Beauty with substance

Beauty, brains, and character — these are the traits that the three-year-old Miss Teen Philippines pageant wants to promote among its contestants.For the last two years, Miss Teen Philippines has been disseminating information about hormone-related concerns for the youth: ..

By Guil Franco (Our Correspondent)

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Published: Sun 2 Jul 2006, 1:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:33 PM

reproductive health, child prostitution, the dangers of drug abuse, and basically being responsible citizens.

Says lawyer Vicente Caoile Jr., chairman of the pageant's organisers: "Those are our goals, to guide teenagers in their choices that will affect their lives for a long time, like preventing unwanted pregnancy. We can do that by having a youth spokesperson. If you have someone they admire and they can identify with, they will listen."

The idea is for the grand-prize winner to go to schools in select cities in the provinces and Metro Manila to lecture on the said topics.

The 2004 winner Stephanie Sol, a 14-year-old beauty from Cagayan de Oro City, launched a waste-recycling campaign in her barangay (village).

In 2005, winner Jinky Lee of Sta Cruz, Laguna, helped the street children in her hometown by giving them clothes, feeding them and getting scholarship grants. "It's a rewarding experience, more than winning the title and the cash prize," says Lee.

Mere beauty isn't enough. The Miss Teen Philippines winner must have the highest score in the following criteria: intelligence and communication skills; poise and grace under pressure.

This year's winner takes home 100,000 pesos; an all-expense paid three-week study tour to either Paris, London, or Salamanca in Spain; a four-year college scholarship; a one-year personality development programme and other gifts from pageant sponsors.

All the activities for the finalists and the winner of Miss Teen Philippines are done either on weekends or during school break, to avoid disturbing their studies. For this year, about 40 semi-finalists, aged 14 to 18, were chosen through intensive screenings.

On June 1, 14-year-old Jullian Savard of Mabalacat, Pampanga, was crowned Miss Teen Philippines for 2006. Only in her high-school sophomore year, Jullian is also the reigning Mutya ng Mabalacat. She is a member of her school's Drama Club, choir and dance troupe. She has also won school-wide poetry and declamation competitions.

Among the other winners are fourth runner-up, Ana Gabriela Villegas, 16, an incoming fourth year high school student from Cebu; Third runner-up Hazel Villanueva, 16, a nursing sophomore at the Andres Bonifacio College; Second runner-up, Kat Alano, 17, a nursing freshman at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; and first runner-up Nicole Schmitz, 17, from Cebu, incoming freshman at University of San Carlos.

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