Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina revealed that the bashing she endured during and after the pageant felt like a repeat of her childhood experience as a victim of bullying.
“Nabully din ako before noong bata ako so parang naulit lang din [except that] ngayon, nasa shoulder ko buong bansa,” she shared in Tonight with Boy Abunda.
Medina, who represented the Philippines in the 65th Miss Universe pageant last January, drew flak because of her English skills.
During the question and answer portion, when asked: “What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the world in the last 10 years?”
She chose to answer in English, saying: “”The last 10 years of being here in the world is that I saw all the people being in one event like this in Miss Universe, and it’s something big to us that we are one, as one nation, we are all together.”
As the public criticized her, Medina admitted that she coped with the bullying by staying in touch with her family and always praying.
The experience is reminiscent of her school days, she shared, where friends stripped her naked in front of a crowd and classmates and schoolmates called her names and wrote them all over benches, walls, and toilet stalls all over the school.
“May point na umiyak na talaga ako sa mommy ko kasi hindi ko na talaga kaya. Ang ginawa ng mommy ko pumunta siya sa school tapos nakita niya lahat [ng] nakavandal [na pangalan ko],” she told Abunda.
She transferred to an all-girls school afterwards but suffered the same fate.
“Sobrang baba ng self esteem ko noon. Ang dami kong insecurities,” she shared.
In the pageant, the 26-year-old did not take home the crown, but she made it to the top six and came out of the experience stronger.
“Narealize ko din na siguro kaya ko nagpadaanan before ‘yun para maging ready na ako kasi alam ni God na ito yung kakaharapin ko,” she said.
Photo credit: instagram.com/maxine_medina