All eyes are on Maxine Medina now that the Miss Universe pageant culminates tomorrow. And the 26-year-old fashion model and interior designer says she is ready for her biggest battle yet.
Before the competition kicked off in the middle of the month, the country’s representative to the global tilt showed her stuff as a seasoned fashion model as she effortlessly transformed before the camera like a chameleon, evoking different facets of her personality with each wardrobe change, in an exclusive shoot for Lifestyle.
New sexy walk
“I have been modeling for eight years. I’m with the Professional Models Association of the Philippines,” Medina tells Lifestyle.
However, the 5-ft-8-tall lass reveals that transitioning to being a beauty queen was not a seamless process.
“My walk is really different now. Before, it was very stiff. And now, it’s more like a lady—sexy,” says Medina.
But she quickly adds: “It’s not really hard, because when I train I really enjoy every learning I have with my mentors.”
What she focused on was the challenging question-and-answer round.
“Public speaking is really hard for me. It’s like everyone is looking at you and you have to be real. People should relate to whatever comes out of your mouth,” shares Medina.
“I needed more practice, to train more,” she recalls.
And Medina reveals her hard work has paid off.
“Now, I am more confident to talk about things. And I am really eager to learn more about the country and the whole world,” she says.
“I want to be involved, to be that girl who knows how to deal with her advocacy, and to help a lot of people, especially children,” Medina adds.
One moment she cherishes was the charity day organized by the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) at the National Children’s Hospital in Quezon City a few days before Christmas.
“Finally, I was able to give time. I’ve been dreaming of doing that ever since. I just didn’t have the time because I was busy with modeling, trying to build a better future for myself,” says Medina.
She says the activity nearly brought her to tears.
“But I didn’t want the children to see it, because I wanted to help. I really wanted to give them hope…
“I can see how it affected them, too. So for me, I just had to do it. This is my future. And now, I’m living the dream I’ve had ever since. I have to set my goal, be serious about it. This is not only for my future, it’s also for my country,” Medina adds.
The beauty queen wants the children to find inspiration in her own life.
“My life has not been easy; I’m not used to speaking. But I’ve learned that when you believe in yourself, and when you love yourself you appreciate yourself more, then your true colors will come out. That is how you can inspire people,” she says.
Other than giving inspiration to people, Medina has an equally challenging responsibility on her shoulders—as the host candidate to the delegates of the Miss Universe pageant.
“I want to show them how happy we are despite the problems we have. We have this love of life and we always celebrate everything—our birthdays, anniversaries, everything in our life!” she tells Lifestyle.
“What I really love about Filipinos is, despite our problems, we always smile. We always step forward for the better,” adds Medina.
She had a quick test of her hosting duties during the week-long kickoff last month, when 11 delegates came to the country for a series of activities that saw them touring Siargao, Cebu and Manila.
“I was really nervous, because I was always thinking about the competition, that everyone would be very competitive. And when I got to meet them, they were all sweet. They’re all cooperative. I enjoyed it!” she says.
“And then one time, we were all on our cell phones, posting on Instagram. Then I thought of calling their attention for us to have fun, to just socialize. So I asked the organizer if the speakers were working. I hooked up my phone and played hip-hop songs, some lively songs. Then we were all dancing, having fun,” shares Medina.
Aside from her experiences as a traveler, being an interior designer also comes in handy for this beauty queen.
“When I do a lot of design, space is really important to me. What I’m doing now in Miss Universe, I observe pacing, like I know when to peak. I just have to take a deep breath and tell myself that I can do this, and this is for my country.”
Taking after such a celebrated beauty as Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach as her predecessor would need more than just taking a deep breath. But Medina says she hopes the Miss Universe Organization would see her as a worthy successor.
“I think the ideal Miss Universe is the woman who can speak for her advocacies and humanitarian issues. She can empower a lot of people, communities and countries around the world,” says Medina.
And is she this woman?