I had the pleasure of chatting with Jacqueline Schubert, winner of the Mutya ng Pilipinas Aurora Tourism 2009 title, hours before her flight to Minsk, Belarus to take part in the Ms Intercontinental 2009. She finally found a quiet moment to share her story with me after a crazy week of fittings, walking lessons, photo shoots and interviews with the press.
And because Jacqueline Schubert grew up in Germany and knows very little about the Philippines, she’s also studying our nation’s history and learning how to speak Pilipino.
FIRST TIME TRAVELING SOLO
Jacqueline Schubert is quick to tell me that she is very nervous – not because of the Ms Intercontinental pageant (which culminates on September 27, 2009) but because this will be her first time to travel such a long distance alone, minus her Mom Lilibeth who is “tubong-Cebu.” Her Father Willi, who is currently in Germany seems to be less worried, as most men are wont to be. She is only 19-years old and is used to having her Mom or her three older brothers around her all the time.
As I enjoy the soft German lilt in Jacqueline Schubert’s speech, I can almost hear her mind trying to translate her answers to my questions. Nevertheless, she has passing grade English for someone who spent most of her life living in the land of bratwurst and beer.
How did she deal with the language challenge at the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2009? By giving the shortest answer possible. Now THAT is wisdom and great tactics. When judges asked where she would bring tourists visiting Aurora (the host province of the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2009), she replied – Baler Church, because there’s just something special about it for her.
Jacqueline Schubert says she had a longer answer in her head, but… it was in German. ACHT!!!
HOW JS WAS “DISCOVERED”
Jacqueline Schubert never ever dreamed she would join a pageant, much less represent the Philippines in an international event. She always dreamed of becoming a singer and/or actress but fate wouldn’t have it any other way. This Filipina German would one day become a beauty queen.
This is how it happened: when she was in Cebu City visiting relatives, she was introduced to a local talent scout named Danny Buoc while shopping at a mall. It was Danny who invited her to the Mutya ng Pilipinas screening at the Waterfront Hotel and it was also at that venue where she met beauty queen maker and celebrated fashion designer Renee Salud.
Mama Renee, as he is fondly called, is now both “Mom and Dad” to Jacqueline – her words, not mine, LOL!!! But it IS pretty accurate because when I was competing in pageants, Mama Renee was the same thing to me. And just as I did in my international pageant, Jacqueline will be wearing creations by our Mama.
Click here to see my 11 picks in the Mutya 2009, a list that include Jacqueline Schubert.
SPECIAL GIFT FROM THE PHILIPPINES
Most international beauty pageants request candidates to bring a special gift for charity. The Ms Intercontinental this year will be visiting a hospital in Minsk for children with Cancer and they asked each girl to bring a special gift for a child. Jacqueline Schubert says her gift is a small guitar specially handcrafted by Cebuano hands. A perfect gift that shows the creativity and musicality of the Filipino.
As Jacqueline Schubert counts down the minutes to her plane trip to Belarus, I ask her what Mutya memories will she be taking along. With a big smile in her voice, she says: meeting all the other Filipina contestants, most specially Jane Bañares, her pageant best friend who won the other major title – Mutya ng Pilipinas International 2009. A sweet victory for the two friends who were also roommates during the competition.
I had heard from certain sources that wherever the candidates went, people seemed to favor Jacqueline Shubert. From photographers, to fans, reporters to judges, it seemed like everyone was looking at Jacqueline. And when she won the Aurora Star of the Night award in a pre-pageant event, that seemed to confirm everyone’s observation.
Everyone that is, except for Jacqueline herself; she says she never ever noticed anything like that and never expected to win. She adds that she was extremely nervous, specially on coronation night. And thus the super-short answer that everybody in her camp complained about. Doesn’t matter now; she won anyway!
Click here to see what other special awards Jacqueline Schubert won in the Mutya ng Pilipinas 2009 as well as a complete list of winners.
At the tail-end of our phone conversation, I ask her about some online comments from very nationalistic pageant fans who insist she isn’t “Filipina enough”. The question surprises her; she is quiet for several beats and then she begins grasping for words. She finally blurts out “I don’t know what to think about that. I’m already here with the title. Besides, those are just comments.”
Hmmm… I’m sure she had a longer answer in German, up somewhere in her pretty little head. 🙂
Best wishes to you Jacqueline Schubert, may you take the Ms Intercontinental crown on September 27, 2009!!!
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