By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA
The international pageant season kicked off this year with the staging of the Miss Intercontinental 2017 beauty contest which will be held in Hurghada, Egypt from January 10-25.
Katarina Rodriguez, a graduate of business management and philosophy from the De La Salle University, will represent the Philippines in the 46th edition of the beauty pageant. She is also the last of the current batch of Binibining Pilipinas who is competing abroad.
Other Binibinis who have competed in international contests were Nelda Ibe, 1st runner-up, Miss Globe in Albania; Elizabeth Clenci, 2nd runner-up, Miss Grand International; Mariel de Leon, competed in Miss International; Rachel Peters, Top 10, 2017 Miss Universe pageant; and Chanel Olive Thomas, Top 10, Miss Supranational held in Poland.
“Only after a few days into 2018 I’ll be representing my country, the Philippines, in Egypt for @missintercontinentalorg. I can already feel how challenging & rewarding of a year 2018 will be, and I am so so ready for it all,” Rodriguez earlier posted on Instagram. She is also a former MTV VJ who loves to read.
Rodriguez, who first joined cycle 2 of “Asia’s Next Top Model” and finished as a finalist, paid tribute to all those who molded her into becoming a beauty queen.
“In 2017 I became a queen. And by queen (I do not mean by definition in relation to monarchy) I mean I have become one of a few selected chosen to hold an important position in a series of events, or pageants rather, which our country is extremely passionate about,” said Rodriguez, in a lengthy post on IG recently.
“I have come a long ways from this day last year. Never did I imagine myself to sashay down this path and to actually love it! It was always a dream in my heart & mind to represent the Philippines internationally but as an athlete in track & field or as a long distance runner;
“Sometimes we have dreams cooked up for us that will come as a surprise. I wanted to thank everyone who has been part of what is just the beginning of this adventure, from Madam Stella, Sir Gines & Ma’am Liliana, to my trainers, my friends, family, my mga moons, to the brief people I pass by in the malls and those who express a “good morning/afternoon ma’am” to me while I run my errands around the metro;
“Even the MMDA officers who have pulled me over a couple times for reasons I’m still not sure about (lol.) I made it a point to observe every individual only to find the peace and kindness that lay in each person;
“Through certain trials & tests I have been far from perfect in both my speech & action, I’ll be the first to admit, and I’ve found that in these moments underneath all the layers of impatience, misunderstanding or simply being tiresome, my own heart wanted nothing more than peace and kindness;
“I read a quote by Mother Teresa that stuck to me, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Without all these “small things” I may have never learned that I prefer sweetness over the taste of bitterness;
“That patience is power. That observation can be a great source of education. And that the only way to define any word, person, moment or any thing at all is to experience them;
“A year ago today if you’d ask me to define what a queen is, I’d tell you the most valuable piece in a chess game. Today I’ll tell you that you can find a queen in the fearful eyes of any girl or woman who’s brave enough to hold close to every dream she owns. In 2017, I maybe met over thousands of queens,” Rodriguez said.