Photo from Miss Cagayan de Oro 2015 Portraits
It’s not everyday that I get to interview a beauty queen. Especially a beauty queen with an inspiring story to tell. I met Dylana Bax about a year ago while she was still working at SPM10, a local construction company. What I first noticed about her was her height. At 5’9, she towers above the rest of us. Very modelesque – if there is such a word. The next thing I noticed about her was her faith. Dylana is very outspoken about her faith and her relationship with God. An inspiring trait in anyone.
Now, she just got crowned last August 22 as the First Runner Up of Ms. CDO 2015. When she first shared about her story and why she joined the pageant at Saturday Night Life (SNL), I was inspired to share her story with you guys.
Alex: Why did you decide to join Ms. CDO?
Dylana: A lot of people have been telling me to join Ms. Cdo ever since I was 16 years old. I didn’t consider joining before since I’m a very private person. I’m an introvert. I’m not good with posing on stage.
Alex: What changed your mind?
Dylana: I finally joined because I wanted to help the kids at Kids Place Student Center. It’s a school for less fortunate children that was established by Compassion International. I wanted to have a voice that people could listen to so I could help the kids at Kids Place. I grew up with most of these children and they have become very close to me. The thing is, they only support children up until high school. After that, they’re on their own. A lot of the kids that graduated from high school end up having to work because they can’t afford to go to college.
Alex: That’s a great reason for joining pageants. Very inspiring. Have you joined other pageants besides Miss Cdo?
Dylana:No. This is the first pageant I joined. I’ve done a bit of modelling though. A lot of people invite me to model mostly because I’m tall – I’m 5’9”. But modeling is very different from joining a pageant. With modeling, you just walk down the runway. With a beauty pageant, you have to learn a different type of walk, you have to project, you have to have stage presence.
Alex: When did you decide to join this pageant?
Dylana: I decided to join this year because since a lot people kept asking me to join, I finally decided to give it a try. I thought I couldn’t finish it since because of my online job, I have to work at night. And according to pageant rules, if you miss just one main event, you’ll get disqualified. But somehow, by God’s grace, everything just worked out.
Alex: How many special awards does Ms. Cdo have?
Dylana: A lot. There are 22 special awards.
Alex: What awards did you win?
Dylana: I won Ms. Island Souvenirs, Ms. PAL and Darling of the Press
Alex: What award was your favorite award?
Dylana: I’m happy with all the awards I got but I really prayed for Ms. PAL since the prize was a free trip to Japan. It’s the only thing I kept for myself. I gave the rest of the awards and freebies away to the kids at Kids Place. When I joined the pageant, my commitment was that I’m doing this for the kids. So I didn’t want to keep anything for myself. That’s why, although it was hard, I resolved to give to them the cash prizes and freebies. And there were a lot of freebies since Ms. Cdo had a lot of sponsors.
Alex: Wow! That’s awesome! You’re definitely a blessing to these kids. Blessed to bless.
Dylana: Yes. I had good intentions in joining the pageant, but along the way, I almost got lost. I almost forgot why I joined in the first place.
Alex: What do you mean?
Dylana: In the middle of the pageant, I started to become self-centered. I wanted to be the most beautiful girl on stage, I wanted to outshine the other candidates. When I won Darling of the Press and people were telling me that I was definitely going to get into the top 5, that went to my head. It felt good to be praised. There was also a time when I got a free gadget from Globe. When I got home, I hurriedly opened it because I wanted to use it. It took me 30 minutes to figure it out. Then I thought to myself, what am I doing? Why am I about to use this gadget when I promised to give everything to the kids? They need it more than I do. So I put it back inside it’s package.
Photo by Glenn Palacio
Alex: And then what happened?
Dylana: It’s like I woke up. I joined this pageant to honor God and help the kids. Not to glorify myself. But when people are glorifying you, it’s hard to remain grounded. So I hurriedly texted my disciplers to pray for me.
Alex: I understand how you felt. It’s really helpful to have a spiritual mentor especially when you’re going through something.
Dylana: I agree. My disciplers prayers helped me come back to my senses and remember why I’m here in the first place.
Alex: What were the other candidates like?
Dylana: Since this was my first time to join a pageant, I expected everyone to be competitive. Every man – or woman for this matter – for himself. But it wasn’t like that at all. The other candidates were very friendly and we supported each other throughout the pageant. I was even able to share the gospel with 4 of them.
Photo by Phillip Vallespin
Alex: That’s great! you’re definitely being intentional in sharing the gospel. It’s something I need to work on myself. Let’s talk about being one of the Top 5. What projects would you like to propose for Ms. Cdo to do for this year?
Dylana: I really have a lot of projects in mind. But my primary advocacy is education. I don’t want to just sit back and relax now that the pageant has ended. Now is the time to start working for the good of the city.
It’s about what you can do with the crown and not what the crown can do for you.
One project that I have in mind is the “Literacy Drive”. I want to find someone who can sponsor a place every Saturday for 2 hours so we can teach people how to read. Then we can just have volunteer teachers. I know someone who’s already 19 years old and she only graduated from grade school. She doesn’t know how to read and write and I find it so sad. I want to help people like these.
Alex: I think that’s definitely possible. There are a lot of restaurants around Cdo that you can tap to sponsor the venue.
The world of beauty pageants is incredibly competitive, how do you maintain a balance between wanting to be the best, yet still retaining your morals and good nature?
Dylana: I don’t really compete with the other girls, I compete with myself. I just do my best in every event.
Alex: In the final Q & A portion, the question was “What can you do to change the world.” Your answer was to “pray because prayer is powerful”. Do you feel like you gave the right answer?
Dylana: Yes. That is what I believe in and I stand by that answer. If asked again, I would still give out the same answer.
Alex: Would you join another pageants? Bb Pilipinas, perhaps?
Dylana: At this point, I don’t know yet. There are people inviting me to join other pageants, but I haven’t really thought about it yet.
Alex: What are your plans after this?
Dylana: I’d like to focus on the ministry and my proposed projects for Ms. Cdo. And of course I’d like to spend time with my boyfriend since he’s going back to America next month.
Dylanna with longtime boyfriend Dudscott Malferrari
Alex: I know Duds came back home to surprise you and support you in this pageant. How did you feel?
Dylana: Very blessed – and surprised too. I didn’t expect it since he told me he couldn’t come home. I’m just really happy to be able to spend time with him.
Alex: That’s so sweet. You’re a lucky girl. Thank you so much for your time, Dylana. I hope your story will encourage other people to have the right motivation in doing things. I believe our main purpose here is to honor God and be a good testimony to other people so we can lead them to Christ.
Dylana: You’re welcome. Thanks for giving me the chance to share my story.