Philippines: Former dishwasher, waitress crowned beauty queen

After having experienced hunger and poverty at a young age, the 22-year-old stunner — aside from modelling and joining pageants — now leads projects for the less fortunate

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Photo Source: Binibining Pilipinas (Instagram)
Photo Source: Binibining Pilipinas (Instagram)

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 30 May 2023, 4:05 PM

Filipina Angelica Lopez never hid or lied about her humble background. She experienced hunger and poverty and did odd jobs as a teenager just so she and her family could make ends meet. Now, she has been crowned queen — and she will be representing the Philippines at the prestigious Miss International beauty pageant.

Standing out from a line of 39 beautiful women, 22-year-old Lopez clinched the Binibining Pilipinas International (Miss Philippines International) title during the coronation event held in the southeast Asian country over the weekend.

In previous media interviews, the stunner from the Philippine province of Palawan had told her story of "working very hard at an early age" for her family.

“Coming [from] a financially strained household, I clearly understand the challenges and the struggles of the less fortunate," Lopez once said in a Press conference as part of the beauty pageant.

She worked as dishwasher and waitress at the age of 14. She also became a cashier and an office clerk at some points. But what led her to pageantry, she said, was her experience as a model.

In her social media posts, she always thanks local agency Elitista Circle of Models, which she had been part of since she was 14.

"I'm beyond grateful because I know that without their help, I wouldn't be in this position," she said. From modelling, Lopez started joining beauty pageants in 2022, trying her luck at Miss Universe Philippines.

“I used pageantry as an avenue to support myself, to earn money, to support my sister, as well as my mother," Lopez was quoted as saying in local media reports.

Knowing what it was like to have nothing and go to bed hungry, she has always been passionate about helping low-income communities.

"When I was around 8 years old I made a promise to myself that whenever I had the opportunity to help, I will do so since I understand what it's like to have nothing," she wrote in an Instagram post.

Over the years, she has been carrying out feeding programmes and giving gifts to the less fortunate in her hometown.


When she won the Miss Philippines International crown, all Lopez could think about was her mother who passed away four years ago.

In her winning answer at the pageant, she said it was her mother who "instilled the values and the morals that I’m using to be the woman that I am now today. A woman who has the strength, courage, and tenacity".

After being crowned, Lopez has now set her sights on winning another crown for the Philippines, while making a statement: “I really want to break the stereotype that the Miss International (winner) should be a fair-skinned girl,” she said.


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