IT WAS the night of coronation of the Mutya ng Pilipinas: Negros Island Region (2017) competition and winner Louise Lian Enumerable could not speak.
“I was mute. During the question and answer portion, my voice was almost negligent. I really was struggling to answer. Even the mic couldn’t pick up my voice,” Enumerable said.
She was suffering from rheumatic heart disease, a condition, according to the University of California at San Francisco, which is a “complication of rheumatic fever in which the heart valves are damaged ... [and] begins with strep throat.”
Although Enumerable suffered this condition, she did not let it restrict her. In 2016, she won first runner-up in the Lin-ay sang Negros, representing Murcia City. Furthermore, in 2017, she had won the Mutya ng Pilipinas: Negros Island Region and was a top 12 finalist at the national Mutya ng Pilipinas competition.
“You should not lose hope. I call myself a woman whose aspirations and imagination are not limited because of my physical conditions,” Enumerable reflected on the role that her heart disease had on her career.
With the success of her beauty career, however, came with numerous struggles including the heart disease.
During her “first big pageant” at the Lin-ay sang Negros competition, Enumerable vividly remembers being anxious. “I was hesitant at first to participate because I had no clue about this field. I wasn’t confident enough for the big stage. I was not good at walking on the ramp, the question and answer portion, and other communication skills,” she said.
However, she noted, that with the “help of the Murcia team,” she was able to practice with trainers and started “to really develop.”
Additionally, she acknowledged the support she received from her family, friends, and the province of Negros, which reduced her lack of self-confidence due to her heart disease.
“There was overwhelming support from people I don’t know on social media,” she said.
Perhaps the most difficult part of Enumerable’s journey in the field was her season in Mutya ng Pilipinas, in which for a month she had to be far away from family.
“We were housed in Manila. I needed to keep up with my health and the activities of Mutya. I woke up at 4 a.m. each day and ended the day at midnight,” she said. “It was hard trying to keep up with my health and activities.”
With her hard work, Enumerable reaped the rewards of the beauty accolades.
At present, she works as a bank teller. Initially, this occupation was difficult for her to adjust too because her degree was in Tourism Management. However, due to family concerns about her health and distance, she did not push forward with that field.
“I entered the bank without any idea. When I got hired, we had training. I learned it well and fast,” Enumerable said.
Asked about the main lessons she learned from her life, Enumerable replied, “You should not let society define who you are. If someone bullies you or hurts your feelings, it should not define who you are. You should always believe in yourself.”
“Be confident of who you are,” she added.