There is no correct or incorrect answer to that question—only an honest or dishonest one.

Yet it is susceptible to a glib answer, just the way Atty. Jojo Reyes handled it during the presentation of the Binibining Pilipinas candidates at the Porsche.

Because you can’t deny it’s reality, it is about values, beliefs, love, money, integrity, generosity and pride.

They are all there. It could be an enjoyable way to find out more about everybody’s participation in the beauty contest and confront ethical dilemmas in a concrete rather than abstract form.

To respond to this question, those involved will need to examine and interpret past beauty pageants, project themselves into hypothetical situations — even face difficult moral aspects and make painful choices.

It can be an avenue for individual growth and to deepen relationship among other aspirants. It is also a quick way to know a stranger, or find pleasant amusement amongst themselves.

This question exposes issues that warrant deep, solitary reflections, but is particularly stimulating when explained among those involved in a beauty pageant.

It will be surprising how effective the question catalyzes unusual and rewarding discussion.

A passing interaction with colleagues and the Asian Journal team, over Chinese dinner after the presscon, led to an intoxicating tete-a-tete.

A dull evening with ace photographers was transformed into an exciting encounter, lasting into the late hours, where there was a discussion on the relevance of beauty contests.

While conversing, and exchanging small talk, we decided: why not give ourselves permission to voice those dangerous questions (during the presscon) that we’ve never been quite willing to ask?

Those provocative thoughts by an inner voice are soon forgotten, because we pull back from bringing up questions that seem awkward or intrusive.

Yet, these are the very ones that will open paths to understanding and intimacy.

When people encounter inquisitive media men (who genuinely want to hear what they have to say) interviewees are usually far from being offended and eager to talk about the important things on their minds.

Human nature makes us react strongly to questions that touch our own unresolved conflicts.

The questions you avoid maybe the ones you need to consider most, in your story. You will notice as you jump around, probing issues, you will face unexpected topics.

From one’s experience, I’ve discovered that with the emotional tone and color of a person’s reply in a beauty pageant, the candidate may communicate even more than the words themselves.

There are no correct or incorrect answers to a question, only honest or dishonest ones.

Only by probing and listening to explained responses can we pursue interesting tangents. Using these as points of departure gives the imagination full rein.

Most of the candidates were articulate — answering questions was actually a test of grace under pressure.

The questions were in themselves unimportant. What we were really asking was if the candidates we’re keeping their cool in a time of tension.

At that frantic moment, Kathleen Diaz Bautista did not flounder. She made a quick reply with a smile and the audience happily cheered.

In the next few days, the contestants will be very closely scrutinized. They are impressed by how smoothly the pageant is being run, and how everything is going according to schedule.

The judges absolutely have nothing to do with them as individuals. They’re always regarded as candidates for Bb. Pilipinas-USA and nothing more.

Ms. Mildred Deang (who is in charge of the contest) is just as impartial.

She had nothing to do with the picking of the girl, nor the judging. She just manages and looks after all of the candidates, who are supposed to be smart, intelligent and determined with goals.

Accosted every three steps, she mutters a startled bit of beauty advice before striding on. There’s no denying that Ms. Mildred is a fashion plate: sleek by day and bold after dark.

After deliberately being provocative, she played with notions of concealment and expose that could make even the candidates either gasp or deliciously swoon!

Her romantic partner, Atty. Jojo Reyes refused to hug the limelight with her. He said: “I’m just the supporting role, that Great Escort that enables her to play the starring role.”

The concentration is now on how charmingly and intelligently the girls will project their assets, rather than on the assets themselves.

Heads are high in the air!

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