Ricci Jilliane Faelnar ||
She woke up to the sound of constant ringing. Still half-asleep, she fumbled to reach her phone. She pressed answer on the video call flashing on-screen, thinking nothing of it. With a classic case of bedhead and sleep heavy eyes, she accidentally answered to the Pintados Foundation. Little did she know, she was about to hear that she was selected to proceed to the pageant she was most eager for. Etched on Czarinah Cameron Castro’s face was a small sheepish grin, taken aback by the lovely news.
“It was embarrassing but I felt overjoyed. I fondly recall this memory every time I reminisce my experience,”
said Castro. She lit up with her dreamland smile, now a step closer to her goal.
This was her second time joining the pageant. She joined in 2018 at 13, setting zero expectations, only hoping to experience and learn. Her not placing didn’t discourage her, she knew it was because she hadn’t prepared enough. She dipped her toes into the water, but she hoped to dive.
“I promised, sitting backstage I looked in the mirror and told my reflection I’ll come back more prepared and aim not only to place but to wear the crown itself,”
Fast forward to 2020, she has her hand rested delicately on her waist, her almond eyes twinkling, her rich olive skin glowing as it had been rightfully complimented with her sequined royal blue gown. She stands poised and radiating, a complete stunner on the stage of the pageant.
More than what meets the eye, Castro knows how to enthrall people with her sharp wit and inherent grace. The 15-year-old is wise beyond her years, which made her stand out in the pool of young women. There is an apparent depth in her character—the substance to match her beauty, and this was greatly appreciated by the judges.
“During the pageant, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I just kept chanting in my head that I can do this and that whatever the result I would still treat myself to a lot of cake,”
Welling up within her was confidence and faith in her growth as a contestant. Deep down, she had the courage to face whatever may be thrown at her. She had prepared herself in more ways than one.
A long moment passed. She then heard her name called as the Miss Teen Pintados 2020, and a wide dimpled smile started forming on her lips. Bowing in utter glee, she had just fulfilled the promise she kept to herself. With the studded crown perched on her head, she beamed ever brightly. What once was a dream was on top of her pretty little head now.
“I am able to help a lot more people and it’s heartwarming to somehow be someone the youth can look up to. After my reign, I plan to not only limit myself and my reach solely through the stage but also to other platforms where I can communicate my advocacies and fight for the causes I believe in,”
With her charisma and appeal, Castro shines as a role model. She keeps herself busy with the plentiful commitments and causes she never fails to attend to. She is a force of nature, her eyes dead straight on endeavors she had set her mind to. She might go through and win more crowns on her head.
One thing’s for certain, Czarinah Cameron Castro has a blindingly bright future ahead of her.