MANILA -- A young beauty queen was among those who signed up to be a volunteer for the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in its parallel count of votes cast during the May 9 elections.
Tatyana Austria, who finished first runner-up in the Miss Eco Teen International 2021 pageant, shared her experience in an Instagram post on Thursday.
She said she "saw hope everywhere I looked" in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) campus in Manila, and also took the opportunity to thank those who sent food and drinks to volunteers.
"I honestly have no idea how I was consistently energetic and motivated even if I woke up at 3 a.m. after sleeping for only two hours. I'd like to think it was the availability of food and drinks for the volunteers -- thanks to the kindhearted donors," she said. "But, hindi rin. The one thing that fueled me to work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. was hope."
"I saw hope every where I looked in that pavilion. From my fellow volunteers offering to fetch each other water, from the scouts finishing a more than 24-hour shift, from the faculties and students of different universities present on the recount floor, from the journalists who continue to keep a vigilant eye as the numbers are crunched, from the kuya security guards who found lost items, from the housekeeping who kept a sanitized command center with proper ventilation during the hot afternoon," she added.
"I saw hope from everyone, young or old or in between, offering their priceless time and effort to the Philippines through PPCRV."
Austria said she initially thought she would spend her first day in UST to attend college, only for her to devote "hours upon hours in service of the Filipino people."
"I wouldn't have it any other way," she ended.