Despite their busy schedules, the newly crowned winners of the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 pageant took time to share their blessings and inspire school children as they graced a back-to-school outreach program in Tondo, Manila on Wednesday afternoon.
Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina, Bb. Pilipinas-International Kylie Verzosa, Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental Jennifer Hammond, Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational Joanna Eden, and Bb. Pilipinas-Grand International Nicole Cordovez joined about 200 kids at the basketball court of Barangay 128 in Balut, Tondo and led the distribution of school supplies and snacks.
But more than the food and material gifts, Medina said what made them happier was to be able to give hope to the kids in the slum area and inspire them that they can be whatever they dream to be.
“Napakasaya ko kasi first of all, ito po yung advocacy ko talaga, to give hope to these children and education na rin,” Medina told reporters.
Verzosa said it was a pleasure making the kids smile with little things that the more privileged take for granted.
“When I’m with kids I just feel really good and whatever message they give me, a simple hug or smile, it makes me happy na. These are the simple things that make me happy,” she said.
For Cordovez, who hailed from the community and initiated the project, returning to her roots and being able to give back to people close to her heart was a very emotional and significant moment.
Cordovez, who works at the Department of Finance, is a member of non-government organization Iris Philippines which helps women and children. The Tondo outreach was done in partnership with the said NGO and ice cream brand Dairy Queen.
The queens also instilled to the kids the importance of quality education in achieving one’s goals.
“Kanina sinabi ng mga bata, may mga gustong mag-doktor, mag-nurse, maging beauty queen and all, so isang edge nila kung meron silang good education, and that’s the reason kung bakit namin ginagawa yung outreach program na ‘to,” said Hammond.
“Whatever field they want to get into, education is so important to build a foundation for the kids. Visiting here and just being here and to see how they get happy with such simple things make us happy. We have a great platform to share the importance of education,” Eden added. JE