Ayn Bernos knows she is not the “typical candidate,” but that’s exactly why she keeps going. Ayn, a.k.a. Rousanne Marie Bernos from San Juan City, is one of the stand-out delegates in this year’s Miss-Universe Philippines crop. Despite being new to the game, the 26-year old is finding herself consistently placing within the top five for the pageant’s challenges so far.
Ayn enters the competition with a bountiful resume, ranging from TikTok star to entrepreneur. A familiar face across social media, she continues to journey towards the much-coveted crown, making sure each step comes with an invaluable message about inclusivity, self-confidence and her very own brand of beauty.
Here are 10 facts you should know about Miss Universe-Philippines hopeful Ayn Bernos
1. She was born under the Virgo sun
Ayn’s venture into Miss Universe has shown us how hardworking, critical and clever she can be. Born on September 19, 1994, we could attribute these traits to her being a full-fledged Virgo.
2. She’s fulfilling a promise to her younger self
The industry fresh-face has had her eyes set on joining the pageant even before she was eligible. Standing 5'3 tall and proud, Ayn has always adored the competition, vowing to be a part of it when she could; so when the Miss Universe-Philippines Organization historically waved all height requirements to apply, Ayn dropped everything and went for it. Even without setting foot on the pageant stage yet, there’s no doubt her younger self is squealing at the thought of finally having a shot at the title.
3. She’s morena and proud
Ayn loves the skin she’s in, and she wants you to take pride in yours as well. The budding entrepreneur charges headfirst in challenging colorism and celebrating brown skin through her clothing line, Morena the Label. More than just their merchandise, the homegrown brand is Ayn’s way of spreading a philosophy of adoration for the rich brown skin akin to Filipinos. One could look at Morena the Label as a manifestation of what Ayn stands for, and the genuine beauty she exudes.
4. College wasn’t all smooth sailing for her
A graduate of the English Studies program at the University of Santo Tomas, she owes a great deal of what she knows now to a rollercoaster of an academic journey. The beauty queen aspirant had to let go of the notion to “graduate on time” and shifted courses in order to find out what she is truly capable of. Her new course turned out to be just what Ayn needed to hone the communication skills many people look up to her for today. The cherry on top of her college years would have to be her Best Thesis nomination for “Language and Colorism,” her study which explored how beauty standards are cultivated through media. Her findings in this project served as the foundation and driving force behind her baby, Morena the Label.
5. She lived in Spain for almost a year
Just two to three years ago, the San Juan City representative hopped on a plane to Madrid, Spain to tutor students in English. Under a program by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Ayn was a teaching assistant in public schools for nine months. With a total change of scenery, the experience of living in a different continent during her mid-20s was nothing short of transformative for the young professional.
6. You can call her TikTok royalty
There’s no denying Ayn is one of the most recognizable faces on our TikTok for-you pages. The app has launched her into the mainstream scene, but don’t think Ayn’s just a pretty face to scroll past. A quick dive into her main account shows the proud Morena taking us through her everyday life, sharing affirmations, and flaunting every aspect of herself along the way. Her following of one million users is testament to how Ayn has become one of the most endearing creators on the app.
Having said this, she recognizes the potential her platform has in helping educate anyone and everyone. On @aynperotagalog, you can catch a whiff of her teaching background as she shares her knowledge of English grammar and linguistic nuances to her viewers. Talk about using your college degree for good, huh?
7. She’s one half of Camp Confidence Radio
In 2019, the communication expert got on the mic for Camp Confidence Radio, her very own podcast on Spotify. A year later, her friend and fellow entrepreneur Rizza Lana-Sebastian joined in and served as Ayn’s co-host. Sharing their journey towards self-improvement, success and confidence, the podcast is where you can listen to Ayn and Rizza as if they’re your very own big sisters. If her insights in any of the show’s episodes indicate anything about her, it’s that Ayn is dedicated to empowering her fellow women through anything she does.
8. She’s a fitness junkie
While she’s known for what she does online, the Miss Universe delegate is just as active offline. Her preferred stress reliever? Wall climbing. Ayn swears by Climb Central Manila. She’s talked about how wall-climbing has become a way for her to maximize her physical strength, and has introduced her to a supportive community of fellow enthusiasts. When she’s not climbing, Ayn is an all-around fitness junkie. The 26-year old keeps her blood pumping with regular work-out sessions and a maintained diet, and has even shared her experience with an online fitness program in her YouTube channel.
9. She’s a strong, independent woman through and through
The content creator does not hesitate to get candid with her followers. In one of her TikTok videos, she recalls the story of how she called off her own wedding at 22 years old, and how she recovered from such whirlwind events. Ayn fortified herself with nothing or no one else but herself after the break-up. By taking the time to reassess things, Ayn found herself traveling the world, discovering new hobbies, launching a business, and now possibly preparing to step onto the Miss Universe-Philippines stage. If there’s one thing we can pick up from the pageant debutantes’ story, it’s that a woman can, and will, persist.
10. She dreams of becoming a published author
With everything Ayn’s achieved so far, and everything she’s for sure only going to keep achieving, the multi-faceted young lady has a vision she’s set to manifest in the next five years. While these trying times have shifted our expectations for the future, Ayn has her eyes set on adding “published author” to her long list of credentials. The girl loves to read, and it’s evident she also loves to spread the things she learns. One could imagine the range of topics Ayn’s first hardbound could be about, but whatever it will be, you can be sure that words clad with acuity and grace will leap out of each page.
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