t know if she was al­ready an early fa­vorite from among the 40 can­di­dates rep­re­sent­ing cities and prov­inces all over the coun­try, Shaila nev­er­the­less did her best and proved that she had ev­ery­thing it takes to win the crown.

Still bask­ing in her sweet vic­tory, the charm­ing beauty, who is also the cur­rent Sin­u­log Fes­ti­val Queen told the Play! pool that she’s open to op­por­tu­ni­ties that will come her way but fin­ish­ing her course (she’s a fifth year den­tistry stu­dent) will have to come first.

Born to a Filipino mother and a Bri­tish fa­ther, this charm­ing beauty with a promis­ing aca­demic back­ground is clearly on top of the world. Shaila is at the thresh­old of a bright be­gin­ning. (NRG)

Has it al­ready sunk in that you won?

Wala pa gyud. Maybe at the mo­ment when I was on stage when it was an­nounced pero dili siya mo sink in all through­out. Be­cause if you think about it na out of 40 can­di­dates and ikaw ang na pro­claim na win­ner it was just so un­ex­pected. Not to men­tion the prizes— they were all grand. Grabe siya ka over­whelm­ing on stage pero right after na when I went back to my ho­tel room mura og na­ba­lik na siya, like wala ra’y nabag-o.

Did you see your­self join­ing Miss Mil­len­nial Philip­pines?

Ac­tu­ally no. Be­cause as the Fes­ti­val Queen au­to­mat­i­cally the only pageant await­ing for you is Miss Ali­wan. But with Miss Mil­len­nial the pageant came un­ex­pect­edly be­cause with Miss Ali­wan I didn’t get the crown and I was just the run­ner-up. After like a few months they then con­tacted me for Miss Mil­len­nial and I had to say no be­cause my goal was to fin­ish school first be­cause I only got a year left. So the fo­cus was to grad­u­ate muna andthen a month after I saw my fel­low Miss Ali­wan can­di­dates in the wel­come din­ner for Miss Mil­len­nial. Nan­gapil sab diay sila and I thought nga maybe they al­ready got some­one else for Cebu. So mao to I was just en­joy­ing my­self, like nikaon ko ogdaghan be­cause walan­abaya koy i- main­tain be­cause there are pageants ahead for me.

So what made you join the pageant?

I got an­other call Thurs­day morn­ing that week af­firm­ing that they have no can­di­date to rep­re­sent Cebu and they re­ally need one more. My han­dler told me that ev­ery­thing is set up for me al­ready as they have a room ready, as well as I have my num­ber ready and they re­ally talked me into join­ing the pageant. Ev­ery­thing then went on smoothly be­cause the pro­duc­tion team of “Eat Bu­laga” would do cer­tain ad­just­ments know­ing that it is a mil­len­nial pageant and they would un­der­stand in meet­ing with me and the other can­di­dates half­way in terms of our needs and obli­ga­tions, most es­pe­cially that I am study­ing. So right there and then I took it and think­ing that it was the sec­ond time for them to of­fer me this kind of op­por­tu­nity maybe it meant some­thing. So Thurs­day morn­ing they called, that Thurs­day evening nilu­pad dayon ko for Manila. And I ar­rived Fri­day and I had to catch up. I did all of the photo shoots that they did in one week, I did it in one day. Re­hearsals were just one day and by Satur­day I was then pre­sented along with the other can­di­dates.

What was the vibe like dur­ing the pageant?

It was re­lax­ing lang nga pageant be­cause they re­ally want it nga nat­u­ral lang mi. They never pushed us to be al­ways prim and proper, to re­strict our move­ments or even to diet, wala gyud. They just wanted us to show them who we re­ally are as an ideal model of the youth and who­ever or what­ever you are just be your­self, that was the only thing that they wanted from us. In its en­tirety, it was a happy and joy­ous ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing with other can­di­dates.

On pageant day, what went through your mind be­fore you hit that stage?

