Sunday, 9 September 2012

Pageant Vixen Talks: Agnes Benitez

Agnes Benitez was born in October 1, 1986 at Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She competed on several pageants before competing at Miss Earth, which is a grandslam pageant. Let's know more about her!

Universal Beauty Council: Who is Agnes before entering Miss Earth PR?

Agnes: I' ve been working for over a year for a college as admission officer, I love my job, to work with young people and help them define their future makes me feel part of their success. I'm one semester away from my bachelor degree in Business administration. I admit I'm a pageant fan since I remember! I am the first one in the family to enter this world, I am sure It was because of my mom. My mom got me into a model angency when I was little. Besides working and being a college student I began pageants in 2008, I was 4th runner up in Miss PR Universe 2009 among 70 delegates. Miss Earth Puerto Rico was the second time I tried to win a national crown, I was already in Nuestra Belleza Latina reality show in Miami representing Puerto Rico, semi finalist and crowned as Queen of the Americas during Miss Tourism Queen International ba ck in 2009.I come from a town affected by air pollution, I love nature, and I'm definately a beach girl this why I've been always aware of what affects our mother nature. Miss Earth is not only a pageant for me, it means to be A SPOKE PERSON TO SAFE THE PLANET. That is why I had no doubts I wanted not only to win the national crown but to become the first Miss Earth from Puerto Rico.

Universal Beauty Council: Winning Miss Earth PR, how did it changed your life?

Agnes:  I had the chance to aware and be heard about our currents problems with our environment, I've been involve in seminars, recycle programs not only in my community but in my job, my town etc... I cant say in changed my life because I've been always involved in the theme but being a national beauty queen of course gives you that extra push to be heard everywhere you go and that is one of my personal goals I wanted to achieve.

Universal Beauty Council: How did you prepare for Miss Earth?

Agnes:  Hmmmm After the pageant I can say I learned that there is nothing specific you can do in order to win the crown. As any other beauty queen I cared about looking my best to the international competition, I diet, had braces to enhance my smile, got make up and hair class in order to be able to look my best being at my own in Philippines. The most important part is that I was working with recycle programs in college and school from my community among other things, that is not part of a preparation is part of the duty of being a Miss Earth and is a most! I have to thanks the designers that helped me fill my 3 suitcases with amazing dresses!! My pageant directors are designers so I worked with them toward my evening gowns, national costume and amazon wear in Miami. It was a preparation that kept me busy all the time and combining it with my studies and full time job, I admit I love being busy!! and most of the time I was!! ;)

Universal Beauty Council: When you were here in the Philippines, what place you did miss the most?

Agnes:  Philippines made me feel back home, not homesick at all! I come from an island, I'm used to hot weather, golden sun and blue beaches. I loved the people!! as a latina, we are known for being warm and friendly but I can say that is not where you are is with whom! The Filipinos made me feel part of them all the time, all of them were friendly and that is a most when you are alone ( nobody from Puerto Rico went with me) and in the other side of the world. I admit I missed a lot my traditional food and seasonings, it was not the first time I was away from home so I don't get homesick easily. I only have regrets because I google so many amazing places in the Pilipinas and I wanted to meet them all but did not have the chance, I'll be back someday to meet the chocolate hills, Boracay, the underground river among others!

Universal Beauty Council: What is your environmental advocacy?

Agnes:  To use natural resources first! give a try to what already mother nature gave us. In my hometown the air pollution was always a problem because we have a big industrial area but thanks to the eolic energy generators it began to get better and stopped being so dangerous for people's health. What is the main resource of this? the wind! is a nature's gift already! this is a small example of what I mean.

Universal Beauty Council:  In many environmental activities during Miss Earth, what activity do you think was memorable?

Agnes:  We were 84 delegates and we were all divided in small groups in order to sponsor visit, and environmental or regular activities. Unfortunately I can count the environmental activities I had the chance to do with only one hand. I can say I loved all of them! I planted mangroves in Batangas, had 3 seminars in a day full of interesting information, I visit the environmental offices from Manila and met the director, talking and getting to meet his concerns made me realize we are more people than we thing worrying about the same issues, we are not alone in this! we need to keep fighting to safe mother earth cause is only one planet no matter in where in it you live.

Universal Beauty Council: Who were you bestfriends in the competition?

Agnes:  I loved being around 83 girls so different and similar at the same time. I always love to get to know everyone even when is hard when some don't speak English ( I speak only English and Spanish). I can say all of them are my friends but of course you always get close to some according to what you share, things in common, etc... I became close to:PANAMA- Mare is so fun, we have a lot things in common in our personalities, she made me laugh every time and I am sure we are going to be friends from now on.

Guatemala- ''La guate'' as we call her, she is shy and quiet but a nice girl and good friend

Northern Ireland and Peru: we were roomies the last week, but besides that we really became friends, Peru was very organized all the time, and always went to straight to bed and was the first to wake up. Northern Ireland, not matter how tired we were we always got at least 10 minutes to chat about anything before falling asleep. 

