The price of fame


Going back to the movies

Reigning Miss Universe Sheynnis Palacios received a warm welcome from Filipino pageant fans when she visited the Philippines for the first time earlier this month. She was a picture of beauty, grace, and humility during her week-long stay in the country.

Nicaragua's first Miss Universe impressed Filipino fans with charm and wisdom. She empowered young people to envision big dreams and persevere in pursuing them. In one of her talks, Sheynnis highlighted the importance of education.


“Education is the base of everything. I grew up in a poor community in my country, but I feel so glad for my family because they gave me the most important thing: education.  Prepare yourself by working hard for the future. You can do it if you work hard. And the most important thing is when someone tells you no, you remember you,” she said.

Sheynnis also raved about local dishes such as beef mechado, menudo, halo-halo, and chicharon.

What caught the attention of pageant aficionados here and worldwide was her emotional display during the motorcade at the grounds of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

As the motorcade passed, a fan approached and handed Sheynnis a Nicaraguan flag, a symbol of her homeland. This simple act triggered a flood of emotions. Sheynnis sobbed, clutching the flag tightly, unable to let go. At that moment, we could feel her longing for Nicaragua.

When she was crowned Miss Universe 2023 in El Salvador in November, the beauty queen had yet to return to her country to celebrate her victory. Nicaraguans marked Sheynnis's triumph with a noise barrage in the streets. It’s the most they could do for the controversial beauty queen. In a move that sparked debate, the Nicaraguan government alleged that Sheynnis participated in protest rallies in 2018.

Sheynnis’s life has taken a turn for the complicated. In a post on Mother’s Day, Anne Jukratutatip hinted that the beauty queen’s family has also left Nicaragua. Anne later edited her post and deleted the part about the beauty queen’s family in exile.

Anne previously told Sheynnis, “You are brave, strong, and intelligent, but also very humble and work hard to take care of your mother and all the family who are now outside your homeland.”

Tico Times, a Costa Rican newspaper, reported that Sheynnis’s grandmother and brother obtained a visa from the United States and left Nicaragua in April.

After the competition in El Salvador, Karen Celebertti, former owner of the Miss Universe Nicaragua franchise, was barred from returning.

It may sound cliché, but fame and wealth often come with a cost. The spotlight can lead to endless scrutiny, invade your privacy, and create pressure to maintain a specific image.

While the benefits of success are undeniable, it’s crucial to pause and reflect on the potential drawbacks before embarking on the journey.

At this point, Sheynnis and her family can’t return to Nicaragua. Let’s hope and pray that Sheynnis and her loved ones find peace of mind amid the political tension in their homeland.