Maria Jasmine Apor has a grand yet noble pursuit ahead of her
By Deneb Batucan
TWO beautiful ladies clutched each other’s hand onstage, waiting to hear one of their names to be bellowed by the host. Winning the title is a dream for these two, but only one can be crowned Miss Gaisano Grand 2016.
With bated breath, they waited. And just like discovering lost treasure, it was an unexpected fortune for Maria Jasmine Apor to triumph and win the prestigious beauty title.
Jasmine recently bested 12 other candidates of the inter-school beauty contest and is now reaping the fruits of her hard work and dedication. The 18-year-old political science student from the University of San Carlos is beyond ecstatic that she’s now the Brand Ambassadress of Gaisano Grand Malls.
It was Jasmine’s third time to join a beauty pageant, her first two being school pageants. But this was her first time to win the coveted crown. “All I could think of was that I did my best and that was enough for me,” she said with a sweet smile. “When I was called as the winner, I was on cloud nine.”
With a cause
It was the first time for the long-running pageant to hold an inter-school competition, and upon hearing about it, Jasmine quickly grabbed the chance. And learning that the pageant had put emphasis on community involvement in one of its pre-pageant competitions further sparked her interest.
Beauty with a Cause challenged candidates to each choose a community or organization that would coincide with their individual advocacies, which they would then capture in a two-minute video presentation.
Aside from their ambassadress being a talented and quick-witted beauty, the Gaisano Grand Malls wanted their winner to have a charitable soul, one that Jasmine so perfectly embodies.
For her advocacy, Jasmine chose education. “I believe that education is a legacy and the children hold the future, and the future belongs to them,” she said. “I chose the children in Barangay Inayawan because compared to other barangays they are most likely less privileged than others. I had a feeding program and I also offered pairs of slippers to the children. That small step that I did, I believe, will lead to a bigger difference to the children.”
A dream to serve
Beyond her charming smile and good looks, Jasmine has a desire to serve those in need. She strives hard in school so she could fulfill her dreams of being a lawyer someday. Public service is one of Jasmine’s prime interests, and one day she aspires to serve her community as a politician.
“As a lawyer, I want to fight human rights abuses and violations,” she said. “I want to serve the public.”
During her reign as Miss Gaisano Grand 2016, Jasmine with be the face of the Gaisano Grand Malls. Community involvement activities will definitely be one of the highlights of her reign. For now, Jasmine is focused on school as she hopes to become just like her idol, Atty. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. She also has plans to run as a student body councilor the next school year. Even in her quiet and composed façade, there is a raging desire inside Jasmine that fuels her to continue to work hard to achieve her dreams.
“I believe that success is measured by your perseverance. No matter how many times you fail, if you believe you can achieve it, then why not give it another shot? Just believe in the greatness of the Lord and trust His plans for you,” she said.
Photographer: Mark Dales
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin Bastatas
Wardrobe: Gaisano Grand Fiesta Mall