Note: Profiles is the Qrown’s category, featuring candidates, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, and other members of the creatives behind a candidate’s pageant journey.

Danica Dilla stands out in a sea of girls. At 5’10, the flight attendant is not just tall with a pretty face but also has a talent that caught everyone’s attention – baton twirling. She even showcased it during the talent competition last July 22 at the Miss World Philippines gala-night.

Danica like the rest of her Miss World Philippines sisters is waiting for the resumption of the pageant. We sent her a series of questions she happily answered as part of the Profile segment through email.

Qrown:  What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in joining pageants?

Danica: The biggest lesson that I have learned in joining the pageant scene which I also apply even in my personal life was to stick to my core and have a strong sense of self. Be it in the pageant world or in real life there will always be non-believers and there will always be people who will try to control you and dictate who you should be and what you should do. However, if you have a strong sense of self and you only listen to the people who matter in your life then you will never lose track of who you are. Always remember that you are the director of your story and you have to own it.

Qrown: The Bicol region has produced so many beauty queens in the past years. Would you say the pageantry is like a sport there?

Danica: Definitely. Beauty pageants in the Bicol region are well celebrated just like sports. Starting from February of the year up until October we have beauty pageants be it in barangay, municipality, city, or regional, name it we have it. Bicolanos are very serious and passionate when it comes to beauty pageants which is a big factor why the Bicol region has produced so many amazing queens who we all look up to as inspirations. 

Qrown:  As a flight attendant, what countries or cities have been your favorite?

Danica: Korea will always be a memorable country because it was my first out-of-the-country work trip. Korea is very organized and the people there are accomodating and welcoming just like us, Filipinos. What I enjoyed so much during that trip was the shopping spree at Myeondong and the discount if you have your passport with you plus the legit samgyup experience. I look forward to traveling again and creating new memories so I pray that this pandemic will end soon and we all get the chance to explore the beauty of the world. 

Qrown: What insecurities did you have to overcome before joining pageants?

Danica: Insecurities are normal. I had fought a lot of personal insecurities when I was younger but as I grow older I discovered a deeper sense of love and appreciation for myself that shattered all those insecurities. In the world of pageantry, in order for you to avoid having insecurities you need to focus on yourself and be reminded that your biggest competition is not someone else but yourself. You should not aim to be better than anyone rather aim to be better than you were yesterday. 

Qrown: A lot of people got curious about your baton twirling routine in the talent competition. How did you learn it?

Danica:  It all started when I was 8-years-old when I joined the majorette group in our school. Since then I became so passionate about baton twirling and I was granted a full scholarship during high school and college because of that talent. I was also humbled to be awarded as Best Majorette Leader for 5 consecutive years in the entire Bicol region.

The baton twirling competition in the Bicol region is equal to the intensity level of the UAAP cheer dance competition. I want to highlight that baton twirling is not just my talent but a talent of a lot of Bicolanos especially Irigueños. 

Danica shows her baton twirling skills last July 22. Photo by Carl Javin Mendoza

Qrown: Social media has become a game-changer in pageantry. How are you utilizing this and remain laser focus in competing?

Danica: Beauty Queens are expected to be an open book to the public but people should also realize that beauty queens are still humans and we all have the right to privacy. Personally, I try to balance both worlds with how I utilize my social media accounts that is why I set boundaries and limitations with what I post. I make sure that whatever I present in there I am comfortable sharing it and I try to attach a personal story that will somehow inspire people. That is how I utilize social media and remain laser focus in competing. 

Danica in her national costume last July 22. Photo by Jepoy Macasaquit

Qrown: Given a chance, which Bicolano dish that we are not familiar with that you would like to give the spotlight to?

Danica: Aside from the well-known Laing and Bicol Express. I want to give the spotlight to Bicol’s Pinangat. Pinangat is a blend of taro leaves, chili, meat, shrimp, and coconut milk wrapped in gabi leaves and tied securely with coconut leaves. I would like to encourage everyone to visit Bicol and try this delicious Bicolano cuisine.

About The Author Alexa Villano