By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
“Like cool water to one faint from thirst is good news from a far country.”
- Proverbs 25:25 (NAB)
24-year-old licensed architect Shamcey Supsup returned to the country, victorious, after bagging the 3rd Runner-up spot at the recently-concluded Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Gen-San born lass bested 85 other hopefuls including 4th Runner-up Miss China.
Angola’s Lei Lopes won the coveted title while Misses Ukraine and Brazil were named 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up, respectively.
“I’m so happy to be back and so thankful to everyone who supported me and voted for me online. I am happy with how I fared; I have given it my all and done my best. I’m contented!” gushed Shamcey, who was all-smiles during a media reception at the Gateway Suites, a day after she arrived home.
After her flight got delayed, and ultimately stranded for a day in Brazil (with a brief respite in Los Angeles), Shamcey arrived to cheers, applause and flashing cameras early Sunday morning last week aboard PR 103. It had just been a few days since she won the hearts of the country, and Filipinos abroad, by her now famous ‘tsunami walk’, the elegance of her glittering gossamer skin-toned gown, the allure of her bikini-clad physique, and the feisty yet straightforward conviction she gave to judge Viveca A. Fox’s question. “My boyfriend was happy about my response in the Q & A because it was the truth. It’s the essence of the answer that counts not the language used to express it. There’s no formula on how to win. Just be yourself and enjoy every moment. When you think on a formula, then that’s not who you are; so your every move becomes guarded and calculated.
“All my co-contestants are beautiful in person. They’re all intelligent; especially when you get to talk with them. There were a number of those who did not make the cut but all of us were already winners in our own right. I learned, in the international pageant, that we’re all different. That there was no right or wrong, there was just a difference in opinion and perspective.”
Last Monday, a triumphant Shamcey returned to places close to her heart; showing her appreciation to supportive countrymen as she paraded around the metropolis. The motorcade kicked-off at the Araneta Center at noon and went to the Quezon City Hall for a courtesy call at Mayor Bistek’s office. The next stop-over was her Alma mater, the University of the Philippines in Diliman, where her co-Iskolars ng Bayan eagerly awaited her at the state university’s Quezon Hall steps. Shamcey graduated Magna cum Laude with a degree in Architecture.
From UP, the motorcade pushed toward her place of abode in Cainta where the local government unit prepared a special program. Finally, she went to Makati High School where she graduated as class salutatorian.
“One day, I received this phone call in our room from a Filipino doctor based in Miami. He said he’d fly all the way to watch the show and support me. In other days, someone would send flowers. These gestures are so welcoming and uplifting especially when you’re down and homesick.”
Despite Brazil’s geographic location near the South Pole, people see the country as sunny and warm; perhaps due to its Mardi gras and Rio carnival. “When I got there, the weather was cold, around 12 degrees Celsius. Luckily, I came from Colombia so I had winter clothing on me. Brazilians are a happy people like us and the fiesta fever pervades the atmosphere.
“I was in Colombia training for ten days. Miss Korea was my roommate and we are so much alike because we don’t like salads, rice and rigorous exercising. I would also like to clarify the on-going rumors that those handpicked to be part of the Operation Smile outreach were assured to be on the Top 5. That was purely coincidental. Operation Smile started in the Philippines and will be on its 30th year in 2012. Now, they are already around the globe. I was one of those chosen for the event because I’m from the country that started the health mission and the four other girls with me had Operation Smile projects in their respective countries as well. It had no bearing with how we landed on the Top 5.”
Before her remarkable finish at the Miss Universe pageant, Shamcey considered graduating Magna cum Laude and topping the June 2010 licensure exams for architects as her biggest achievements thus far. “I’ve worked really hard for those accolades and I have proven that women can be at par, or even surpass men in a male-dominated field. After my Binibini reign, I want to be involved in tropical architecture and ‘green’ design. It’s not the grandness of the design but how many lives may have been influenced or changed with your work is what matters the most.”
It was a likewise a flurry of activities for Shamcey as she flew home to General Santos City, as her hometown showed their appreciation for her amazing performance at the prestigious pageant.
“My parents taught me the value of education and that it is through hard work that we achieve our aspirations. Even if I am an only child, they didn’t spoil me. It has set the tone for how I strive in achieving whatever goals I have in life.”
Getting her master’s degree, designing sustainable homes and teaching will have to take a back seat for the moment as Shamcey fulfills her duties as the country’s newest beauty royalty. Even now, several companies are asking her to endorse their products while stints in show-business also beckon.
Shamcey has proven that beauty, intelligence, and substance can go together wonderfully. She is grateful for the opportunity to represent the country; to the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc., and her sponsors for their invaluable support.
For now, she is simply trying to give back to all Filipinos who supported her journey in the Miss Universe pageant. When asked how she’d answer Miss Angola’s question, Shamcey replied, “Everything is beautiful the way God created each one. I was created in His image so I won’t change anything at all.”