Bb. Pilipinas 2008-World Janina San Miguel is slowlygetting more attention not because of the crownshe earned, but because of her booboos during the"Question and Answer" portion of the Coronation Nightlast Saturday, March 8, at the Araneta Coliseum.
While people make fun of the incident—which is spreading fast in cyberspace and has more than 280,000 hits in thevideo-sharing website You Tube—former beauty queens, 1993 Miss World SecondPrincess Ruffa Gutierrez and 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez, took itseriously and gave Janina some advice.
THE BOOBOO. Janina initially wowed the audience when she confidently toldthe pageant host Paolo Bediones, "No, I don't feel any pressure right now."
However, Janina looked like she had a hard time maintainingthis impression when one of the judges, Ms. Vivienne Tan, asked her thequestion, "What role did your family play to you as candidate to Binibining Pilipinas?"
When she answered the question, Janina started to show somenervousness, which caused her to lose her focus and started speaking inatrocious English. She replied, "Well,my family's role for me is so important because there was the wa... They're... Theywas the one who's very..." then, she laughed upon realizing her mistakes.
Trying to keep herself calm and composed, Janina continued,"I'm so sorry, Ahhmm... My pamily... My family... Oh my god... I'm... Ok, I'mso sorry... I... I told you that I'm so confident... 'Eto, wait..." This was followed with a laugh again after realizing that she uttered a Tagalog word.
Despite the blunder, Janina managed to finish answering thequestion. As if asking the audience tounderstand her, Janina went on saying, "Sorry guys because this was really myfirst pageant ever because I'm only 17 years old. I did not expect that I came from, I came from one of the top [which she pronounced as "tough"] ten. So... But I said that my family is the mostimportant persons in my life. Thank you."
THE ADVICE. Inthe midst of the public's outrage against the Bb. Pilipinas judges and Janina,who was crowned as the Bb. Pilipinas-World despite the incident, Ruffaexplained to ABS-CBN News the importance of showing one's competence throughspeech and through the process in beauty pageants.
She said, "Ibelieve that a beauty pageant should be judged not only for the beauty but forthe brains. Kasi you're representing your country in an internationalcompetition. You're gonna be with different delegates from different countriesso you have to represent the Philippines in the best way you possibly can.
"So, that's not just your physical beauty and also the way you speak, the wayyou carry yourself. I mean, pangit naman sabihin ang mga Pilipinang, you know,hindi marunong sumagot, 'di ba? Hindi marunong mag-English. To think na98 percent of our population ay nag-i-English,"
Ruffa then added her advice to the Miss World winner, telling the 17-year-old girl not toget discouraged by all the ridicule; instead, she should gain strengthfrom it to make herself better.
She also pointed out, "BinibiningPilipinas-World [Janina] has seven months. So dapat gamitin niya yung seven months na'yon para i-challenge yung sarili niya. Mag-aral siya, mag-aral siya ng speechlessons; mag-aral siya how to have confidence, how to carry herself, at ipakitaniya sa mga taong nagri-ridicule sa kanya, 'Aba, kaya ko 'to. Magsa-shine akosa Miss World at gagalingan ko the next time."
Lastly, she remindedJanina, "But always remember, beauty with a purpose and beauty withbrains,"
Former beauty queen Melanie Marquez also gave her piece of advice to Janina. She was once being taunted for havingdifficulty speaking correct English but later on it became her trademark in showbiz.
Melanie authored a book titled Don't Judge Me, I'm Not A Book, acollection of her funny and famous malapropisms. Among these were, "Don't judge my brother; he's not a book," "Idon't eat meat, I'm not carnival;" and "And to you, Mrs. Dee, I have two wordsfor you: Ang labo mo!" which was her message to her former husband Derek Dee.
For someone whounintentionally misuses English words or phrases, Melanie applies thissimple rule: "May karapatan siyang magkamali sa Ingles kung maganda siya."