Maxine & Winwyn share their unforgettable beauty pageant experiences

Many expect beauty queens to be perfect. But in reality, these gorgeous women with good hearts and sharp minds are just humans – hurt by cruel words and hustling for survival. Miss Universe-Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina and first Pinay Reina Hispano-Americana titleholder Winwyn Marquez share engaging stories about their ‘new normal,’ and heartfelt revelations about their pageant journeys in light of their newest project “Beauty Queens” on iWant.

Winwyn, who plays the role of Cristina De Veyra in “Beauty Queens,” shared that winning a crown was her ultimate childhood dream. It doesn’t come as surprise, for we all know she grew up watching her aunt Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez conquer the pageant world. And as she becomes older, Winwyn realized that the pageant stage is a perfect place to exercise all her passions – modelling, performing, public speaking, and engaging in advocacies.

In 2015, she boldly tried her luck in the Binibining Pilipinas screening without her parent’s knowledge. She knew she won’t be getting her father’s go signal. Her dad, veteran actor Joey Marquez, was scared just imagining his princess getting scrutinized from head to toe. For him, the beautiful Winwyn doesn’t have anything more to prove. But his daughter’s loud tenacity and performance during the coronation night have totally surprised him. He then realized that there’s no stopping Winwyn from chasing her dream.

Maxine’s story was a stark contrast. Growing up shy and full of insecurities about her skin color, Maxine never thought of joining the modelling industry, much less the pageant world. She wanted to become a volleyball player then.

Then, at 18, she was persuaded by her photographer cousin to pose for a shoot. She obliged, trading her still unlocked modelling skills with a free layout of her debut party invitation cards. Maxine’s modelling photos turned out stunning, giving birth to her family and friends’ insistence to push her into joining pageants. In limbo, Maxine decided to try modelling first. Until, she finally gave in to everyone’s endless persuasion, leading her in a spot in the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 pageant and, later on, in the Miss Universe stage.

Many would think that what a beauty queen does is a walk in the park. After all, we just see them sashay on stage with so much ease, answer one-liner questions, and wave at the crowd non-stop. But those who witnessed Maxine, Winwyn, and other beauty queens’ intense trainings would all agree that winning a crown is always a hard-earned victory. Add to that, the pain that comes with rampant online bashing.

Netizens have seen Maxine getting stoned with hurtful words and comments yet she remained warm and unbreakable. But behind closed doors, Maxine was admittedly hurt. She had to go on a social media detox. And just as when she thought she could go on with her life peacefully, Maxine learned that bashing doesn’t happen on social media alone. Hurtful words can be spitted right at her face. “I was celebrating with my friends. Randomly, may lumapit sa akin. Sabi niya, ‘You shouldn’t win. You don’t deserve it.’”

Winwyn had the same experience with a female viewer who got totally annoyed with her kontrabida role in a teleserye. “Akala niya ako talaga ‘yun in real life at ang sabi niya ‘Buti nga sa’yo nasasaktan ka. Ang sama ng ugali mo.’ Nasaktan din ako pero pag may ganun, siyempre I was brought up a respectful child. Thank you na lang, iwas na lang,” said Winwyn.

Catch Maxine and Winwyn alongside Gloria Diaz, Maris Racal, Nlla Dizon, and Ross Pesigan in the iWant original series “Beauty Queens” directed by Joel Lamangan.