“I was almost in tears when they asked me to become the first Filipina ambassador for Save the Children Philippines. If you followed my journey, I worked from being a peace advocate to becoming an advocate for peace education. Going to Marawi with Save the Children Philippines after Miss World was a reminder of everything that I’ve done, my intentions and why I joined pageants," she said.
In her speech, Katarina that being an empowered woman meant not only having positions of power in society or corporations. She says that true empowerment comes from knowing yourself and believing that you are free to choose what you want to do in your life. She says that motherhood is something she aspires for and is something equally empowering. But she said, “I promised myself that I wouldn’t have my own children until I made a big difference in at least one other child’s life.”
With this alliance with Save the Children Philippines, I think Katarina has already shown what a big difference she made on so many children’s lives.
In her recent visit to Marawi, Rodriguez, wearing white hijab and red Save the Children jacket, spent time with about 40 children for a read along and art activity. The activity is one of the psychosocial services of Save the Children Philippines in its Marawi Response Office. They also distributed learning materials for children affected by the Marawi siege.
She was very candid about Miss World pageant experience saying, “I wasn’t able to place in the Miss World international competition and my Beauty with a Purpose project was disqualified. And that ripped my heart.”
Save the Children is celebrating its 100th year anniversary with the global campaign "Stop the War on Children" to raise awareness on the deep, devastating and lifelong impact of war against children. Their studies have shown that over 420 million children across the world living in conflict areas, including the Philippines
“We need to educate children about the value of peace during their formative years,” Rodriguez said. She said lessons about peace help develop the characters of children as human beings, that will be reflected on in the future.
Katarina’s visit to Marawi changed her perspective in so many aspects in her life upon seeing the children living there. She said, “Despite what’s happened to them, they are hopeful, they’re kind, they’re dreamers.”
So when Save the Children Philippines asked her to be their first ever Filipina ambassador, she said, “1,000% Yes!”
She went on to say, “Despite my feeling of failure that I wasn’t able to execute what I wanted to in Miss World, I know that’s not true because I am standing here today. I have an amazing team. Thank you Save the Children Philippines for believing in me, in my passion and my desire to change the lives of the children and together I know we can do that.” — Rappler.com
Voltaire has 10 years experience in the fashion industry. He previously worked with a luxury clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, major in Fashion Design. He also holds a BS in Applied Economics and BS in Marketing from DLSU. He is now doing real estate but finds ample spare time to pursue his passions.