What It Means to be a Filipina-American - according to Miss Intercontinental USA Raquel Basco

America is a nation of nations, made up of people from every land, of every race and practicing every faith. This diversity is not a source of weakness; it is a source of strength, it is a source of success. This enrichment through diversity thrives in America. But before this mosaic of cultures found a home, the question certainly might have been asked, "Can a nation made of such varied backgrounds even hope to succeed?" As the American example shows, the answer is a resounding "yes." 

As a Filipina-American Raquel Basco thinks acculturation plays a huge role - "The one thing that really speaks to American culture is that we are country filled with diversity. There is so much opportunity to learn about other cultures and traditions which has shaped me to have humility and an open mind. It has made me feel closer to the world outside of the United States." she explained.

The beauty queen will have the opportunity to represent the United States at the 2017 Miss Intercontinental Pageant later this year. "The biggest pressure would probably be the responsibility you have to represent others. As a titleholder, you now hold the duty to tell the story of your country and your place in it all. I am beyond thankful and honored to represent the USA and it gives me the privilege and honor of speaking on behalf the people who come from many different walks of life." she said.

She is currently a full-time student studying business marketing. Her hobbies include charity work, acting, singing, and dancing. She loves working with people and students especially in correlation with the arts - "Being involved in the arts is very important to me in any capacity because it is a universal language that can bring any group of people together. "

I had the opportunity to interview the beautiful Raquel on her preparation for the next Miss Intercontinental Pageant. Lets know a little more about her below!

What is your typical day as a pageant queen?

The early part of my routine is pretty much the same on weekends and weekdays. The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a full glass of water before breakfast. Afterwards, I tend to go over emails and dedicate some time for myself before I head to the gym. Since I am currently a student, most of my time on weekdays is spent on schoolwork; however, I also make time to prepare for the weekend.

My weekends are spent mostly focused on my charity work and, if I have time, for photo shoots. Before I won Miss USA, I worked five jobs on the weekend. Sometimes I would have 20 hour days and go from one job to the next, including performing every weekend in In the Heights! 

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Photos by Martin Wilson

Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?

One difficult obstacle I dealt with during the pageant was the combination of a stomach infection, the flu, and sea sickness. In order to fight through, focused on while also was and had - that I have theatre to thank for that mentality. Theatre has helped me learn the discipline to push through and focus for a performance regardless of physical and mental health.

Many misses have said that their dream since a child was to participate in a pageant as prestigious as Miss World (or Miss Universe). It it your case ? And if so, why ?

Growing up I watched beauty pageants with my family. As a child however, I was always drawn to the arts. Playing an instrument or singing professionally was my dream. I loved being a part of something greater than myself. I believe that is why I was drawn to charity work at such a young age. Pageants came into my life once I realized that I could create a platform that was geared towards issues that I was passionate about. Miss Intercontinental CA was the first opportunity I had to compete in a pageant and fight for something I believed in. That is the reason I wanted to participate - to make a difference.

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Your favorite beauty queen ?

Miss Kenya Universe 2016. She is the definition of a survivor and was fearless in telling her story. She faced tremendous adversity in her life, but she fought through. She embodies vulnerability as a strength.

mary esther were

Mary Esther Were's mother died when she was four and her father later died from complications of diabetes. She won Miss Universe Kenya 2016 in Nairobi. She participated in Miss Universe 2016 in Manila, at the age of 27. She became the first ever delegate from Kenya to advance past the first round, finishing in the Top 6. She has written a novel she hopes to get published soon and is a Marketing Administrator for CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. She would like advocate for HIV awareness, drug addiction and affordable rehabilitation.

Where do we hope to see you In the next 10 years?

In 10 years, my hope is that I have had made a difference. Whether that is through my charity work, or from being a voice to those struggling with mental disorders, saving one life would be more than enough for me. I also hope that I am still performing and that I am still involved in the arts while continuing to use that as a platform for social change.

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Thanks to the beautiful Raquel for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for Miss Intercontinental pageant.

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