Back to runway: Faith C. Recto empowers women, IP, and gives hope for sick children through beauty pageant | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

She has always been the cynosure of all eyes. Like a crowned princess or a famed movie icon, Faith C. Recto never fails to draw people’s attention to herself even in the most prosaic experiences.

Faith C. Recto

This may explain well the philanthropist and businesswoman’s desire and unrelenting passion to be a beauty queen back in her salad days. 

But fate had bigger and better plans for this lady, something that will not only win her the crown but an opportunity of a lifetime to secure a throne to her own dynasty.

Faith was born to loving parents who hailed from South Cotabato, the eldest to a brood of three and more importantly favorite child of the entire clan.

“I had a very happy childhood as I was blessed with loving parents and supportive family members who pushed me to do great things in life,” Faith enthused.

Growing up, she has always been fascinated with beauty pageants that she would creep into her mom’s makeup set and use them on her. It was not long enough before she took the chance to join a local pageant in the province and the result was more than she hopes for as she went home with the crown and an advocacy was etched in her heart.

“I was 14 years old when I joined a local beauty pageant in South Cotabato, which I represented one of the tribes in our hometown – the B’laan. I was the youngest candidate and assigned to me was to represent an indigenous community, which has been caught in the middle of many many-layered conflicts that led the Blaan to be left behind in economic and cultural development,” shared Faith.

Though very young, Faith was very observant and knew that the tribe she will be representing lacks access to basic government services like electricity, health care, water, and the obvious was the lack of facilities for education.

These facts challenged her to give her best, and the unexpected happened. Though she was the youngest and could be the shortest candidate, Faith won the title. She’s the first and last candidate from her hometown to bag the crown in the beauty pageantry in South Cotabato.

That even motivated her to join bigger pageants, an idea that was not in complicity with her parents as they thought that it will affect her good performance at school.

“I remember my dad calling the attention of my manager back then, a distant relative who was one of the people who wanted me to pursue this dream of pageantry. So, I was sternly advised by my parents to focus on my studies,” Faith explained.

Her last event was something she would not forget as she had to climb down from their window to escape her parents to join a “Lions beauty pageant” in Digos, Davao.

She has always been aware of her limitations as far as these beauty tilts are concerned. She had the face, the talents, and most of all the wits that separate her from the rest. But she was lacking several inches in length, a requisite that is vital for these pageants.

“I have always been thrilled by the talent portion and question and answer in every pageant that I joined, I may not be the most beautiful in the hall but the moment I opened my mouth during the question-and-answer portion leaves an impression to the judges. The talent I showcase is a plus,” quipped Faith.

The opportunity to pursue her pageantry simply slipped through her hands when she migrated to Manila for college education but the dream of becoming a queen has never really left her heart.

Now, a mother of 3, Faith has achieved every plan in her book, making sure that her children and family can live comfortably and securely in the days ahead. She is also an accomplished businesswoman and an activist for good governance and women’s empowerment.

But destiny is drawing her to fulfilling her childhood dream.

Just recently, she was approached by a group doing major pageants in the country for sponsorship. This brought back all the memories she cherished from many years ago as a contestant wanting to make her mark in the beauty industry.

She readily committed to the project, but she wanted a bigger role in this. Faith was awarded the franchise of Top Model of the World by the World Beauty Organization. This is the most prestigious and longest-running modeling competition in the world. For the Philippines, Faith titled the competition as the Ms. WBO Top Model Philippines. This pageant is the perfect opportunity for her to give back to every woman who wants to make her mark in this endeavor and the community at large.

“I realized early on that at this point in my life, I can do more than beauty pageants. I have had my share of success and frustrations and there is so much I can offer to these young, talented, and strong women who want to leave their own mark, I want to be able to inspire them, mentor them and support them in any way I can,” Faith exclaimed.

To show her sincerity and resolve, Faith has already relinquished her posts from various projects and corporations she is either leading or involved with to concentrate on this new journey.

With this nascent outlook, Faith helped open doors to beauty pageants, especially those coming from the provinces. The Ms. WBO Top Model Philippines envisions to be the voice of the indigenous people in the country as this is one of the primary advocacies, she will push in doing this beauty pageant. 

Aside from Indigenous peoples, she hopes to inspire and empower more women to be more self-reliant, bold, and knowledgeable about the society they are a part of. She also wishes to give more support to children afflicted by diseases and living in poverty. She is also considering instituting an academy for all the girls wanting to enter this industry.

This will aim to train aspiring beauty queens to be competitive and at the top of their game. Faith has seen the defaults, struggles, and challenges faced by women during these competitions and she wants to share her own experience to educate them. 

She is also bent on organizing a professional pool of men and women who will work with her to make sure there are doing the right thing. 

“I and my family are extremely excited for this, and I want to make sure that this opportunity of a lifetime won’t be wasted. I want to have influence on our society, and this is something I have been wanting to do ever since. I may not have been a queen but now I am their queen mother.”

The Miss WBO Top Model Philippines will have its sashing ceremony on Sept. 17, 2023, at New World Hotel, Makati. The pre-pageant will be held in UP theater on Nov. 4, while the coronation night will be at the Newport Theater in Resorts World Manila on November 7, 2023.


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