Owning the moment

Eva Psychee Patalinjug

Her recent title supports the distinction of the Queen City of the South as a bastion of beauty.

Despite her impressive credentials and pageant experience (she has her own makeup line, is a registered nurse taking up Law, and 2014’s Mutya ng Pilipinas), Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 Eva Psychee Patalinjug confessed that she was a bundle of nerves during the pageant.

“When our hair and makeup was done, we gathered in a circle to pray. My eyes welled up, and I was like, “Please, not now because maguba akong makeup.” Maybe because it was the moment when it all sunk in. It was a long journey since we started early January this year. All the hard work, training, walking with all the bruises… Backstage, we realized that there will only be six girls among us whose lives will be changed after this,” she said.

The lady definitely knows what she wants.

Specific and quick-witted, the 24-year-old traded her white cap for a crown and hopes to someday hold her own in the political arena.

“My dad is ending his term next year and I am next in line. So councilor sa,” she declared.

For now, the beauty queen is all set to give it her all as she represents the country in the international pageant come Oct. 25 in Myanmar.

A fighter who wears her heart on her sleeve, Eva aims to inspire women who dream of owning that “stage,” be it in pageants or in the workplace. (NRG)


How’s life after the pageant?

It’s kind of overwhelming. We are now on our media rounds and I just took a time off for like five days just to come here to Cebu because since then we never had rest.

What have discovered about yourself after the pageant?

Everything is limitless if you believe in the power of your dreams because since the start I was really determined to be what I want to be. To be the better version of myself than yesterday so I continue to strive hard in everything that I do. I did not join the competition for the experience, I joined because I want to win. Like I did not go to school to learn, I went to school because I want to excel.

Where did you get this drive to be competitive?

It’s the way I have been brought up. My parents always instilled in me to be well-rounded. They are strict when it comes to household chores, excelling in school, honing my skills and capabilities as well as improving my talent. When I was young it was always home and then school with the bodyguards and to some people they would take it the wrong way thinking basin tuuk na kaayo as a kid.


Yes, my folks were politically inclined in Lapu-Lapu. There’s this one time nga nawala daw ko and I was just in the house of a friend because we were finishing our schoolwork. Bungkag tanan with checkpoints all over Lapu-Lapu because they thought I was kidnapped. But going back they may say that the strictness is too overboard but I never had any issues about it because for my parents to raise me up like that—it made me who I am right now.

Who are your role models?

It may sound cliche but it has to be my mom and dad. They have always been my source of inspiration and I can’t thank them enough on how they raised me. I just look up to them. They are not the perfect people, especially now that they are already separated still I look up to them with  all their mistakes. Let’s face it, we are not perfect.

Let’s go back to the night of the competition. Who do you think was your biggest competitor?

Of course, we all know that Catriona Gray was the one to beat. Everybody thought that it was the strongest batch because daghan kaayong gwapa, all are intelligent and we’re diverse as well as all of us have a story to tell. And most of us have our own advocacy. Not to put them down, but the past pageant it was enough that you’re beautiful and intelligent, but as the time goes by the pageant arena has changed and they need a woman of substance or a woman who has the passion to serve other people. Everything has become holistic, our pageants have evolved.

What goes into your mind before you hit the stage?

When our hair and makeup was done we gathered in a circle to pray. My eyes welled up, and I was like, “Please, not now because maguba akong makeup. Maybe because it was the mement when it all sunk in. Iit was a long journey since we started early January this year. All the hard work, training, walking with all the bruises because usahay madapa man gyud ka with our high heels. Backstage, we realized that there will only be six girls among us whose lives will be changed after this. Not only me but every contestant would want that title but apart from that is we would be missing each other. Though we still have our group chat that we’d be hitting the beach after.

What’s your most memorable moment during the pageant?

The whole journey to me was memorable. Lahi ra man gyud siya because it’s a long process and you will learn a lot from each other as well as from the journey itself. Which is why nakahilak mi tanan during the commencement, of everything that you’ve learned and you’ve worked hard for. So even until now it still has that heavy feeling, naghuot lang gihapon akoang paminaw remembering all the things that I’ve gone through.

Did you always aspire to be a beauty queen?

Maybe because part of my upbringing I do remember my mom would always want to be one. Not just with beauty pageants but she has instilled in me to excel in various fields like sports or music, so I was also into both back in school. I would say my mom is a frustrated beauty queen so siguro she also wanted me to do things that she sort of missed out when she was a little girl pa ba. But it’s not only me, funny kaayo I remember there was this one time in elementary school when me, along with my two youngest sisters were competing with each other all at the same time. It’s one of those A1 child competition and kami tulo nakadaog. I was able to continue doing the rounds of competition because ako man dayon himuon nga muse sa amoang classroom. I always get pushed to do this things and willing man sab ko to do it, with no complaints.

Is it hard?

