Athlete turned beauty queen: Miss Mandaue talks doubts, dreams

WINNING a beauty pageant wasn’t her dream at first. She traded the dazzling gowns for high-performance swimwear—Lorraine Hann was honed to become a national athlete. But all that changed once she gave pageants a try. Since then, things were not the same for her.

Lorraine then found her place in the pageantry world, and her love for the craft, which led her to join—and win—Miss Mandaue 2019. Though she did not win any special awards, she won the top prize as announced during the coronation night last May 7. On overcoming a ton of doubt on her way to being crowned a beauty queen, Lorraine shared her story.

Patricia P. Catan (PPC): What got you into the world of pageantry?

Lorraine Hann (LH): My mom has always been an inspiration to me. In fact, she is a beauty queen herself! I want to make her proud and be like her. However, it wasn’t easy because I never really saw the essence of pageants. I never imagined myself as a beauty queen since I was already struggling with balancing swimming, modeling and school. Who ever thought a national athlete like me would join pageants? I don’t even have the ideal body since I have broad shoulders and small hips. But despite all that, I still ended up giving it a try because my mom wanted me to join pageants. My first pageant was Miss Consolacion and I saw how supportive she was. She would remind me every day that I deserved to be where I was. I was holding back because I thought that it just was not for me. It was almost as if I was being forced to chase my mother’s dream instead of mine. After winning four major pageants, I realized that pageants aren’t all about being the prettiest and smartest. Rather, it is about how much you want to inspire people to prove your purpose through your advocacy.

PPC: Before joining the pageant, what was your preparation like?

LH: For me, the most important preparation is having the right mind-set. You can’t expect too much or too less. I really had to control my mind to focus on doing my best. Though I was intimidated by the other girls because they were all beautiful and charming, I didn’t compare myself to them. I built my own standard, especially that I was candidate number one. So really, the most important preparation I had was setting the right mind-set.

PPC: What were some of the challenges that you had to go through?

LH: The biggest challenge would have to be holding my head up high even when I know that I am the reason why I look down on myself. I am a pessimist and I really had to change that. I expect the worst possible outcome and I easily get discouraged. This pageant really formed me to be tough. This pageant made me a fighter.

PPC: How does it feel winning the crown?

LH: It feels surreal because there were so many points when I wanted to give up and just redeem myself in the next pageant. I wanted a fresh start because I wasn’t satisfied with my performance, especially in the media’s choice. I stuttered when it was my turn to answer. Knowing that on coronation night, I gave my very best and let my personality shine through and fought hard for that crown. It made me feel so happy and blessed especially that the title and crown I won wasn’t just any ordinary title and crown. I am the Golden Miss Mandaue with the special golden crown by Mark Shandar.

PPC: Who do you look up to in the pageantry world?

LH: Aside from my mom, it would have to be Catriona Grey. I admire her spirit so much. She is so strategic, creative and thoughtful about the message she wants to impart. She is very strong because she doesn’t settle for less. She is a fighter. Above all that, she is very charming and sweet. Her personality is so pure.

PPC: What is your advocacy as a beauty queen?

LH: My advocacy is youth education. I chose this advocacy because growing up, I would participate in my parents’ feeding programs, medical missions and the like for the benefit of the youth. They inspired me to start my own program which is a tutorial session for the children in the different barangays of Cebu. After the tutorial session, there would be a feeding program. I want to reach out to the youth and give them hope; that they do have the capability to learn despite the lack of resources.

PPC: What are your plans for your reign?

LH: I am planning to continue 2018 Miss Mandaue’s (Gabriella Carballo) “Green Wave” and implement my advocacy by reaching out to the underprivileged children and teaching them how to read, write, basic math etc., and then have a feeding program after that.

PPC: Are you joining other pageants in the future?

LH: I do plan on joining Binibining Pilipinas after I graduate from medical school.


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