With the right blend of smarts and personality, Bicolana morena beauty Angel Brahms Malavega Bernarldez topped other entries to emerge as the Miss Reserved Officer Training Corps Luzon champion in the pageant held last Saturday night, September 16, at the Cavite State University International Convention Center.
A native of the fishing town of Rapu-Rapu, Albay and an ROTC Army cadet, Bernarldez, like the rest of the other contestants, were asked to parade in both regular and parade uniforms, execute military movements like hand salutes, vie in the usual question-and-answer segment.
The Bicol University Elementary Education freshman believed that she ultimately won the nod of the judges with her answers when asked about her advantage over the rest of the field.
“I humbly replied that I believe my dark skin complexion was my advantage because I want to bring it to a bigger platform as my own advocacy against bullying and discrimination because of our skin color,” she said in recalling her own experiences, and a reason why she was drawn into the ROTC.
“Indeed, we can do so much more as one and do so much more,” added the dusky Bernaldez, an only child whose father is a security guard and mom, a former OFW, and presently full-time homemaker.
The newly-crowned Miss ROTC Luzon winner was surprised and delighted that she won, and now feels pressured at the same time.
“I really did not expect to win because others seemed better in their walking and talking. The way they moved was exceptional. Now I also feel pressured since the competition is not yet finished with the national finals coming up. I need to be better in the way I talk and walk,” she stressed.
Crowning her were guests of honor Sen. Francis Tolentino, who is the moving spirit behind the ROTC Games, as well as Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera.