Megan Young performs "Lovesong" during the talent competition of Miss World Philippines held Tuesday night.-- Photo from Star Magic's official Instagram page
MANILA -- Megan Young is candidate No. 20 in the national pageant that will pick the country's bet to the Miss World competition. Despite her career in local showbiz, she still opted to pursue the dream stint despite its "many risks."
The 23-year-old Filipina-American, along with the 25 other candidates in Miss World Philippines 2013, showcased their talents at a pre-pageant competition on Tuesday night.
At the sidelines of the event held at Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila, Young told ABS-CBN News why she joined the competition despite having a career as an actress and TV host.
"There are many risks in joining this pageant, but it's only something that happens once in a lifetime. It's now or never!" said Young, who sang The Cure's "Lovesong" for her talent showcase.
She added: "It's something I've always wanted to do, so I don't want to have any regrets when I get older, thinking, 'I should have done this, I should have done that.' So I might as well just go for it, take the risk and hopefully get a good result out of the risk."
Thanks to her prior exposure as a Kapamilya star -- she topbilled the ABS-CBN drama series "Hiyas" last year -- Young is considered one of the frontrunners in Miss World Philippines.
Referring to the online buzz around her candidacy in the pageant, Young said, "Labis ko namang ikinatutuwa na maraming sumusubaybay sa akin dito sa Miss World."
"There are advantages and disadvantages to that, but you know, I'm just here, fighting it out to the end, giving it my all, working hard every single day and every single night just to win the Miss World crown," she said.
The pageant organizer's national director, Cory Quirino, said she is pleased with Young's humility despite her "high-profile" showing in the competition.
"She's the favorite of the media, but you can see it hasn't gone to her head. Hindi siya mayabang. Napapansin ko siya, very demure siya, and she's very close to her sisters," Quirino said, referring to Young's co-candidates.
'Heart to do it'
Asked why she deserves to win the pageant and represent the Philippines in the international competition, Young brought up the "values" attached with Miss World as a charitable organization.
"I have the heart to do it. Miss World embodies the beauty in giving, and I think I have a lot to offer when it comes to that," she said.
Another aspect of the pageant Young said she identifies with is its message about diverse kinds of beauty.
"I think it inspires younger women to embrace the beauty that they have, whether you're tall or short, whether you're big or you're thin. It's about embracing the beauty and what you have, and I think Miss World embodies that," she said.
The Star Magic talent is particularly thrilled over the "holistic" approach of the local Miss World, which had all candidates participate in the talent competition and its upcoming pre-pageant sporting event.
"It's another opportunity for us women to showcase what we have. You know, we're not just beauty and looks. We can also fight and be as strong as men are!" Young said.
Most important night
Careful not to discount the series of competitions before the coronation night, Quirino nonetheless said the contestant's performance during the culminating event on August 18 holds the most weight.
"Whoever will shine brightest on coronation night, that's who we're looking for. Lahat sila mga bituin, but whoever will shine the brightest on pageant night [will win]. You will only know then," she said.
The winning candidate in Miss World Philippines 2013 will represent the country in the 63rd edition of the international pageant in Indonesia, which will be held in September.
Last year, the Philippines' representative to Miss World, Queenierich Rehman, finished in the Top 15. Her predecessor, Gwendoline Ruais, is the country's last best finish in the international competition, having placed first runner-up.