Beauty queen and mother on empowerment and values formation
By Jane Kingsu-Cheng
It’s never too late to try new experiences, and this is what the statuesque mom-of-four did. Thirty-nine-year-old Irene Montemayor was invited by Mrs. Asia Pacific (Philippines) organizer to audition for the pageant. “If not for her invitation, I wouldn’t be here. She must have seen something in me that made her reach out,” shared the beauty queen who represented our country last February 18-24 in Singapore.
Though she revealed that this was the first time she joined a beauty pageant, she said that she’s always open to try new things. “I joined, because life is something that we need to value and we do not want to live in ‘what if’ and what should have been. I’ve learned to appreciate my femininity and being a woman. And that even if we are building a generation of children who will make a difference in society, we should also do what gives us fulfillment and joy,” added Montemayor. Most of all, she’s grateful for her supportive husband Carlos, and her four children: Sophisa Ysabel (14), Sean Carlos (12), Steven Zachary (11), and Stephanie Nathalie (6).
Fresh from the Mrs. Global Universe 2019 competition, Irene Montemayor was one proud Pinay who brought home awards such as 4th runner-up, and the titles Special Queen Ambassador and Mrs. Charming. Read on to find out why this beauty queen and mother is deserving of the crown:
MB: How do you balance work, motherhood, and the pageant?
I believe in work life integration and being able to serve the needs of my family, and doing what I’m passionate about.
MB: How did you prepare for the competition?
I asked for help and training from the experts in the pageant industry. My talent for the local pageant was aerial silk and it would have been impossible to do that on the international pageant. So I took art and dance classes to prepare for the talent portion. In the end, I chose dancing as my talent. I had pasarela training with Caloy Buendia and Q&A sessions with Jonathan Wong. I also took up Pilates to improve my posture and rhumba classes to help with my pasarela. I had my eyebrows fixed by Momoisupe and my nails were taken cared of by Mimiqui. To maintain my healthy looking skin, I had collagen and placenta injections by my dermatologist Dra. Sonia Baluyot. I also had several photo shoots with photographer Dookie Ducay and Seven Barretto.
MB: What do you think makes up a Mrs. universe?
A Mrs. Universe is a nurturing mother and a loving wife, daughter, sister and friend. She has the platform to empower women and the youth by instilling values and helping in community development. She is a woman who has the compassion and the heart to serve, to make a difference and to live above humanity towards others. She also has the vision to lead, with a voice for our women and youth, with a value of heartfelt worth and actions to serve and to do what is best for the society, for the country, for the global community and universe.
MB: What are your top three parenting tips?
1. Get our kids out of the house.
Given how kids are so engaged with using their gadgets, it’s no wonder that most of them are just at home instead of going out and enjoying what life has to offer. It is our duty as parents to get our kids out of the house and choose an activity that we as a family would all enjoy, may it be watching a movie, eating out or engaging in any sports. My family is into badminton and diving.
2. Always give time to communicate.
Make dinner time special by practicing the art of conversation. This is the time we get to bond, laugh and share how our day was.
3. Show support.
Encourage our children to be the best version of themselves by supporting them and making sure they will grow up to be well-rounded.
MB: What are the joys and challenges of raising girls and boys?
It’s such a joy seeing my eldest daughter take care of my youngest daughter whenever I’m not around. I also enjoy spending time with my two girls and just having our nails done or go shopping. My eldest daughter would also keep me updated on the latest trends and I enjoy our girl talk. My youngest daughter is “very malambing” and just hugging her at night puts a smile on my face.
My boys are just one year apart, so they always end up fighting. And boys being boys, they tend to be rough, making it difficult for me to stop their fights. But all those are overshadowed when my sons bring home their report card and certificate of excellence from school. I love seeing them helping each other with their school work and playing board games. My two boys are very helpful. It makes me happy to know that they can put down their gadgets whenever I would ask them to do something for me.
MB: How do you spend time with your husband?
My husband Caloy and I do things together, and we’re together almost every day. We enjoy watching movies, eating out, attending events, traveling in and out of the country, shopping, working out and, of course, scuba diving.
MB: How do you take care of yourself?
‘Me time’ for me is pampering myself by having my hair and nails done and going to my dermatologist for a facial or to the spa for a massage. I also spend time with my friends and go to parties where I can have wine and enjoy girl talk with them. I also love to shop. I enjoy buying new things for myself and for my family.
MB: What are the three most important family values for you?
We always have to understand our children and respect their differences and value their individuality.
For my children to be able to discern what is right and wrong, and that they should be able to have the discipline to live with integrity.
3. Accountability and responsibility.
I train my children to be accountable and responsible for their own actions. That whatever we do in life, the choices we make reflect our own decisions and actions.