Dusky Bicolana crowned Miss ROTC Philippines

MANILA – Philippine Army cadet Angel Brahms Bernaldez was crowned Miss ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) Philippines at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City on Saturday night.

The morena beauty from the fishing town of Rapu-Rapu in Albay province bested 23 cadets from different higher education institutions (HEIs).

A victim of bullying due to her skin complexion, Bernaldez eloquently delivered her winning answer to the question on why should she be crowned the first Miss ROTC Philippines.

“Ever since I joined the ROTC Program, I have strongly shown the cadets in our school my strong work ethic and genuine love for the country which makes me deserving. Coupled with my genuine passion to serve my country, I take it as important that I know what I want to do and what I can do,” said Bernaldez, a freshman taking up Elementary Education at Bicol University.

After winning as Miss ROTC-Luzon in September, Bernaldez said she prepared physically and mentally for the national competition.

“The preparations that I have done other than preparing my physical strength are for my mental health. Given that we are exposed to a large range of people, we have to present ourselves in a way that we can be an inspiration to the youth and our society,” she said in an interview.

Bernaldez is proud of her humble beginnings.

The daughter of a security guard and a former overseas Filipino worker turned full-time homemaker, Bernaldez said she enlisted in the ROTC to develop her character and discipline after experiencing bullying.

She received a cash prize of PHP50,000, a laptop and gift certificates from a clothing apparel.

Mikaela Ingaran of Angeles University Foundation was first runner-up honor while Julianne Rose Reyes of Patts College of Aeronautics was second runner-up. Both represent the Philippine Air Force.

Senator Francis Tolentino, the founder of the ROTC Games, said the Miss ROTC Philippines is a unique platform to show that the program and national defense are also for women.

“Women are part of the national defense,” Tolentino said on the sidelines of the pageant.

The senator said the Miss ROTC contest uniquely promotes the program to the youth.

“I hope we will re-echo the collective voice here that ROTC is for all,” Tolentino said. | Philippine News Agency