It’s hard because people are expecting you to always stay pretty. One time way back 2015 I gained a bit of weight, little lang gud and I won Mutya Ng Pilipinas na during that time. I was going out because I was invited to judge and people were critical about it na. “Tambok lagi ka!” My impression was I only gained that little weight and I already got that flak how much more for an ordinary person. Kanang ingon ana nga remarks if I hear from my friends body shaming other people hapakon gyud nako sila. Like right there and then I would say nga: “Bad kaayo ka! Wala lang ka kahibaw unsa ilang giagian and wala ka kahibaw nga ganahan sila ana nga lawas or lami lang gyud ikaon, magbuot diay ka.” So hapakon gyud nako even with my friends if they’ll say such kind of remarks mokalit lang gyud ni og hapak akoang kamot. Critical kaayo ang ubang tawo and you can’t expect everybody to be perfect. Ako man gani na depress after adto nga remark how much more with other people, why can’t we be just happy for other people?

How do you like to see yourself in the next couple of years?

I should be in Law. I know and I already figured this out because I already scheduled my life. My friends would laugh at me because I schedule my life and I would tell them that part of realizing goals includes timelines and deadlines and I know naman that you can’t achieve everything at once so scheduling is already a good step.

So you’re very particular about will and hardwork?

After I graduated and was a registered nurse I then joined Mutya Ng Pilipinas. Back then I also worked because I don’t want to just sit waiting for rakets so at the age of 21, I already worked for a multinational brand with a managerial position. Many guys ahead of me would ask my age and they’d thought I was 25. I’d take that as a compliment because it goes to show that they see me as someone who is mature.

From a registered nurse, to wanting to become a doctor then switching to Law. How did this all come about?

In Manila I was working hard and I even experienced working on my birthday so with all these experiences it has prompted me to look back on why I was working so hard when I can just be at home. One day it just dawned on me why I became a registered nurse it’s because I always wanted to be a doctor. Immediately I packed my bags and came back here in Cebu telling my dad that I am ready to become a doctor. Pero my dad sort of like demanded that since I already have work magtunga mi sa tuition. With all the fees and expensive baya ang Medicine I then decided that I may as well pursue Law at least dili kaayo siya mahal. I am right now paying for my Law school because of the savings that I made working while I was in Manila. I am now in my second year in Law school and people are saying, that I am following in the footsteps of my Mom, a registered nurse and a law student. It was no way unplanned gyud because ganahan sab baya gyud ko mag doctor. Siguro dinha gyud ko destined—to become a lawyer.

As a lawyer what would be your focus?

I want to focus on corporate law. I’ve seen and have been with the corporate world already pero if dili man gani I will be a politician. My dad is ending his term next year and I am next in line so councilor sa. I have been an SK chairman and I have a percentage know-how of the political arena, taphaw lang. Pero when I get to be in the political arena, then maybe I can learn by being the councilor of Lapu-Lapu during the day and studying Law at night.

What’s your take on the brouhaha over your answer during the Q&A?

Dili ra man gud negative akoang nakit-an. Daghan man sab kaayo ang positive like if other beauty queens use a quote, why can’t Eva? Niana gud ko if dili ka ka-answer sa question i-bash ka, if maka-answer ka i-bash ka, if lahi imong opinion sa ilaha i-bash ka and I was like, My God! Nobody is perfect.

How do you deal with bashers?

You will always receive criticisms whether positive or negative and you just have to accept them with open arms. The important thing there is if you know yourself dili man gud ka ma-down kung unsa pa na ilang isulti. You just have to listen to those who you can trust, and to those you love because sila ang mo-sulti sa tinuod. They say na you shouldn’t care what other people say but you do care, masakitan sab baya ka. Nasakitan man gani ko adtong pag bash nila nako pero I shrugged it off and just focused. That what matters is the opinions from the people that I trust.

Any plans of joining showbiz?

I always wanted to be part of it knowing that my uncle is the renowned Carlo J. Caparas. I remember in every project of his iya gyud kong ikuyog sa iyang shootings. I have worked with Christopher de Leon and Assunta De Rossi. They have this upcoming project which I was supposed to be part of but I had to beg off considering my current obligations with Binibini. Probably after na lang siguro. I can do showbiz pero not full-time.

What sacrifices did you have to make?

During the entire pageant I was craving chocolate cake and ice cream, though my favorite is cookies and cream. I even told myself that after the competition that I should indulge because it has been awhile like the whole year of 2017 I was preparing and disciplining myself. Currently we are doing media rounds and I am giving myself two weeks or a month to enjoy what I want like going to the beach or eating my favorites like calamares and kare-kare.  I am giving myself a break and then back to preparations again.

How’s it being up close to the icon that is Stella Araneta?

Iya ming i-hug and kiss and every after activity. She always asked for us to see if we are okay. She would always ask us, how are you? And there was this one time when I asked her back; you always asks us how are we but we never get to ask you how are you, how are you? And there she was opening up to us. She is like a mother. She is old na and sometimes makalimot na siya.

I am very lucky because during meetups I’d strategically position myself to be by the door thus I always reserve a seat beside her: Okay, sit down, Madam. And then we talk. With the girls she would share about her life and we are like her daughters because wala baya siya’y anak.

What’s your message to your five-year-old self?

Continue to do what you’re doing because you will achieve what you want in life. Continue to strive hard and if ever failure or challenges will come your way never give up. Continue to reach for your dreams because you will get there if you want to. Keep your feet on the ground because it’s what’s
important and learn to value and appreciate the people around you because they will really help you.

TAGS: moment, THE
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