If you've enjoyed last month's Tea with Queens, you'll love this month's queen too! Some of you might know that I've been lucky enough to blog about Miss Singapore Pageant International (MSPI) by Singapore Womens Association (SWA) in 2017 and this month's queen won the title of Miss Singapore Supranational 2018! Introducing 2018's Miss Singapore Supranational; Priyanka Annuncia!
I met Priyanka last year while I was at my full time job, and now she's my personal trainer (you would have seen her on my instagram every now and then!) and now, my very dear friend. In a nutshell, she's a badass boss lady and is an absolute inspiration.
I asked her to share her views on women empowerment with you guys, and this was what she has to say!
"I LOVE IT! Empowerment of any kind is extremely motivating. Women Empowerment has been specifically sought after because of how different it was back in the day when women did not have a voice and were oppressed, they could not express their opinions and were defined by society. But as time went on, people began to change, women and men got bolder and raised awareness for women’s rights, equality etc. Even till this day it is still going on, but we have come a long way! Thank you to all those who fought for freedom!"
I think it's important for me to say that wanting to empower women is not the same as being a 'feminazi'. I think there have been extremes in the whole movement of women empowerment, and fair treatment and all that and people tend to generalise. I feel that it's great that women are able to express opinions and be influential as well, though some women may not be as fortunate in other parts of the world. I think it's great that Priyanka has her own view on things at such a young age. I think it's something that a lot of young women can learn from her too.
Most of us girls (myself included) grew up watching Miss Universe on the tele and Priyanka was definitely one of them. However, it didn't really cross her mind to actually join one until she read my post on MSPI and did a little more research on the pageant herself. She was drawn to the fact that MSPI focused on Beauty with a Heart and Purpose and had provided a wide set of experiences and training for their contestants to grow and develop their skills. She also shared with me that she wanted to be more involved in charity work, and since MSPI was organised by SWA, she was even more inclined to join the pageant.
Besides winning the title of Miss Singapore Supranational 2018, she snagged 4 other subsidiary titles!
Miss Crowning Glory
I could not be any more proud of this girl! Being someone who is always up for a challenge, Priyanka saw the pageant as a way of expanding her boundaries. Despite feeling out of her comfort zone she eventually became more comfortable being in touch with her feminine side. Of course, the pageant did allow her to meet new friends as well, and despite being competitors, they forged friendships and helped each other grow throughout their pageant journeys.
I assumed being through her very first pageant, there would be a thing of two that Priyanka might have wanted to do differently when she reflected on her journey, but no. She shared that her MSPI journey was something she felt she had to go through in order to explore and understand herself and saying that she was definitely grateful towards her mentors in MSPI who guided her through her journey! Even when she was crowned Miss Singapore Supranational 2018, she recalled feeling grateful and honoured to be crowned, and that she would do the most she can with her title.
If that's not someone who faced challenges head on, I don't know who would be! I thought it was so brave of her to step out of her comfort zone like that, and I think its great that it was the most memorable thing for her throughout the journey!
And now, let's talk about her experience during the International Pageant: Miss Supranational!
"Miss Supranational was a whole other world to me, I mean firstly it was my first ever international pageant, in a far away country, from a person who has only been to Malaysia and some say Batam (hope you got that reference haha) Poland was a country I never thought id get the chance to go to!"
I can only imagine how scared she would have felt since she was travelling so far away from home by herself at the age of 22! But of course, being the independent lady she was, it didn't turn out to be as bad as she thought! After a 20 hour flight and meeting her roommate, they were all off to bed and the activities started the very next day.
She admitted feeling a tad bit out of place at first and she also told me she began to question her own worth. However, talking to her family and having some time to herself helped her to remember that she was an individual, and while she was there, she should soak up the experience and make the best of it.
Through her time in Poland, she constantly stayed true to herself and did not change any aspect of herself just to fit in. I'm glad she did that, a lot of us are guilty of changing things about ourselves because we want to fit in, or not seem like an oddball. It's great that she stuck to her own values and kept herself grounded. Despite that being tough, she wanted to bring positivity and empowerment to everyone around her. Needless to say, she did make great friends, and she told me they were even planning a nice overseas trip together too!
I'd say she did pretty well, taking the subsidiary title of Miss Supranational Congeniality 2018!
After her entire pageant experience, she has grown even more. Despite facing challenges and obstacles along the way, her view on pageants has definitely expanded past the celebration of diversity, as well as just a platform for women to represent their country and themselves. Of course, I asked her for some quotes that she enjoys and lives by,
“When something bad happens, you have 3 choices, either you let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you.”
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them”
I hope these two quotes inspire any of you who may be dealing with any form of drama or if you're just feeling stuck. We all have these moments and all we can do is to keep on moving! I think being able to let go of toxic things and not being involved in drama could save us all a lot of heartache. Some of us may feel like we have no direction or we're holding onto the past and it prevents us from moving on. But what has happened cannot 'unhappen', but we can chose how we want to handle what has happened!
I know some of you ladies out there are interested to find out more about the pageant itself! As mentioned before, MSPI is organised by SWA. The pageant is the highlight of their annual Charity Gala Dinner as well! If you're between the ages of 18 to 27 and you feel that you embody the theme of 'Beauty with a Heard and Purpose', you're already on your way to embarking on an amazing journey with them. MSPI's recruitment is currently underway and if you're looking to enter, you can do so via here.
Of course, if you would like to find out a little more, you can read up on the pageant via these links:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MissSingaporePageantInternational SWA's Website: https://www.singaporewomenassociation.org/
A few words from Priyanka to those of you ladies out there who have thought of joining a pageant, but are too afraid to join. Perhaps this will encourage you (:
"You’re afraid… Afraid of how people might perceive you? Afraid of losing? Afraid of being judged? Why does it matter so much? Remember that you don’t owe anyone anything. News flash, yes when you are in a pageant of course you are going to be judged and that is why it is so important to be grounded and comfortable with who you are.. You are here for your own journey! The real loss is if you kept wishing what if’s instead of taking a leap and diving into uncharted waters to see your own potential and learn so much more things about yourself"
I hope you enjoyed this month's Tea With Queens with Priyanka and that you've been inspired by her strong will and determination. She took a giant leap of faith and with hard work, a strong mind and heart, she has made it thus far! I'll see you in my next blogpost!