MANILA -- Catriona Gray and Nicole Cordoves will provide online training and classes to the 40 candidates of this year's Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
Gray and Cordoves joined Bb. Pilipinas in 2018 and 2016, respectively. The former went on to win the Miss Universe crown, while the latter finished first runner-up in Miss Grand International.
In an interview with Mega Magazine, Cordoves said they approached Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. and offered to mentor this year's candidates.
Gray, who was trained by Cordoves for Miss Universe, said they have been talking about the possibility of working together in a mentorship program.
"I've become very passionate about mentorship. It's because of good mentorship and support system that I believe I was able to be successful in my pursuit towards the Miss Universe crown. And that's why I had already put it into my mind, that if the opportunity ever were to arise that I could be a mentor to the next generation of binibinis, I would jump at the chance," Gray said.
She added: "We're preparing material that is applicable to their pageant journey, but also to general self-confidence, public speaking, and excelling in communication. So no matter what path they find themselves pursuing, Nicole and I are confident that the skills they learn under our mentorship will be applicable."
Cordoves said the upcoming online sessions "won't be technical and stiff," and will instead be intended to help students "realize their style."
"This means it needs to bring out their personality more, not hide it and make them sound methodical in order to sound right or perfect," she said.
The two former Binibining Pilipinas titleholders noted that beauty queens today have evolved to become spokespersons for various causes, from simply being beautiful faces on stage.
And this is where their mentorship program would come in handy.
"We need to keep female leadership strong and that's the goal for our girls. We may not bring home the crown every time, but we need to send out representatives that we would be proud of who break the ceiling and set a higher standard every year," Cordoves said.
Gray, for her part, said: "I hope to impart my belief that being a Miss Universe or successful in pageantry is not limited to walking well and being 'beautiful,' but rather being anchored to a cause and being a voice. I envision a generation of Filipinas who are prepared, value-driven, and confident enough to take a seat at the table. To be a vessel of good works, and also amplifier of the communities whose voices need to be heard."