As we edge closer to the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 coronation night, let us look back at one of the Philippines’ well-loved beauty queens.
Here’s a rare April 1999 magazine cover of Bb Pilipinas-Universe 1994 Charlene Gonzales for Breaktime Magazine of The Varsitarian, UST’s Official Student Publication. Charlene was likened to Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, because every encounter with her is “an encounter with physical and spiritual charm”.
Charlene was on her last year in UST, taking up Psychology, and was reviewing for an exam when she was interviewed for the article. Almost five years after she competed for the Miss Universe 1994 pageant held in the country, Charlene then was already a celebrity — the Philippines’ “dance empress” and the mermaid “Dyesebel”.
“For the last five years, wala akong ginawa kung hindi puro trabaho… and I do not have a boyfriend right now,” she was quoted as saying then. But this didn’t stop Charlene from finishing her studies. School for her has become “refuge from the clutter of show business”. She played basketball for the College of Science during Inter-collegiate sports fests, leading the team to a championship round against the then College of Architecture and Fine Arts.
Her wise words back then still rings true until now: “This is all about sacrifice. Nothing is impossible, if you really want something just pour your heart and mind into it.”