“It’s in times like this that we are humbly reminded by the relevance of beauty pageants in today’s society.”

It was an ordinary December for us here in Japan. Although this year’s winter season seems to be colder than usual, we were able to push through with our Christmas and New Year plans with no fault. It was something that would suffice the lack of foreign trip, such as going back to the Philippines to spend the holidays with the family.

Typhoon hits home

Unfortunately, with the current pandemic and the strict immigration guidelines, I decided not to go back home this last Christmas for the second straight year. To add further misfortune to what was already befallen us, the Philippines was heavily devastated by the most powerful typhoon to hit the country in 2021, Typhoon Odette (international name Rai). The island where I grew up – Negros Island – was not spared. Strong winds wiped out parts of southern part of Negros, coupled by rivers that overflew like they have never been before.

After seeing the news about the effects of the typhoon through my friends’ social media accounts, I decided to call for help. Initially, I just posted on my Instagram story to Pray for Negros Island. I included a few photos of what was then the situation in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. Miss International Spain 2021, Julianna Ro became the first beauty queen to respond, privately asking how she could help. The reigning Miss Supranational Japan 2021, Rina Okada, followed next. Before I knew it, another message came from Fuyuki Fujihara, who has been a long time pageant friend of mine since 2015.

Donation drive

At first, I was not really thinking of organizing a donation drive because it’s almost the end of the year. Suffice to say, I was busy with work. During the next few hours after sharing my Instagram post, I received more inquiries from friends in the Japanese pageant world! So, I thought that it would be more practical to get their donations through bank transfer. I sent my bank account details to those who contacted me in private.

From one person, there came the rippling effect. Before I knew it, within two days, nearly 40 people from my friends and acquaintances in the Japanese pageant industry have already put their money into my account. By December 24th, I transferred all the donations to the Philippines via BDO. Thankfully, BDO offered an international bank transfer free of charge! On the other hand, beauty queens who are not in Japan advised me to use a crowd funding site so they could also donate.

Although majority of the financial assistance that I gathered in Japan came from the Miss Supranational Japan organization, I also managed to receive donations from Missosology Japan, MSJ alumnae as well as former participants of Miss International Japan. In addition, the ongoing crowd funding activity has already accumulated around $500 from former and current delegates of Miss International.

Miss Supranational Japan organization gave with highest contribution to the fund raising campaign.

Special impact

What made these even more special was the fact that I didn’t directly ask for help from these kindhearted people. They just saw my Instagram post, and had willingly pledged to help. Many of them may not have won their respective contest, but they had simply proven that it would take more than a crown to be a true winner. Some even donated as much as 30,000 yen, which was more than what I asked for an individual contribution.

Pageants are not very much celebrated here in Japan. However, these simple acts of benevolence and generosity made me reflect on the essence of my job as a pageant organizer. Many of the pageant girls who donated do not want to be named. They also belong to different pageant systems. However, when an opportunity calls, I realize once again that I can easily rely on pageantry for immediate response. I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart!

For the record, we were able to raise nearly 400,000 yen in just two days, and without actual physical contact.

PS: As of this writing, all of the donations from Japan have already been transferred to the Philippines. Volunteer groups have received the money and distributed them to various recipients in southern Negros Occidental.

About the Writer:

STEPHEN I. DIAZ was a Missosology writer and correspondent from 2003 to 2018. He is currently the Marketing Head and Licensing Officer of the Miss International Beauty Pageant.




残念ながら、今のパンデミックと厳しい入国のガイダンスにより、2年連続でクリスマス期間中の帰国を諦めました。さらに残念なことに、2021年最も大きなスーパー台風がフィリピンに直撃しました。台風Odette (国際名はライ)です。私が生まれ育った島であるネグロス島の被害はそこまで大きくはありませんでしたが、南部は強風により倒壊し、初めて川の水が空中に吹き荒れました。

友人がSNSに投稿した台風の影響についてのニュースを見て、私は助けを求める決心をしました。最初は、単に自分のインスタグラムのストーリーに「ネグロス島のために祈りましょう」とネグロス島のカバンカラン市の写真を添付して投稿しました。2021年ミスインターナショナル・スペイン代表のJulianna Ro さんが最初に返信し、どんな手助けができるか聞いてくれました。2021年ミス・スプラナショナル日本代表の岡田莉奈さんがこれに続き、2015年からミスコンの友達である藤原冬姫さんからもメッセージをいただきました。








PS: 日本で集まった寄付金は全てフィリピンに渡りました。そしてネグロス島南部の多くの被害者のために活用されています。 (通訳 伊勢翔太)