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Monday, May 20, 2024

Beauty Queen: Vanessa Estoce Swift

Vanessa is a multi-talented, multi-winner of pageants and highly accomplished beauty queen who is presently a candidate in the Reina de Mandaue beauty pageant

How did you get into pageantry? What made you want to compete?

Pageantry is my avenue in inspiring others to choose their freedom and express themselves fully. I had been caged in a foreboding male prism – that I should look like a man because my profession warrants to, because people around would like me to. What made me want to compete is the thought that I could be an inspiration to people like me or across genders that there is beauty in following your heart. Society evolves and the world is round and wide for you to confine yourself in the spectrum of others. I want to be able to get this across: beauty knows no age and there is no such thing as “too late” for everything.

What does beauty mean to you? It’s more than just looks, right?

Beauty knows no boundaries – it is encompassing. There is this one aching notion of what beauty should be nowadays say, size, skin color, language, age, and many superficial others. For me, it’s more than these. Beauty resides in the wonderful colors of inclusivity. Like love, there are no absolutions when it comes to beauty.

What makes you special? What sets you apart from the other contestants?

What makes me extra-special is my perspective and respect towards my fellow ladies and women in this pageant. I look at them as special as they are. Here, I draw out my hunger for learning and my drive to get my causes across. I am more inclined to celebrate the best in me while honoring the amazing things that make others beautiful.

If you win, how would you use your title to help others?

If I win, my platform increases. My voice will be optimized. I’d like to take Reina de Mandaue to a one-of-a-kind height in bringing not just education but also an inspiration to the younger LGBTQIA+ community. I would love to do programs that could empower these youngsters in the field of talent, knowing their rights, self-expression, and health.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned from being in pageants?

The coolest thing I’ve learned in my entire pageant journey, though I started way late, is the budding notion of full inclusivity. I think that pageantry nowadays is very welcoming. Imagine, I’ve been to more than three shows that embrace women in all colors, all genders, some, in all sizes… just gearing towards a borderless celebration of beauty.¬† This, for me, is coolest as this reflects the way I see beauty in things, in people, and in the world.

How do you deal with people who might say mean things?

There’s always two sides of a coin. Life may throw it to you in a whole lot of directions. The best way, for me, to deal with people who throw mud or just say mean things to me (or other people) is to take it constructively. As I said, joining pageants taught me to look into and focus on the beauty of everything no matter how ugly it gets. Let’s say, I boil it down to upscaling my respect.

Tell us about a time something amazing happened during a pageant!

One pageant I can’t forget about is the Mrs. Gay Cebu. The preparations and the prod is given to be grand but what makes it memorable and amazing¬† for me is the support that stemmed from a Catholic School that I worked part-time and is now my current work station. Unexpectedly, I felt their warmth and I could even see how proud they are of what I do. It gave me confidence, courage, and a realization that it is possible for a trans person like me to thrive and excel without compromising my being ME. It feels fulfilling to contribute to opening the eyes of the people around me, inspiring them, in redefining morality in the face of stricter societal standards for my profession.

What kind of person do you think does well in pageants?

Someone who isn’t swayed with the superficial currents of pageantry. I believe that the most genuine is the best and the rightful one.

Being in a pageant means a lot of people are watching. How do you stay yourself through it all?

I just stick to my core. I hold on to my soul while making my cortexes work. It is a competition but it is also a powerful platform to inspire the young and the many. Every time I see the lights, the dazzles, the stage, and the intricacies within the competition, I remind myself to stay grounded and that winning is making my causes heard.

What do you dream of doing in the future, pageant world or not?

I dream to be someone who paves way for my little trans sisters to enjoy and celebrate their identity in the aspect of society they wish to grow. I want them to bloom and reach their potential wherever they are. I want to be a beacon of inspiration  for them to express themselves in their own timelines. I still want to be an EDUCATOR and if my cards will hit right just as tonight, I will bring this in the wider stage of pageantry.

Vanessa Estoce Swift

  • A senior high teacher in Jose Chona Jo memorial National High School and a part time professor in Consolatrix College of Toledo City
  • Official Choreographer of Pasigarbo sa Sugbo represnting Lingaw Sadya Festival
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Event Coordinator
  • Cultural Coordinator
  • A former dance demonstrator in Philippine Folk Dance Society in Cebu Chapter
  • Graduated at the University of San Carlos with the degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Physical Education
  • With 21 units of Masters Degree in Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health


LGU Balamban – Hon. Mayor Ace Stefan V. Binghay

Jose Chona Jo MNHS Family

Consolatrix College of Toledo City Family

USC Batch 2008 PE Majors

Make up Artists: Nelly Peters, Dave Mayor, Lavinia Caminos Roperos and Lexine Marie Calago Loremas

Hair stylist: Rico Inon

Hon. Capt. Rogelio Mamado

Mrs. Alma Jo

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