Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Of beauty pageants and boo-boos

Well done, Shamcey. You've made us proud.

Yes. Shamcey Supsup did very well in the recently concluded Ms. Universe 2011. I was confident that she was going to take home the crown. After all, she had the looks, the confidence, the grace and the intelligence. I was one amongst the crowd in fever pitch hoping she was going all the way for the win.

But no, she only made it to the 3rd spot. Eyebrows raised as to Ms. Angola getting the crown, or why Supsup ranked lower than the two other contenders, and then reactions came in different sways.

Our high hopes falling short, people stoop into making snide and sarcastic, even stupid remarks, a normal inclination that may qualify as bitterness because we knew our bet fared so well in the first place. If it wasn't showing support for Supsup with great fervor, I don't know how to put it.

Perhaps this could be brought about by all that hype that many Filipinos have with beauty pageants. Yes, I watch them whenever I get the chance but I have never been a fan of them. I have always thought of beauty pageants as a root of insecurity to some and a source of entertainment to many - not so much with substance if we're really talking about real causes and issues, if you know what I mean.

People seek and expect perfection, but ironically take delight in spotting imperfections at the expense of others. Now what does that speak of a person? People are made to believe that it is acceptable to quantify beauty through physical appearance and intelligence through the hypothetical and plain rhetoric.

But looking at the other side of the spectrum, I'd like to think that the public's blind fixation on beauty pageants stems from it's ability to bring about some sort of 'escape' from the harsh realities of everyday life. People want to be fascinated, and in a way, find fascination by the glitz and glamour often associated with beauty pageants. They delve into this realm where 'beauty' is highlighted, showcased, more so glorified, making it their own. After all, who doesn't like beauty and want to be surrounded by it?

So there are remarks from some who talk about the pageant's results in unsensible, distasteful fashion, poking fun at race, skin color and even the lack of, or inability to answer in English. I say, stop the bitterness. Beauty is relative and it is never defined by what you are, where you're from or the language you use.

Shamcey Supsup may not have taken home the crown but she made us all proud. She may not have won the title, but she outshone the rest of the candidates and was a crowd favorite. She may not be Miss Universe 2011 but many believe she deserved the crown and should have won.

Now isn't that something we should all celebrate? 
Image source: http://goo.gl/zwl8L

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Well hello, Singapore!

Exploring Singapore for just three days wasn't easy and yes - bitin, needless to say. Checking out what this fine city had to offer constituted lots of walking (expect muscle cramps!) and catching buses and trains in between taking deep sighs from marveling at Singapore's splendor. No matter how pressed for time I was, it was well spent and enjoyed. The best part of it all: winding up back in the arms of my boy, who's based there. 

There are just so many things I am amazed with in Singapore. 

1. The city is generally clean and clutter-free.

2. You can easily get around the city. Getting 'lost' does not really scare you that much, especially if you're a tourist.

3. Traffic flow is 'liquid'. Motorists strictly observe traffic rules and have a full understanding of what a pedestrian lane is. 

4. People don't spit. Because this is one of my major peeves, I've found great relief here. 

5. Safe. The only thing I actually ever worried about while touring Singapore was if I could still walk (what with all that heavy walking), not my bag getting snatched or getting poked from behind by a stranger inside a packed train. 

Travel tip # 1: Dress for comfort. Your body will thank you for it.

Travel tip # 2: Bring water at all times. Water is quite expensive in SG too, FYI

Travel tip # 3. Wear protection. Sunblock and sunglasses a must.

Travel trip # 4: Have earphones. Will travel.
Travel trip # 5: Bring a map. It always helps.

Singapore is pretty much a small city but there's actually a lot to explore and discover. I'm amazed how this city has flourished from its humble beginnings as a fishing village to a fabulous and bustling cosmopolitan hub, its rich cultural diversity making it a popular destination.

the famous Merlion

Fantastic view of the city at night aboard the Singapore flyer

When in Singapore, try hawker food. Tasty, local food for cheap.

Checking out art at the Esplanade

All that walking, to the point of getting cramped that I could no longer seem to walk was a shame when I realized I've only explored parts of Singapore's beautiful whole. Blame it on time constraints. But then I can always go back there, perhaps discover there's something bright, bold and new that awaits me. I feel lucky.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love, after all

My most unforgettable experience in Singapore:

Tired and cramp from a fun day at Universal Studios, I fell almost face first in front of many people at the bus stop in our attempt to catch the bus. Bruised and embarrassed, Cyril took me into his arms, wiped my tears, hugged me tight and nursed me the entire night, not minding that he, too, was cramped and even more tired than I was. 

I am the most blessed girl in the world.

Not lucky, only blessed.