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.

If you first don’t succeed, try again. This is probably a mantra of Jo-Ann Flores, who returned again in the pageant scene after competing in Miss Universe Philippines 2020.

Jo-Ann is now a candidate for Miss World Philippines 2021 and she is determined to win one of the titles up for grabs. We got a chance to talk with the Laguna beauty via email as she shares her story for trying again.

For our fourth profile, here’s Jo-Ann in her own words:

Qrown: You previously joined Miss Universe PH and now aiming for a crown in Miss World PH. What pushed you to return?

Jo-Ann: Going back, I still have the same reasons on why I decided to return to the pageant scene after 6 years of hiatus. One, I don’t want to have any regrets that I did not try. Also, I want to bring pride and honor to my family, to my supporters, and to Laguna. Last and most importantly, I want to share myself more with the community and I know I can do it even more with Miss World PH as its core value centers on “beauty with a purpose”.

What pushed me is simply my own will and reasons. After all, a setback should not stop us from making a comeback and pursue our dream and purpose in life. And I’m very grateful to my family and team for allowing me and supporting me in this endeavor. 

Qrown: Aside from you, Riana (Pangindian) and Tracy (Perez) are also in the batch. How is the ride different from the first time you 3 got together in MUPH?

Jo-Ann: I am really grateful to have Riana and Tracy on this journey. During MUPH, we did not have much time and chances to get to know each other and bond. Lockdowns happened and strict protocols needed to be followed during our short time together. We actually became closer during our Bantayan Island trip after MUPH. Riana was my plane seatmate and Tracy was my roomie. The three of us even talked about the possibility of joining MWP in one of our late-night talks and here we are. It feels great to have them, supporting one another and seeing how much we grew from our last stint. 

Qrown: Competing in a time of a pandemic can be challenging. How is your experience from last year different this time?

Jo-Ann: It is indeed challenging but I must say that it’s much easier this time compared to last year. Last year, rules and regulations were tighter and stricter and at the same time, we were all still adjusting and adapting. It was really difficult to move and we had fewer opportunities to be together.

I’m happy that this time we get to do more activities together. The little pain during swab test every activity is worth it with the time we get to bond, laugh and know each other, and experience fully the pageant. 

Qrown: What insecurities did you have to hurdle before joining the pageant again?

Jo-Ann: To be honest, none anymore. I had so much during my previous pageant but it is in the same avenue I was able to overcome and emerge to be the phenomenal and purposeful woman I am today. Name it –physical aspects, communication, social media presence, etc. I had all those insecurities. And the constant battle with them did not do any good to me in my last competition. I learned so much from it that I’m grateful it helped me to be more prepared this time. I’m more focused now. I know where to channel my energy and which really matters. 

Qrown: Women have faced so many challenges in the past years. How will you use your platform to promote gender equality and causes close to your heart?

Jo-Ann: As pageant participants, we are fortunate to be able to broaden our platform and reach to communicate our messages to the community. I have committed myself to use my platform to educate people on different relevant issues including gender inequality and the need for quality education of our youth without fostering negativity. I have always believed that education allows us, people, to have better awareness, understanding, and judgment of different matters which later on making us more empathic and compassionate. And that’s how I dedicate my platform too

In addition, to effectively promote one’s causes is to live by it and being an example or a  role model that can inspire others.  So with or without titles, regardless of how big or small our platform is, we can make a change if we start changing within ourselves.  

Photo from Miss World Philippines

Qrown: Next year, the country will be voting for a new set of leaders. How will you use your platform to encourage people to vote wisely?

Jo-Ann: Recently, Tanglaw 2022 – a program launched by Sulong San Pablo that aims to encourage the youth to register and vote on the upcoming election invited me to one of their campaigns. Without hesitation, I participated and stated my position on the importance of voting. My intention to continue and participate in activities and programs like this remains the same to maximize and utilize my platform.

It is not only our civic duty to vote but also our responsibility to encourage and educate one another on the importance and the power of voting properly. We owe this to our people, to our country, and to our future. 

Photo by Jepoy Macasaquit

Qrown: Why should you be one of the titleholders in this year’s Miss World Philippines edition?

Jo-Ann: To be a titleholder, I see it as more than just the responsibility to represent our country in an international competition, it is complying with the duty of uplifting and living by the mission and core value of the organization which in the case of Miss World Philippines, it is “beauty with a purpose”. 

And for one to be able to do that, more than the physical beauty, one must have a strong heart, a determined mind, and the right values and burning passion to do so. And I am more than ready to be one because I am already.

About The Author Alexa Villano