PHOTOS BY: Jay Ceniza and Fernando Jauregui


I eat a lot,” Juvel Ducay bursts into laughter when talking about a religious beauty and diet observance after coming home to Cebu from a sleepless road to the crown.

“Grabe, pag-abot nako dinhi, sus, every dinner ko mag buffet.”

An untamed heart still: a beauty titlist who is as relatable as we are, we who have to adjust the fly in our skinny jeans to accommodate more space for breathing  after a buffet.

Even after earning the title Miss Hannah’s Ecotourism Philippines, she is at home in her own skin because even before the fame of glamour was bestowed upon her, she has already made a pilgrimage to fate.

“It is my passion, and you really can’t get away from your passion. That’s true. Even though mo ana ka nga dili naka, if you really like what you are doing, then you can’t get away from it,” she goes on.

She now lives amid a democracy of images.

Ours, for one, is every moment of every day, a kaleidoscopic river of visuals—from Instagram and thousands of other streaming sites—flows endlessly over us, then
the latest bright selfies on Juvel’s accounts.

On this particular afternoon, how we encounter her has been irrevocably changed—and has irrevocably changed how we look at ourselves, too. (CHP)

How’s life after the pageant?

I have many invitations. Sa Bantayan Island, I was invited to do a photo shoot and VTR for Bantayan Tourism. I am also judging pageants like Miss Danao 2018 and was invited to join the Santacruzan. I am so honored to be part of that. Thank you, Mr. Harley Ruedas (fashion designer) for the invitation.

How did you “sell” Bantayan during the pageant?

Sa screening pa lang last February diri sa Cebu, dili jud sila (organizers) tanan kahibaw asa ang Bantayan Island. That’s why I was very happy na I introduced it to them… not just sa Cebu but nationally na-recognize ang Bantayan and hopefully internationally also. I always say that Bantayan is home.

Bantayan is paradise.

Who encouraged you to join the pageant?

I have pageant handlers, the Team Forte here in Cebu, headed by Elmer Devenancio and Noel Inez. They invited me to join the Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018 after I joined Miss Mandaue last year, where I finished top six.

After that, I decided to continue my studies and apply for a scholarship in medical school. But they encouraged me to join a national pageant. I told them I’ll think about it.

You really can’t get away from your passion, so sige, I’ll try this one (Mr. & Miss Hannah’s World Tourism Philippines 2018). Since it is a national pageant, go.

PHOTOS BY: Jay Ceniza and Fernando Jauregui

What was the most challenging part of the pageant?

Ang pinaka-challenging —ang tulog namo kay one hour lang. Pag-abot namo sa Hannah’s Beach Resort didto sa Pagudpud, Ilocos, one hour ra among tulog. Yes, like 12 hours from Manila. Among byahe from Cebu pag May 2 kadlawon and naabot sa Manila morning. Nag-rest mi kadyot then byahe
na padung Ilocos for 12 hours.

Naabot mi didto, nagbutang mi sa gamit and wala mi katulog then diretso na for a photo shoot, make-up and tanan. After that, pagkagabii kay onehour of sleep na sad, then call time for another photo shoot. Next day, two hours na then three hours na ang maximum pag last day.

Is the Question and Answer the most nerve-racking part?

Actually for me tanan gyud. You really have to be good in everything didto. Bisan man sa swimwear, gown, festival costume, and especially gyud ang question and answer. You have to be good in conveying your message.

Any tips or how to answer pageant questions?

Para nako, just be honest lang gyud. Imong i-hugot imong answers from your heart, from experience. I’ve been joining pageants before. From failures to winning the crown. And way back before ko nag-pageant, nag SK Chairperson sad ko. So I’ve been an environmentalist since then. If naa kay love sa imong ginabuhat then didto jud ka mohugot sa imong mga answers. Especially na it’s about promoting tourism.

Especially nga I’ve been promoting Bantayan Island ever since gyud. Lisud siya pero I hope na convey nako ang message and nasabtan nila.

We had an interview actually during the pageant with the proprietor sa Hannah’s Beach Resort, si Col. Ricardo Nolasco. Na’ay fromthe Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other judges. Kuyaw jud siya kay you have to be sure sa imong gipang-ingon.

I prayed to God for guidance.

When did you start joining pageants?

Actually, bata pa mi, ako sister ang gipaapil og pageant pero ako ang ganahan. Super petite man gud ko sa una. You really can’t say. Ana sila, puberty hits you so bad (laughs). There was this one pageant na dako siya sa Bantayan and ni-join ako ate. Akong gibuhat ato sa backstage kay isu-ot nako iyang gipangsuot right after sa iyang performance. Ana ko ka passionate sa pageant jud.

What was your first pageant?

