What do you get when you cross the iconic Filipina beauty with the legendary nurturing Filipino mother? Answer: Pinoy royalty.
As the natural beauty of the Filipina is celebrated around the world with the nation’s young ladies picking up one beauty pageant title after another, a Filipina mother picked up another beauty royalty title for herself and the Philippines.
Jessica Eribal, a 40-year-old mom from Cebu, bagged the 2017 Mrs. International crown in December produced on live television by TKS Singapore.
Eribal beat 50 other candidates for the title, while also winning the Best Speech and Most Outstanding Contestant of the Year award during the preliminary pageant.
Mrs. Philippines International won the judges’ nod with her answer to how to live up to the “woman for women” mission: “I believe that it is in developing sensitivity to other women in need, the abused and those who suffer from low self-esteem which enables us to understand differences and learn from their experiences. This will be my most vivid platform – that is, to realize this advocacy and I believe I am now ready to take on this responsibility.”
The beauty queen mother is the first Filipino to win the international pageant that showcases the achievements of married women in South East Asia and Asia Pacific.
“I still can’t believe that this is happening. This was just a dream before. I want to be an inspiration to other married women, who thought that they missed their opportunity during singlehood, that they can still do it. I want to show them that marriage is not the end of their lives. It’s the beginning of something different,” Eribal said in a press briefing.
The Personal Collection human resource manager and entrepreneur is married to Jojet Eribal and has a 15-year-old son. The Mrs. International Facebook page explains the contest is dedicated to the woman who spends a lifetime living up to her potential.
In an interview with Cebu Daily News before flying to Singapore, Eribal pledged to continue her work for Filipino women. “My advocacy is on breast cancer awareness, not only the wellness but also helping educate more people about it,” she said.
(With reports from Djazztin Rose Deña)