'It’s OK not to be OK' Bb. Pilipinas finalist to vie for crown again

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2022 06:30 PM | Updated as of Feb 04 2022 01:08 AM

Ilongga beauty queen Karen Laurrie Mendoza
Ilongga beauty queen Karen Laurrie Mendoza

MANILA -- Ilongga beauty queen Karen Laurrie Mendoza, who famously made a big buzz with her question-and-answer performance at the BInibining Pilipinas 2021 pageant, will compete again in the 2022 edition of the contest. 

“Yes, I will try again, “ Mendoza told ABS-CBN News Thursday following the Binibining Pilipinas Charities’ announcement of their search for prospective candidates starting this February. 

A top 13 finalist last year, Mendoza made a big splash on social
media with her answer to the mind-boggling question of judge Boy Abunan about mental health.

“When is it okay not to be okay and when is it not okay to be not okay?,"
asked Abunda at the July 2021 Bb. Pilipinas finals. 

Mendoza answered, “You know, sometimes, it’s hard to move on especially if we lost our loved ones, when we’re depressed when we have anxiety, but most of all, when we want to move forward in life. You know, my favorite saying in a movie Disney, ‘Inside Out,’ is embrace your sadness because in embracing your sadness, you will feel happiness afterwards.”

Mendoza laughed that she has yet to shake off that moment, one of the defining points in her pageant career. 

Moving forward, Mendoza, who was associated with Aces and Queens beauty camp, is considering to compete at the Bb. Pilipinas as an independent candidate. 

“Mental health literacy will still be my advocacy,“ Mendoza said, also revealing that she will train with her Binibini batchmate, Miss Intercontinental 2021 Cindy Obeñita and her team. “We talked online recently and we’ll start training as soon as the schedule is finalized.” 

Mendoza is more than okay now. After relinquishing her title as Miss Iloilo, she is also busy painting and creating new designs for her jewelry line. Her polymer clay earrings, for example, are inspired by colors and patterns of plants. 

Mendoza will face other pageant repeaters in the 58th Bb. Pilipinas edition, along with fresh faces from several beauty camps. Among those mentioned as prospective candidates are her batchmates Graciella Lehman and second runner-up Gabby Basiano. 

Gines Enriquez of Bb. Pilipinas Charities told ABS-CBN News that they will strictly comply with health protocols. “Official contestants and everyone involved in the pageant must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the kickoff of events for the competition,” he said. “We will adhere to the policies set by the LGU/IATF.” 

Screening of applicants will start this March.

Opening salvo of the pageant is a grand Flores de Mayo parade at Araneta City this May followed by other pre-pageant activities and charity work.  

Coronation is set in July 2022 with four crowns at stake — Bb. Pilipinas International, Globe, Intercontinental, and Grand International. The organization has yet to confirm the addition of another Bb. Pilipinas crown.

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