We're feeling extra hyped about this year's Miss Universe pageant—not only for our very own Pia Wurtzbach who's the reigning queen, but also because our home country is hosting the much-anticipated event. The grand coronation night is definitely something to look forward to, and more so because the Philippines will surely be well represented by our crowned Binibing Pilipinas, Maria Mika Maxine Medina. A true Filipina beauty, she never fails to make us proud every time she hits the runway!
In an exclusive interview with Preview, the 26-year-old beauty queen reveals what it’s like to be in her shoes, how she deals with the online bashers, and how staying positive will help her win the crown.
Hi Maxine! How are you? What have you been busy with since you've won Binibining Pilipinas?
“I've been spending my days preparing for Miss Universe, from practicing my runway walk to doing sample Q&As. This lifestyle is something new to me, so I want to fill in the gaps because I know that I have a lot to improve on. Now I am confident to say that, as days pass by, I feel that I'm getting better.”
Have you always dreamed of becoming a beauty queen since you were young?
“When I was a kid, I didn't get much attention because I'm just a simple girl. And even though I dreamed of becoming a beauty queen, I’ve always thought it’ll just remain a dream for me. Growing up, I started to love myself more and appreciate whatever I have. I just do what I love to do.”
How does it feel to wear the Binibining Pilipinas crown?
“Aside from the fact that it's heavy, it really makes me feel empowered knowing that I’ve finally come out of my comfort zone. I'm not used to joining pageants, so the crown makes me feel that I have grown up to embrace the world as an advocate and an inspiration to others.”
Speaking of which, the Miss Universe pageant is drawing near. How are you preparing for it?
“My training in preparation for the pageant is intense, but as days pass by, I feel that I am becoming more confident. I only have less than a month. I'm getting better and I'm excited to represent our country. I'm very happy that the Miss Universe beauty pageant will happen here in the Philippines because I’ll be able to share with my fellow candidates [what our country has to offer, and let them know] that it is not only rich in culture but also in natural resources.”
The last candidate from the Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, was able to bring home the Miss Universe title. Is there any pressure on your part to win back-to-back? How do you feel about it?
“The pressure is always there, but I know that if I believe and claim victory, everything will come true. We become what we think. As long as I stay positive, then I know I can do this.”
There's overwhelming support for you as the Miss Universe-Philippines candidate, but we're pretty sure that there are also bashers—even Pia had her fair share of criticism. How do you handle online trolls and how do you not let them affect you?
“I am very open to suggestions and to criticism. I don't mind people bashing me because that's their opinion. I only want to focus on positive energy because the pageant is drawing near. I go to the gym everyday to workout; I read a lot to update myself about issues here and around the world; and I practice a lot for the Q&A—from voice projection to organizing ideas and answering questions. I also work on my pageant look, which involves hair and makeup sessions. So you see, I'm too busy to deal with these bashers because I'd rather focus on my training.”
On a positive note, you have an entire country rooting for your success! How does it feel? Are you more nervous or excited?
“I am very excited! The only thing that I wish for is for the Philippines to be there for me in this journey. I always say in my interviews that I want to make our country proud.”
We wish you all the best, Maxine! Any message for your supporters?
“To my family, friends, and supporters, thank you for believing in me and in what I can do. I am grateful that you are with me in this journey. Winning Miss Universe and getting the crown will help me reach more people as an ambassador of goodwill, if God permits. It is truly in my heart to be of service to others and to do something great for the Filipino nation. I know I can make it happen with your support. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat! Mahal ko kayo.”