Slovakia, South Africa, US Virgin Islands, Spain, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia... is hard to mention just a few names!!!

Universal Beauty Council: Now Miss Earth is done, what will you do next in your career?

Agnes:  In my professional career I will finish my bachelor degree by summer 2012, Im very happy for that! I made some stops alone the way because of the pageants I entered but I don't have regrets at all it was all worthy but is a chapter that will come to an end now. I will enter law school, I plan to open my own business, I want my own modeling agency and to keep helping other pageant girls that are raising, personally I plan to have a family no to far way in my future, I want to have a lot of kids since I am an only child!! About pageants, I love them and always will. To be Puerto Rico and stop being Agnes Benitez is something totally worthy, an experience not every woman is born to enjoy and even now I can't say I won't do another pageants because I love traveling, meeting new people, sharing cultures, learning and being a spoke person for a cause or an advocacy... so who knows where you will see me again!!!

Universal Beauty Council: Many said you should have been in the top 16, how will you react to this?

Agnes:  Wow, that is a main issue to discuss:( well, thanks to all the people that saw in me the chance to be not only in top 16 but a winner. When you feel that you did everything right, you get to be in calm with yourself. I know pageants results can surprise you! I was focus all the time I was there, I represented Puerto Rico with all my heart, my advocacy was always clear and present. I am happy that back in Puerto Rico everyone feels proud of my job while being in Philippines. I am always honest, I admit I wanted not only to be in the top 16 but even more and I did my best 100% all the time. I admit I was very surprised with some delegates that made it to the top 16. I was sad for a while not only for me but some other delegates that did not made it and I knew they had big chances but life may have other things prepare for our future. Like I said before I am very happy with the support I received from the people in the Philippines, the forums, the new friends, the fans, the people that writes to me everyday, the comments even on that night after the final ''Puerto Rico I'm still shocked you did not make it!'', the girls in the backstage telling me I was always in their top... that means a lot to me, that means I did what I was supposed to do, only my best and people saw it. I have to say a big SALAMAT PO=GRACIAS= THANKS to all the people supporting me, pageants are unpredictable. I learned that the best you get is not the positions, or title is to be love and lovable, to do THIS! have a ''conversation'' with people that wants to know more from me, to know a great place in the world like the PHILIPPINES!!! that is the best crown or title I can get. I feel a winner in every way, thanks for believing me!!! I'm sure there is more to come to my life, and to the winner: I did not get to know her, but I am very happy that a latina won, I wish you only the best during your reign!!! Represent us with proud!! :)

Universal Beauty Council:  Let's be like Miss Earth Q and A, why do you think education is important in saving Mother Earth?

Agnes:  A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. Education gives you contious about something you need to take care off because you are the solution. We need to educate and stop being just aware of the problems of Mother Earth, when you are aware you can choose not do anything in order to save the planet but if you are concious you act. Education give you the knowladge to take actions this is why I agree is the basic step toward saving Mother Earth.( I loved the opportunity to answer this question!!!)

Universal Beauty Council: Beauty tip to all.

Agnes: Drink lots of water, never go to sleep with make up on, avoid fried food, have a balance diet, sustitute coffee for tea! green tea keeps you healthy and in shape! For the Miss Earth I took with me some tricks to keep my skin looking my best.
Pageant tips: I used pure honey for 30 minutes on my face as a mask while doing my hair, ironing a dress, packing, or anything else
Brown sugar combine with honey keeps your skin glowing and soft when use as a body and face scrub
Drink green tea as much as you can, besides helping you keep on shape gives you energy, put the tea bags on the fridge and put then on your eyes for some minutes to get rid of dark circles and puff eyes
After making coffee get what is left and have a body scrub with the left overs in circular motion to help reduce the cellulite while improving blood circulation
There you have my secret weapons, use them wisely!

Universal Beauty Council: Message to all fans.

Agnes:  To all my fans make sure you know that one of the amazing things that pageants give you is to be loveable and loved! Never judge a book by its cover, never critized without being objective a girl that is representing you because only she knows the pressure, the stamina, the energy you have to deal with during a pageant. Thanks to all my fans in Philippinnes for making me feel at home, all the positive words and comments made me always want more and more, it made me feel already a winner. Thanks to all my international friends I made from previous pageants! they were supporting me from every corner of the planet! Australia, Pakistan, Kenya, Norway, Thailand, to all those special amigas thanks a lot for being there!! To my mom and boyfriend thanks for understanding that I love to be PUERTO RICO, to my pageant directors: thanks for always believe in me, one of the best prizes I could get was to meet you during this journey and know I will always count with you Adam & Alfred. I can't say good bye!! only Hasta luego ( see you later)... All my love and blessings, you touched my life and will always be part of a lifetime moment Philippinnes!!

Universal Beauty Council:
Thank You so much Agnes!