Pag morn­ing adto that very day of the pageant kulba gyud kaayo siya and tin­uod lang wala gud ko kakaon og tarong but then I was just pray­ing all the time. I was just pray­ing to the Lord and thank­ing Him for giv­ing me this op­por­tu­nity to be part of the pageant and ev­ery­thing meant some­thing. Deeply I was pray­ing that if ever the ti­tle was for me, I was ask­ing nga ipa- calm lang akoang heart para maka- per­form ko the way I am sup­posed to per­form on­stage.

What do you think was your edge over other can­di­dates?

Si Lord ra gyud nakahibaw (laugh­ter). I mean siyem­pre I have joined other pageants but lahi ra gyud ang feel­ing adto nga time nga kalmado ra ko . Sig­uro it was all about me be­ing cool and calm the whole time adto nga pageant and I was just en­joy­ing every minute of it. Sig­uro from there ni­gawas ang tin­uod nga Shaila nga nat­u­ral and youth­ful. It al­ways mat­ters to be gen­uine and au­then­tic, like right now me talk­ing to you it’s the same as I was on stage. Sig­uro it’s all be­cause wala ko nag pre­tend to be some­one I am not.

Did you al­ways want to be a beauty queen?

No gyud . To be hon­est it never re­ally went to my head as a kid and sig­uro ev­ery­thing just fell into its place to be where I am right now. I was just tak­ing ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­ni­ties be­ing thrown at me and I took them.

What were your as­pi­ra­tions way back then?

Be­fore I al­ways wanted to be­come a lawyer. And also there was a phase that I also wanted to take up ac­coun­tancy and then law. How­ever along the way there were many con­sid­er­a­tions to look into that’s why I heeded the ad­vice of my mom to take up den­tistry in­stead. I took up den­tistry kay mura’g I like the cor­po­rate world, my mom likes the field of medicine and we sort of got into an agree­ment na with den­tistry it’s like we were meet­ing half­way. And also it was when I took up den­tistry that the of­fers of join­ing pageants came in so it was all about the right tim­ing.

Who do you think was your big­gest com­peti­tor?

I have al­ways seen my friend Miss La­guna, Jennifer Le­maitre as my big­gest threat and un­for­tu­nately, she didn’t get into the top 10. Pero it was like prior to the pageant I was like talk­ing to ev­ery­body and in­sist­ing that she is so beau­ti­ful and so smart. She can talk flaw­lessly on TV, you can check her videos. She is so lovely and such a nat­u­ral on the screen so I re­ally con­sid­ered her as my big­gest threat and then I got close to her dur­ing the fi­nal com­pe­ti­tion kay al­ways kami man mag uban. Also, she shared to me her life as well as her weak­nesses and for me mura og na- at­tach ko niya. Like the more ni- grow amoang bond be­cause that per­sona sa iyaha nga na- see nako as the threat, bot­tom line is pare­has or sim­i­lar ra diay mi na, hu­man as we are, we also have weak­nesses and in­se­cu­ri­ties. On the

other hand, Misamis Ori­en­tal (Danna Rose So­caoco). I have met her al­ready sa CE­SAFI and she re­ally grew a lot. Be­fore kay dili kay nako siya ma­pansin kay

I was threat­ened with the peo­ple I had not worked be­fore kay I don’t know how they’d do it on the stage. So Miss Misamis Ori­en­tal was un­ex­pected and na threat­ened gyud ko on stage na kay she grew a lot. Naka -join na siya og

Miss Earth and she was able to an­swer very well al­ready and grabe na gyud iyang con­fi­dence level that time.

In life, how do you deal with com­pe­ti­tion?

I try to erase it sa akoang head lang but of course, I’d share my thoughts only to my clos­est friends be­cause lain man gud if you'd treat these peo­ple as your en­emy be­cause they are not. They are just there also to do the same thing as you do, to pro­mote their place as well as to also win the crown. They are also mo­ti­vated by their fam­ily or for what­ever rea­son and I would just try to get to know them bet­ter so mao to ang nahitabo with Miss La­guna, and I am so happy that I did be­cause nagka -close hin­uon mi. Did you con­sider your­self as the win­ner from the getgo or the dark horse?

