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.

Juggling life as a beauty queen and a student can be challenging. But for Bulacan’s Sherenade Anne Gonzales, she takes everything in stride by practicing time management.

For our next Miss World Philippines profile, we talk to Sherenade about balancing school, pageant duties, and what Bulacan has as one of the country’s beauty pageant hubs.

Qrown: What pushed you to join pageants?

Sherenade: I joined pageants because it would give me a bigger platform to be a voice in my community. The struggles that we face and the feeling of not being fully accepted because of our sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. I want to let people know that no matter what our Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) are, it won’t define our whole personality and ability. We are valid, and we all should be equals. And as someone who’s been living in the present, it is our responsibility to make sure that the future generations will have a life where there won’t be any fear and that they can express themselves fully and truthfully. 

Qrown: What is the one thing you enjoyed about joining pageantry? What has changed from your point of view?

Sherenade: Aside from having the platform for different causes, I enjoy the sisterhood in the world of pageantry and the people that I met along the way. Through them, I’ve learned a lot of things that develop my inter and intrapersonal skills. I get to understand how one’s been struggling too much can still share positivity and managed to stand despite and despite.

I also discovered that in this World you will meet two types of people: the one who believes and support you, regardless of your status in life, and the one who will belittle your capacity and will ignore all your efforts. These people will serve as your inspiration and strength, thank them both because they are the spices that will develop your personality throughout this journey. Making you a lot stronger, braver, and more ready to face the world.

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

Sherenade: Beforehand, I am not that confident with my body and my skin. I know that I do not have this hourglass figure nor perfect skin. I am also not famous and to be honest, in this type of pageantry, if you are well known you do have an edge already. But what keeps me going is the full support from the people who truly believe in me. I have also these powerful words from my mom in which I inculcate in my heart and my mind that ‘I am here for a reason and to always believe in the power of fate and have faith.

Qrown: Bulacan has been considered as one of the provinces in producing beauty queens. How big is the pageantry in your city?

Sherenade: My province is known for its beautiful people and yes, with utmost humility my province had produced several gorgeous women and men that compete in National and International Pageants. As per my municipality, we have the Festival King and Queen of San Rafael every two years alongside the celebration of Angel’s Festival and I am a product of the said pageant in which I am proud and honored that I had given this chance to introduce the Town of Angels, San Rafael Bulacan to the whole Philippines and the world.

Qrown: Can you share about the things you do aside from pageantry?

Sherenade: I am a woman rolled into one: (1) Student in Bulacan State University currently taking up BS Business Administration, (2) a university council senator, in which our council serves as the voice of the students, to act and to come upon a solution that will benefit the majority, (3) an athlete who loves basketball, futsal and arnis, and (4) a member of BulSU Bahaghari and last but not the least, human rights and gender equality advocate. 

Qrown: With more girls joining pageants, what qualities do you think that a beauty queen should have?

Sherenade: Pageants are not merely for women with pretty faces and perfect body, because a true beauty queen must possess a good soul with a goal to uplift others.

Photo from Miss World Philippines

Qrown: How will you use your platform as a beauty queen to uplift people in these challenging times?

Sherenade: Like many other avenues to get people’s attention and have them listen to you, pageantry is a stage where women gather together with their stories of failures, triumphs, aspirations, and dreams. I believe this platform uplifts people in these challenging times because we illuminate hope. We are women from all walks of life, part of a community, members of society and we are here in this stage to make a difference by inspiring people starting with our communities. To lead by example and to make them see that there’s progress in at least trying. We are here because we tried and they can too.

About The Author Alexa Villano