Many were indeed captivated with Kimberly “Billie” Hakenson’s standout beauty and impressive wit and grace when she joined the inaugural edition of Miss Universe-Philippines held last month, which was apparently her fourth attempt in beauty pageants.
But wait ‘til you see the stunning portraits of the “happiest 4th [runner-up]” that she uploaded on her Instagram account and we collated in this gallery that will surely make you more mesmerized!
However, did you know that we almost didn’t have the chance to see Billie’s enthralling splendor and hear the inspiring message she wanted to convey to the universe? Well, that’s because she almost backed out from the competition due to the pandemic – as what she revealed in her guesting in Magandang Buhay recently alongside fellow runners-up.
WATCH on Magandang Buhay: Kimberly on being confident with herself
“It was anxiety-filled. Like the beginning of the pandemic, the first month, sobrang hirap. Iyak ako nang iyak, mag-isa lang ako do’n. Sina Mama, ang lapit ng Cavite sa Manila, so I was really worried paano kung magka-COVID sila do’n, ano’ng gagawin ko? Do I have enough resources?” she imparted, recalling her experience of living all by herself and her dog in Cebu months ago.
Then the 25-year-old stunner continued, “And then ongoing ‘yong pageant, hindi lalagpas ang isang linggo na hindi ko mapag-iisipan na mag-quit. Back out na kaya ako? Balik na lang ako sa work? Then the company started retrenching employees, so ngayon double the worry because ‘yong family ko, mag-isa ako rito, and then mawawalan ba ako ng trabaho? Masasama ba ako sa mare-retrench? So sobrang nagpatong-patong siya. So the experience was really, really empowering.”
Furthermore, Billie went on to impart to the Magandang Buhay momshie-hosts and viewers how Miss Universe Philippines helped her gain the admirable confidence that she has been exuding not just in the pageant, but in real life as well.
WATCH: Kimberly Hakenson on being confident with herself | Magandang Buhay
“In terms of experience, I’ve had a lot of self-doubts. Even if I joined pageants before, this pageant thought me a lot of things. Parang in my previous pageants, I boxed myself into this “standard of beauty” – long hair, typical, traditional. But this time, I presented myself as real and as raw as I could. I was able to translate all these to people and the people loved it. The people appreciated it because it’s something that is not really seen a lot – something real,” the flight attendant-turned- beauty queen related.
Then she advised, “For you to be able to grow your confidence, be yourself. With all your imperfections and flaws.”