This year’s Ginoong Malakas and Binibining Maganda pageant saw the emergence of a Gladiator and a Dragon amongst the finest beauties and brawn of the university. As these two take center stage, let us get to know them even more through their journey of becoming the newest faces of VSU.
Gracing the Limelight
The path to joining the Ginoong Malakas and Binibining Maganda pageant was far from straightforward for 19-year-old Daniel Christian Acasio. Acasio has had prior experiences with pageantry and was not planning to join Ginoong Malakas this year. However, prompted by those who recognized his potential, Daniel decided to take the challenge.
Hailing from Matalom, Leyte, Acasio faced initial setbacks, being disqualified during the first screening of the pageant. However, destiny seems to have different plans because, after a second screening, Acasio was finally picked to represent CET-CAS under the banner of the Valiant Gladiators.
Conversely, in search of a new experience and at the same time, to make her college life memorable, Sheena Margarette Abayabay joined the Ginoong Malakas at Binibining Maganda pageant as representative for the Sylvan Dragons.
A native of the City of Baybay, Abayabay, an 18-year-old lass, is a freshman of the BS Hospitality Management program. She finds solace in dancing, singing, and reading fictional books. Her favorite one, Taming the Waves, propelled her to promote change and awareness.
The Drive to Victory
Beyond the glitz and glamor of pageantry, Daniel finds joy in playing volleyball and immersing himself in fantasy manhwas. One of his all-time favorites is Mushoku Tensei (Jobless Reincarnation) by Rifujin na Magonote. The protagonist's transformative journey left a profound impact on him, teaching the valuable lesson that individuals can evolve into better versions of themselves. It was this very lesson that motivated him to join the pageant.
Sheena Margarette, on the other hand, is a former secretary for the Youth for Environment Schools Organization (YES-O), and strongly advocates for environmental change and awareness. She also pushes for mental health awareness, especially among the youth. Abayabay believes that voicing thoughts about these issues is important in this world plagued primarily by political affairs.
Championing the Battle
Championing change goes beyond pageantry for Daniel; it extends to redefining traditional male stereotypes. Proud of his physical fitness, he passionately advocates that both women can be strong and men can be beautiful. Breaking these stereotypes includes eliminating the stigma surrounding men's mental health.
There is nothing constant in this world but change, and thus, change starts within. Voicing out is a small step to attaining this, and Sheena Margarette encourages students to be vocal, and engage with organizations who advocate for environmental change and awareness and mental health awareness to make impact to their school community and the society overall.