Photo Credit: Christine Balaguer Facebook
Christine Balaguer, a deaf candidate for the upcoming Bb Pilipinas 2015 announced on her official Facebook page that the beauty pageant organizers asked her to quit the contest, which she did. Upon learning this, a local human rights group immediately reacted and showed their support.
“It’s my big dream to be the first deaf candidate to win Bb. Pilipinas! Being born deaf is not the end of the world. It’s a challenge but also an opportunity. An opportunity to be able to set a positive example for others that despite being deaf they can still achieve their dreams and contribute to society in a meaningful manner. And be successful!” Christine Ramos Balaguer wrote on Thursday, January 29.
“Life as a deaf can be hard sometimes but all hardship can be overcome by working hard, never giving up and always believing in yourself. Being deaf is not an excuse for giving up in life or making mistakes in life. I want to inspire other handicapped people and encourage them to take life in their own hands and always move forward no matter what.” The deaf beauty candidate added.
On the last part of her message, Christine Balaguer said that she got depressed after the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) asked her to resign from the Bb Pilipinas 2015 but without explaining why. She was one of the 34 official candidates of the said beauty pageant, announced in early January.
Balaguer, who is also a model, previously landed on the top 13 semi-finalists of Miss World-Philippines 2014 which was won by Valerie Wegmann. Her life story was recently featured on ABS-CBN’s MMK (Maalaala Mo Kaya), with Miss Universe-Philippines 2010 winner Venus Raj portraying her role.
Christine Balaguer updated her Facebook page this Saturday, January 31, saying that she always wanted to be an inspiration and role model for the deaf and disabled community. As of posting, the BPCI has not yet released an official statement regarding the issue and the name of her replacement.
Meanwhile, Gabriela, a Filipino advocacy group fighting over women’s issues, announced their support for the resigned deaf beauty candidate. The group said they want to know why Christine Balaguer was asked to quit from the pageant or if she was disqualified, and that if her being deaf has affected their decision.
“Malaki ang magiging problema ng BPCI pag napatunayan natin na kaya siya (Balaguer) pina-resign ay dahil sa kanyang kapansanan. Aasahan nyo na di namin bibitiwan ang isyung ito. Kaya kami narito ay dahil sa mga tulad nyang hindi binibigyan ng pag-asa.” A representative of Gabriela told TN.
(BPCI will have a big problem if we have proven that she (Balaguer) was asked to resign because of her disability. Expect us not to let go of this issue. We are here because of women like her who are not given hope.)
* Valerie Weigmann Petitioned for Disqualification from Miss World 2014
* Bb Pilipinas 2015 Candidate Janicel Lubina: Proud to be a Former Kasambahay