First nako sa school way back, nag-start ko Miss Intramurals, first year high school. Pag second year kay ni join nako og pageant sa entire school, nadaog nako to nga crown. Since nidaug naman ko ato sa school, I could not join other pageants sa school so I joined pageants outside the school na. I joined Miss Madridejos 2010 and then Palawod Festival Queen 2011. I stopped pag 4th year high school lang kay I was running for valedictorian man sad ato na time. Thank God, I achieved that goal. Then ni-skwela ko diri sa Cebu City og Pharmacy sa USC.

Why B.S Pharmacy?

I let my parents choose sa akong kurso. Ang ako lang gi-ingon nila kay I want to become a doctor so whatever path na ilang paagi sa akoa and agreed na school so go, as long as maabot ko ani. Since sa una, I have this heart for the poor. I want to help them, treat the sick.

During your SK days, what were your key projects?

Patao is my barangay there (Bantayan). The Patao Youth Organization during my term as the SK chairperson, we did coastal clean-ups. Then we went into mangrove planting sa Omagieca Mangrove Garden. Sikat na na ron, daghan na kaayong mangrove didto and at the same time kanang kawayan na himoong railway para agianan, basta sa Bantayan na, Omagieca ang pangalan. Didto namo gibuhat ang mangrove planting.

So karon nag-adto ko didto for our tourism activity, before ko ni adto og Manila and it is one of the tourist spots na gi-promote pud.

Does a higher position in politics attract you?

I don’t wanna say no. I don’t wanna say yes, because we never know. I love speaking. I love being the spokesperson. I love guiding people. I got this skills siguro of leadership. I wanna use this para maka-help ko.

After winning Miss Hannah’s Ecotourism Philippines 2018 , will you represent the country in an international pageant?

There are three titles sa Miss Hannah’s na pageant: Miss Hannah’s World Tourism, Miss Hannah’s Ecotourism, and Miss Hannah’s Tourism Ambassador. Si Miss Hannah’s World Tourism (Jane Nicole Miñano) mo-compete siya this October. Di ba October is United Nations month, so the Philippines will be hosting the Miss Hannah’s World Tourism here sa Philippines and sabay siya sa United Nations World Tourism Organization conference in October. So kami as reigning queens, we have this responsibility to be the big sisters sa foreign delegates para mo help. At the same time we gain some knowledge on how to handle ourselves during the international pageant. So, ang unang mo compete kay si Nicole. Ang akoa as discussed kay most likely sa first quarter of 2019.

What are the changes in your life after winning the crown?

I am more conscious now. Before I joined Miss Hannah’s I only have 14,000 (followers). After winning, it increased to 18,000 followers. More people are messaging me, posting about me. I do reply. I find time. I personally reply. After the pageant, I posted na sorry, I can’t reply right now but I really find time and slowly. Ang uban ni congratulate May 12 pa gud to and until now mo-reply pa ko. Ma-happy pud sila even if dugay na. It is also my way to show gratitude to people na ni-support sa akoa.

Are you open to joining show business?

Mao na ang pangutana sa akong family, friends. Unsa daw akong plano if I go to Manila or padayon ko skwela diri sa Cebu. Partly, I wanna do it. I love the stage since bata pako. I think I’ll try showbiz. Pero naa sad sa back sa akong mind kay yesterday nakadawat ko og message from Southwestern University and I applied for a Department of Health (DOH) scholarship for medicine. They transferred me to presidential scholarship.

If you get the scholarship, how will you balance school and pageantry?

I’ve been doing modeling and pageantry in college. Independent man ko. Pag third year college pa lang nako ni-stop na ako father from working abroad. So ako na nagpaskwela sa akong self, allowance, tanan. I think during sa medicine it will be extra hard pero I think if gusto nako ma-manage man gihapon nako. Pareha ato sa Pharmacy before, even rehearsals sa fashion shows. If wala ko sa stage kay ga-review ko sa gawas. Mag dala jud ko og notes.

How about your boyfriend?

Actually, I don’t have a boyfriend. I am seeing someone but we are not officially a couple.

From being an SK chairman, joining pageants, and going to medical school, are there things that you still want to do?

Mao na akong duha ka dream. Sa medical school and sa pageantry. Hopefully, international title na.

How abot joining Binibining Pilipinas?

Sa Binibining Pilipinas kay daghan na nag message nako ana if I would go. Actually I got this invitation to train. I want pero ako pang gi-weigh ang time. It is not a joke kay Binibining Pilipinas is the biggest pageant in the Philippines. So, kana mo-focus jud ka. Mo larga ka og Manila then mag-training ka og walk, question-and-answer. Imong i-ready imong self.

What’s your beauty routine?

Wala, I eat a lot. Grabe, pag-abot nako dinhi, sus,
every dinner ko mag-buffet. Gibawi nako kay wa baya ko’y tarong kaon pud.

Do you cook?

No, I only eat. Mao na nga if ever na’ay manguyab, ingnan taka daan na di jud ko moluto. So mag klaro ta daan, mo undang naka daan or dili?

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