Meet Ms. Filipina International 2018, Patricia Camille Buensuceso

An ice queen and a beauty queen? How awesome could Ms. Filipina International 2018 get?

Patricia Camille Buensuceso, a former competitive figure skater, proves that her prowess and competitiveness takes off not just on ice, but also in the world of pageantry. After being crowned Ms. Filipina International 2018 last August 1 in Redondo Beach, California; a new journey begins for the 22-year-old Filipina, who’s based in Dallas, Texas; but traces her roots from Iloilo.

Other than the grand title, the multi-awarded Buensuceso also garnered the Miss Social Media, Miss Photogenic and Miss Best in Evening Gown titles.

34 young Filipinas from the United States, France, Germany, Canada and Japan competed for one of the most coveted crowns in the beauty world – and Buensuceso proved she was the brightest diamond of all.

The pageant also served as ‘global showcase for tourism“, according to the Miss Filipina International website. Reigning Queen Camille Buensuceso brought home roundtrip airline tickets to the Philippines, a participation at a two-week tourism promotion trip highlighting the Philippines’ tourism destinations, among other amazing freebies.

WHEN IN MANILA was able to catch up with the ice queen and beauty queen herself, Camille.

Photo provided by Camille Buensuceso Tell us about yourself!
Camille Buensuceso: I was born in Manila but moved to the United States when I was 5 years old. For my first few years of college, I enrolled at De La Salle University – Manila and transferred to the University of Texas at Dallas in 2016 where I’ll be graduating with a B.S. in Marketing in December 2018. I currently work in the Marketing & Communications Department at Ericsson and recently co-founded my own company with my business partner, Oren Pajela – Rocket Launch Creative, a creative agency. We create websites, logos, etc. and am currently working on my t-shirt company – Tadhana, which I will be launching in the fall. Proceeds received from Tadhana will be used to help Philippine entrepreneurs and promote entrepreneurship throughout the Philippines.

WIM: Was it difficult growing up in the States as a Fil-Am?
CB: Personally, I didn’t think it was difficult growing up as a Filipino-American in the sense that I was never bullied because I was different. However, especially living in Texas, I grew up with a lot of Americans and my school was about 3% Asian, so there were times when I questioned whether me being different was bad. Regardless, I was already different because of figure skating – so either way I was always different from everyone and it’s something I’ve learned to live with.

Photo provided by Camille Buensuceso

WIM: Considering that you were a former competitive figure skater, did you think you’d try out the beauty/pageant industry when you were still skating?
CB: When I was skating, my whole life was dedicated to the sport. I even had to sacrifice a lot of school and normal childhood activities. I don’t think I would have tried out pageantry while I was a figure skater mainly because I wouldn’t have time to fully dedicate myself to both activities. Additionally, both figure skating and pageantry cost a lot and I don’t think my parents could afford me doing both.

Photo provided by Camille Buensuceso

Photo provided by Camille Buensuceso

WIM: How has your life as an athlete/figure skater helped you in the world of pageants?
CB: There are quite a few similarities between figure skating and pageantry. Both are very competitive, I am naturally a competitive person, thanks to skating! (laughs). Because of that, I knew how to handle myself when it was time to compete. Similar to training for a skating competition,  I had to train for this pageant, waking up early, working out, watching what I eat, etc. was something I was experienced in. One thing that figure skating helped me that transferred over to pageantry that I was surprised about was the strength of feet, ankles, and the strain I put on them. Wearing skates for hours on end felt similar to wearing heels for an extended time. However, I think the most important thing figure skating taught me that transferred over into this pageant was my mental game. My coaches always taught me that competition is 90% mental toughness. There are a lot of mind games being played in a pageant because it is more publicized than figure skating but thanks to my experience as a figure skater, I knew how to block it all out, maintain my mental toughness, and stay true to myself.

WIM: How did you prepare for the pageant?
CB: This was my first pageant so I really had no expectations for it mainly because I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure what the people in pageantry were like but I’m so happy I met my pageant sisters and everyone at IEG. As my journey continued, I found my true purpose for joining and that was my passion to be the voice for the Filipino-International community and encourage them to go back to the Philippines and implement something from what they’ve learned overseas so that we can rise up the Philippines as a country. I worked out a little extra for this pageant and also was more cautious with my food. However, there was something I did and I find it silly – I wore heels everywhere I went. I always wore heels so I could train myself to get used to them and also everywhere I went I walked. I did pageant training with my evening gown designer, Kenneth Barlis, and everything he taught me about walking I would do any chance I had to walk. I would purposefully park far from my office so I could practice my walk. I watched Miss Universe videos on YouTube over and over again, I even watched last years Miss Filipina International pageant when it was still Binibining Pilipinas USA many times. I practiced Q&A in the morning and evening with my parents, aunt, and even my boyfriend.

WIM: What makes one an epitome of an “international Filipina”?
To me, the epitome of an International Filipina, is someone who is proud to represent the Filipino people no matter where she is, she prioritizes her family, and most importantly she has a desire to go back to her country and help.
WIM: What are your plans now that you were crowned Miss Filipina International 2018?
I believe that a beauty queen is not made up of winning the pageant but rather what she did during her reign. It’s only been less than a month, so I’m honestly still soaking it all in but I have begun thinking about my strategy. The main things I have planned right now would be my tourism trip with Insider Entertainment Group which is part of my prize package, I’ll be going to the Philippines for 2 weeks with the other winners and my apparel company Tadhana which I will be launching in the fall. Tadhana will sell shirts that will eventually feature Filipino artists work and proceeds will allow me to provide equity investments and grants to Filipino entrepreneurs who have a business that helps the country and embody the spirit of a Filipino.
WIM: For those who aspire to be someone like you or would want to join beauty pageants – what advice could you give?
CB: Success doesn’t come from being the tallest, prettiest, smartest, etc. it comes from being the most dedicated. I learned one thing throughout this whole journey and it’s something I have continuously reminded myself – there is one thing you can do better than everyone else, and that is being yourself.
Congratulations and more power to you, Camille!
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