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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Beauty Queen Jea Jinerel B. Quejada

JEA JINEREL B. QUEJADA, RMT and Future Doctor to the Barrios. 24 years old. Your ally in public health and medicine and your humble community leader. Jea is multi-award winner and presently a contestant in the Mutya ng San Francisco beauty pageant.

What inspired you to participate in this pageant?

I believe that Mutya ng San Francisco is not just a competition for whoever has the healthiest physique, the academic excellence, and extravagant talent, it is also for women who have been partaking and working already together with Non-Governmental Organizations and the Local Government Unit, in bringing about grounds of transformative change in the community even before joining one. Hence, it inspired me to have this extension of giving back the love and service for my fellow San Franciscohanons. The home who witnessed my growth, my dedication and my sincerity as a community leader for more than 10 years now. That, we, leaders, too can be a queen of not just the face but of holistic substance carrying and making sure that advocacies will transpire.

2. What qualities do you think are important for a beauty queen?

A Beauty Queen should be a woman who embodies metamorphosis—forged by the trials of her past, fueled by the drive of her present, and embracing the aspirations and hope of a bigger horizon of tomorrow. Beyond mere aesthetic charm, she must exude transformative depth, radiating compassion in every encounter, exuding boundless optimism, and embodying a well-rounded holistic existence to serve as a beacon of inspiration. For I firmly believe that a genuine QUEEN is not measured by the crown on her head, but by the virtues she embodies and the lives she gets to touch with her inspiration and influence.

3. How do you plan to use your platform if you win this pageant?

My work as a transformational leader for more than 10 years now in our community has already been established, and I aspire to still continue and reach more people, organizations, and respectable stakeholders in order to sustain the humanitarian initiatives, environmental causes, and holistic projects for all San Franciscohanons. I will also continue to work on my “the I project” to inspire everybody the prime significance of self-discovery and pushing through with my advocacy which is the “W.E. C.A.N. movement project” which stands for “WHOlistic Empowerment for Youth through Community Engagements and Nurturing” with its areas of focus in line with United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Developmental Goals which aims to connect 27 baranggays of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. I chose this cause because I have always believed that when we empower our youth, we are transforming our community.

4. How do you stay confident and maintain a positive attitude during the competition?

In February of this year, I achieved the feat of summiting the tallest mountain in the whole Philippines. Since then, I’ve likened the ‘Beauty Pageant Competition’ to a peak waiting to be conquered. My drive towards adrenaline adventure and athleticism as a hiker, mountaineer, cave guide, road runner, and trail runner, I’ve cultivated a resilient and positive mindset to tackle this new challenge. I’ve learned to just enjoy the process, to take one step at a time, and embrace the power of humble beginnings as a first-timer. Every expert was once a novice; no one begins with mastery, but everyone has the potential to finish strong.

5. What challenges have you faced during your pageant journey, and how have you overcome them?

The fear of coming out as a candidate and be judged as just “bright rana but di kabalo mulakaw” in our vernacular language is one the biggest challenge in my pageant journey. Because no one ever saw me walking down with heels, I am just an ordinary woman walking with flat sporty shoes. To be honest, I have been content with that, but I have always worked and invested so much on myself for 24 years now that is why I have been launching my “the I project” because I really understood the importance of loving and knowing thyself because that is the best gift you can offer to the society. Thus, despite having setbacks and receiving limiting comments about my capacity as a beauty queen, I use the pain of discipline and my personal mantra which is “living a life without regrets” to fuel me to go out of my comfort zone and voice out and push through my advocacy from my “the I project to a “WE CAN movement project” to rally people together to invest in our youth and empower their potentials as a San Franciscohanon.

