BEAUTY AND GLORY | Miss PalaCASan 2015 Nadine Lutao talks about her astonishing victory

Elegance. Glamour. Audacity. Miss GeneSoc 2015 Nadine Lutao (center) during the Mr. and Ms. PalaCASan 2015 Coronation Night held last November 21, 2015 at La Vista Resort, Pansol, Calamba, Laguna.

Three months ago, GeneSoc beauty stood at the highest pedestal of splendor as Miss GeneSoc was crowned Miss PalaCASan 2015.

During the Q&A round of the Top 5, the candidates were given 60 seconds to interpret the photo that will be flashed on the screen. Lutao glimmered and stood out among the rest when she nailed the answer confidently and earned the crowd's consonance.

Photo Courtesy: The UPLB Genetics Society FB Page
In her red gown, Lutao beautifully set an atmosphere of confidence at the stage as she gracefully walked and took her wave after she was announced as Miss PalaCASan 2015.

"I was honestly shocked because I really did not expect to even place after not getting any special awards. At first I couldn't believe that it happened. I thought I was just dreaming," said Lutao on clinching the crown straight.

The GENEWS Team set a one-on-one interview with this stunner with the thrill of sharing her experience as the reigning Miss PalaCASan and extend her views as she speak up more for herself this time.

GENEWS: How has winning the pageant changed you?

LUTAO: Winning the pageant has definitely brought me out of my comfort zone. I've always been shy especially when it comes to putting myself out to the public but Mr. & Ms. PalaCASan helped boost my self-esteem and confidence. The pageant made me realize that the first step in achieving my goals is to simply believe in myself.

GENEWS: What do you think should a 'Miss PalaCASan' embody?

LUTAO: I think Mr. & Ms. PalaCASan title should not be taken for granted or use it as bragging rights and key to fame. As for me, I want to be an inspiration and a role model for all the girls in the campus. I want to prove that we are indeed strong and independent. I also want to instill to all the women out there to never forget to present themselves decently with class and poise. Simplicity will do; just add a dash of sophistication that will make people look twice when they see you because you are, like what Pia Wurtzbach said, "confidently beautiful with a heart."

GENEWS: During the Q&A, you said that UPLB Walkout calls for a change in the system. How would you encourage more students to involve themselves in similar movements next time?

LUTAO: I believe that the most effective way in encouraging people to join a movement is by participating and becoming a good example. Convincing people verbally will never be as effective as doing concrete actions and contributing to what the movement or stand is about.

GENEWS: How do you see the significance of PalaCASan?

LUTAO: PalaCASan does not only cater sportsmanship and camaraderie but it also provides platform for students to practice and show their inner gifts. Education should not be for building academically-wise students only but holistically developed youth also.

GENEWS: Aside from winning the crown, what is your best experience in joining the pageant?

LUTAO: My best experience would definitely come from the practices and rehearsals before BuCASan and WaCASan because we got to bond with the other contestants who are all friendly. Gaining new friends, given the set-up, is unusual because we are supposed to be in competition with one another but they were all very welcoming and helpful for most of us can relate to each other's struggles which come from balancing acads, rehearsals, and other co-curricular activities all at once.

Also, the pre-pageant preparations were a lot of fun because my mom, tita, and cousin were all there to support me. We consider the whole journey as a different kind of adventure from the usual family gatherings and vacations.

GENEWS: What principles or thoughts to live by do you carry day by day?

LUTAO: I'm not exactly sure if I have a motto in life because life is so complex that one statement cannot nearly summarize everything an individual has to know and hold on to in order to get by. I guess I will go with "Don't do to others what you don't want others to do unto you." We may not see it but being kind to people goes a long way. I think all of us, especially in the university, are going through so much daily struggles and we cannot compare the hardships we are experiencing to others. We do not get to be the "boss" and treat others rudely just because we are having a rough day. Keeping our cool and treating people right is always the best way to go. It does not only keep us away from conflicts and problems but can also brighten up other people's day.

GENEWS: To whom do you dedicate your victory?

LUTAO: Of course, I'm dedicating my win to my beloved organization, The UPLB Genetics Society. Yes, I was forced by my orgmates to go through this whole journey but I honestly could not thank them enough for pushing me and believing in me because I learned a lot throughout the pageant. Without them, I would not have this title and I will definitely not be the same person I am now. Being chosen to be GeneSoc's representative in the Mr. & Ms. PalaCASan is such a great honor and I know my win would not have been possible without their support.

I would also like to dedicate a portion of this victory to my partner, Merc Emil Matienzo, because without him I would not be able to come out of my shell, face the crowd and do all those stints that I never saw myself doing. He made all the embarrassment bearable and gave me strength and confidence by always standing beside me (figuratively and literally), and for that I thank him.

A big portion would also go to my mom a.k.a my manager and my glam team composed of my aunt and cousin for transforming my potato self to a decent-looking lady.

Lastly, my runners (Renz Roxas and RJ Grona), my orgmates, and my friends who were always there despite all the hassle. I do not know why they never lost hope in me and I thank them for that.

Nadine Lutao is a BS Biology student, currently on her junior year and taking up Cell & Molecular Biology as her major field. She is the current Public Relations Head of The UPLB Genetics Society and an alumna of Miriam College. She plans on pursuing medicine after finishing her undergraduate degree.