I ac­tu­ally have no i dea be­cause when I came in dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion they were al­ready talk­ing about me. But then again dili man gud nimo ma- feel imo­hang sta­tus sa com­pe­ti­tion at that time be­cause there were 40 of us and all of these 40 can­di­dates are all win­ners from their prov­inces so re­ally you won’t know ki nsay nakala­mang or kin­say dili. You re­ally won’t know it so the least you can do is just hope for the best.

What has changed? What have you dis­cov­ered about your­self after the com­pe­ti­tion?

I think I am ca­pa­ble only if I be­lieve in my­self more. Be­cause the week prior to the com­pe­ti­tion kay grabe gyud akoang self-doubt like nag break­down gyud ko, ni­hi­lak gyud ko kay I re­ally thought that I won’t be able to make it. I was think­ing neg­a­tive like I was just wast­ing my time. Do you still re­mem­ber what you spent on the first prize that you re­ceived from a pageant?

Save up. Kuripot gyud ko. I have al­ways wanted nga in the fu­ture I get to have my own busi­ness. I also want to travel so maybe in the fu­ture I will fly to Lon­don para makita nako akoang dad. Also, I dream of go­ing to Batanes.

What has “Eat Bu­laga” in store for you?

I will have ap­pear­ances in the show but with re­gards to whether I will be a reg­u­lar wala pa na nais­to­rya­han. Also be­cause they are con­sid­er­ing that I have my school and I so wanted to fin­ish it. Any­ways, six months na lang and it’s a one-year reign so daghan pa og time.

What par­tic­u­lar is­sues mil­len­ni­als face to­day that are close to your heart?

Al­though my fo­cus is den­tistry, naa gyud ang men­tal health ad­vo­cacy be­cause as part of the med­i­cal com­mu­nity ki­na­hanglan ac­tive gyud mi in terms of spread­ing aware­ness. And it’s nice that mil­len­ni­als are very open to learn­ing about men­tal health aware­ness and I hope ma- con­tinue pa siya sa fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

How do you deal with stress?

Kaon lang gyud og french fries. Mag sige ra gyud ko og kaon that’s why man­am­bok gyud ko (laugh­ter).

What’s an or­di­nary day like for you?

As a den­tistry stu­dent, I make sure that I get in­volved with our free clin­ics. On some days there will be gown fit­tings and at night I do host­ing for Fes­ti­val Queen and then I sleep late then start my day early again. The way I see it it’s doble kara nga you have two dif­fer­ent per­sonas, a beauty queen and as a reg­u­lar stu­dent.

Are you open to join­ing show­biz?

I am okay with it be­cause I have the the­ater ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore when I was in high school. I am okay with the op­por­tu­nity though sayang man sab gud akoang six years in den­tistry so ti­wa­son lang sa nako . And if ever there will be of­fers, we all know nga dili baya per­ma­nent ang show­busi­ness so you will never re­ally know what your fu­ture is if mo- ven­ture ka into that ca­reer. So mas maayo nga I have my den­tistry to back me up if ever.

Do you have a fa­vorite movie?

If Only. It’s re­ally nice. It’s a ro­man­tic movie about sec­ond chances. Sorry, kana lang be­cause I re­ally don’t have that much time to watch movies kay busy gyud with school.

Mes­sage to young girls out there as­pir­ing to be like you.

Stud­ies first kay nin­dot gyud nga naa ka’y foun­da­tion sa school also sab in the house be­cause we all learn our val­ues sa school ug sa house. So from there, it’s a good jump off point para ma­hasa nimo imong ad­vo­ca­cies. To mold your­self in be­com­ing who you want to be in the fu­ture kay moabot ra gyud na ang op­por­tu­ni­ties to be­come a beauty queen. You can pur­sue it when you’re older and when you’re more ma­ture. And then if naa na ka dira al­ways be­lieve in your­self kay your sup­port­ers will al­ways back you up but when you’re on stage ikaw ra gyud na and it’s only you ang maka- stop in get­ting that crown, so make sure that you don’t. Al­ways make sure to be­lieve in your­self. And just grab it.

Lo­cale: Radis­son Blu Cebu

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