On July 15, Manila time, Pauline Amelinckx brought the Philippines back to the Top 5 in the Miss Supranational pageant held in Poland, where she won 1st runner-up. It was the closest finish in 10 years since Mutya Datul won the title in 2013.
Listening to the answers between her and Miss Ecuador, it was clear that Pauline answered it from the heart. But having covered pageantry for the last few years, a good answer is not enough. It is still a beauty contest and the organization’s prerogative who they want to win. But Pauline’s triumph also showed why she was a queen that night – her dedication and heart.
The beginning of Pauline’s journey
I first met Pauline in 2018 when she competed in Mutya ng Pilipinas. Back then she had the potential. I also found out from friends in the pageant scene she already competed in Miss Bohol and won. She won a title but unfortunately was not able to compete because her pageant was canceled.
In 2020, she decided to join Miss Universe Philippines. She was a top favorite to win but ended up as runner-up to Rabiya Mateo. She worked hard and got hosting offers.
In 2022 after a year of rest, Pauline tried again. This time, she won the Miss Charity title, still a runner-up then to Celeste Cortesi. This year, she gave it one more shot and was in the Top 5. She eventually got selected to compete in Miss Supranational. Some questioned why she was selected when she could be a good representative for another crown, Miss Charm. But having gone through a lot, the management believed Pauline can fight for the country. Preparations were on for Poland.
A brief chat with Pauline
Weeks before the finals, a fan meeting organized by Pauline’s core group happened and I was invited to drop by. I also got an opportunity to share my message with Pauline on behalf of the Qrown Philippines. It was there that I told her that I was proud and that while I know she has her focus on going to El Salvador, destiny has a funny way of redirecting one’s journey. She understood what I meant and would later experience this with her Miss Supranational Philippines journey.
When one meets someone like Pauline, you get attracted not because she’s beautiful but because of how she treats you. She is like a friend and she has treated me and my colleagues in the Qrown Philippines like family. Even when I was covering when I was in Rappler, she was warm. She had a smile despite the challenges she goes through. I may not know what goes behind the scenes many times but she has a good heart.
A queen through and through
Amidst the challenges she went through, Pauline as she shared in her most recent Instagram post always wanted to represent the Philippines. She was a fighter. Her dedication was admirable. She had training with her team while juggling her personal and family life. She temporarily gave up hosting and modeling offers to compete and finally fulfill her dream.
Nylon editor-in-chief and one-time Miss Universe Philippines candidate Ayn Bernos summed up Pauline’s journey with the word DEDICATION. We could not help but agree. The night of the pageant, all of us prayed she would finally be rewarded. At last, she was close. There was some disappointment but she was a trooper, something that we all admired even more.
Social media could not help but ask what happened. But again, it’s not Christmas every day in the Philippines. We have our good days and bad days. But even if she didn’t win the top title, she won everyone’s hearts, making her the queen in everyone’s eyes.
In her own words, Pauline wrote on Instagram: “It takes a great amount of dedication toward your own personal growth and belief in your own worth to see rejection as redirection. But one thing that I learnt over the course of this journey is that we can tap into our inner strength to grow and bloom where life plants us. It is up to YOU and YOU are worth it!”
Her journey might come to an end in the pageant world. Some would say give it one last shot. But there is life after pageantry. Fans should know this. She may not have the main title but in our hearts and eyes, Pauline Amelinck will always be queen – with or without a crown.