Meet the first-time pageant star who just won Miss Philippines Canada 2023
Miss Philippines Canada 2023 may be a first-timer in the beauty pageant scene but don’t dismiss her victory as beginner’s luck.
When Julia Duenas first heard about the pageant at a Filipino family party, she had no idea her path would take a glorious turn. Hailing from Chatham, Ontario, a town known as the ‘Classic Car Capital of Canada,’ Duenas’ natural beauty stood out among the field of candidates to eventually bag the crown on July 15 in Toronto.
Sure, winning the pageant was an impressive achievement, but what really captured her heart was her chance to help society. “I did some research about the pageant. I was more interested in the part that I would be doing charity work if I won,” she said.
In January 2024, she will visit Lucena City, Philippines, her father’s hometown, to do the charitable work she has always wanted to do, which is in collaboration with the Philippine-Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF), a nonprofit committed to helping the less fortunate in the Philippines.
Moreover, the PCCF has a record of changing lives and building homes in their chosen communities.
Duenas’ father is from Lucena City while her mother is a Cagayan De Oro native. Their family moved to Chatham in 2008.
The 24-year-old pageant winner’s parents were the driving forces behind this achievement, playing a vital role in her journey to becoming a queen as both of them joined in her performance of a Filipino song originating from Visayas called “Lawiswis Kawayan.”
It’s a heartwarming scene seeing the whole family performing together. Picture Duenas on the marimba, her mom playing the piano, and her dad strumming the guitar—talk about Filipino family teamwork.
— Chatham Daily News (@Chathamnews) August 5, 2023
In the question and answer portion, Duenas highlighted her unrelenting love for her Filipino heritage.
When asked about the significance of preserving her cultural identity and promoting Filipino culture, she answered that by inviting friends and family to Filipino-Canadian community events, they could celebrate the culture through music, dance, and Filipino food.
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And while everyone is urging her to join more pageants after winning the title, the Miss Philippines Canada 2023 would rather take it slow. With dreams of becoming a nurse, she’s currently pursuing a nursing career at McMaster University in Hamilton while working shifts at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, a community hospital for Chatham residents.
Carrying that unmistakable Pinoy pride within her, this beauty queen is set to help make the community she is part of a better place to live in. And for that, we’re passing on the baton to you, Miss Philippines Canada 2023.