Letters to the Editor

Maxine the winner

/ 03:14 AM February 04, 2017

Some may have thought that Maxine Medina’s answer in the Miss Universe pageant’s Q&A portion sounded like nonsense, or “somehow right” but was “obviously unwinnable” in a prestige pageant, or didn’t answer the question and didn’t have substance.

Well, more than a mouthful has been said: She has been called names, cursed and humiliated because of her answer. I would say the pageant brought out the worst in every one of us.


Should we be ashamed of Maxine? Was the question really easy for Maxine? Did she humiliate the country? Was she imprudent for not answering through an interpreter? Did she frustrate you?

To all those who have aired their two cents on Maxine’s answer, kindly ponder what significant change you’ve seen in this world over the past 10 years.


I belong to a generation of Filipinos dubbed as “millennials” in whose lives social media is said to play a vital role. Incredibly social media has gone out of control, or shall we say, social media has come to control us. In the past 10 years, it has transformed us from sensitive, humane people into destructive ones, whose souls relish in prejudice, disdain and hypocrisy.

We have allowed ourselves to be the “byproduct” of social media and to be defined by it as persons and as a nation. The social media we initially used in good faith has become an avenue of hate and animosity.

But we can reverse this. And in another 10 years, I hope others will learn from our experiences with social media and use it instead an avenue of love, positivity and hope. Because we can always be the change we want to be.

This is not the best answer to the Miss U question for Maxine. This is just a realization after what happened—after we “lost” in the pageant.

Again let me ask:

Should we be ashamed of Maxine? No, she gorgeously represented our country. She was actually one of the most beautiful women on the pageant’s stage. She didn’t get the crown, but she didn’t lose. In being part of the Miss U contest, she had great experiences. She will always be our country’s pride.

Was the question really easy for Maxine that it was simply unexplainable for her not to give the best answer? Maybe no, maybe not. The question needed an immediate, extemporaneous answer. Not everyone can be expected to handle pressure in every instant. But it doesn’t define one’s intelligence, much less one’s substance. Confidence and eloquence matter most in this kind of competition.


Did she humiliate our country? No. She surpassed all the challenges the pageant posed to every candidate. We should be proud of her.

Did she err for answering without an interpreter? Well, I did have strong reservations about Maxine’s not answering the question in our language. She might done better. It may have been the first time that a contestant from the Philippines used Filipino in the Q&A of a Miss U competition. But the brighter side of it is, despite our doubts about her as our representative, she held on to her confidence that she could answer and do well in the Q&A portion. That actually made her more than a beauty queen.

Lastly, did she disappoint? The answer depends on how you look at it. But instead of asking what Maxine should have done, ask yourself what we should have done for her to win the crown.

Mabuhay, Pilipinas!

JAIME DE GUZMAN, [email protected]

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TAGS: Inquirer letters, Jaime de Guzman, Maxine Medina, miss universe
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