Despite the chaos and hardships brought about by this pandemic, rays of positivity still exist if you only look hard enough. One such shining example is Monika Afable, the 17-year-old beauty queen who was crowned Miss Sinulog 2020. As the winner of the pageant, Monika is practically the face of Cebu, but she actually hails from Eastern Samar. It is in her hometown of Borongan City where the teenage beauty queen was photographes selling siakoy or pilipit, a local twisted version of the classic doughnut.
The photos were taken by her friend, Sisa Balan, who captured a barefaced Monika in simple shorts and a shirt, holding a tub of the sweet homemade snack. The public post was instantly flooded with comments praising her as a “role model” and an “inspiration.” Monika began selling siakoy in an effort to help her family in their household expenses.
This led to the Facebook page, Pageanthology 101, to reshare the post, touting Monika as the “humble queen,” which garnered more love from netizens who admired her for being down-to-earth.
Despite the praises, however, Monika’s deeds have still attracted bashers. “Sabi nila hindi naman special na yung beauty queen magbenta ng kakanin or [whatnot] kasi hindi naman po ako anak ng mayaman," she shared in an exclusive interview with GMA News.
Monika isn’t letting the negativity get to her, though. “Okay lang naman po sakin kasi sabi naman ng tita ko na dapat hindi ako magpa-apekto doon. Parang sinabihan ko na lang sarili ko na not everybody ay tatanggapin ka,” she said.
Instead, she chooses to dwell on the positive side of things, like the people who have been supporting her.
“Nag-focus na lang ako sa mga taong sumusuporta sa akin. Okay na lang po sakin kung anuman po sabihin nila. Hindi ko na lang po iniintindi. Doon na lang po ako nakatuon sa mga taong sumusuporta sa akin at nandito naman po yung family ko para i-guide ako,” she shared.
She also revealed to GMA News that aside from the downpour of positivity, there has also been modeling offers flooding in, but she’s putting that on hold for now. “Hindi pa po ako pinahihintulutan ni nanay mag-join ng modeling kasi medyo bata pa raw ako, minor pa talaga ako.”
She may not be walking runways anytime soon, but she’s definitely sharing the spotlight for being a source of inspiration amid this pandemic. Keep spreading the good vibes, Monika!