WHEN the cameras started flashing and the crowd huddled outside started moving, we knew she had arrived: the lady who had made Cebu proud by bringing home the prestigious title of Binibining Pilipinas International.
Twenty-four-year-old Nicole Schmitz has everything one would expect from a beauty queen. She has a statuesque figure, a magnetic doll-like face, and an evident knack for style.
Likewise, she has everything that is befitting of a lady who carries the name “Binibining Pilipinas.” She bears the true inner beauty of a Filipina – charm, brilliance, and poise – and indeed, she is a suitable representative to this year’s Miss International beauty pageant.
Prior to Binibining Pilipinas, Nicole had already competed and won several pageants. The titles that she formerly held were Miss Teen Philippines 1st Runner-Up, Miss Mandaue 2006, and Miss Philippines – Australia Winner 2008.
The 5’7” beauty was into modelling before and had joined Model Quest Australia 2007, which she also won.
“It was actually a very surreal feeling,” Nicole described, referring to the Bb. Pilipinas coronation night last April 15.
“It didn’t even sink in for a week and when it did, I just started to cry. I was so happy I was able to make it,” she said.
Nicole shared that months before the pageant, she underwent rigorous training in walking, talking and exercise – saying, “I took this pageant seriously and I wanted to make sure that I gave it my best. Luckily, it paid off. It’s really all about determination and perseverance.”
At present, Nicole is on break from her university studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, where she is a taking a double degree in psychology and law. She recently graduated psychology with honors; and is now in her final year for law.
Of course, keeping her busy nowadays are her preparations for the Miss International that will be held in Japan on October. Nicole is undergoing another round of pageant training under the Binibining Pilipinas Foundation, and is brushing up her fluency in Nippongo as well.
“I just want to live without regrets,” Nicole said ardently. “There are a lot of things I want to achieve in my life. I don’t want to miss out, I don’t want to look back and go: I should have done that when I could have.”
“That’s why I came back to do this pageant,” she explained. “If I don’t do it now, I know I’ll regret it.”
Nicole described her pageant experience as a “great” one, as it taught her many valuable things and at the same time, through the foundation’s charity works, she was able to give back to the community.
To those who wish to follow her footsteps, Nicole’s simple messge was: “I would definitely encourage it. It’s a great experience. More than anything, you learn to be a woman and you develop self-confidence and independence. Then for those girls who are unsure, it doesn’t really matter if you’re the prettiest or the tallest, because it’s really about how you shine on stage.”