TAKE it from this queen who knows her priorities.
Phoebe Tutor Godinez was all set to conquer and represent the country for World Miss University in Seoul, South Korea.
But last-minute setbacks led her to decide that there’s more to the crown at the expense of her entourage and her well-being. Spoken with such aplomb, “prestige does not put food on the table.”
A win is still a win and despite backing out the last minute, Phoebe still lay claim that there’s still a lot at stake in the continuation of the many harvests to the crowns that place her amongst titled queens.
A runner-up for Miss Lapu-Lapu in 2016, crowned Bb. Toledo the following year, Miss Cebu Normal University, Miss Regional PASUC (Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges) and the Miss National PASUC 2018 where she won consecutively sealing a grand slam feat no other lady has ever done before.
And the World Miss University in Seoul crown would have been hers for the taking.
Presently she finds herself at the crossroads of her life—being a Mass Communication student studying Film Media and a beauty queen are not the easiest to combine.
So much is at stake for the young student ambassador. Phoebe is clearly on top of her game and at the threshold of promising beginnings.
Has it already sunk in that you won Miss National PASUC?
Winning the title, yes. But the fact that being able to represent the Philippines in Korea is something that’s still surreal, and that’s something that hasn’t ’t sunk in yet.
However you will not be able to represent the country?
Well, unfortunately, there is a lack of resources and unstable changes in the agreement. Since I’m going to another country, it would be safer for me if there weren’t those kinds of issues around now. Though I completely understand the status of PASUC and the WMU and I will still continue to give my full time and support to wherever they need me. This is supposed to be my first time to compete internationally and looking back it is by far a challenging competition. Winning is just a bonus to me. The thought of gaining a myriad of experiences hoping to take them home and share them with others, the fact that an opportunity no one else has, to carry the name of our country on my shoulder is already an honor to have.
Things happened so fast because you were studying at the same time you were joining pageants. How did you balance the two?
Good thing I have the support of my teachers on times when I am not in their class because they do know that I am doing pageants in the representation of the school. I’ve been blessed having a chill schedule so it’s half-day every day and I have a lot of free time to practice and join pageants.
Will you still be pursuing other pageants after this?
I’m not quite sure what pageant I’ll be pursuing next but for now, I’ll be focusing on resting and catching up on my school.
Going back to that night when you won the crown, what went through your mind before you hit the stage?
I always think whether I am going to win or not so before there’s this struggle with my confidence. But then I also think on how to give my ultimate performance and I am always aware and I calculate every step that I take to make everything worthwhile.
And now seeing your pictures wearing the crown …
It’s kind of weird seeing myself on stage with my gown and make-up but then I realized that, yes, I am pretty good. So now I will pursue this,
it’s something that I can tell my children in the future. Pageantry demands huge amounts of time and effort, not to mention money, but I am motivated to keep joining pageants because of my fans. It makes me happy to see them thrilled to support me and my endeavors. Knowing that they appreciate and idolize my values is a great opportunity for me to become a role model for them so that is why I continue joining pageants.
What do you think made you win the title?
What other people say about me is that I’m very natural like with the way I talk, the way I move. Like I’m not trying so hard to win and they see me as someone enjoying her life but in actuality, on the inside, I am really dying (laughter). On a serious note, I am glad that they see me that way.
What did you learn and realize about yourself after the pageant?
That I am capable of more because I use to think that I am only up to this level and maybe I am not as good as those people that I idolize or look up to. But then I can’t believe that I reached this part, and I can’t help but thank the people around who helped me and God.
Did you always want to be a beauty queen?
It didn’t cross my mind before but my mom used to join beauty pageants so she opened the topic and I said, why not!
What was the preparation like?
Well, I would considersince the day I started joining pageants it was already my preparation. The pageantry is already a training in itself so it started 2016, I did train with my handler Jonas Borces in his salon so we had it all in a video where we prepared how to go about with the question and answer. But prior to this, I would watch every pageant at my school. The first pageant I joined was Miss Lapu-Lapu in 2016 where I won as a runner-up and the following year I won my first crown as Bb. Toledo. From there I entered college and was encouraged to participate in the school pageants starting with Miss College of Arts and Sciences, Miss CNU, Miss Regional PASUC and the Miss National PASUC where I won consecutively.
And you pursued studies on Film Media at Cebu Normal University.
In senior high school I graduated from the STEM strand (Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and then I took up Mass Communications so it’s really far apart from the other focus or studies. I realized in life that with me entering the entertainment industry and if I took up Med Tech or Nursing I won’t have time for opportunities like this. I don’t want for myself to be buried in books and study all the time, which is good I know but in this lifetime I just want to enjoy things. I want to experience a lot in life especially with things like this.
Between film and pageantry, which comes closer to your heart?
I would choose school as my priority. Well, recently I actually had to make that decision because I was supposed to join Binibining Cebu last year and represent Toledo. But because of absences upon the advice of my principal that if I will be absent for too long they had to drop me. That time I won the crown of Miss Toledo and I was supposed to be the official candidate and it was a hard decision because I had to think about the people affected on what they have to do to replace me. I learned a lot from that experience.
What are these films that made an impression to you?
Well the last movie that scared me was “The Nun.” There’s just something about these horror movies but my favorite movie of all time is “Forrest Gump.” I really like the story of that movie like for a simple person like him and he doesn’t know that he’s already that awesome and successful like ignorance has never been bliss.
How do you want to see things in five years’ time?
In the future, I hope to see myself having a good business. Perhaps 10 years from now, I will have established many points in my life and hope to settle down and work on building the lives of my family. For it is also my own little advocacy to impact the world in my own little way by providing jobs for people and instilling the lessons and values I learned into my family.
What are the things about you that most people don’t know?
I love the water and I love swimming so with that I became a certified open water scuba diver. I am not a big eater and in life, I prefer to do things that are practical rather than ideal. I like dancing. And as much as possible I try to avoid conflict.
What gift will you give yourself for Christmas?
Rest, actually. The past few months have been blessed with lots of activities and opportunities and me and my family have been very busy but for this Christmas, I hope to be gifted with time to rest and enjoy myself with my family.
Describe your ideal guy.
Well, I noticed that I am into the mestizo-looking. But other than the appearance what’s more attractive is someone who is a good provider. I’ve also been through those time and stability is important because I’ve realized the importance of a parent providing for their children.
You are very particular about familial relationships …
I value the relationship between me and my family. I do my best to practice my Christian values daily. When I do things I always try to give it my 101 percent. I dislike people who aren’t consistent.
Being a millennial, what advocacy comes close to your heart?
I am connected with an organization wherein every Christmas we would go to Liloan’s Sto. Niño Children’s Center. So we give gifts and we spend time with the children. What I realized is charity is the only way we can help these children. Cliche as it may sound but it does set the meaning of purpose, being beautiful on the inside and outside. All these glitz and glamour will go away but with the little help we give to these kids, that I think sets a mark.
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