14 October 2013

'BATANG GAPO' | Pride, joy and charity in Miss World Megan Young homecoming

OLONGAPO CITY – Not letting the rain dampen their enthusiasm, proud Olongapenos welcomed the Philippines’ first Miss World during her homecoming in this city at the weekend. Her visit was a respite from the difficult days of coping with the aftermath of record floods and landslides that hit the city and parts of Zambales two weeks ago.

Megan Young, who bested 126 ladies to capture the elusive “blue crown” almost two weeks ago in Bali, Indonesia, was all smiles as she arrived at the Harbor Point Mall where she was welcomed by Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino, SBMA Chairman Bobby Garcia and Mayor Jose Dominguez of Castillejos where Young spent her childhood.

“I’m trying my best not to be emotional kasi iyakin talaga ako. Young told the crowd. “I used to walk around these areas - this mall on such a low profile and now I have this.”

The 23-year-old actress and film student said that it’s a great feeling to be home because of the opportunity to see family and friends.

Aside from the cheers, Young was also awarded with certificates of recognition by Mayors Paulino and Dominguez for “bringing pride to the Philippines and shining a spotlight on the beauty of Olongapo and Zambales.”

When the skies cleared, a motorcade was also held to celebrate her victory where she was accompanied by Miss World chairperson Julia Morley, Miss World Philippines licensee Cory Quirino, and her mother Vicky Young.

Young also visited the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital to check on those affected by the Leptospirosis outbreak in the city brought about by the severe flooding several weeks ago.

Even during the peak of pageant activities in Bali, Young had expressed concern over the devastation suffered by her native Olongapo and Zambales, beset by record flooding and landslides that killed nearly two dozen people a fortnight ago.

Young came directly from Metro Manila after a whirlwind of activities that included a motorcade in Makati City and is expected to return to the Metro to do more charity work for the Tuloy Street Kids Foundation in Muntinlupa – a beneficiary of the Miss World Organization.

She is also set to fly back to London where the MWO is based where she will focus on charitable activities including one for clean drinking water in some areas in Haiti.

When asked about her beauty secrets, Young advised everyone that “it is all about feeling beautiful. Don’t mind it if other people tell you you’re beautiful or not. Knowing that you, yourself, are beautiful is enough. (Ramon Angelo Britanico, Special to InterAksyon.com)

Megan waves to the crowd from her float at the homecoming parade in her native Olongapo City.