6. What do you think sets you apart from the other contestants in this pageant?

Being able to transition from just an organizer and facilitator of pageants to becoming a candidate— that in itself is already an edge. It’s like embarking on an adventure into uncharted territory but making sure I have the best weapon— my experiences, my advocacies, my inspirations, my people whom I serve with, my sincerest intentions, and my core values so that I can survive, thrive and shine the brightest among the beauty of the stars.  Understanding both dimensions in a strategic manner and using my lapses as a first-timer candidate and learning so much from it that despite having zero experiences in beauty pageant, I will use it as fuel to turn holistic degrees to own it as my strength and a challenge to propel myself forward in this competition.

7. How do you balance your pageant duties with other responsibilities in your life?

My experiences in serving as a Supreme Pupils Government President in my formative years, Supreme Student Government President during my high school years; joining extracurricular activities as a student journalist, team leader, and a researcher; and working hand in hand with Rotary & Rotaract Club of San Francisco and other governmental and non-governmental organizations as community leader prepared me so much in balancing my time. I set properly my priorities and schedules ahead of time as a pageant candidate, as a registered medical technologist and my duty as a cave & community tour guide in our province– Agusan del Sur. Through this I can guarantee that every pillar of my life is well taken care of and no avenue will ever be compromised.

8. What do you think is the biggest issue facing young women today, and how can it be addressed?

With technology advancing and globalization on the rise, along with the pervasive influence of various social media platforms and the emergence of artificial intelligence, young women are increasingly pressured to conform to unrealistic standards of “perfection” and “dependability.” I strongly believe, beauty pageants present a potential avenue for addressing and mitigating the adverse effects and mindset fostered by these technological developments. Participating in beauty pageants can serve as a means of educating the younger generation, emphasizing that the pursuit of perfection is an illusion and that there is no need for comparison or conformity to fleeting trends. Saving them from the domino effect of mental health problems. Furthermore, beauty pageants provide a platform to underscore the irreplaceable value of human knowledge and capabilities in contrast to artificial intelligence. This recognition can encourage investment from various stakeholders, including individuals, organizations, and local government entities, in initiatives aimed at educating, empowering, and nurturing the talents of young women. Ultimately, the objective is to instill the understanding that technologies are there for us to govern and not for technologies to control us.

9. How do you plan to give back to your community if you win this pageant?

If given the honor and privilege of winning this pageant, I will use this avenue to lead and unite my Mutya Sisters in radiating equal opportunity to transcend borders, carry out our advocacies and merits towards a progressive society. We may be diverse and has different stories to represent, but we can draw strength in terms of sincere collaborative service to all San Fransicohanons. I would also use this platform for my “W.E. C.A.N. movement through EDUKaksyon project” allowing our youth to be more empowered, take up space, be part of the initiative and contribute in bringing our community to bigger heights of success, of progress.

10. What advice would you give to young women who are considering entering a pageant?

I hold a steadfast belief that God will never put a dream in your heart for nothing, if you feel a divine calling in your core, follow it fearlessly. Throughout my 24 years of life, I’ve considered myself a calculated risk-taker, always placing my faith in the Divine and prioritizing spirituality in all my endeavors. This journey will teach you that with unwavering self-belief and allowing the universe to guide you, anything is possible. The path to success is neither swift nor effortless. It demands immense patience and perseverance. Yet, every challenge, every hurdle, is a stepping stone towards a greater goal. At the end of this arduous journey, I as a first-timer, like you, would aspire to look back and say with me, ‘I gave it my all. Showed my best. I lived without regrets.’ So, I encourage you to embrace every step of your journey with determination and resilience. Trust in yourself, and GO RIGHT THROUGH IT.

Awards and Recognitions:

Registered Medical Technologist

Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardee

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Rotaract Club of San Francisco

External Committee Head, Alaytaptap

Volunteer, Agusan Needs Help

Student Journalist, Ang Lantao Publication

Founder and Traveler, The I Project

Cave Guide and Professional Community Tour Guide, DOT Caraga Accredited

Hobbies:

Hiker

Mountaineer

Road Runner

Trail Runner

Tennis player

Dancing and Singing

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