Q&A with Mrs. Philippines Int'l 2021 Leona Luisa A. Andersen

Published November 26, 2021, 11:02 AM

by Robert Requintina

Leona Luisa A. Andersen (Photos by Joy Arguil)

Leona Luisa A. Andersen, 27, shareholder at Le Gastro, is not yet done with pageants. After winning 1st runner-up at the Reina Ng Tahanan competition on “It’s Showtime” recently, Leona is set to represent Olongapo City at the Mrs Philippines International 2021 pageant at the Grand Ballroom of Okada Manila in Paranaque City on Dec. 18. Get to know more of this empowered personality in our Q&A:

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF: I was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. I’m a BS psychology graduate, has a license in Basic Life Support and Basic First Aid. I am musically-minded, into arts and reading.

WHY DID YOU JOIN MRS PHILIPPINES INTERNATIONAL? I joined the MPI to get really active in doing charity and sharing with those in need. Since I was in college, this was one thing that I really got active in, but through simple ways due to lack of funds. But now, it is one of my priorities. I also joined the pageant to be able to inspire not only women but my fellow moms.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR FAMILY: I am an only child of elder parents. Was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, and moved here to the Philippines when was 12. I only knew how to speak English and the Filipino language was a real struggle, but I was able to learn in a year’s time with the guidance of a tutor along the way. My dad owns a business in Canada of interior decorating and my mom worked as a caregiver specialized for children due to her additional course of child psychology. My parents met in Canada and settled together and got married. My mom then quit her work and focused on raising me.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS PAGEANT EXPERIENCES: In 2013, I joined the Mutya ng Olongapo and won 1st runner-up. Then I took the adventure to going to the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy and competed in the Mutya ng Marino 2014 and was able to get the 1st runner-up again. Then in 2015, I got pregnant and had to stop from pageantry but in 2020, I got back on my feet and joined the Grand Ambassadress of the Universe PH and was able to take home seven awards. But due to the pandemic, the pageant was not able to push through. Due to boredom when the pandemic hit, especially the lock-down, I joined an Online Modeling competition – Battle to the Top and I won as the female grand winner. After this, my pageantry life got more productive and won first runner-up in Reina ng Tahanan and Madlang People’s Choice of ABS CBN on “It’s ShowTime.”

TELL US ABOUT THE PLACE YOU ARE REPRESENTING: Olongapo City is a small city yet rich in culture and wilderness. From leisure to dinning to sports and various activities – name it; Olongapo City can offer you all of these and accommodate all ages.

WHAT ARE EXPECTING FROM THE PAGEANT AND WHAT CAN YOU OFFER TO THE ORGANIZATION? I am expecting professionalism and teamwork – to mold the women to be able to work well together and be as one – united/unity. Since I am just starting in pageants for “Misis”, I would love to grow with the organization and offer my 3 H’s – head, heart and hands. I will offer my time to help out with the organization and commit as much as I can.

DO YOU HAVE AN ADVOCACY THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO PROMOTE USING THE PLATFORM OF THE PAGEANT? I would like to promote awareness on poverty and education. During the pandemic, many households have suffered, especially below average and average people. This was due to the loss of work and financial support. Most parents have a hard time attending the educational needs of their kids. I wish to help them the simplest way, but what will help our upcoming generation – the light of our upcoming world.

HOW ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE PAGEANT? I am currently practicing my talent and my walk, since I haven’t been active in national pageants for a while. I really want to train hard and be more than ready for the pageant.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL MAKE YOU WIN THE PAGEANT? I know I will win this pageant because as my fiancé said, “I was born ready”. So I know I will win this. I also have the edge of being more fit compared to my other competitors. Also, my English skills are great and my relationship with people is also good.

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO WHEN IT COMES TO PAGEANTS AND WHY? I look up to my mom, who is my strength. She is the reason why I am strong and why I keep aiming for more achievements in pageants.

IF YOU WILL WIN (ANY TITLES), WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR YOUR REIGN? I plan to pursue my advocacy and really get active in charity works. I also want to inspire more children to be productive and aim high.

YOUR MESSAGE TO YOUR CO-CANDIDATES AND SUPPORTERS: I am hoping that our bond will get stronger together and that we will work as one. To my supporters, thank you so much for your over pouring support, and please continue to root for me and follow me through my journey with the pride of bringing the name of Olongapo City.