Miss World Philippines 2013 and Kapamilya actress Megan Young. Photo from Young's Instagram page
Actress says goal as Miss World PH to extend help
MANILA -- ABS-CBN actress Megan Young, the newly crowned Philippine delegate to this year's Miss World pageant, participated in relief efforts Wednesday for the victims of the torrential rains and floods that hit parts of Metro Manila this week.
The 23-year-old Star Magic talent, who was crowned last Sunday, took part in the relief drive of ABS-CBN's Sagip Kapamilya along with fellow contract artists Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla and Gerald Anderson.
(Click here to find out how you can help flood victims.)
Amid preparations for the Miss World competition in Indonesia -- she leaves September 3 -- Young opted to devote time helping storm-hit residents in Quezon City.
"I have to prepare myself emotionally, mentally for the pageant. But at the same time, I want to help my fellow Filipinos with what's happening here. It's such a traumatic experience, because it's also happened to me sa huling habagat," Young told ABS-CBN News' Ginger Conejero.
Young was referring to the monsoon rains that hit Metro Manila in August 2012. At the time, the former "Hiyas" star, who resides in Sta. Mesa, Manila, said she was left stranded.
As of Wednesday morning, Young said she hasn't been able to go home because "all roads going there are not passable."
"Thank goodness I have friends who are willing to house me, and willing to let me stay at their place for the meantime. I'm just really worried about my brother now who is there at our house. Okay naman sila, which is good," she said, adding she is also worried about her friends who live in Marikina City.
Marikina was placed under a state of calamity on Wednesday, following the flooding caused by the southwest monsoon and Tropical Storm "Maring."
Using title to 'inspire'
Citing her first-hand experience surviving floods, Young said she has been meaning to take part in relief operations. With her new title as a Filipina beauty queen, the actress said she is happy to have some amount of influence to encourage others to help.
"I've always wanted to help out, I just didn't have the connections. But now that I have Miss World Philippines, the title, I know now that people will be able to listen to me and look up to me in terms of helping out.
"That's what I really wanted. I wanted to inspire the youth into helping out the less fortunate, helping out the people who are in need. Kasi gano'n naman tayo. I know that Filipinos really love helping out, but it's just getting them aware on how they can," she said.
After helping with the relief drive of Sagip Kapamilya, Young on Thursday will be joining similar efforts of the Philippine Red Cross at its Quezon City headquarters. She called on youth volunteers to help in the humanitarian organization's operation.
While some may view her pageant stint as a way of boosting her career in showbiz, Young maintained otherwise, saying joining Miss World is a "genuine" move to pursue what she considers to be her purpose.
"People always think na parang, 'This is just another step for her to get into her career.' But what they don't see is this is really a genuine experience for me to go through.
"I really want to show people that is really the other side of Megan, this is another way for me to help out. Ika nga, it's a purpose that I want to go through. It's my purpose, helping out people, especially our fellow Filipinos in need," she said.
Asked how she would address criticisms perceiving her part in relief operations as publicity, Young said, "I have a tough heart, so I'm not affected by it."
"I know what my purpose is and I know what my responsibilities are. As long as I'm able to address them, as long as I'm able to deliver, then that's what's important to me," she said.
To the actress, this is the same message she wishes to impart on the world stage when she joins her first international pageant next month.
"We're going to show the Miss World organization what the Philippines really has to offer, that we're really dedicated into helping out and that it really is beauty with a purpose. We'll show them what we have [in terms of] helping out not only here in the Philippines, but also around the globe," she said.