USC SPEDSO Holds Miss AdmirAble 2017
Photo by Jhessa Ugdamina
Miss AdmirAble 2017: Admiring Beauty and Ability in All Forms was held at Elizabeth Mall’s The Stage from 1 pm to 3 pm on March 26, 2017. The event was spearheaded by the Special Education Students Organization (SPEDSO), a co-curricular student organization of the University of San Carlos’ School of Education, to promote the sustainable development goal of equal rights and equal opportunities for people with special needs through showcasing the different talents, beauty, and abilities of the five PWD contestants.
May Ann Ygol from Bridging Homes Learning Center, Veranee Ouano from Lyceum of Cebu, Rose Ann Simudlan from Saint Paul College Foundation Incorporated, Premerose Lamban from the University of Southern Philippines Foundation, and Ritchelena Joy Oporto from The University of Visayas took part in the four portions of the event namely Talent, Sunday’s Best, Sports Outfit, and Ecouture Outfit.
Five major awards were up for grabs: The Miss Admirable Talent to Lamban, Miss Admirable Manners to Simudlan, Miss Admirable Beauty to Oporto, Miss Admirable Confidence to Ygol, and Miss Admirable Congeniality to Ouano. Additionally, three awards were given to the foster families of the Contestants: Admirable Family to University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Best Stylist to University of Visayas, and Best Designer to Bridging Homes Learning Center.
According to the Head of the Teacher Education Section (TES) Mariter T. Malonjao, the school’s advocacy for PWD rights can be traced back to the 1990’s under the Best Buddies International, a nonprofit group that creates opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In order to continue the advocacy, the SPEDSO came up with the event to let the majority know that there are people who are taken for granted. “To fight for them and with them,” said Malonjao.
University of San Carlos Supreme Student Council (SSC) President Deodatus Burgos reiterates the message of the program and said, “Realizing that there is a challenge (on discrimination) is one thing but acting on that challenge is noble and proper,” and further emphasized that because of the said activity, they were able to protect and preserve the rights of people with special needs
Regarding Miss AdmirAble’s future ventures, Malonjao hoped to have more candidates, more schools, and more students from special education centers to join. Also, she added that they plan to invite more people to partake in the event in order to raise inclusion awareness for people with disabilities.