MANILA, Philippines – Rosantonette Mendoza, a candidate in the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 pageant, is just one of the many young ladies who want to represent the country abroad. But before she even worked up the courage to join the nationwide competition, Rosantonette had to overcome many challenges, one of them being her confidence.
In her Facebook post that has gone viral, Rosantonette wrote that she always wanted to be a beauty queen and had joined pageants when she was 15 years old.
"Come 2013, I went on with my beauty queen dreams and joined a provincial pageant. Then came my worst nightmare – I was bashed on social media because I was too 'FAT' to be a beauty queen. Comments like, 'hala, parang nanay na' (you look like a mom), 'ano ba yan, ba't may naligaw diyan' (someone looks lost) and the like. I have to admit, it almost ruined me," she said.
"I stopped aiming for those crowns. I went on with my life, got myself a pretty cool job at a retail company, and even started my own business. I fell in love with food so much, you have no idea. Desserts – I love chocolates! I ate whatever I wanted. As in no control at all."
Rosantonette wrote that she gained weight and tipped the scale at almost 200 pounds.
"It was December 2016 when it hit me – I was almost 90 kilograms[around 198 pounds]. I knew I lost it. I got tired easily, my sugar level was high, had a hard time breathing – lahat lahat na (everything). I was very unhealthy."
It was while watching the Miss Universe 2016 pageant that she saw Miss Canada Siera Bearchell and admired her for competing despite not having the typical beauty queen body. Siera calls herself a "body activist" and placed in the Top 9 of MIss Universe 2016.
It was then that Rosantonette realized that she can still achieve her dream.
"It has always been my dream to become a Binibini. I knew I had to work extra hard for that goal, my last hoorah to join.
"I got myself a gym membership, hired a great trainer, prepped meals, dieted etc... lahat ng work out na try ko na ata, bes (I think I've tried every workout out there)."
It was December 23rd of 2016, exactly on my 25th birthday when I decided to go on a weightloss journey. It was not easy, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! #Binibini18 #BilbilinToBinibini #TheBodyLoveRevolution #BinibiningPilipinas2018 A post shared by Rosantonette Mendoza (@iamrosan) on Feb 17, 2018 at 10:31pm PST
She then submitted her application for the pageant in January, and although she wasn't confident she would get in, she knew it was worth a shot. Today, she's set to compete for a Bb Pilipinas crown on March 18.
Rosantonette said that she's still amazed to be part of the competition.
"I’ve learned that it’s good to have dreams. But it’s better to have goals. Work hard and do whatever you can to achieve them!
"Thank you Binibining Pilipinas for giving me this opportunity to inspire other people with my transformation.
"So para sa mga matataba, dating mataba, feeling mataba, dun sa gustong tumaba, at sa malapit nang tumaba (So to those who are fat, used to be fat, feel fat, want to gain some weight, and to those who are almost fat) – you are beautiful. Just be yourself. At the end of the day, it is still what’s in your heart that matters," she said.
Her story even reached Siera, and the Canadian beauty queen praised her for her determination.
When women support each other, incredible things happen.Thank you @sierabearchell for inspiring me. Through you, i was able to inspire others too. 6 days to go #Binibini18 #BilbilinToBinibini #BinibiningPilipinas2018 A post shared by Rosantonette Mendoza (@iamrosan) on Mar 12, 2018 at 6:17am PDT
Rosantonette is one of the 40 ladies who will vie for one of 6 crowns at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, March 18. – Rappler.com
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