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Bicolana beauty is PH’s bet for Teen Universe 2023

By Gladys Serafica

LEGAZPI CITY --- After being hailed as Miss Teen Universe Philippines on Wednesday, this Bicolana beauty is favored to represent the country in the international tilt to be held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in April 2024.

Angel Brahms Bernaldez, 18, a morena stunner from the fishing town of Rapu-Rapu in Albay province, was appointed by the Spotlight Couronne International (SCI), an organization based in Canada that provides a platform for teens to showcase their talents, to be the country’s standard bearer in the 13th edition of Miss Teen Universe.

In an interview, Bernaldez said SCI handpicked her after bagging the Miss SCI Philippines title in the Supermodel International Philippines competition held on May 21, 2023, in Lucena City.

She bested 39 candidates from all over the country to win the crown.

SCI Philippines manages and owns the franchise for Teen Universe Philippines.

The Elementary Education student of Bicol University said she believes her advocacy against discrimination and animal abuse was a key factor in her being selected as the country’s representative.

“Ever since I was a child, I was bullied because of my skin complexion. This has motivated me to advocate for inclusivity and diversity and become a light to children who are victims of bullying,” she said.

The daughter of a security guard and a former overseas Filipino worker turned full-time homemaker, Bernaldez is a fur mom to 24 cats and seven dogs.

She bared that her experience growing up without a home to call their own pushed her to rescue and adopt stray animals.

Before winning Miss SCI Philippines, she was crowned Miss Teen Heartthrobs in February 2023 and the first-ever Miss Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in October of the same year, besting 23 other candidates from different higher education institutions nationwide.

As she prepares for her first international competition, Bernaldez said she is “excited and hopeful” that she can bring home the first Teen Universe crown for the Philippines.

“I just want to introduce Rapu-Rapu in the Bicol region to a wider audience,” the dusky Bicolana said.

Teen Universe is an international pageant that aims to “foster good values” by celebrating not only the “physical beauty but also the intelligence, talent, and personality” of the youth. (PNA)


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